These Car Stereo Speakers Have Better Drivers for Bigger Sound
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
As a general rule of the road, replacement or “after-market” speakers are almost always going to be better than the speakers that came standard with your car. They’re built with a higher caliber of components, designed to handle deeper lows without distorting, and higher highs without clipping and popping. But selecting the right set for your ride depends on a few different factors.
What to Know When Buying 5 x 7 Car Speakers
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the best car speakers for your vehicle. We like the size and style of 5 x 7 speakers, which deliver big, bright sound in a compact (read: not overly obnoxious) size. Here’s what else to keep in mind.
Crossovers are what directs your audio’s frequencies to the appropriate parts of the speaker that handles them. Your car’s original speakers most likely only have one driver to handle the whole sound spectrum, which means both the lows and the highs are being directed to both come out of the same place.
As with any speaker basics, the tweeters handle the higher frequencies, and the woofer handles the low end. But coaxial speakers send all sound out of one place, since the mid-range woofer and the tweeter are mounted together, connected, and both producing audio through the same spot, with a small single input crossover in back sending all frequencies through that sole speaker.
With a component speaker, however, the lower/mid-range and the tweeter are separate. By separating out the higher and lower frequencies, the resulting sound is more efficiently balanced, and audibly better quality. Some models even offer adjustable tweeters that swivel, to get additional precision in the direction of your sound and where it bounces off of within the confinement of your car.
A speaker’s cone is designed to push air backwards and forwards, creating the sound waves we hear. And while standard car speakers still have one, they’re often made from paper, which produces a thin, muffled sound and can be affected by humidity and weather. Replacement speakers usually have a better built cone, from kevlar, polypropylene or even titanium. A speaker that has different cones for different frequencies, separating out both the lows and the highs, creates a noticeable and powerful difference.
To go even deeper, a subwoofer as an extra add-on can take the bass to whole a new low, often under 200Hz. It also helps with the upper registers too, since having a specific sub takes on all the bass frequencies and allows the tweeters to handle what they’re best at.
Finally, make sure it fits your ride before you buy. Most speakers on Amazon have a handy tool up top that lets you enter your vehicle type to be certain before you go all-in.
1. American Bass SQ5.7 Two-Way Car Speakers
With a strong maximum power of 150 watts total, this 5″ x 7″ pair features a woven carbon and glass fiber cone makeup, with .75″ swiveling tweeters for more precise adjustments to sound direction. These can handle a range of 65Hz to 22kHz, and best of all can fit snugly in both 5 x 7 and 6 x 8 slots.
The resulting sound is crisp and clear, with clean mids and highs, and nice bass that doesn’t try to be overpowering.
The company sells a separate subwoofer, which can infuse even boomier bass, but these still hold up the lower end pretty well on their own.
2. Rockford Fosgate P1572 Punch TWo-Way Full Range Speakers
Rockford Fosgate was founded by an absolute legend of the audio engineering industry, Jim Fosgate, who invented the first car amplifier and led the team that created Dolby Pro Logic II. The company still carries on his legacy to this day, creating well-crafted speakers for audiophiles looking for high-quality sound in their vehicles.
This two-way, full-range speaker features a mineral-filled, polypropylene injection-molded cone with butyl rubber surround, and 120 watts maximum power handling (60 watts RMS).
The included mounting hardware and OEM adapter plate make installation easy, and their FlexFit basket uses slots instead of single screw sized holes, which lets you make minor adjustments when aligning.
3. Polk Audio DB572 DB+ Series Coaxial Speakers with Marine Certification
Humidity and especially water damage can destroy speakers beyond repair, especially ones on the cheaper end.
That’s where this Polk pair with marine protection shines bright. It’s IP65-rated, meaning it’s sealed and protected when it gets hit with any water. That makes it perfect for your convertible when you forget to put the top up during a sudden storm, and ideal for inevitable splashes when installed on other vehicles such as a motorcycle, boat or jet-ski.
The bass won’t rattle your brain, but is plenty powerful to match the higher-end frequencies.
4. Alpine S-S57 Coaxial Speaker Set
These Alpine speakers are engineered to take on low frequencies at high quality, while keeping distortion and crackling to a minimum.
The pair of 5 x 7 two-way speakers are reinforced with carbon fiber, and contain a plastic ‘woofer cone surrounded by specialized rubber, with a one-inch silk dome tweeter. These can handle up to 75 watts total with a wide frequency response of 73 to 22,000Hz.
Grilles aren’t included here, but the speaker itself has a smooth and glossy design that’s pleasing to eyes as well as ears even without.
March Madness Livestream: How to Watch the NCAA Tournament Online
- Stream the Madness