Best 5.25 Speakers: Enhance Your Car Stereo’s Performance
Experience a loud and powerful sound with these top 5.25-inch car speakers
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON August 20, 2019
If your factory speakers aren’t giving you the crisp, clean sound that you desire, you can easily replace them with 5.25 speakers. You may not be able to upgrade the entire audio system in your car, but just upgrading your speakers will produce a richer sound that any audiophile can appreciate. The best part is that 5.25 speakers can even be installed in small cars. We have come up with a few options for the best 5.25 speakers on the market.
- Best OverallRockford Fosgate PrimeSummarySummaryA full-range coaxial speaker with a classy look and unparalleled sound quality.ProsProsHigh-quality. High sound output. Built to last. Delivers a crisp, clean, full-range sound. Easy to install. Neat and stylish design. Includes grille and mounting hardware.ConsConsAverage bass and mid-frequency response and output. Curved corners make fitting difficult.
- Best ValuePyle Car Sound SpeakerSummarySummaryAn affordable coaxial speaker that’s a universal fit for most vehicles and is loud and clear.ProsProsHigh sensitivity rating. Produces a clean and loud sound. Maintains its performance level through high-operating temperatures. Offers a fuller sound than average two-way car speakers.ConsConsYou may have to buy extra accessories for installation. Not as long-lasting as high-end models.
- Honorable MentionJBL Premium SpeakerSummarySummaryHigh-performance, three-way component speakers that deliver smooth highs, clear mids, and distortion-free lows.ProsProsProduces clear sound. Delivers great bass. Space-saving design. Includes crossovers for the separation of high, mid, and low frequencies. Sounds great even at high volumes.ConsConsThe basket is made of fragile plastic. May be challenging to install. Lower output compared to input.
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Benefits of 5.25 Speakers
- Space friendly. If you have a sports car or drive any other compact car with limited internal space, you may not have enough room for large speakers. You also need to save the space for your groceries and other items that can be stored in your trunk. Fortunately, 5.25 speakers don’t take up much space as they can fit in a car door or dashboard.
- Improved sound quality. If your factory speakers are just not doing it for you, you can upgrade your car’s sound system with some of the best 5.25 speakers for the money. They typically produce a better sound than your factory speakers, while at the same time they reduce distortion at high volumes.
- Upgrade your interior. Most 5.25 speakers from high-end brands carry elegant designs that are sure to make your interior pop, whether they’re installed in the doors or the dashboard. They also create a better listening room in your car since they offer excellent sound even without a woofer.
Types of 5.25 Speakers
These types of speakers are also referred to as separates, and they work in conjunction with a pair of subwoofers, crossovers, and tweeters. They offer a vibrant and rich sound quality, while at the same time they save on space as the components are small. A three-way car speaker configuration may include tweeters, mid-range speakers, and subwoofers for powerful high, mid, and low frequencies, respectively.
These are the most affordable speakers, and most stock car audio systems use them. The basic configuration of a full range, coaxial speaker system is a tweeter that’s mounted on the cone of a woofer for the best blend of high and low-frequency sounds. These speakers also have a space-saving design.
Jim Fosgate introduced Rockford Fosgate into the car audio industry in 1973, and it’s currently an industry leader in audio innovation and engineering. The company is headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, and designs some of the best audio systems for automobiles, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and marine equipment. One of its best 5.25 coaxial speakers is the Rockford Fosgate Prime.
Pyle Audio is an American manufacturer of audio equipment and replacement stereo systems that was founded in 1960. The company also designs some of the best digital cameras, televisions, DVD players, metal detectors, projectors, and musical instruments. Pyle Audio is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, and aims to transform every car into a “media system on wheels.” One of its best 5 1⁄4 speakers is the Pyle Car Sound Speaker.
JBL is a California-based subsidiary company of Samsung Electronics that’s owned by Harman International Industries. James Bullough Lansing founded the company in 1946, and it currently manufactures a wealth of audio equipment, including earphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers, headphones, and car speakers. One of its best 5.25 component car speakers is the JBL Premium Speaker.
Boss Audio has over 30 years of experience in the audio equipment industry. The company manufactures and designs some of the best amplifiers, subwoofers, speakers, tweeters, in-dash tablets, and other entertainment accessories. Boss Audio is headquartered in Oxnard, California, and one of its best-selling 5.25 three-way speakers is the Boss Audio Car Speaker.
5.25-Inch Speakers Pricing
- Under $50: Most speakers within this budget-friendly price range will meet your expectations for performance, quality, and durability if they’re from a well-known brand. The speakers are typically loud and can be powered by a factory or aftermarket stereo. The size is generally the same with all 5.25-inch car speakers, but they come in different shapes that fit in either the dashboard or doors.
- Over $50: This price level is for some of the most popular, premium speakers that offer enhanced durability and sound quality. Most of the speakers are backed with warranties, are resistant to collision damage, and offer great low-frequency response that’s ideal for bass enthusiasts. You can expect to find some of the best 5.25 waterproof speakers within this price range.
There are two-way speaker components that only include a woofer and tweeter mounted on a cone, which deliver low and high frequencies. Another speaker configuration is a three-way speaker system that includes a midrange speaker in the tweeter and woofer collection for an accurate and fuller sound.
Power Handling Capacity
The speaker's power is gauged in RMS and peak watts. RMS is the amount of power that a speaker can handle on a continuous basis, while the peak power is the maximum amount of power that can be handled by a speaker before blowing out. Ensure that the new speakers can handle the power produced by your amplifier or factory stereo.
The build material affects the overall sound quality of the unit, especially the woofer cone material. Some common cone materials that minimize sound distortion include mica, clay, polypropylene, fiber polymer, and metal-coated synthetic fabrics. Some speakers are made of textile or glass, which aren’t as durable and generally produce a lower-quality sound.
- Sensitivity: Sensitivity is the ability to convert the amplifier power into sound. High-powered car stereos work better with low sensitivity speakers, and the opposite goes for low-powered car stereos.
- Frequency Range: Choose a speaker with a high-frequency range to experience the best lows and highs in your car’s audio system. In such a case, you won’t have to pair the speakers with a set of subwoofers.
Best 5.25 Speakers Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Rockford Fosgate Prime
This set of two, two-way car speakers sport a sleek and durable Flex-Fit basket design. Each features a vacuum polypropylene cone with a rubber surround. Grilles are included in the hardware. They have an impressive frequency response with lows of 62 hertz, highs of up to 20,000 hertz, and a power range of two to 40 watts.
These coaxial speakers have a high sensitivity rating of 88 decibels, and integrated crossovers deliver distortion-free frequencies to the speaker’s components. The unit delivers balanced low to high frequencies, and it holds up to extended playtime in extreme pressure situations. It also maintains the quality of sound at high volumes due to its silk-dome flush mount tweeter. These four-ohm speakers are easy to install and are designed to last.
However, their bass output is just acceptable and not as outstanding as other high-end brands. You may have to pair them with a subwoofer if the average bass response is a deal-breaker. They also lack a strong mid-frequency for the best vocals. Their curved shape may not fit in some dashboards and doors, especially in a Honda Civic.
Best Value: Pyle Car Sound Speaker
These are a set of two, three-way car speakers with a high sensitivity rating of 89 decibels and 100 to 20,000-kilohertz frequency response. Each speaker is a beautiful, blue, poly-injection cone, and has a four-ohm impedance rating that delivers a strong and powerful sound. The speakers feature a ½-inch neodymium film dome for enhanced frequency response, and the entire set provides a full-range sound of high and low-end frequencies.
For enhanced performance during heavy-duty playtime, the unit features one-inch, high-temperature, ASV voice coils that increase the speaker's tolerance to hot temperatures. Each speaker is fitted with a 20-ounce magnetic structure that helps the speaker provide 100 watts RMS and peak power of 200 watts. Lastly, a long-lasting, butyl-rubber surround protects the speaker from damage from vibrations and collisions.
However, you may have to buy extra accessories such as plug adaptors and a rivet gun for easy installation. Also, the speakers are not as long-lasting as high-end models, and one if not both of the speakers may start to crackle or pop after a few years before they blow out. They are budget-friendly, but you may spend more money replacing them, especially if you play loud volumes for long periods.
Honorable Mention: JBL Premium Speaker
JBL Premium Speakers are component speakers that are basket-shaped and deliver the best high, mid, and low frequencies. They come as a set of two, three-ohm speakers with a low-impedance setting to ensure that each speaker maximizes every watt to deliver the best quality sound. The cones have a tough and durable construction due to the non-magnetic, carbon composite formulation that maintains the integrity of the structure.
They feature carbon-injected Plus One formula in the cones, which makes them large enough to move in more air within the speaker system and produce more bass. Their soft-dome tweeters have oversized voice coils for better heat dissipation and higher power handling for smooth and clean highs. The speakers have a sensitivity of 12 decibels and feature some of the best crossover components that direct the high, low, and mid frequencies to the right components for a perfect blend of sound.
However, the speakers don’t have a perfect balance of input and output. The output sound rating is lower compared to the power used by the speakers. Also, the speakers are challenging to install as with most component speakers, and the basket arm that holds the speaker magnet is made of fragile plastic.
- You should power low-RMS rated speakers with a factory stereo. You don’t need an external amplifier with a low-power speaker. However, you need to buy an external amplifier if your speaker has a high RMS rating. If you underpower or overpower a speaker, it may lead to sound distortion and may damage the speakers with time.
- If you have component speakers, don’t make a habit of tuning the tweeters to a flat setting. You may end up with highs that are too bright and flat lows with no punch in the bass. Tune the crossover settings to ensure that the mids balance out the highs and lows.
- New speakers need time to break in before you can feel their full power. That can take a few hours or longer depending on the type. However, if it’s been weeks and you aren’t getting the full potential of your speakers, then you may be underfeeding them with power, and you need to hook them up with a high-power aftermarket stereo or external amplifier.
- You don’t have to rewire your sound system if you're powering your new 5.25 speakers with the factory stereo. The factory speaker wire will work just fine as long as it’s not damaged or worn out. However, if you plan on connecting an external amplifier, you may need to rewire the entire sound system from the stereo to the amplifiers and speakers.
Q: How long do replacement car speakers last?
A: It depends on the construction quality and how often you use the speakers. Speakers typically last for five years but can stretch to 10 years if they’re from a top audio-manufacturing brand. Generally, a speaker that blasts hard rock for longer periods is more likely to tear or blow out than a speaker that only plays soft classical music.
Q: Will an amplifier improve the sound quality of the speakers?
A: Most speakers can be powered by your car’s stereo, but some stereos produce a low wattage and may not power some high-end speakers. In such a case, or if you just need more volume or would like to get rid of sound distortion, you can include an amplifier in the setup. An amplifier will give you 10 to 20 years of service, depending on the quality of the brand.
Q: Will new speakers make a difference in my sound system if I still have an old stereo?
A: New speakers are an inexpensive way of improving the sound quality of your stock stereo, especially if you can only listen to the AM/FM radio while driving. New 5.25 speakers make the sound louder, more dynamic, and cleaner than what your factory speakers could offer. They will also give you enough time before you upgrade your stereo and enjoy music from other auxiliary sources.
Our top pick for the best car speakers is the Rockford Fosgate Prime. They offer a natural and accurate sound, have nice aesthetics, and are well-built for durability.
Our pick for the best value 5.25-inch car speakers is the Pyle Car Sound Speakers. They’re affordable and offer great sound quality with no unwanted distortion.