10 Best 5.25-inch Car Speakers of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
Are your stock car speakers starting to fall a little flat, or do you need a little more boom? When it comes to stock sound systems in vehicles, many of them are just subpar. They produce fuzzy sounds and never have powerful subwoofers.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a full-blown replacement sound system. Changing out your car’s original 5.25-inch speakers will give you the clearer, sharper tones you’ve been looking for.
However, the car audio market is flooded with so many brands. It can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together these reviews to help you determine the best car speakers.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 5.25″ Coaxial Speaker||
|Best Value||BOSS Audio Systems CH5530 5.25 ” Car Speakers||
|Premium Choice||Polk Audio DB522 5.25″ Coaxial Speakers||
|JBL CLUB5020 5.25″ 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker||
|Kicker D-Series 5.25″ Car Audio Coaxial Speakers||
The 10 Best 5.25-inch Car Speakers
1. Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 5.25″ Coaxial Speaker – Best Overall
Our pick for the best overall 5.25-inch car speaker has to go to Rockford Fosgate. The speakers are well-designed and durable. Instead of using old generic paper cones, Rockford’s replaced them with vacuum polypropylene units. This not only makes the speaker look nicer but also helps protect the speaker’s components.
The Rockford speakers are full-range 40W speakers with the woofer, tweeter, and integrated crossover in one unit. This leads to an easy installation. All you’ll need is the correct wiring harness (easily obtainable at most auto parts stores) for your vehicle, and you’re on your way.
The speakers sound great; they put out a crisp sound when played at “normal” volumes. However, they tend to distort at higher volumes. But that’s the case with most 5.25-inch speakers. If you’re just looking for a simple affordable upgrade, these are precisely what you need.
2. BOSS Audio Systems CH5530 5.25 ” Car Speakers – Best Value
If you’re looking for the best 5.25-inch car speakers for the money, we recommend picking up these by Boss. They’re inexpensive and can give your car audio that extra boost you want. The speakers are constructed with a high-temperature voice coil to prevent overheating and blown speakers. They also are fully rubberized, which increases their durability.
They aren’t the most powerful speakers on this list. However, they’re decent speakers in a pinch and a great bargain. We think they’re the best 5.25-inch speakers for the money.
3. Polk Audio DB522 5.25″ Coaxial Speakers – Premium Choice
Finding a good weatherproof speaker can be difficult. Generally, you should avoid exposing your speakers to the elements at all costs, but that’s hard to do when looking for a good speaker for your boat or motorcycle.
But Polk Audio’s speakers have you covered. They are certified marine-proof and can withstand salt fog, UV rays, and humidity. They also carry the IP5-5 rating making them water and dirt resistant. They’re genuinely built like a tank.
Although the sound quality is good, we wish they had more bass. The bottom end tends to be relatively non-existent at normal volumes and underwhelmed when turned up higher. This wouldn’t be so impactful if they weren’t so expensive.
4. JBL CLUB5020 5.25″ 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker
JBL’s been known to make great speakers from show monitors to portables for your laptop, and their car speakers uphold that tradition. The speakers have a high-sensitivity design and can produce crisp mids and treble with a very tight mid-bass. However, the bass does need a breaking-in period to reach its full potential.
However, the JBL speakers can be a little difficult to install. The instructions are somewhat jumbled together. If this is your first car audio installation, you may want to have someone standing by to help. They are also a bit more expensive than other speakers without a substantial increase in value. But all-in-all, they are great speakers to upgrade your stock deck for daily use.
5. Kicker 43DSC504 D-Series 5.25″ Car Audio Coaxial Speakers
All previous entries on this list—including our top spot—have been lacking in a single area: bass. However, that is not the case with these Kickers. Kickers have been known for quite some time for their speakers’ lower end, and if you’re looking for an extra bump in your car, these should be considered as a viable option.
They’re also very well built to handle the heavier bass notes. On their own, they have an OK sound. But to unlock their true potential, you’ll need to pair these with an amp. Kickers aren’t the most budget-friendly either, but at least you get solid bass.
6. Pioneer TS-G1320S Coaxial Full Range Car Audio Stereo Speakers
We recommend these speakers for those looking for a stock factory speaker experience. These Pioneers aren’t going to blow your mind, but that’s the point. They’ll give you a nice, clear sound at normal volume with no distortion. You don’t always need speakers that bump or have the best highs. These Pioneers ooze practicality.
If you’re fixing up a vehicle with no sound system, toss in a pair of Pioneers, and you’ll be set. They aren’t going to break the bank, but they’ll still give you a solid performance.
7. JBL Stage 502 2-Way Coaxial Car Audio Speakers
This is our second entry from JBL on this list, and these speakers are very similar to the others but with one significant difference. They come with enhanced polyetherimide tweeters. This helps smooth out rough transitions from mid to high ranges. They also allow for better power handling and increased output at higher volumes.
However, there is a bit of a trade-off here. With increased mids and highs, the bass lessens even more than usual. If your taste in music is bass-intensive, these are not the speakers for you. You’re better off buying the Kickers above.
8. Sony XSFB1330 5.25″ Car Audio Speakers
The Sony XSFB1330 series is another set of speakers we recommend if you’re just looking for a simple upgrade to your factory speakers. They aren’t going to dazzle you with crystal clear top-end or rumble your car with gripping bass notes, but they will give you a better listening experience for a decent price.
As far as output, they have a 35W power handling rating, which is 5W less than our top choice. Sony has an established reputation for putting out a consistent product, but we still recommend grabbing the Rockfords over these.
9. Kenwood KFC-1366S 5.25″ Car Audio Speaker
Most speakers aren’t built to last the test of time. That’s especially true for the factory speakers in your car, but if you’re not looking to upgrade your sound system, check out these Kenwood speakers.
In fact, you might discover that these are your car’s stock speakers. The Kenwood KFC-1366S speakers aren’t an upgrade by any means, but they are a suitable, cheap replacement.
10. Planet Audio TRQ522 5.25″ Car Speakers
These speakers are made by BOSS, which produces our best-value speakers. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to hit the mark. These speakers are merely a cheap upgrade for those who don’t currently have any car audio.
But most stock speakers have better sound quality. The tweeters put out a strange metallic twang at higher volumes and are pitchy even throughout the mids. If you’re in a real bind and can’t find anything else, the Planet Audio TRQ522s will work. But that’s about it.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best 5.25 Inch Car Speakers
So how do you determine which set of speakers is right for you? With so many similarities, it’s hard to zero in on what you need.
However, there are several factors you should consider before making your purchase, which we’ll discuss below.
Size and Shape
Speakers normally come in one of two shapes: round and oblong. You need to consider which shape will fit in your car to prevent buying something you can’t use. You will find that some companies make speakers in decorative shapes, but we recommend you steer clear of those entirely. They’re just gimmicks.
Also, you need to ensure you get the right size. A 5.25-inch car speaker isn’t necessarily 5.25. That measurement refers primarily to the speaker component, not necessarily the housing around it. To be safe, it’s always best to measure your car’s available space before buying. If possible, find a template of the speaker you plan to buy to get the most accurate results.
Your speaker’s output is contingent on many factors, and one of the main contributors is what the speaker is made of. For instance, tweeters can use various materials to produce a more complex high-end. Look for a tweeter made of metal, ceramic, or graphite for crisp and vibrant high ends.
More mellow high ends can be produced with synthetic fabrics or silk. Low ends need stiff yet lightweight materials for quality sounds. That is where you’ll see many synthetic options, such as polypropylene.
Power handling refers to the amount of Watts your speaker can safely handle, and there are two ratings:
- Peak Power Handling
- RMS Rating
Peak power is essentially the maximum wattage your speaker can handle during brief expressions of sound. Exceed this value, and you’re likely looking at a blown speaker.
The most important rating is the RMS. This measures how much your speaker can handle at continuous play. Your speaker’s RMS will be significantly lower than the Peak Power rating. Continuously playing a speaker above its RMS will degrade it until it ultimately fades away.
This refers to your speaker’s ability to produce sound from the energy applied. So, for instance, if you have a highly sensitive speaker and a low-energy system (i.e. factory sound system), you’ll end up with a balanced sound.
But if you’ve done any aftermarket sound work, such as a stereo upgrade or adding an amplifier, you’d want to get low-sensitivity speakers. That way, you don’t pick up that electrical background buzz, and you’re left with a clean sound.
So, after examining all the speakers, we’ve determined our two main recommendations: the Rockford Fosgate R1525X2 Prime 5.25-Inch Coaxial Speaker as the best overall speaker, and the BOSS Audio Systems CH5530 5.25 Inch Car Speakers as the best value for the money.
We hope these reviews have given you a realistic and practical insight into which speakers are suitable for your next car audio project. Be sure to review the buyer’s guide and compare the speakers since some brands may not work in your vehicle.
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