How to Choose the Perfect Tweeters for Your Audio System
Are you the type of person who appreciates good music? If your answer is yes, you should definitely get a tweeter. Tweeters are small loudspeakers that are responsive to high acoustic frequencies and high pitched sounds. Driving around in your car while listening to Beethoven symphonies would surely be awesome with this component. Audiophiles like you will definitely love hearing the blend of tenor, bass, and soprano voices together with the chimes and clash of the percussion—once your ride has its own tweeter. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the perfect tweeter for your sound system.
Tip no. 1: Find out what types of tweeters are available and match it to your listening habits.
Cone tweeter: A cone tweeter is a common choice among car manufacturers because of its low price; however, its sound quality or scatter is not that good. Typically made of ceramic, silk, or a combination of both, it produces a stiff sound that may frustrate audiophiles who want dynamic speakers. Because of its cheap price, the cone tweeter is common in low-cost applications like factory car speakers and boom boxes.
Semi-dome tweeter: Another common design for low-cost speakers is semi-dome, which features a small dome placed in a shallow cone. This is a great choice for DIYers who want low-profile speakers that are easy to install and are not prone to damage. Its sound is a little bit better than cone type, so it is used in coaxial speakers and some component speakers. It is perfect for people who love listening to rock music with deep pumping bass.
Dome tweeter: For expert audiophiles, installing dome tweeters is the way to go. Its dome shape gives it a great sound dispersion capability and wider dispersion pattern than other types. Though it is a lot pricier than the two other types, listeners who love classical music would surely enjoy the sound produced by this type of tweeter.
Tip no. 2: Match the type of tweeter to your car’s audio system and budget.
Make sure that the tweeter you purchase is compatible with your audio system. Find out if it has a high or low sensitivity rating. Low-powered systems would require tweeters with high sensitivity ratings (over 90 dB) while high-powered stereos would work better with tweeters having low sensitivity ratings.
Budget is also an important consideration. If you can blow your cash on upgraded speakers, you can go for high-end tweeters that provide more installation and sound options. These might cost around $500 to $1600. Meanwhile, if you simply want to have a basic set of tweeters, stick with low-end ones that cost around $50 to $200.
How to Upgrade Your Car
Tweeters are essential to create a balanced sound. These components work together with the woofers for a full-bodied sound—the tweeters handle high-pitched notes while the woofers emit the low-pitched sounds. In case you want to upgrade your car’s component speakers, here is a step-by-step guide to help you out:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools that you’ll need:
- A variety of screwdrivers (Phillips, stubby Phillips, flat-blade, and magnetic or offset)
- Soldering iron and solder
- Wire cutter
- Allen and torx wrenches
- Crossover cable
- 2-faston connectors
- Window crank removal tool
- Wiring harness
- Heat shrink tubing
Step 1: Choose between angled, flush, or surface type of installation. Afterwards, find a location for the tweeter. Ideally, it should be above the woofer, not more than 1 foot and aimed up to the ears. Put the tweeter cup on the chosen area and trace it using a pencil. Use a drill to cut out a hole for the tweeter in the door panel.
Step 2: Disconnect the battery’s negative terminal. Disassemble your door panel to gain access to your car’s factory speakers. Remove the window crank and the screws that hold the door and the speakers in place.
Step 3: Prepare the crossover cable by soldering the wiring harness to the input wires, placing some heat shrink tubing on them and twisting them together with the wiring harness wires. Make sure that the wire polarities are matched (negative to negative and positive to positive).
Step 4: Connect the high frequency lead of the crossover cable to the tweeter and the low-frequency lead to the woofer by crimping faston connectors to both ends. Slide it over the terminal of the speaker.
Step 5: Mount the tweeter and connect its leads to those of the woofer’s. Use wire ties to gather excess cable and route it around the window crank. Secure the door panel back to its original position.