Last updated on November 23rd, 2020 at 10:38 pm
In this article: We'll review 7 of our best pick 5 1/4 inch component speakers for your car, truck or vehicle.
- Best Overall Pick: Infinity Reference 5030CX
- Splurge Pick: Focal Performance PS 130 F
- Best Factory Upgrade: Hertz ESK 130.5
- Best Convertible Component Speaker: JL Audio C3-525
- On a Budget Pick: Rockford Fosgate R152-S
- Best for Bass: MTX THUNDER51
- Best All-Weather Pick: Polk Audio DB5252
In most cases, the speakers that come in factory stereos don't meet consumers' expectations for quality, longevity and most importantly performance. Finding an all-around Best 5.25in Car Speaker that will significantly boost your stereo's performance while maintaining a high expectation for quality, dollar value and most importantly sound reproduction, can be difficult and time consuming. A good pair of speakers will allow you to turn up the volume while lowering distortion and bring true sound to your music. If you're unsure whether your car will fit a 5 1/4″ speaker, check out our car speaker fitment guide to confirm the speaker sizes for your year, make and model.
Also referred to as “separates”, component speakers have two separate speakers that emit different ranges of frequencies and sounds. The woofer, or the larger speaker, emits the lower to mid range frequencies while the tweeter, the small speaker, covers the very high range frequencies and noises. Separating the tweeter and woofer allows for clearer sound with less distortion. Pair them up with one of the Best Car Stereos on the market, and you'll find yourself reluctant to leave your car when a good tune is playing.
So what are the Best 5.25″ Component Car Speakers? A combination of our knowledge and experience first-hand in the field with products, combined with extensive research has led us to our own list of top 5.25″ component speakers for your car. We did the research so you don’t have to! Our lists are non-biased and are based on a combination of performance, popularity, and price.
Unsure what speaker size your car has? Search for your make and model using our Speaker Fitment Guide to find out if the speakers on this list match the speaker size of your car!
Best 5 1/4 Inch Component Car Speakers List
- 2 way 5.25″ component system with .75” tweeters and crossovers
- Frequency Range: 67– 21k Hz
- Power handling: 65W RMS, 195 Peak
- Adjustable Tweeter Output Level
Infinity Kappa 5030CX Quick Review
Brand new for 2019, Infinity put the legendary reputation of the Reference Series on the line to introduce the best 5.25” component set on the market. Not only has the Reference 5030CX made a name for their ability to handle all the power you can dish out, the set is priced on the lower end of the range. These 5.25” Reference component speakers take advantage of patented Plus One™ technology that allows for more cone area. The larger cone area provides increased speaker sensitivity for more accurate sound reproduction than similar speakers. The .75” edge-driven textile tweeters hit the highs cleanly, even when pushing the system to its max.
Infinity includes the crossovers with this set, making it simple for the DIYer to install better-than-factory components easily. Optimized basket sizes provide easy installation without modification in most vehicles. Infinity grills complete the package for a seamless, factory look.
- Good choice for factory location replacements
- Durable speaker with a reputation for taking abuse beyond its limits
- Crystal clear mid and high range
- Limited Low-Range Frequency limits
- Use of an amplifier is recommended to get the best sound
- 2-way 5” component system with Inverted Dome Tweeters and 2-way/ 3-way crossovers
- Frequency Response: 75-28k Hz
- Power Handling: 60 watts RMS, 120 Peak
- Adjustable Tweeter levels
Focal PS 130F Quick Review
The French engineers at Focal have squeezed all the best parts of their mind-blowing 6.5” speakers into these stunning 5” components. The innovative flax cones do more than just look good, too. In fact, the flax fibers create hollow chambers and an increased surface area for tight, clean sound reproduction. The flax cones are known for delivering smooth, precise sound with incredible mid-range frequencies and good bass.
The speakers combine this innovative Flax technology with Focal’s renowned inverted dome tweeters to produce the best sound performance that a 5.25” component speaker system can produce. The tweeters are supported with a Poron suspension for long life. They work like a small woofer by dispersing high frequencies over a broad area, making it possible to generate crisp and clear high-frequency sound without distortions.
The included crossover is prewired for two-way installation but can be converted to a three-way crossover for adding additional speakers. The tweeters include mounts for surface, angled, and recessed installation. Aluminum baskets and butyl surrounds give these speakers the toughness to handle pro-level power.
- Produces natural, rich and accurate surround
- High frequency sensitivity for excellent response
- Great technology offers enhanced performance
- Well-built for guaranteed durability
- One of the most attractive speakers on the market
- No distortions or unwanted vibrations
- So good you might have to upgrade your whole system
Hertz ESK 130.5 Quick Review
Hertz might not be the first car audio company that comes to your mind when you shop for a great factory replacement component system, but it should be. We first became familiar with Hertz in the 2000s and fell in love with the Energy and Hi Energy series of speakers and subwoofers. The Energy series is a great option for a simple upgrade to a factory system, or a perfect choice for a performance system if you want it to be. The ESK series of 5.25” components feature water-repellant pressed paper cones and butyl-rubber surrounds for durability and crisp sound recreations.
The Italian-made speakers are incredibly well-made. They are capable of handling a peak of 225 watts, more than enough for any factory stereo out there. While many companies have started using exotic materials, Hertz simply makes the best paper cone speaker around.
- Features a large magnet that helps improve speaker control
- High quality materials
- Incredible sound system
- The speakers come in custom shapes and sizes
- The large magnet makes it difficult to install the speaker in vehicles with limited space
- 2-way 5.25” components with 1.2” removable or mountable tweeter and two crossovers
- Frequency Range: 48-25k Hz
- Power Handling: 75 Watts RMS/ 225 Watts Peak
JL Audio C3-525 Quick Review
Sometimes, a coaxial setup fits the bill, while other times, a separate tweeter can help round out your sound. But what happens when you have one but want the other? If you buy the C3-525 5.25” convertible component system, it’s simply a matter of sliding the tweeter out of the woofer and mounting it where you want.
JL Audio built these with tough-as-nails mineral-filled polypropylene cones and injection-molded baskets for a rugged package. The oversized 1.2” removable tweeters can be flush or surface-mounted for versatility.
JL Audio engineers packed all that strength in for a reason. These components are rated for up to 75 watts RMS, so show no fear throwing some serious power at them. In fact, JL Audio claims you can put up to a 150 watt per-channel amp on these speakers.
The removable tweeter is obviously the trick feature here, and JL Audio made sure that the little speaker was silk-domed and capable of handling as much juice as possible.
- Removable, oversized tweeter
- Broad frequency range
- Durable Speaker
- Higher cost than other systems
- Amplifier recommended
- The interface between the removable tweeter and the woofer may become damaged and stop working
Rockford Fosgate 152-S Quick Review
You would expect a component set at this price point to sound a lot like something you bought at a swap meet. In a surprise move, the folks at Rockford Fosgate have put together a package of budget-friendly components built around the same technology as the up-market Power Series -for less than half the price.
The Prime Series components use a cost-saving mica-injected polypropylene cone and a foam surround, but these speakers produce a warm, rich, and full sound without reverb. In fact, these are among the very best component speakers for a direct factory upgrade. The package is rounded out with a set of ½” mylar-balanced dome tweeters and inline crossovers that are intended to simplify installation.
It is hard to beat the built-in quality of Rockford Fosgate speakers. The Prime series component speakers carry a 1-year factory warranty. These speakers have been a popular upgrade since 2016 for good reasons.
- Low-cost upgrade
- Rockford Fosgate quality
- Excellent sound from factory head units
- Foam surrounds are the least durable
- Limited power and frequency range
MTX Thunder51 Quick Review
The MTX Thunder51 isn't just built to perform well, it's made to produce the rich music you love with the quality you need, without sacrificing the durability and longevity that you expect. Rugged in design, the Thunder51 features a 5.25” polypropylene woofer with a rubber surround for long-lasting durability and weather resistance, a concave dome and directional adjustable tweeters. It's truly a universal and powerful pair of components.
- Good weather resistance and enhanced durability
- Delivers rich sound quality
- Big crossover that can sometimes limit installation options
Polk Audio DB5252 Quick Review
Let the Polk Audio DB5252 turn your good music into great music. The DB5252 stems from Polk's DB5251 series 5.25 component speakers. They're among the most popular 5.25″ car speakers on our list, and for good reason. They have a great balance of materials including a Mica Cone woofer, durable Butyl rubber surround and a Silk/Polymer Dome tweeter. They are engineered for producing incredible sound while minimizing distortion.
In the box, Polk gives you mounting hardware for the woofers and tweeters, as well as stylish grilles that'll add a new flare to your vehicle. They're also a great choice for harsher environments like boats or outdoors. They're marine certified with an IP55 rating (water and dirt resistance), making them a great choice for outdoor applications like Jeeps or UTVs.
Other features that make these speakers great include:
- 5.25″ polypropylene woofer cone
- Rubber woofer surround
- External 2-way crossovers
- Zero tweeter protrusion
- Built for universal fitting – can fit cars, boats, motorbikes, ATVs, etc.
- Water resistant and highly durable
- Excellent sound quality with minimal distortion
- Some customers claim the speaker wire is too short you might need to have an extra piece of wire on hand during installation
How We Tested
In order to identify and rate the the top rated speakers, CarAudioNow has combined several reviews across the industry with first-hand tests. There are many criteria that we take into consideration when rating and reviewing each speaker, including:
- Style (Looks, Design)
- Power Ratings (Peak, RMS)
- Quality (Materials used, manufacturer, etc)
- Online Reviews (From multiple vendors such as Sonic Electronix, Crutchfield, Amazon and more)
The result from our combination of sources and testing is a list of the top rated and reviewed 5 1/4 speakers. And in addition to our compilation of products, CarAudioNow also provides multiple comparisons of prices from vendors to try to get you the best price for all of your products. But in the end, the best speaker is one that meets your specific needs and is compatible with your car.
Best Car Speakers: Common Speaker Terms & Ratings
When comparing and choosing the Best 5.25″ Component Car Speakers on today's market, CarAudioNow takes into consideration several key criteria: Lets define a few common criteria and terms that are compared when rating a speaker:
Power Handling: Power handling is the measurement a manufacture gives to rate how much power a speaker can handle and operate at. It is given by two measurements, RMS and Peak (or MAX). RMS Power rating is the amount of power the speaker handles continuously, while the Peak Power rating is the amount of power a speaker can handle in short bursts. When comparing speakers, RMS Power is the more relevant and important rating to look at.
Sensitivity: The speaker sensitivity rating is a measurement of the amount of sound the speaker will emit from the power it’s given. The higher the sensitivity, the more efficient the speaker is with the power it’s given. For lower powered systems, you want a higher sensitivity rating. For a higher powered system, you want a lower sensitivity rating. Lower sensitivity rated speakers are meant to handle higher power.
Frequency Range: Frequency range is the frequencies that the speaker emits sound at, measure in Hz. Normally they are given from a low frequency to high, for example: 20 – 22,000 (22k) Hz. This measure how low and high the speaker can actually emit sound at.
Speaker Design and Materials
Woofer: The speaker woofer can determine the responsiveness, and quality of the speaker. The stiffer and more lightweight the material used, the more effective the speaker is. Polypropylene is a very common material used for the cone, as well as woven fabrics such as kevlar. Aluminum and titanium are also used in higher end speakers.
Woofer Surrounding: The woofer surround also is an important aspect of the speaker system and effect the sound as well. Durable, lightweight, and free moving materials are used to allow the woofer to move with as little energy possible. The material is essential for a long lasting and performing speaker too. As speakers get older and used, humidity levels and wear-and-tear can crack and even break the surrounding of the woofer. Rubber surrounding is typically the most long lasting an high performing material. Foam an cloth surroundings are found on less expensive component speakers, with lower performance and shorter life spans.
Crossovers: When you purchase a component car speaker system, a crossover is almost always a part of the package. External crossovers are typically used to lessen the amount of distortion a speaker might have by separating the frequency inputs. Signals can cross through coated wiring and cause distortion, so an external crossover system will limit this.