The main function of tweeters is to increase audio and enhance its quality. Tweeters enhance a rich audio quality by enabling high nodes into loud music. Tweeters are the best for producing high nodes since speakers cannot deliver high nodes.
In simpler terms, tweeters like Rockford Fosgate Prime R1T-S deliver the richest quality of music that makes one’s driving experience enjoyable. Therefore, yes, you will require tweeters in your car for improved sound quality.
This article will go through what tweeters are, what they do, and how to install them.
What are tweeters?
Tweeters are a specific type of loudspeaker designed to deliver high-frequency audio of 2000-20,000 Hz. Even if these sounds are above human hearing capacity, they are not beyond the human sensation we get through vibrations.
Tweeters function much similarly as woofers. However, woofers deliver low-frequency sounds like bass and are much larger than tweeters.
When designing a tweeter, many factors are considered to give the best sound quality and dispersion at the lowest price.
There are a variety of materials used to build tweeters. These materials ensure that the tweeters remain light yet strong enough to keep their shape when the volume is high; the shape may warp if there is a lot of movement and vibration.
Therefore, understanding the characteristics of these tweeter materials will enable you to make a better decision about the type of tweeters you need for your car speakers.
How do tweeters function?
- The amplifier of the speaker system produces an electrical signal.
- The signal is thereafter fed to a tweeter speaker through both the positive and negative wiring connections.
- These connections touch the voice coil, which then creates a magnetic field because of the electromagnetic reaction.
- The voice coil is set into the magnet’s gap area.
- The tweeter’s coil and dome parts move forward and reverse very quickly by creating an electromagnetic field. They move the air around them quickly, which creates audible waves that our ears can hear.
Do I need tweeters in my car?
Yes! Because the use of tweeters is the best thing in a car audio system.
This is because:
- Tweeters are used to create higher frequency sounds that can be heard and felt in the music. This upper-frequency sound is referred to as treble. Treble is the sound delivered by guitars, vocals, synthetic keyboards, cymbals, drum effects, and horns. Any other kind cannot deliver this sound of the speaker.
- They are used for stereo imaging. Stereo imaging describes how music offers a listener spatial cues of where the instruments were positioned during recording. This means, when listening to music from a speaker with a tweeter, you might understand if an instrument was positioned on the left, right, or center during recording.
Tweeters can create a kind of image by reproducing a high range of audio frequencies. They enable the listener’s brain to decode where the sound is originating from within a speaker.
Stereo imaging is essential because it enables you to feel how musicians want their music heard.
The range of sounds in music covers almost all the frequency range of the human ear. It would help if you heard the different tones and signals to have cues about what you hear and where it originates.
- They are used for proper sound staging and stereo separation. Tweeters make music feel like it is filling the space (surround sound) and existing all around you instead of the particular location where the speakers are placed.
- They enhance damping. Damping is the ability to speedily stop moving when the sound being played through the speakers stops, when a song ends, or when the volume is reduced. This is a crucial feature for producing accurate sound.
- Tweeters produce resistance against humidity in the car. When mounted close to the shoulders, they deliver great sound. They are lightweight; hence no added force is required to drive them. This makes them a great option for low-powered car stereos and speakers.
Car tweeters shapes
Most of the time, the size of car tweeters is not fixed. It depends on the construction of the tweeters.
The construction depends on the function. This is why tweeters are available in few inches according to their style and functions.
Great quality tweeters are the ones located in the doors of cars. They equally generate sound throughout the car. They can also be easily fixed and replaced.
Tweeters are the smallest speakers in a car’s stereo system. Their sizes range between few inches from one inch to four inches and a few inches in diameter.
However, the size of the tweeter doesn’t affect sound quality.
In addition, the size of car tweeters differs because of their varying shapes and styles. Some tweeters are found in pairs. However, others are found in a single form and a few quadrants, depending on style and function.
There are various kinds of tweeter designs today. Even though they are all made to reproduce high frequencies, they vary in the material used.
The most common tweeter designs for car audio are:
1. Dome tweeters
They are the most popular type. Dome tweeters are designed so that there is a dome with a suspension and an aluminum wire coiled around the dome’s rim.
The moveable part of the tweeter is placed on a plastic framing and mounted within a ring magnet.
A faceplate is normally mounted on the top of the dome tweeter to control the direction of the sound.
Dome tweeters are available in various driver materials.
The most popular are titanium, plastic, aluminum, beryllium, doped fabric, treated cloth, silk, and composite materials.
These materials come about with two categories of dome tweeters: soft-dome and metal dome tweeters.
are dome tweeters built with fabric or silk material.
- They are much dampened, and they don’t ring like metal.
- Their frequency is smoother than that of metal dome tweeters.
- They have a lower resonance frequency, more headroom that enables extreme sound pressure, and high power handling.
- They are completely fragile and less rigid.
metal dome tweeters
In contrast, are built of metallic materials like titanium, beryllium, and aluminum. They can also be built with the alloys of these materials.
- They break better than soft dome tweeters.
- They are more rigid than soft dome tweeters.
- They tend to ring.
Nevertheless, because there is no perfect material between the two, it is all about balancing all the crucial factors without compromising on any essential aspect during the design process.
2. Inverted dome tweeters
This kind doesn’t protrude up from the tweeter’s voice coil. However, it sits upside down, like a crater in the center.
This design improves the tweeter’s sound radiation pattern and efficiency, like a cone, while offering superior control.
3. Semi-dome tweeters
These are cone-shaped with an inbuilt dome.
Their design allows for a smaller tweeter profile. Therefore, semi-dome tweeters are popularly used in coaxial speakers.
Their small size enables the manufacturer to add them to coaxial speakers without significantly increasing the overall size of the speaker.
Moreover, they are cheap for the manufacturer, making them a great option for constructing inexpensive speakers.
4. Cone tweeters
They look like regular sub-woofers in shape.
They are round, small, and light in weight.
They are commonly built with paper cones. Therefore, most are referred to as paper cone tweeters.
- They produce crisp highs.
- They are cheap to design and manufacture.
- They are vulnerable to moisture damage.
- They are prone to popping and ripping when pushed very hard.
- They are less common in modern speakers.
5. Super tweeters
This is a special kind of tweeter designed to extend the high-frequency response of common tweeters in a coaxial speaker.
- They deliver the highest frequency that normal tweeters cannot.
- They enhance the density and detail of the existing sound system.
- They are the best for producing highs from high-fidelity systems.
6. Horn tweeters
These are any of the earlier mentioned tweeters mounted in a horn structure.
- Enhance the efficiency of the direction of high-frequency sounds.
- Are difficult to design
Materials used to make tweeters
Tweeter materials impact the sound quality and durability of the tweeters. Soft materials like textile and poly are used to give smooth and more refined audio. Synthetic materials like Mylar and PET are lightweight and often need less power to operate.
Other tweeters are designed with hard materials like ceramic, graphite, and metal. They deliver stronger and brighter sound even when the volume is highest.
Where do you install tweeters in your car?
Tweeters found in pair form are mostly installed in the rear.
Tweeters found in quadrant form are commonly installed in the car’s four doors to enable equal distribution of sound throughout the car.
Mounting tweeters in car doors enhance quality, increase stereo imaging, and raise the sound stage.
Moreover, single tweeters are usually installed in the front part of the car and most commonly in the car’s backside in between speakers.
How to install tweeters in the car?
There are four standard tweeter mounting options.
1. Surface mounting
The tweeter is fixed on the mounting space and held inside a cup secured to a surface by screws.
You may like to consider surface mounting if you want to maintain your car’s interior or if you don’t have the depth to go for flush mounting.
The only disadvantage of this method is it will leave you with a noticeable installation.
2. Flush mounting
This method involves making a hole on the dashboard or on the door to accommodate the tweeter.
The good side of this method lies in its smooth customized appearance because the tweeter is held flush with the interior panel.
3. Angle mounting
These days manufacturers enabled angle mounts that let the users slightly adjust the tweeter’s broadcasting angle, even when the tweeters are installed within the panel.
4. Bottom mount
Here, the tweeters are commonly installed under an already existing grille. Therefore you won’t be required to create new holes.
Where do you place the tweeters?
The bottom mount will be your best option when your vehicle already has factory tweeters in the dash.
You will not be required to drill new holes, although you might require a bracket to secure the new tweeter.
This is a part located in the top corner of your door window.
Some cars come with their factory tweeters installed right there.
Therefore, the bottom mount is the most convenient mounting option if your car came with factory tweeters. Otherwise, consider flush mounting.
The “A” Pillar
This is the almost vertical support that sits between the front windshield and the front door.
This is the best position for mounting your tweeters on the surface.
This involves drilling a large hole in the door panel to house the new tweeter.
Placing your tweeters in this location is sensible only when your car doesn’t have factory tweeters or when the factory tweeter’s position is too tight to work.
It would be best to note that, no matter the method you choose to mount your tweeters, manufacturers recommend that the tweeters be fixed within 12 inches of the speakers.
If not, the sound frequencies produced by both the woofers and tweeters may get to your ears at relatively different times, leading to waves interference or acoustic phase cancellation.
How to install tweeters?
- Turn the power off at the source by disconnecting the negative (-) terminal from your car’s battery. This will help prevent any possible electrical short-circuiting or damage to your car’s electrical parts.
- Get access to the speakers and tweeters. Every vehicle varies, but getting access to your speakers is an easy process. Therefore, first, find where the speakers and tweeters have been mounted and take them out. For example, when mounting component speakers on your car’s doors, you will likely have to take out the panel.
- Remove the old stuff. Once you gain access, disconnect all the wires and get a screwdriver; speakers and tweeters are usually secured in their mounting spaces by screws. Therefore, use a Phillips- head driver to unscrew the screws holding them.
- Add crossovers. Like taking your old speakers and tweeters out, connect your receiver or external amplifier power output wire to the crossover. Join the crossover cable’s input to the main source of power. Ensure that the polarities (+ and -) are connected in the right manner.
- Connect the high-frequency wire from the crossover to the tweeter and connect the low-frequency wire to the woofers.
After doing all those steps, fix both speakers and tweeters in their mounting space, ensuring that each is securely fixed.
Nevertheless, sometimes you will need to make holes on the dash edge or on the door panel to house the new tweeters.
Moreover, ensure that the mounting space has access to the current speaker wiring.
With the speaker, you probably will have bought some mounting brackets to make them fit in their previous enclosures.
How much do tweeters cost?
Tweeters have an affordable and reasonable price.
They are readily available in the best electronic shops, auto-spare part stores, and online.
The price ranges between a few dollars, and their installation is very easy too.
How to select the best tweeters for your car?
Due to their limited availability, tweeters are used together with woofers and additional components like passive crossovers and subwoofers, which deliver deep bass.
Finding the best tweeters to replace the factory ones is a critical task if you want to enjoy the best quality of music.
Therefore you must consider:
- Ensure that you first measure the size of the existing speakers. This will enhance an easy selection.
- Make sure that you know the kind of speakers you can put in your car. Many modern vehicles have coaxial speakers, which means they feature two or three drivers to deliver both woofer and tweeter sounds from a single speaker unit. In comparison, other cars may have separate speakers that have tweeter and woofers in different units.
- Finally, figure out the wattage of your speakers. Only the ones with the correct wattage will be compatible with your car.
In the long run, the answer to whether you need tweeters in your car is yes. Yes, offcourse you need tweeters in your car due to all the great qualities they have.
Therefore, I recommend that you utilize the best quality tweeters that will make your drive amazing and enjoyable.
Tweeters deliver the best music with the best frequency and great loudness.