Reviewing the Best 3.5 inch Car Speakers [2018]

Most car manufacturers rarely place enough emphasis on the audio system; probably the main reason why you dread turning up the volume on your car’s stereo.

In a hurry? Check out 3.5-inch speakers on Amazon!

Unless you own an expensive vehicle that comes complete with a premium audio package, you will technically have to upgrade to aftermarket speakers and a stereo to complement the comprehensive system. However, fret not, as this can be achieved in a pocket-friendly manner as you will find out later on here.

Infinity REF3022CFX

Power Range: 25-watts RMS / 75-watts Peak

Frequency Response: 85 Hz – 21,000 Hz

Sensitivity: 91dB

Impedance: 3 Ohms

Top Mount Depth: 1-7/16″

 
OUR PICK

Polk Audio DB351

Power Range: 35-watts RMS / 105-watts Peak

Frequency Response: 90 Hz – 22,000 Hz

Sensitivity: 91dB

Impedance: 4 Ohms

Top Mount Depth: 1-9/16″

 
RUNNER-UP

JBL GX302

Power Range: 25-watts RMS / 50-watts Peak

Frequency Response: 90 Hz – 21,000 Hz

Sensitivity: 89 dB

Impedance: 2.3 Ohms

Top Mount Depth: 1-7/16″

 
ALSO GREAT

Rockford Fosgate P132

Power Range: 20-watts RMS / 40-watts Peak

Frequency Response: 120 Hz – 22,000 Hz

Sensitivity: 85 dB

Impedance: 4 Ohms

Top Mount Depth: 1-1/2″

 
BANG FOR THE BUCK

As you probably know, car speakers come in varying sizes from 3-inches, all the way up to 6.5-inch rear-deck speakers. That said, it would then be in your best interest to begin the upgrade process from the smallest size as you work your way up.

Generally speaking, 3.5-inch speakers are usually found on a car’s dashboard, or virtually anywhere in older car models. The bottom line, though, is that they can make a pretty huge difference in as far as high and mid-range frequencies go. Therefore, if you are looking for companion speakers to complement those on the rear deck or doors, these are purely your safest bet.

To avoid investing your hard-earned cash on some low-quality aftermarket 3.5 speakers, we compiled a list of the best brands. Read on to find out which 3.5 speakers are worth your time and money.

The Best 3.5 Inch Car Speakers on the Market

Our Pick: Infinity REF3022CFX

Power Range: 25-watts RMS / 75-watts Peak
Frequency Response: 85 Hz – 21,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 91dB
Impedance: 3 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1-7/16″

Founded in 1968 in an effort to fill a niche, Infinity was positioned as a market leader in innovative consumer electronics due to their exploration of unique materials like neodymium magnets and polypropylene. Today, they continue to make top quality products that are popular with car owners everywhere, and these speakers are no different.

They come with amazing sound clarity that has minimal distortion. If you’re someone who is big on clear audio and having the least noise interference then these could be the ideal 3.5-inch car speakers for you.

The Infinity has a very good understanding of the complex connection between range, sensitivity, and impedance. These speakers have an adjustable tweeter output level of 0dB or +3dB which means that you can optimize output depending on where the speakers are located.

These creations from Infinity also boasts Plus One woofer cone design which means that the speaker cones are larger than the usual size for this speaker range (because of this, the sensitivity value is higher and the low-frequency output is increased giving you much better sound).

The one negative aspect of this Infinity 3.5 speakers is that they crave a lot of juice, and typical head units may not have the sufficient power to get the most out of the speakers when it comes to performance. A solution to this problem is to use an external amplifier.

Bang for the Buck: Rockford Fosgate Punch P132

Power Range: 20-watts RMS / 40-watts Peak
Frequency Response: 120 Hz – 22,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 85 dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1-1/2″

Rockford Fosgate has impeccable credentials when it comes to the creation of top-notch speakers. Ever since James Fosgate invented the first car amplifier way back in 1973, the company has been known for its high-quality products like this Rockford Fosgate Punch P132 Speaker.

If you’re looking for a couple of 3.5-inch coaxial car speakers to upgrade your OEM system or full-on component speakers then you may want to check these out.

With these speakers, you get great sound from the highs to the lows, and they may be the ideal accessories to make your ride sound sweeter. For those audio fanatics out there, the Fosgate 3.5-inch speakers offer an impressive level of performance.

Although they have an average RMS a smaller range than the top speaker on our list, they pack some kick and certainly give it a run for its money when looking at overall features.

These speakers also come with a flex fit basket which allows for slight adjustments to the speakers after they are mounted (this is due to using slots where possible instead of single screw sized holes). The speakers also have integrated concealed crossovers which means that the crossover is hidden inside the basket for easier installing and a cleaner look.

Runner-Up: Polk Audio DB351

Power Range: 35-watts RMS / 105-watts Peak
Frequency Response: 90 Hz – 22,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 91dB
Impedance: 4Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1-9/16″

The Polk Audio brand is one that needs no introduction. Polk has been making a name for themselves in the industry since 1972 when it was founded by a group of students in college who were on a quest to engineer sound for a bluegrass festival. Today, it’s one of the most well-known manufacturers of quality car components in the world.

The Polk Audio DB351 3.5-inch speakers give superb sound fidelity and have an excellent RMS. The sensitivity and proven range of these speakers are amazing and rival any speakers in the same category.

With the patented Dynamic Balance design from Polk, you will experience the least amount of resonance which gives you smoother play. If you’re looking for rugged speakers that are built to withstand high temperatures and resist damage from the sun, this speaker set may be the ideal choice for you.

In fact, these speakers are designed to be able to withstand even rain which makes them perfect for those who are looking for speakers for their boats or ATVs. The weather-resistant material that they are made out of makes them durable, tough and a good investment that is built to last and gives great value for money.

On The Budget: Cerwin-Vega Mobile H735

Power Range: 30-watts RMS / 250-watts Peak
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1.713″

Cerwin-Vega was founded in 1954 and has been producing quality speakers that have earned the trust and respect of audiophiles the world over. The solid construction of these speakers makes it obvious that no corners were cut during manufacturing.

These 3.5-inch car speakers come with a graphite reinforced spun cone as well as an oversized rubber surround which makes them sound so much better than one would expect from a budget choice.

If you want speakers that are clear and give vibrant sound, check out these coaxial speakers and you may be pleasantly surprised at how the makers managed to fit so many great features together without the high price tag.

Also Great: JBL GX302

Power Range: 25-watts RMS / 50-watts Peak
Frequency Response: 90 Hz – 21,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 89 dB
Impedance: 2.3 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1-7/16″

This speaker from JBL has earned a spot on our list because it has excellent sensitivity. JBL has never disappointed as a brand that produces quality speakers.

The GX302 has a very attractive design and a host of features that most audio lovers will appreciate like the unusual 2.3 Ohm impedance which is combined with an RMS of 25 Watts, meaning that even if the power signals that the speaker is hooked up to are weak, they will still be able to deliver (loud) quality audio performance.

On the flip side of the coin, a lower impedance value means that the lower resistance makes an overload of your device more likely. These speakers will give your system a huge boost in power if you are still using the factory head unit with no external amp.

Those are just some of the reasons why this speaker made it on to our list when we were reviewing the best 3.5-inch car speakers.

Also Great: Jl Audio C2-350x

Power Range: 25-watts RMS / 75-watts Peak
Frequency Response: 130 Hz – 22,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 83dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1-9/16″

James Birch and partner Lucio Proni came together in 1975 to form JL audio. ‘JL’ stands for the initial letters of their first names. Their goal was to tap into the rising car audio market, and that’s exactly what they did.

Over the years this name has become synonymous with quality subwoofers that offer deep, rich bass as well as a variety of speaker classes, this one included.

The JL C2-350 3.5-inch speakers offer a huge boost to a factory dash unit. They have excellent tweeter response as well as 25 Watts of continuous power which means that you get clear sound no matter how long you play the speakers.

Although this set of speakers from JL brand are high quality and provide excellent sound for your car, their bass response is a little weaker than you would expect from a JL product.

Also Great: Pioneer TS-A878

Power Range: 15-watts RMS / 60-watts Peak
Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 28 kHz
Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1-3/8″

No speaker review is ever quite complete without at least a single Pioneer product. The iconic brand has over the years mastered the art of sound quality and while at it, grown to become the leading car speaker manufacturer of all time.

The TS-A878 speakers paint the perfect picture of how quality 3.5 speakers should resemble and perform and below, are solid reasons why these speakers are currently ranked as the best in their niche.

These Pioneer 3.5-inch car speakers virtually have it all. Generally, the set proved to possess the highest audio quality, besides producing the loudest volume of all speakers we tested.

For starters, the impressive 60 – 28,000 Hz is virtually the widest frequency range you can get your hands on currently when it comes to 3.5 car speakers and this combined with the 88 dB sensitivity rating sums up for a high-quality audio experience. On top of this, these babies can handle 15 watts of power continuously, with a peak of 60.

Pinpointing a flaw in these speakers bordered on the impossible as is the norm with most Pioneer speakers. However, the slight tweeter protrusion design could be a problem for those mounting them in compact spaces.

Also Great: Kicker 40CS354

Power Range: 30-watts RMS / 90-watts Peak
Frequency Response: 80 – 20k Hz
Sensitivity: 88dB
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Top Mount Depth: 1 5/8″

Kicker speakers are always designed to meet the needs of a finicky music enthusiast and this is the case with the Kicker 40CS354 3.5 inch car speakers. As usual, the manufacturer threw insufficient peak power, which is more than the Pioneer above. Let’s have a look at why investing in a pair of these wouldn’t be a bad idea after all.

The one thing that struck me most about the Kicker car speakers is the fact that they are extremely easy to mount. This pair is technically designed to fit in any car model and thanks to reduced-depth baskets, you can fit them even in the most compact spaces.

In regards to the sound quality – the paramount aspect here – the pair performs extremely well in delivering high-quality mid-range frequencies and impeccable acoustics. With a continuous power handling of 30 Watts and peak power of 90 watts, you can be guaranteed of an unparalleled audio experience overall.

Unfortunately, Kicker 40CS354 3.5 car speakers narrow frequency response limits its performance to some extent. However, the decent bass response levels produced makes up for this in a huge way.

Vincent T
*Any prices mentioned in the article were at the time of publishing and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.