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 ones are worth your time and money.
Power per Speaker: Peak 60W, RMS 30W Frequency Response: 130Hz – 21 KHz Sensitivity: 92dB Impedance: 4 Ohms Top Mount Depth: 1.3”
Hertz has hit it out of the park with its DCH 87.3 2-way speaker. It is difficult to find a similar 3.5” 2-way coax with that top-of-the-line construction and at a reasonable price point. This compact coaxial car speaker features a woofer with a high-density flux ferrite magnet and water-repellent pressed paper.
Moreover, its tweeter features a large-size neodymium magnet with a PEI dome. This premium construction makes these Hertz speakers stand out among other speakers of the same size, lying at similar price points. Like any supreme quality large-sized speakers, this Hertz coaxial pair boasts wide frequency response and produces impeccable sound in all types of installations.
We are impressed by how Hertz has maintained the compactness of Dcx87.3 despite using large-size magnets. With its lower impedance rating, we would recommend you to use it with an aftermarket amp because most stock head units might not be able to catch up with its power requirement.
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 its 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 – as we talk about in the full REF 3022CFX review. 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 boast 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 these Infinity 3.5 speakers is that they crave a lot of juice, and typical head units may not have 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.
Power per Speaker: Peak 300W, RMS 75W Frequency Response: 150Hz – 10 KHz Sensitivity: 88dB Impedance: 3.5 ohm Top Mount Depth: 1.75”
This coaxial speaker from Infinity Kappa is another powerful option you can consider to fulfill your audio requirements on road. The high power of the speaker doesn’t take a toll on its internal components and outer frame— thanks to its top-quality construction.
Its woofer features the patented Plus One carbon fiber cone. This material creates a perfect blend of rigidity and sensitivity in the woofer, allowing it to handle sound with a high dB SPL rating with minimal distortion.
The tweeter of this coaxial speaker is also worth mentioning. The polyimide-made tweeter of this Infinity Kappa speaker reproduces the high frequencies without missing any detail. High frequencies with good detailing exhibit the true character of the audio. It also adds to the great sound staging.
This combo of woofer and tweeter makes this small speaker an exceptionally wonderful output device. If the speaker is not in sight, you can’t tell it is a 3.5-inch article based on the sound it produces.
While the Kappa Perfect is no doubt a top-notch coaxial, we think its wire clamps could have a better construction.
Power per Speaker: Peak 120W, RMS 60W Frequency Response: 145Hz – 20,000 KHz Sensitivity: 84dB Impedance: 3.5 ohm Top Mount Depth: 1.63”
If you are looking for something easy on the pocket and heavy on the performance, consider these Skar Audio coaxial speakers. These small speakers with their 0.8-inch silk dome tweeters produce hi-fidelity sound at your preferred loudness. Whether it’s high frequencies or audio clarity, you will find TX35 doing well in every department.
Despite being a budget speaker, this Skar Audio TX35 doesn’t feature any substandard component. Besides silk dome tweeter, it features high-grade ferrite magnets, premium TPE surround, elite fiberglass cones, and premium Kapton former. With such a well-thought-out construction, your pair of TX35 is not going to break down anytime soon.
However, if you are using an aftermarket amp and looking for a low-frequency showoff, you should refer to the other options on our list.
Power Range: 30-watts RMS / 90-watts Peak Frequency Response: 80 – 20k Hz Sensitivity: 88dB Impedance: 4 Ohms Top Mount Depth: 1 11/16″
Kicker speakers are always designed to meet the needs of a finicky music enthusiast and this is the case with the Kicker 43CSC354 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 an unparalleled audio experience overall.
Unfortunately, Kicker 43CSC354 3.5 car speakers’ narrow frequency response limits its performance to some extent. However, the decent bass response levels produced to make up for this in a huge way.
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″
If you’re looking to add a couple of 3.5 speakers in a car 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 in 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.
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″
The JL Audio DB351 3.5-inch speakers give superb sound fidelity and have a usual RMS of 25W. The sensitivity and proven frequency range of these speakers are amazing and rival any speakers in the same category.
With the Evolution C2 Series, 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.
Although this set of speakers from the 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.
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 onto our list when we were reviewing the best 3.5-inch car speakers.
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.
Make sure to check out our review of 4-inch car speakers.