Best 4 inch Car Stereo Speakers

4 inch speakers are among the smallest sized speakers that you can use in your car. If you have allready 4 inch speakers in your car and looking for an upgrade for them, you are at the right place. In this article, we will go thorugh some of the best 4" sized speakers according to their categories. You may find top high-end speakers, budget speakers, value speakers, marine speakers below.

Before starting out our reviews, please be adviced that these speakers are small and have small surface are for woofers they have. Therefore, they can not produce decent bass, either by not being able to respond low frequency sounds or lacking bang power. If you are considering some advanced audio systems with body modifications of your car,  you may consider these small 4" sized speakers for mids and highs definately, but not for lows.

If you need to upgrade lows of your sound system as well, I would strongly suggest to check our best 6x9 speakers for bass and 6x8" speakers with good bass lists. 

Comparison Table Best 6x9 Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality
Brand
Model
Speaker
Type
RMS
Power
Sensitivity
(@1w/1m)
Frequency
Response
Focal ICU100Focal ICU1002-Way40 W90 dB100 - 21k HzCheck Price
Rockford Fosgate P142Rockford Fosgate P1422-Way60 W87 dB100 - 22k HzCheck Price
Polk Audio DB402Polk Audio DB4022-Way45 W91 dB85 - 22k HzCheck Price
Kicker 46CSC44Kicker 46CSC442-Way50 W88 dB60 - 20k HzCheck Price
Pioneer TS-G1020SPioneer TS-G1020S2-Way30 W87 dB35 - 27k HzCheck Price

Focal ICU100 - "Premium Selection"

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • RMS: 40 watts
  • Peak: 80 watts
  • Low: 100 Hz
  • High: 21.000 Hz

These Focal speakers are one of the best for 4" sized speakers. They re specially designed for easy fitting every car with 4" speakers installed as stock.

At highs focal sounds excellent thanks to its new aluminum/magnesium tweeter. You may easily adjust a treble boost with the +3 dB adjuster it has on. The result is clear, detailed reproduction for high sounds.

As for bass, do not expect much from any 4" speakers. Focal is not an exception in this term. They engineered ICU100 to reliable reproduce sounds that fall in its response range, which is 100 Hz to 21.000 Hz. As you will admit, 100 Hz is way far away to feel a bang in your car and you will need a subwoofer to pair with these elite speakers.

These speakers run continuously at 40 watts. You may not need any amplifier purchase to provide this power, just the head unit should be fine. At RMS power level, these speakers can hit up to 105 dB, which is quite impressive for a 4" speaker.

Overall, they are good sounding small speakers that will satisfy you at mid-range and high sounds. For bass, consider buying subwoofer along with this one.

PROS

High Quality
Crystal Clear Highs
Cleaer Mid-Range

CONS

High Price
Needs Subwoofer

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 67/100

Rockford Fosgate P142 Punch 4"

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 87 dB
  • RMS: 30 watts
  • Peak: 60 watts
  • Low: 100 Hz
  • High: 22.000 Hz

Rockford Fosgate P142 Punch is a more budget-friendly alternative for 4" sized speaker selection.

It has FlexFit basket for easily installing it to your car, without drilling additional holes. The Punch P142 has a 2-way design as other speakers on this list. Its tweeter sounds perfect in high frequencies. Its woofer is much like the Focal ICU100, it can not reproduce sounds that have lower than 100 Hz frequency. Looking for to hear strong bass bangs in your car? You better add a subwoofer to your trunk or rear deck than.

The sensitivity level of P142 is 87, which is not so special. If you power these speakers up to their RMS level, you will get roughly 102 dB, which is just a little below our threshold of 105 dB.

These speakers will be a good choice for replacing stock speakers. It has rich sound at mids and highs almost at the quality of Focal and needs subwoofer support as any other 4" sized speakers.

PROS

High Quality
Moderate Price
Decent Mids and Highs

CONS

Needs Subwoofer

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 63/100

Polk Audio DB402 DB+ - "Loud Selection"

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB
  • RMS: 45 watts
  • Peak: 135 watts
  • Low: 85 Hz
  • High: 22.000 Hz

We know well Polk Audio speakers for their durability. DB402 DB+ is not an exception for it. The main advantage of these speakers is their resistance to water and dirt. They are certified as IP55 and also tested for salt-fog, UV, and humidity conditions. 

DB402 DB+ is a performance/price speaker. Upon their ability to hold of water and dirt, they are loud! It has a sensitivity level of 91 dB which is hard to find in any 4" speakers. If you power these at RMS level, you will have around 107 dB, which is impressive for 4" speakers.

The frequency response range of these speakers can go as low as 85 Hz. However, we have to note that, at low frequencies, it does not perform as Focal or Rockford Fosgate. Lower frequency hit does not support it in terms of bass power because of this reason.

These speakers are doing well in mids and high just like the previous two speakers that we go through above.

Overall, if you need a 4" for your bike, ATV or to be used somewhere outdoor, you may select these. They will pay their prices well off. Do not expect too much in terms of base though.

PROS

Marine Certified
Clear Mids and Highs
Loudspeakers

CONS

Needs Subwoofer
Bass is not Good

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 67/100

Do you need slightly stronger speakers? Take a look at our best 5.25" speakers list.

Kicker 46CSC44

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 88 dB
  • RMS: 50 watts
  • Peak: 150 watts
  • Low: 60 Hz
  • High: 20.000 Hz

Kicker speakers are famous for their base performance. They used everything they in their hands to sustain their bass performance in the 46CSC44 too.

These speakers can respond as low as 60 Hz and it can be greatly admired by comparing other speakers we reviewed above. Still, the power of bangs is not as satisfying as a 6.5" sized speakers and they will shine up with a subwoofer addition to your system.

The sensitivity level of Kicker46CSC44 is 88 dB, which is normal. If you can power these up to 50 watts, then you will obtain 105 dB which is fair. It should be noted though, at high volumes they can lose their clarity.

Overall, these speakers are marked as budget speakers with limited bass power. If you would like to turn up the volume most of the time, you may consider paying more to buy any three speakers of above.

PROS

Budget-friendly
Some Bass Power

CONS

Needs Subwoofer
Not Clear at High Volume

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 70/100

Pioneer TS-G1020S - "Budget Selection"

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 87 dB
  • RMS: 30 watts
  • Peak: 210 watts
  • Low: 35 Hz
  • High: 27.000 Hz

Pioneer is a successful brand for producing decent products at low prices. TS-G1020S is offered below $40 and they are absolutely a perfect value choice.

TS-G1020S has a wide frequency range that you may not see at any other 4" speakers on market. They can hit as low as 35 Hz. However, at high volumes it distorts and yo really do no get much of bang as bass.

These speakers have a sensitivity level of 87 dB and they can get up to 102 dB at RMS power level. They are not the loudest but fairly loud still.

What you can do is getting these speakers for mids and highs. If you have a subwoofer in your system, you can tune TS-G1020S for a range of 100 Hz and above, to get rid of distortion while having a decent quality of mid and high sounds.

PROS

Value Speakers
Clear Mids and Highs

CONS

Distorts at High Volume
Needs Retuning of Frequency
Needs Subwoofer

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 72/100

Which 4" Sized Speaker is Right Choice For Me?

As you would see from the reviews above, if you are considering to buy 4" speakers for bass performance, you are going to have disappointment. The best one in terms of bass performance is Kicker 46CSC44 and yet it is not performing by any regular 6.5" sized speakers. If you require a bass power upgrade, consider buying 6.5" sized, 6x9" sized speakers or even better a subwoofer.

Apart from that, you need to set your priorities. What is more important for you? Crystal clear sound? Budget? Loudness?

After deciding your needs, it is important to be able to read the specifications of speakers. They are explaining much about your speaker. Below you will find out how to 

If you are interested in other speaker sizes as well, you may check comparision of best car speakers for bass and sound quality that we prepared by selecting two best speakers from each size category.

Sensitivity and Loudness Comparison

.Sensitivity is the easiest specification for comparing how loud the speaker can get. It is a general comparison of speakers by powering them at 1 watt and measuring the sound intensity level in terms of dB by stepping 1 meter away from the speaker.

A speaker with a sensitivity level of 90 dB and above is generally an indication of a loudspeaker. If a speaker has a sensitivity level below 85 dB, it is inferior.

When comparing the sensitivity level, you need to be careful. Some producer companies are indicating sensitivity levels in terms of @2.83V, not @1 watt as it should be. What is the difference and how you can change from one to another, let me quickly explain

If the impedance of a speaker is 8 ohms, then it will produce 1-watt power @2.83 V. In this case, you do not need to make anything to adjust sensitivity levels. But if the impedance is;

  • 4 ohms = 2 watts of power used, you need to subtract 3 dB.
  • 2 ohms = 4 watts of power used, you need to subtract 6 dB.

Why we are subtracting these values? Because when you increase the power input of a speaker by double, then you will get 3 dB higher volume intensity from your speaker. So by doing this simple math, you may compare each speaker at the same 1-watt power input level.

What is "RMS" and "Peak Power" Levels of Speakers?

There are two important terms to compare the power input handling of speakers, namely RMS and Peak Power. RMS is the continuous power handling of a speaker that you can safely operate without failing for a long period. Peak power is the power input limit of the speaker before it brokes down.

When you are tuning your amplifier or head unit, we would suggest it is best to limit their power input at maximum to the RMS level. Some people go for 1.5xRMS level but it can add to your max sound level by 2 dB at most and does not worth shorten your speaker's life-span.

What can you understand by checking the RMS level of your speakers?

1) Quality of Material Used

Higher RMS level is generally an indication of the quality and endurance of the speaker. The higher RMS rating the speaker has means that it can handle more tension and vibration while reproducing sounds clear. This gives a general idea, do not stick strictly to this value.

2) Do You Need an Amplifier or Not?

As out of the factory, most cars do not have any amplifiers on their audio system. Headunits can power speakers 30-50 watts at maximum. If your speaker has an RMS level greater then 50 watts and you would like to obtain maximum performance from your speakers, you should obtain an amplifier. 

3) How Loud Can Speakers Operate?

A basic calculation will enable you to compare speaker loudness.

  • 32 Watts RMS = Sensitivity + 15 dB
  • 40 Watts RMS = Sensitivity + 16 dB
  • 50 Watts RMS = Sensitivity + 17 dB
  • 64 Watts RMS = Sensitivity + 18 dB
  • 80 Watts RMS = Sensitivity + 19 dB
  • 101 Watts RMS = Sensitivity + 20 dB
  • 128 Watts RMS = Sensitivity + 21 dB

What does Frequency Range of a Speaker Stands for?

The frequency range of speakers shows what sounds they can reproduce. A perfect human ear can hear sounds between 20-20.000 Hz and most of us will be able to hear 30-16.000 Hz. 

Speakers with 2-way or more can reproduce sounds up to 20.000 Hz without any problem. What you can compare regarding frequency range is lows, which means bass reproducing ability. Speakers with 30 Hz or low range are rare and they generally have good bass reproducing ability. If your speaker can not go below 100 Hz, no matter the quality of the speakers, you will not get any bass from them.

If you are looking for strong bass bangs, you need to go for a subwoofer. They have generally ranged between 20 - 150 Hz and their sole duty are producing bass.

We prepared a new all inclusive guide for car speaker purchase. Chech it out for further information.

Conclusion

We prepared this article to provide you best 4" sized speakers. Each of the five speakers listed on this list has its benefits and downsides relative to each other. As overall;

  • Premium selection - Focal ICU100, for the best audio systems only.
  • Loud selection - Polk Audio DB402, for obtaining high and loud sound from a 4" sized speaker, and
  • Budget selection - Pioneer TS-G1020, for people with a tight budget. 

We hope this article helps you through selection. Have a nice one :)

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