There have been many a debate about whether component speakers or coaxial speakers are better than the other. We, however, believe in the virtue of choice and have decided to review both kinds of speakers to find the best of each. Our avid audiophile staff picked through an extensive list of speakers to find the cream of the crop and put them through a rigorous ear test. To further fuel the fires of the eternal debate and, more importantly, help you to get the best speakers for your money, we present to you our reviews of the best 5.25 car speakers, component and coaxial.
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The Best 5.25-inch Component Car Speakers Review
Our Pick: Focal Access 130 A1 5.25-Inch 2-Way Component Speaker Kit
The Focal Access 130 A1 5.25 inch car speaker is by and far, our favorite of the bunch. Featuring audiophile levels of quality at a price you’d expect to pay for a “regular” speaker upgrade, the 130 A1 is nothing if not well balanced. It plays crisply and cleanly across the board. The woofers provide a deep bass without much phase shift resulting in less muddy sound. The tweeters are very bright but not grating on the ears. It gets even better as the 130 A1 reaches its full potential when hooked up to an amplifier, whose extra power is largely responsible for maximizing the speaker’s tonal quality as well as minimizing distortion.
The Focal Access 130 A1 is not the loudest of the bunch, but it can play music loud enough for daily driving that won’t’ leave you wanting. However, all that quality sound and faithfully balanced rendition come at a price: these speakers are big. This severely limits the areas you can install it on and at worst could mean that you can’t install it in your vehicle at all. On the bright side, however, if size not an issue for you, then the 130 A1 is a solid purchase.
Runner Up: Alpine Spr-50c 5.25-Inch 2 Way Component Car Speaker System
Our runner up, the Alpine Spr-50c, would be our go to 5.25″ car speakers should our main pick be out of stock or otherwise impossible to install. Thanks to its low mounting depth, these speakers can squeeze into a vast array of doors and configurations; just take note that some users report that the provided screws are sometimes too long. Volume wise, the Alpine Spr-50c blows the 130 A1 out of the water despite its slim design. When it comes to sound quality, the bass isn’t as deep and the highs aren’t as clear as some of the more premium 5.25-inch speakers in the market. But the Spr-50c absolutely slays the competition when it comes to mids, rendering drums and kicks on par with the best of them. A solid purchase as well, the Alpine Spr-50c is a great speaker set and would be our pick if our vehicle of choice couldn’t accommodate the bulkier Focal Access 130 A1.
On The Budget: Pioneer TS-D1330C 5 1/4″ Component Speaker Package
Moving on to our budget option, we decided that the Pioneer TS-D1330C provides the best bang for your buck out of all the cheaper options. At this price point, it’s nigh impossible to get the best of everything but what the TS-D1330C manages to do is sound much better than it’s supposed to at that price point. Listening to it, the mids are excellent and are clear even at its higher volumes. The brights are a bit bright and can sound tinny when subject to high volumes but should play just fine in moderation. The lows are where the quality concessions really show, however; it isn’t very loud, to begin with, is quite muddy, and playing at high volumes only makes this worse. Granted, the TS-D1130C is not unique in this regard. On the bright side, the Pioneer TS-D1330-C runs so well on its own that even adding an external amplifier only improves its performance marginally.
The Best 5.25 inch Coaxial Car Speakers Review
Our Pick: Infinity Kappa 52.11I 5-1/4″ 2-way Car Speakers
For coaxial 5.25″ car speakers, the Infinity Kappa 52.11I took the cake for our pick. One thing that’s great about these speakers is that they’re very adaptable and can fit in a lot of spaces in so many ways to get the sound just right. Owing to its coaxial design and directional tweeters, the 52.11 really does wonders for imaging, making the instruments sound like where they’re supposed to be and creating a wide soundscape. To add to that, when you couple the 52.11I with good amps, these powerful 5.25-inch car speakers shine with clarity and depth, giving the impression of an actual live performance. It produces a very high definition sound that gives a very punchy and very exciting feel.
Tonal quality wise, the Infinity Kappa 52.11I has a beautiful midrange that complements its naturally analytical highs. Not to be outdone either, the bass features a deep and clear sound that really kicks while still playing nice with the mids and highs to provide a well-rounded, if not strictly balanced, and dynamic auditory experience. With its impressive adaptability for installation and location, as well as its superb use of power, the 52.11I just can’t be beaten at its highly competitive price point.
Runner Up: Pioneer TS-A1376R A-Series 5.25″ 300W 3-Way Speakers
We decided to give the runner-up spot to the Pioneer TS-A1376R A-Series. Featuring a dynamic sound range and a newly improved bass compared to its predecessor, the TS-A1376R is snapping at the heels of our top pick. Examining the sound quality, we found that the TS-A1376R’s bass is beautiful, oozing with depth while maintaining quality even while hammering at insane volumes. The highs, too, proved quite impressive, providing a bright and crisp sound while avoiding clipping and a tinny sound as well.Sadly, the
Sadly, the mids seem to have been left out; it’s not that they’re bad, but the highs and mids perform so well that its propensity for being average becomes much more noticeable and this can be jarring for some. Otherwise, the Pioneer TS-A1376R provide a rather v-shaped tone which really livens up most modern genres of music. In the end, it’s a preferential pick between the more balanced Infinity Kappa 52.11I or the more exotic sounding TS-A1376R.
On The Budget: Kicker DS525 5-1/4″ Coaxial Speakers 140 watts peak
Finally, for the more economical upstarts who are looking for absolute value or perhaps a starting point to work with, we present to you the Kicker DS525. We’ve said it often but we’ll say it again: these Kicker 5.25″ speakers sound too good to be this cheap. The DS525 is a real beast that could fit most speaker locations. When you listen to it, you can find that the mids are quite clear, featuring no distortion at high volumes. The highs are a joy to listen to as well, unlike other 5.25″ car speakers at this price point, which tend to sound tinny. The only gripe we have with the DS525 is that it squanders power.
The only gripe we have with the DS525 is that it squanders power. By that, we mean that it’s not as loud as some of the more premium speakers and this is most notable with the bass which when coupled with its size, just makes you wish you had a bigger version of the DS525. Nonetheless, you would still be hard-pressed to find any other speaker that gives you the performance and price of the Kicker DS525.