If your existing factory stereo sounds muddy and muffled, a new set of speakers can provide that extra crispness and detail you're missing. Crutchfield carries a wide variety of 5-1/4" car speakers. With so many choices available, it can be hard to know which ones to buy. Below, we'll cover the highlights to get you started, but for more guidance on what to look for when shopping, read our car speakers buying guide.
Finding speakers that fit
You'll quickly notice that every step of the way, we'll ask you to tell us about your car. That's because the best way to shop for speakers is to start by knowing which ones will actually fit in your car. This will also help narrow your search so you can focus on what's relevant for your vehicle.
Speakers come in one of two forms:
- Full-range speakers, the basic speaker. The tweeter and the woofer are mounted together in one body. These are also called "coaxials" or "2-way speakers." You'll also see 3-way and the occasional 4-way speakers that have an extra tweeter or midrange driver mounted on the same frame to help further separate the musical frequencies and deliver more detailed sound.
- Component speakers, also referred to as "separates." The tweeter and woofer are not mounted in the same basket. The woofer mounts in the lower door location, but you can mount the tweeter in a more optimal spot, usually higher on the door or on the dash. This helps to better direct the high-frequency sounds and dramatically improves how your music sounds.
Power handling – how much power do my speakers need?
Power handling is an important detail when shopping for new speakers. Speakers with a lower RMS power range will be more suitable for a factory or aftermarket stereo, while a higher RMS range will work better with an external amplifier.
If you want to use an external amplifier, you should pick an amp with a power rating in the upper end of your speaker's power range. For example, if a speaker is rated to handle up to 75 watts of RMS power, it will perform closer to optimum as your power source approaches delivery of 75 watts RMS.
What the tweeters are made of dramatically impacts how they sound. Read our article about tweeter design for more details.
Efficiency ratings indicate how well the speaker uses power. If you're using a low-powered factory system, you'll want to choose a speaker with a higher efficiency rating (90 db and up). Low-efficiency speakers can sound great, but they'll need a high-powered receiver or amplifier to sound their best.