When it comes to looking for speakers, you’ll never be lost for choice, not even in the 4-inch speaker department. Unfortunately, that means that you could be as likely to pick a dud as you would a godlike brand of speaker. That’s why we spent hours compiling a list of the best 4-inch car speakers found on the market and put them on a grueling test that involves a number of our most audiophile staff to see which of them is the one true speaker to rule them all.
This well-engineered marvel brings out the best of anything we played on it with no hitches whatsoever. And while it wasn’t as loud as our other entries in this list, it was clearly made to make no mistakes and deliver only the best of what is asked of it and if it meant not playing loud enough to make ears bleed, then so be it. But that’s not to say that all the others are junkers that aren’t worthy of attention; we mean the exact opposite. Read on to see why the Rochford Punch P142 above everyone else and how the others match up against it.
Review Of The Best 4 Inch Car Speakers
Our Pick: Rockford Fosgate Punch P142
If you are looking for a powerful aftermarket alternative to your manufacturer made car speakers, then Rockford’s Fosgate Punch series have an answer. The Punch P142 class of speakers delivers excellent sound performance and it is in all areas the most superior 4- inch speaker we have tasted so far. In terms of durability, the speakers come with a butyl rubber surround and a cone backed up with responsive polypropylene which ensures the speaker can withstand long hours of powerful music playing without distortion. The power handling of each pair is 60 watts RMS and 120 watts peak.
The sound quality is further enhanced by the use of the Vertical Attach Surround technique. This achieves a larger cone area bring in up to 25% more cone surface. The end result is a rounder and more enhanced sound quality. Increasing the radiating area of the cone does not come at the expense of compatibility and easy installation. This is taken care of by the innovative design which does away with a flat glue surface and instead goes for a FlexFit basket design that ensures easy fitting in whatever area you select. The sound quality is further boosted by the presence of a dome tweeter on each speaker. These are powerful enough to provide the needed crystal clear extended highs even when the bass is on full blast.
It also features a couple of other intelligent design aspects like the concealing of the integrated crossover which keeps the wires hidden from view in the basket and also enables easier installation. The mounting diameter is 4-inches, a cutout diameter of 4- 1/16” and a top mount depth of 1-inch.
A box contains a pair of two-way 4-inch speakers, 2 six by eight adapter brackets, eight 1 ¼-inch Allen head screws, 8-speed clips and 3mm Allen head bit. These ensure you hardly need any extra purchase of a part of the installation. The use of slots rather than single sized screw holes eliminates the need drilling new screw holes allowing for an easy fit even in different shapes of speaker location. It also allows for any adjustments to be easily made. The speakers also come with adapter plates which allow for easy fitting in original manufacturer speaker designs and they can also be removed where a smaller size is required. Such flexibility and performance are what sets this range of speaker apart from the other brands in this category.
Runner Up: Pioneer TS-F1034R Dual Cone 4-Inch 150 W 2-Way
If you are in search for a budget pick 4″ speakers as a replacement to your factory made speakers then the Pioneer TS-F1034R is your best bet. This petite looking pair of speakers is as robust and powerful as many in the market but usually at a fraction of the price. As with everything from Pioneer, the focus on design and delivery is top notch. Their 4-inch coaxial speaker features a dual cone design made using Injection Molded Polypropylene technique. This results in a lightweight yet strong cone which also offers high sensitivity and reduced sound distortion. The speaker measures 3.9″ at its widest diameter and has a sensitivity of 86dB.
It offers a considerable peak power handling of 150 watts and 20 watts RMS. The frequency response also covers a wide range of 45 HZ to 18,000 Hz which allows for the clear delivery of both deep bass tones and high trebles. The basket frame is shallow in design allowing for easier fitting and this is further enabled by the provision of removable screw slots. The best aspect about this pair is how they handle the deep bass and can add a greater performance when you are using a factory made stereo. You also do not need to consider about setting up a cross over because they have an inbuilt setup. With an impedance of 4 ohms, you will need high powered amplifiers for a perfect fit.
The only shortcoming especially when compared to the other two 4″ models on this list is their durability over a long time and when exposed to high sounds. They tweeter performance tends to be overrun by the bass output at high volumes but generally and under normal use, it should hold its own with any model. The great price and the easy fitting in just about any car is remarkable. Consider this speaker if you are on a budget and have tried several models without success especially on aspects of compatibility.
Top of the Line: Morel Maximo 4C
The main gripe about this speaker is that it’s not as loud as some of the other speakers on this list. However, the Morel was engineered for a quality experience across the board instead of maximizing decibels no matter what. In a side by side test with the other speakers in the list, it constantly provides a beautiful clear and crisp sound at high volumes where the other speakers start to crackle and sound like something akin to a tin can. When it comes to the “flavor” of the speakers, it has some very neat highs and mids with a deep and clear, albeit very subtle, bass. This, all in all, makes for a fairly balanced if not a bit v-shaped sound that is suitable for a wide variety of music. Fair warning: these speakers are a little bit deeper than the average speaker so if you’re not willing to make minor modifications to your vehicle, make sure that it will fit before buying it.
Cheap Option: Kicker 41DSC44 4″ 2-Way Speaker
This is a product from one of the top aftermarket makers of vehicle entertainment accessories. For strength and durability, this speaker comes with a steel frame which holds together a polypropylene woofer which is strengthened by a ribbed ultraviolet treated polyester foam surround. Each speaker also has 1-inch polyether imide dome tweeter which delivers crisp high sounds. Kicker’s 4-inch speaker is compatible with both factory made and aftermarket stereos. The power handling is reduced for the RMS with a pair working comfortably with 30 watts and a peak power handling of 120 watts for the pair. This is still enough for use with an amplifier especially if you are looking for a higher but great sound quality volume.
Some stand out features for this speakers include a thin profile which allows them to be used in just about any car and in any space. The neodymium magnetic material allows for a balanced power handling while the dome tweeters have a zero protrusion, all which enable a fast, balanced and accurate response to high frequency. The tweeters also deliver accurate spatial imaging. This model is also compatible with both 4-hole and 2-hole mounting designs. It comes with removable mounting tabs which can be used as is fit with the space provided in the car.
All mounting gear is well provided for including 11-inch speaker wire extension, mounting grilles, mounting tabs and 8 1-1/8-inch screws.
Cheap Option: BOSS AUDIO BRS40 BRS 4″ 50-watt Full Range Speaker
While the humble BRS40 is absolutely outclassed in terms of performance by the former entries, the Boss Audio BRS40 completely blows them out of the water with how insanely cheap they are. Quality wise, it has a bright analytical sound that emphasizes a decent midrange. On the other hand, the bass is muddy and underpowered and the highs can get tinny at higher volumes. All in all, the BRS40 make for excellent replacement parts, combining a sound range that slightly outperforms most stock speakers with a price that can’t be beat.
Also Great: Polk Audio DB401 Pair Coaxial Speakers
The DB401 was built to rock and roll even in the face of extreme heat or cold, and won’t fade or degrade under direct sunlight. But that’s not all, not only is the DB401 tough, but it’s also loud. The drivers on the DB401 can crank out music at high volumes without much distortion. This does mean that it lacks the finesse and fine-tuning of the other speakers, but they provide a very warm sound perfect for those intense music genres that tend to leave many speakers crying for mercy.
Also Great: JBL GT7-4 2-Way GT7-Series Car Audio Speakers
These JBL speakers are the choice for the bass head. Featuring a generally dark sound, the bass on the GT7-4 is absolutely sublime. A stark contrast to the other speakers in this list, JBL spared no expense to make these bad boys stay on point with its powerful bass that doesn’t distort or clip even at high volumes. Granted, its bass-heavy sound means it’s not very versatile but if you’d rather have the sweet sound of a deep thumping bass, then you’d rather go and buy the JBL GT7-4.