Best Sounding 5.25" Car Speakers

Is your car's audio system not satisfying you? Do you want to make some upgrades but unsure where to look? You are at the right place.

In this article, you will find a shortlist of eight speakers. We will start reviewing from the high-end component speaker down to low priced budget speakers. No matter what is your preference, you will find the best of it.

In general, 5.25" speakers are smaller, thus they have a disadvantage of producing less strong bass. Most of the speakers on this list will need a subwoofer addition to your system. What we did consider in this list was;

  • The frequency range of speakers
  • Sound clarity at high volumes
  • Material quality & durability
  • Customer satisfaction

Starting prices from $40 and increasing up to $400, you may find a suitable speaker for yourself no matter what budget do you have for speakers. 

Comparison Table Best 6x9 Speakers for Bass and Sound Quality
Brand
Model
Speaker
Type
RMS
Power
Sensitivity
(@1w/1m)
Frequency
Response
JL Audio C3-525JL Audio C3-525Component75 W90 dB48 - 25k HzCheck Price
Hertz ESK 130.5Hertz ESK 130.5Component70 W93 dB70 - 23k HzCheck Price
Polk Audio DB5252Polk Audio DB5252Component100 W91 dB55 - 23k HzCheck Price
Rockford Fosgate 152-SRockford Fosgate 152-SComponent40 W85 dB58 - 20k HzCheck Price
Polk Audio DB522Polk Audio DB5222-Way100 W91 dB55 - 22k HzCheck Price
Kicker 46CSC54Kicker 46CSC542-Way75 W90 dB45 - 20k HzCheck Price
Pioneer TS-A1370FPioneer TS-A1370F3-Way50 W87 dB40 - 36k HzCheck Price
Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime 5.25Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime 5.252-Way40 W88 dB62 - 20k HzCheck Price

Best Component 5.25" Car Speakers

In the following list, you will find four 5.25" component speakers that may satisfy needs. The list is in the descending order, regarding their prices. 

JL Audio C3-525 - "Premium Selection"

Specifications

  • Build: Component
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • RMS: 75 watts
  • Peak: 225 watts
  • Low: 48 Hz
  • High: 25.000 Hz

When it comes to JL Audio, expect only the best. They are producing the best audio systems for cars, homes, marine, and Powersports.

JL Audio C3-525 is one of the best speakers that you may find in the 5.25" category. C3-525 comes with two mids, two tweeters, and two crossovers. They can be used as a component or coaxial according to your needs. Which is also named as "Convertible Component" design.

This speaker is loud and clear. At the RMS power level, it can reach more than 108 dB, which is quite loud. If you are not familiar with sound intensity levels, you may check this dB scale

The frequency response range of C3-525 is quite adequate. It can hit as low as 48 Hz which is one of the best in this 5.25" size category. It produces strong bass for frequencies fall in its range. 

For the high sounds, it is crystal clear. Crossovers do their job fairly well and prevent any distortion even at loudest volumes.

Overall this is one of the best speakers you may find in this category. This comes with a high price tag you may need to consider.

PROS

Loudspeaers
Crystal Clear Highs
High-quality Crossovers
Powerful Bass

CONS

Very High Price
Needs Amplifier

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 85/100

Hertz ESK 130.5

Specifications

  • Build: Component
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 93 dB
  • RMS: 70 watts
  • Peak: 210 watts
  • Low: 70 Hz
  • High: 23.000 Hz

Hertz is another company that belongs to the elite club. The brand itself is fairly new compared to others (founded in 1998). However their only aim to transmit the emotions in the music through their speakers. They are indeed doing a good job, and their products are always at the top of quality lists.

ESK 130.5 is an alternative for JL Audio C3-525 if you can not afford that one. The material they chose for this speaker is semi pressed paper and mice mixture. It is light and has increased strength with mica. This way ESK 130.5 can handle up to 70 RMS, continuously without any issue.

 Another indication shows the quality of this speaker its sensitivity level of 93 dB. At RMS power level, it can generate 111 dB which is even better than its competitor JL.

ESK 130.5 produces clean mids and highs without any extra effort. Woofer and tweeter set performs their job well. However, since the woofer is designed for reproducing as low as 70 Hz, you will need a subwoofer for your audio system. 

One advantage of obtaining ESK 130.5 over C3-525 is the price difference. It is now around $100 and with adding some more to this, you will have a better sounding system as overall.

PROS

High-Quality Product
Crystal Clear Highs and Mids
Strong Grills Included in the Box

CONS

High Price
Needs Amplifier and Subwoofer

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 82/100

Polk Audio DB5252 - "Marine Component Selection"

Specifications

  • Build: Component
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB
  • RMS: 100 watts
  • Peak: 300 watts
  • Low: 55 Hz
  • High: 23.000 Hz

Polk Audio is one of the companies that most of us familiar with. Their products are aiming mid-range price scale and their performance relative to its price is fascinating. Polk Audio was founded by the graduates of John Hopkins University in 1972.

As most of the Polk Audio speakers, DB5252 is marine certified. You may use this pair at your convertible, boat, bike or ATV. DB5252 comes with two woofers, two tweeters, and two crossovers. This product is not a convertible component, so you will need to somehow hide your crossovers and mount tweeters. If you are considering ATV or bike, you may go for the Polk Audio DB522+ which is a coaxial model.

DB5252 comes with polypropylene and UV resistant cone as you would expect from an IP55 certified speaker. Its quality is so high that it dares to handle 300 watts of peak power and 100 watts of RMS. 

At RMS wattage it can add up to +20 dB to its sensitivity and reach up to 111 dB level. This is enough to put DB5252 among the loudest speakers on this list.

Db5252 can hit as low as 55 Hz. This is not ideal but for a 5.25" speaker it is normal. Within its frequency range, it reproduces clear mids and highs. When it comes to lows, you need to add a subwoofer as most of the 5.25" sized speakers require.

PROS

Marine Certified
Clear Mids and Highs
Loudspeakers

CONS

Needs Subwoofer

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 83/100

Rockford Fosgate 152-S - "Budget Component Selection"

Specifications

  • Build: Component
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 85 dB
  • RMS: 40 watts
  • Peak: 80 watts
  • Low: 58 Hz
  • High: 20.000 Hz

It is hard to not admire Fosgate and its product, especially when looking to its history. Fosgate is the inventor of car amplifiers and founded the Rockford Fosgate company in 1973.

It uses mica injected polypropylene cones to extend the frequency response. This speaker can hit as low as 58 Hz, almost identical to Polk DB5252. As in the case of DB5252, this is not ideal for getting strong bass sound. You may need to consider adding a subwoofer to your system if you buy this speaker pair.

In the box, you will find two woofers, two tweeters with their grills. Tweeters are 1 1/2" size and have integrated crossovers. They sound clear and very few distortions you may hear at the highest sounds.

Fosgate 152-S has a not-so-impressive 85 dB sensitivity level. When you power this speaker up to the RMS level, you will obtain about 101 dB sound intensity. Our comparison threshold is 105 dB and this speaker is slightly off it.

If you don't have an amplifier in your car, it is fine. RMS power level is only 40 watts for this speaker and with your car's head unit you may get its whole potential.

152-S is the speaker you are looking for something both budget-friendly and has a component design. If you are looking for some high-end audio pleasure, please consider the speakers above. On the other hand,  you may easily buy and use this speaker as an OEM speaker replacement and feel the difference.

PROS

Budget-Friendly
Built-in Crossovers
Does not Need an Amplifier

CONS

Not Loud
Some Distortion at High Volume
Need Subwoofer

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 70/100

If you are planning to build a custom audio system, you may want to consider a combination of small and big speakers in your car. For lows you may consider adding a pair of 6x8" or 6x9" speakers that bang and handle low with 3.5" sized speakers for a more affordable alternative of 5.25" size.

Best Coaxial 5.25" Car Speakers

Offered at much less price, the following speakers can still serve your needs if you need or want to go with coaxial speakers.

Polk Audio DB522 DB+ - "Biker's 5.25 Selection"

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 91 dB
  • RMS: 100 watts
  • Peak: 300 watts
  • Low: 55 Hz
  • High: 22.000 Hz

As we already mentioned in the DB5252 review, DB522+ is a product that you can use on your bike without hesitation. It is almost identical to DB5252 but differs in the way it is built. It is coaxial and has integrated crossover, so it took much less space relative to its brother. 

DB522+ and its predecessors are proven to be worth every penny you pay for them. They operate well in outdoor conditions and suitable for bikes, boats, ATV's or even trailers. IP55 certificate shows they can endure UV, water, fog, mist, dust, and mud.  Many users have positive feedback about their endurance, especially bike riders indicate it can last more than 5 years without any problem.

These speakers can reach up to 111 dB at RMS level which is well above our threshold. They are LOUD!

Only thing they are missing is some bass power. They have crispy and clear sound for mids and highs but require more bang for bass as all of 5.25" sized speakers.

PROS

Marine Certified
Crystal Clear Mids and Highs
Ideal for Bikers Great Value

CONS

Lack of Bang at Lows


  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 80/100

Kicker 46CSC54

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB
  • RMS: 75 watts
  • Peak: 225 watts
  • Low: 45 Hz
  • High: 20.000 Hz

The Kicker is a well-known US company that is established in 1973. They produce speakers especially good at low frequencies and kicks strongly.

46CSC54 is the next generation of 43CSC54 which was highly recommended by its users. This pair of speakers offers strong specifications for a great price. They have respectable 90 dB of sensitivity. At the RMS power level, the volume of speakers can rise to 108 dB, which is loud.

46CSC54 has a wide frequency range. It can hit as low as 45 Hz, which is beyond expectations for a 5.25" speaker. It has some bass power, but of course, you will miss a subwoofer addition.

Comparing 46CSC54 with DB522+, they have almost the same price tag. You may prefer DB522+ for its marine property or slightly louder output. You may consider Kicker if you are not planning to add a subwoofer to your system.

PROS

Budget Friendly
Clear Mids, Highs
Wide Frequency Range
Deeper Bass

CONS

Needs Subwoofer


  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 80/100

Pioneer TS-A1370F -"Budget Speaker with Bass"

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 3-way
  • Sensitivity: 87 dB
  • RMS: 50 watts
  • Peak: 300 watts
  • Low: 40 Hz
  • High: 36.000 Hz

The last two speakers of our list are the ultimate budget speakers. They are now around $40 and we will start with Pioneer TS-A1370F.

Pioneer is a Japanese audio systems company that has been on the market for more than 80 years. They are offering decent quality at low prices.

TS-A1370F is a direct replacement for your car's stock speakers. The material quality is higher compared to most of the stock speakers on cars. It has extended coil and magnet system to produce stronger sounds.

TS-A1370F is the only 3-way on this list. It has woofer, a 1 5/8" mid-range and a 3/8" tweeter. It benefits of a significantly wider frequency range of 40-36.000 Hz thanks to that. 

TS-A1370F has 87 dB sensitivity level and at RMS it can increase up to 104 dB. It is fair but not too loud, to be honest. It produces fairly good bass however it is lacking clarity at highs.

If you can afford a few more bucks to get 46CSC54 will be better. If not, this is one of the best speakers that you can for this money.

PROS

Economic Choice
Have Fair Bass

CONS

Not so Clear at Highs

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 75/100

Rockford Fosgate R1525x2 Prime - "Budget Speaker with Highs"

Specifications

  • Build: Coaxial
  • Design: 2-way
  • Sensitivity: 88 dB
  • RMS: 40 watts
  • Peak: 80 watts
  • Low: 62 Hz
  • High: 20.000 Hz

The last speaker on our list is also an OEM replacement speaker that you can get at a fairly good price.

R1525x2 Prime has the material quality that you may not be able to find at your stock system. It has a polypropylene cone and a silk dome. It comes with an integrated crossover just like other coaxial speakers on this list. 

The power usage values of R1525x2 is suitable for factory setup. It has 40 watts RMS that and can reach up to 104 dB which is identical with TS-A1370F

Regarding frequency range, it can not go as low as TS-A1370F and lack bass performance. However, it is clear at highs so this is a trade-off you need to consider.

PROS

Economic Choice
Fair Highs and Mids

CONS

Lack Bass Power

  • LOUDNESS
  • BASS POWER
  • SOUND CLARITY

 

Overall: 70/100

How to Select Best 5.25" Speaker for Your Car

Without going deep, start with the simplest thing. Does 5.25" speaker suits your car? If you are not quite sure, we highly advise you to go over our guide for determining your car speaker size

If you are sure about the size, you may find valuable information for yourself in the following topics.

What is the Difference Between Component and Coaxial?

As you will figure out from product images, component speakers have their drivers, namely woofers and tweeters, separated from each other. To organize and make them work harmonically, they have also separate crossovers. In the case of coaxial speakers, all of the drivers and crossovers are inside a body.

High-end speakers generally produced as a component. The main advantage of them is to have a crossover much bigger than coaxial speakers. Increasing

What is "2-Way", "3-Way" means?

"Way" term used as an indication of how many drivers are forming the speaker. Modern speakers are formed of at least 2-ways, namely a tweeter and a woofer.

Each driver has a response frequency range. Crossovers are organizing them to reproduce which soundwaves will be produced from which driver. Woofers are bigger and stronger, they move slower and producing bass sounds with responding to low-frequency ranges. Tweeters, on the other hand, are smaller, moving much faster and responding to high-frequency sounds.

The addition of "ways" to the speaker increases the number of drivers in the speakers. 3-way speakers have mid-range drivers that responses to frequencies between woofer and tweeter. 4-way speakers will have another driver called super tweeter that is for high frequencies.

What is the "RMS", "Peak Power" of a Speaker?

Speakers have two power handling values, "RMS" and "Peak Power". 

Peak power is the maximum power handling that can a speaker handle before it fails. If you tune your speaker with your amplifier, you need to stay away from this power input level.

RMS is the power level that speakers can sustainably handle over a long period. The higher power handling level shows a higher material quality of that speaker.

Would you like to learn more about what to take into considerition while making your car speaker purchase? We prepared a definitive guide for car speaker purchase that contains all you need to know.

If you are going to make some premium upgrade to your sound system and do not afraid of making body changes to your car, then check our comparison between bests of each size of speakers prepared for you. When you see them on the same list and with comparing on same scale, you will have a better idea that what is most suitable for you.

Conclusion

This article is prepared for investigating the best speakers of 5.25" size speakers. In this list, you will be able to find the best in class speakers.

Overall, if you want to go for a premium speaker, you may select JL Audio C3-525 without any hesitation. If you select that speaker, you will need to upgrade your head unit and possibly get an amplifier for your system.

If you need a speaker to use in outdoor conditions and you can trust to Polk Audio's speakers. They are produced to handle environmental effects.

If you need budget speakers, you may select Pioneer TS-A1370F or Rockford Fosgate 1525x2 Prime

I hope this article helps you with your selection.

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