MAX 5 headrest speakers

MAX5 Headrest Speakers

[11/29/2005] Reviewed by: Lee Bohon -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

These are headrest speakers that go in the stock locations in the seats of 90-97 miatas.

I am pleased with these speakers. They are 3" speakers (not 3.5" which is a pretty common size) and have 8 ohm impedance. The magnets looked pretty small but they perform fine. They fit into the headrest speaker cavities snugly and since they are 8 ohm each, the driver side and passenger side speakers can be wired in parallel to result in a 4 ohm load to the head unit which is a common specified load for most head units. I have an aftermarket head unit and they work well with it. I used to have a set of 4 ohm 3.5" Polk Audio speakers wired in series (i.e. 8 ohms)and driven by a small amp for years. One of the speakers failed after years of service which is why I looked into the MAX5 speakers. The sound quality of the MAX5 speakers is fine and pretty similar to the speakers I previously had. Honestly, nothing to get too excited about, but they do as good as to be expected from headrests. No offense to others, but it seems others were quite amazed with these speake! rs, where I feel they are not all that amazing... they just do their job and provide decent rearward audio sound. Regarding the small amp I used to have, that was total overkill. These speakers do not need an external amp (actually they could be damaged if over powered and/or if run with out proper bass blocking capacitors). Wiring it up to the deck is THE way to go; it saves on the expense and weight of an unecessary amp. Oh, lastly... I got these from Performance Buyers Club and the price was right: $75 + shipping for all 4 speakers. That price is tough to beat. Again, I am happy with the speakers (not blown away with excitement) and these speakers fit the miata application as good as to be expected.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[1/19/2003] Reviewed by: Mark Jones (Miata GT) -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter 1.8 liter

Headrest speakers for your NA Miata!

Bought on the recommendation of Jeff Anderson. My '97 Touring Miata did not have headrest speakers so I had to also install the wiring harness. Both were a piece of cake! Results: DAMN! I have a Mazda stock CD player (single DIN from a Protege, otherwise same as stock casette player) and the difference in sound is nothing short of incredible! WELL worth the MSU's (Miata Spending Units)!

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[7/2/2002] Reviewed by: John Zittere -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Headrest speakers

Very good quality product at an attractive price. Purchased from Performance Buyers Club

My car had factory headrest speakers so install was easy 30 min. Sound is much better now, and now I really enjoy my new CD player. Nice improvement for the money.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[4/26/2002] Reviewed by: Julie Tate -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

Set of MAX 5 Headrest Speakers from Performance Buyers Club.

The MAX 5's were recommended to me by Jeff Anderson as an upgrade to my stock units in my '97 STO. After reading the reviews here on, I decided to purchase them. Ordered from PBC via the internet and they were at my door 4 days later. Install was going well until I pulled old speakers out and found the wires to be soldered to the speakers. Haven't a clue why they were done that way, especially since I purchased this STO brand new in 1997. So installation was delayed a day to get proper crimp connections. I have to say the sound from these speakers is AWESOME. There is absolutely no comparison to the stock units. I highly recommend these "little" speakers. I thought I might need to replace my stock head unit, but after getting the MAX 5's there is no need to even consider it. A "must buy" and a bargain, too, at $75!

Not an installed item

[2/5/2001] Reviewed by: Julie Mitchell -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.8 liter

A set of four headrest speakers for the Miata.

These sound pretty good for $70. I'm not sure from looking at them whether they will last a long time, but it still beats paying Clearwater's price.

There were no installation instructions, but it wasn't hard to figure out. Contrary to what another reviewer said, it is not necessary to remove any hog rings (unless maybe you have fat fingers.) I used the following procedure, which took exactly 18 minutes for both seats. Note: girls, you can do this too!! 1. Unzip headrest, and run wiring harness down the back of seat. 2. Feed plastic box between hog rings at the bottom. 3. Join plastic box with its connector (located under the seat near the front.) 4. Feed top end of harness through the big round hole in back of seat. 5. Pull wires through hole located under the middle hole in the upholstery inside the speaker cavity. This is a little hard, so be patient. 6. Connect speakers. I used red/black and green/grey wires together (I hope this is right.) 7. Shove speakers into cavity and zip up headrest. Turn on stereo. Giggle.

Under 5 minutes to remove

[2/9/2001] Reviewed by: John Dachik -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Tiny - didn't realize how tiny until I saw them - speakers for the headrests. Paper cone driver, not too impressive looking. But you don't look at them.

Excellent. They sound great with an aftermarket deck or, I assume, Jeff Anderson's OEM fix (I have a Jensen Headunit - cheap to prevent stealing, works fine). The installation is harder than expected, only because the factory headrest speaker are a big pain to pry out of their cases (to get at the wires). But other than that, no problems at all.

Very good deal.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[11/3/2000] Reviewed by Ray Brooks -

Applicable to '90 - '97

Max5 Headrest Speakers from Performance Buyers Club

I was very skeptical about the sound of these $69.00 speakers and the fact that you get four of them didn't help. The removal and install was easy thanks to very thorough instructions included. I was amazed at the sound. Honestly, this is an outstanding product. I am very pleased. Highly recommended

Weren't available for about 2 weeks. Had to keep calling, but well worth the wait. Customer service was good.

Under 30 minutes to remove completely

[10/23/99] Reviewed by: Sean Monaghan -

Applicable to: '90 - '97 1.6 liter

Max-5 Headrest Speakers

I read what was said here on, and I decided to buy them from They shipped it promptly and it showed up at my door and installed them. They are great just as advertised. I have redone all the speakers in my Miata now, and I think these are the best of all I have in there... They really shine for their size. Definitely recommended to replace these first if you are redoing your Miata's audio system...

Reviewed by: Steve Sharp -

Set of 4 headrest speakers (purchased without the wiring harness since by '94 C model had headrest speakers already)

Installed these about 2 weeks ago. Had already replaced the radio and door speakers with a Kenwood CD receiver and Kenwood door speakers. As Jeff Anderson says in his write-up on this site, there were problems in my headrest speaker wiring.

The wires actually matched the factory schematic, but the wiring adaptor previous supplied by Crutchfield has 3 out of 4 wires wrong (phase and grounds swapped).

I moved the wires so that phase and ground returns were correct, then installed the MAX5 speakers. Simple installation since my car already had the factory headrest speakers and wires.

Sound is 1000% better than stock! The clarity is outstanding and the bass levels are quite remarkable for a small speaker. Now I actually run the fader 3-4 notches towards the front to even out the sound. The stereo is clearly audible even at 70 MPH with the top down! I thought the price was a misprint was was "per pair" not "per set". Well worth the $60 investment.

Under 5 minutes to remove

Reviewed by: John Bodoni -

Four speakers (left and right for each seat), optional wiring harness, very nicely done instructions.

I'm fortunate - a friend runs a car upholstery shop! Without his help, it might've taken an hour (instead of fifteen minutes) to install.

You MUST have a way of dealing with the "hog rings" that hold upholstery-type things together. Normal pliers work fine for taking them off, but you must have either hog-ring pliers or wire ties to hold things together when you're reassembling.

The sound is improved 1,000% (conservative estimate) in my '95 with the stock factory radio/cassette player. I can now hear my tunes with the top down without having the volume cranked all the way up.

Little-to-no bass comes through these speakers without having the radio tweaked by Jeff Anderson, but I lean my left leg against the door at cruising speed anyway, so I at least *feel* the kick drum even if I can't hear it. 8)

At less than $100, the smile:buck ratio is definitely in the buyer's favor.

Reviewed by: Bruce Rosen -

The MAX-5 headrest speakers are a new set of speakers recommended by Jeff Anderson and sold by Performance Buyers Club. The cost for a set of 4 speakers is extremely low at about $70 for the full set of 4 speakers.

Product comes with no instructions, but if you have any "electro/mechanical" ability none are really needed. The speakers simply sit in the foam speaker cavities without any mounting screws needed. To install them, first you simply unzip the headrest cover and pull it open in the front. The hardest part of the installation is the need to remove the old speakers from their plastic housings in order to disconnect the electrical connections. That job is made easier by first removing the 4 screws that hold the speaker in its housing. Do this while speaker is still in the seat. Then remove the 3 bigger screws that hold the housing in the headrest and pull the whole unit out. Then take a small screwdriver and pry the speaker out of the housing. At that point you simply disconnect the speaker wires. After the wires are disconnected from the speaker you need only take a tight grip on the wires outside of the plastic housing and gently pull the two wires out of the plastic housing. Then just plug the wires <review cut off>

The improvement in sound is great. I have been looking at a number of other speakers and the only set I had found with this level of sound improvement was almost double the cost. These speakers are especially valuable if you have either replaced your stereo with an aftermarket system, or had Jeff Anderson do his thing on the standard Mazda radio. Combine these new speakers with a new set of door speakers and you actually have a pretty impressive system, at a very reasonable price. While my installation time was about 30 minutes, if you follow the instructions I've written here I suspect it would only be about 15 or 20 minutes. You could reinstall the old speakers if you wish, as long as you were careful not to tear the cones when you took the speakers out of their plastic case (although why you would want to do so is beyond me). Of course if you don't have the factory installed headrest speakers the installation would be made a bit more complicated by the need to install a speaker wire harness.

Reviewed by: Mark Fredette -

New MAX 5 Headrest Speakers from Performance Buyers Club
four speakers and wire harness, (if needed) including well written and illustrated instructions

Installation went smoothly. It took my son and I about 2 hrs. The wire harness was easy to install as were the speakers. Instructions were well written. I am very pleased with this product. AWESOME SOUND!!!! Mark Fredette 91A CW FRLWS

The first thing I did was remove my factory radio and send it off to Jeff Anderson. He tweaked it for me and I had it back in a week. I asked Jeff for some help in choosing the best HR Speakers for my car. He turned me on to some new speakers that PBC was just about to put into stock. I ordered a set and received them within a week. The total price including wiring harness and shipping was just under 95.00. The instructions were right on. Between Jeffs radio modification and these speakers I now have what I consider to be an excellent sound system!! You gotta hear these things to believe the sound they produce. Very clear highs as well as kick ass bass. Do yourself a favor and talk to Jeff about his radio upgrade and get a set of these (4) speakers.

Back to Product Reviews 29 January, 2006