Reviewing the Best 3.5 inch Car Speakers

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. 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.

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Kicker CS354

90 Watt MAX

30 Watt RMS

Sensitivity: 88 dB

Response: 80-20,000 Hz

Mount Depth: 1-5/8"


Pioneer TS-A878

60 Watt MAX

15 Watts RMS

Sensitivity: 88 dB

Design: 2-way

Response: 60Hz to 28kHz

Impedance: 4 ohms

Mount Depth: 1-7/16""


Kenwood KFC-835C

40 Watt MAX

15 Watts RMS

Sensitivity: 89 dB

Response: 96Hz - 20kHz


Rockford Fosgate Punch P132

40 Watt MAX

15 Watts RMS

Sensitivity: 88 dB

Response: 120Hz - 22kHz

Impedance: 4 ohms

Mount Depth: 1.38"


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: Pioneer 3 1/2 Inch 2-Way Speakers Pioneer TS-A878

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.

The TS-A878 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.

Runner Up: Kicker 3.5 Car Audio Speakers 90 Watt 4-Ohm 2-Way Kicker 40CS354

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.

You should be smiling all the way to the office or preferred destination, once you have these babies mounted somewhere in your car. They are great accessories that come at an affordable price to give you a good bang for the buck.

On the Budget: Kenwood 3.5 Inch Car Speakers 40-Watt – Kenwood KFC-835C

Kenwood is also another top brand, with a myriad string of products to show for. In fact, you will rarely lack one of their speakers in any review and for good reason. The Kenwood KFC-835C 3.5 speakers are solely designed for dash and pillar installation, thanks to a dash mount small enough to fit in the tightest space. That aside, though, you get a whopping 20 watts of RMS, complemented by a sensitivity rating of 89 dB, which is not so bad.

Also Great: Rockford Fosgate Punch P132 3.5-Inch Full Range Coaxial Speakers

The mids and highs are equally impressive, and in fact, the 20 watts of continuous power handling, was among the best of all products we tested. Rockford however, failed to incorporate a wide frequency range and if this was the case, it would have ranked higher on our review. Also wanting is the somewhat limiting 40 watts of peak power.

Also Great: Infinity Reference 3.5 Inch Car Speakers REF-3022CFX 2-way

These Infinity 3.5 car speakers adopt a rare Plus One woofer cone designed to push more air for huge bass, and aesthetically pleasing edge-driven textile tweeters that not only look great but sound amazing too. As if that’s not enough, you also get an exception 91 dB rating and 75 watts of peak power. All this, though, will come at a significantly higher price compared to its counterparts above.

Also Great: Polk Audio DB351 3.5-inch Coaxial Speakers

We have reviewed an infinite number of Polk Audio products before and by now you should know that the manufacturer belongs in the top brass of the car speaker echelon. Polk Audio DB351 3.5 speakers had the least form of distortion, and on top of this, you get an unlimited range of frequency response.

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 or at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.