Best Tweeters: Add A Fuller Range Of Sound to Your Audio System
Bring out the rich treble in your music system with these highly sensitive car tweeters
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PUBLISHED ON September 4, 2019
Tweeters are small speakers in the audio system. They bring out the upper-range frequencies (treble) that other speaker components can't achieve. Higher frequencies have shorter sound waves, and that's why tweeters are smaller than other speakers. Here's a look into some of the best tweeters that can complement the other speakers in your car.
- Best OverallRockford Fosgate Prime Tweeter KitSummarySummaryOne-inch component tweeters with high sensitivity and great sound staging capabilities.ProsProsConvenient, small, and lightweight design. Can work with a low-powered stereo system. Includes mounting hardware and grilles. More accurate than most factory tweeters. High-frequency range. Decently priced.ConsConsMay blow out or produce distorted sound within a few months. Large cars need more than a pair to get the best sound.
- Best ValuePower Acoustik 3-Way TweetersSummarySummaryA pair of affordable, three-way coaxial speakers with strong, smooth, and clear highs.ProsProsGreat acoustic control. High power handling capacity. Sounds good at high volumes. Space-saving design. Includes necessary mounting hardware. High sensitivity.ConsConsNot durable. They may make a hiss when playing soft tunes. May not sound good with a stock radio. Uneven sound.
- Honorable MentionPolk Audio Dome TweetersSummarySummaryA pair of marine-grade tweeters that produce clear and detailed highs.ProsProsEasier to notice musical instruments in songs. Mounting flexibility. Compatible with OEM systems. Protected from voltage overload. Great power handling capacity. Blends perfectly with other Polk Audio speakers.ConsConsDon’t fit in tight mounting spaces. May sound distorted at high volumes. May blow in less than a year.
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Benefits of Tweeters
- Upgrade your audio system. If you want to build a custom car sound system, tweeters are an excellent addition to bring out the higher notes. Tweeters are great at sound staging by bringing out the guitar, horns, vocals, and other higher notes that can't be handled by your midrange and woofer speakers.
- Experience well-balanced sound. Tweeters are important for sound separation in which all the frequencies are delivered to the right speakers. They take away the burden of the higher frequencies from the other speakers to minimize sound distortion and to create a better listening space. You will feel the music coming from all around you rather than from one specific direction.
- Accurate sound. Tweeters typically have a stiff but lightweight design that improves a speaker's ability to stop vibrating when the music ends. This effect is called dampening, and it improves the accuracy and quality of sound. It also minimizes and prevents sound distortion, especially when playing music at loud volumes.
Types of Tweeters
Horn or piezo tweeters have a small opening on the speaker's body, and they produce average sound quality. These tweeters feature a specially designed magnet and dome for better dispersion of sound, and some have a piezo driver instead of a magnetic assembly. Horn tweeters typically have a high power rating and are loud enough to be used for outdoor events.
Super tweeters have a practical magnet-driven design that can fit in a car and can also be incorporated into home theater systems. They have a high power rating and produce a loud volume of high-quality music. They are stronger than standard tweeters and can be used for both indoor and outdoor entertainment.
These tweeters have a thin ribbon-like diaphragm that moves back and forth to produce sound. They are the most advanced speakers since they produce clean sounds and experience minimal frequency interference. They are also quite expensive, with some available at slightly over $500.
Ring Radiator Tweeters
These tweeters are also known as concentric tweeters, and they are the least common type of tweeters. They have several rings on a center plug that produces detailed and accurate sounds. They are also the most sonically accurate type of speakers.
Rockford Fosgate has been in the audio equipment industry since 1973. It was founded by Bill Jackson and is headquartered in Tempe, Ariz. It makes high-quality speakers for automobiles, motorsport equipment, motorcycles, marine equipment, and OEM replacements. The company also designs speaker accessories like subwoofer enclosures, amplifiers, and connection cables. One of its best 1-inch component tweeters is the Rockford Fosgate Prime Tweeter Kit.
Polk Audio is a California-based sound system manufacturer that launched in 1972, with the aim of capturing the excitement of live concerts and bringing them closer to people’s lives. That passion is reflected in its products, which include car speakers, wireless audio equipment, marine speakers, ATV speakers, soundbars, and home audio speakers. The company also makes portable speakers for the outdoors. One of its best silk dome tweeters that’s guaranteed to deliver quality sound in your car audio system is the Polk Audio Dome Tweeters.
Power Acoustik is an innovative entertainment equipment manufacturing company with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. The company is American-based and designs products that feature the latest technologies to keep up with ever-changing customer demands. It makes some of the best aftermarket car accessories and audio systems, including amplifiers, subwoofers, midrange speakers, tweeters, head units, overhead monitors, and car video accessories. One of its best car tweeters for the money is the Power Acoustik 3-Way Tweeters.
Kicker is an Oklahoma-based audio systems designer that was started in 1973 with the aim of making professional speaker systems for trucks and cars. It currently makes some of the best mobile-audio products, including subwoofers, amplified media controllers, Bluetooth speakers, full-range enclosed speaker systems, marine speakers with LED lighting, head units, and audio accessories. One of its best-selling high-power tweeters is the Kicker Titanium Dome Car Tweeters.
- Under $50: You get what you pay for with most of the speakers within this price range. They are mostly soft dome tweeters that don’t offer the best sound quality, but they can hold you down for a few months before you decide to buy another set of speakers. To be on the safe side, choose a product from a recognized brand if you don’t want to spend a lot on speakers.
- $50 to $100: Most tweeters within this price range are made of long-lasting dome material and are better at delivering clear high notes. These are the best car tweeters to enhance the vocals and acoustics in your music. Most have built-in crossovers and resist sound interference from mid-range and low frequencies.
- Over $100: This price range is for high-end speakers that come with larger dome shapes for better sound distribution. Expect to find some genuine OEM replacements or tweeter kits, including dedicated crossovers, trim rings, and mounting hardware. Also, most of the products are backed with manufacturer warranties.
A good speaker's construction is defined by its durability and sound quality. A tweeter can be made of soft material such as textile, silk, or poly, which aren't durable but produce smooth and warm highs. Tweeters made of synthetics like Mylar or PET are typically lightweight and less powerful and they limit dampening in the sound. The best car tweeters are made of hard material such as metal, graphite, or ceramics. Such tweeters produce a powerful sound and are durable.
The shape of a tweeter speaker determines how well it receives and transmits high frequencies. There are semi-dome, inverted-dome, and dome speakers. Semi-dome tweeters have a dome inside a shallow cone and can fit in tight mounting spaces. They are also the least expensive type. Inverted dome tweeters have a dome pointed inwards inside the speaker cone with an aim of improving sound radiation. Dome speakers are the widest of the three. They disperse more sound and use the most power.
- Power Handling Capacity: The tweeter's power rating and impedance should match your amplifier. Most tweeters have a low impedance of around four ohms and a range of about 25 to 50 watts RMS power. You can use anything higher than that if it matches your amplifier.
- Sensitivity: This is a measure of a speaker's sound output in comparison to the power input. Tweeters with a sensitivity of more than 90 decibels are the best since they can pair with most aftermarket stereos. If you have one with a low sensitivity rating, you should pair it with your factory car stereo to get the best sound quality.
Best Tweeters Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Rockford Fosgate Prime Tweeter Kit
The Rockford Fosgate Prime tweeters are craftily designed to produce sweet and smooth highs. The tweeters feature a highly sensitive Mylar-balanced dome construction, which helps with the dispersion of sound to produce a loud, clean, and accurate sound. The dome is also lightweight and doesn’t draw much power from the car stereo despite its size. The dome gives the user versatility in mounting options, such as surface, angle, and flush mounting.
The tweeters have an integrated, six decibels per octave, high pass crossover that filters out the mid and lower frequencies for more accurate sound quality. Each tweeter has a sensitivity of 72 decibels and a high-frequency range of 2,500 to 22,000 hertz. The tweeter’s continuous power handling capacity is 40 watts, and peak power is 80 watts. These speakers can, therefore, be powered with any low-power factory speaker without including an amplifier in the setup.
One drawback you may notice about these tweeters is that they may sound a bit too sharp. You may have to play around with your equalizer to get a bearable note. Moreover, the tweeters may blow out or sound distorted after a few months of frequent use. If you have a large car, you may need about four of these tweeters to get the best high frequencies.
Best Value: Power Acoustik 3-Way Tweeters
The Power Acoustik tweeters are a set of quality and affordable speakers that can be installed in almost any vehicle. They each come with their own mounting cups. They are designed with a lightweight and high-sensitivity polypropylene dome that delivers clean and clear sounds. The speakers are rated at 100 watts RMS and 200 watts peak power. They have a high sensitivity of 27 decibels and operate at a frequency response of 5,000 to 25,000 hertz.
The speakers feature a unique ferroelectric transducer magnet material of niobium, which produces clearer and stronger highs. To protect the speaker from damage, the unit is fitted with a high-pass crossover that prevents low frequencies from making it into the tweeter and distorting the high frequencies.
However, these speakers may buzz or make a hissing sound when playing music at low volumes or when playing soft tunes. They are also not durable and may last for less than a year with continued use. Moreover, you may notice that the tweeters have unbalanced sound, and they may not work with your stock radio. You may also have to buy an amplifier.
Honorable Mention: Polk Audio Dome Tweeters
This Polk Audio set of 1-inch, marine-certified tweeters has a liquid-cooled silk dome and an in-line crossover for clear and accurate highs. It also has a neodymium magnet that creates a more detailed sound and features a built-in protection circuitry to prevent speaker damage from voltage overload. The speakers have a high sensitivity of 92 decibels, they are rated at 180 watts RMS power, and they have a peak power rating of 360 watts.
These Polk Audio tweeters come with stainless steel mounting hardware, which includes both flush and surface mount swivel cups to allow the user more flexibility in mounting options. The tweeter is compatible with most OEM and aftermarket speaker components and can be used in automobiles and marine equipment.
A downside to these speakers is that their dome shape may not fit in small or tight mounting spaces. They may pop out from their enclosures with time. Also, they may sound a bit distorted when played at high volumes. There have also been some complaints that these speakers aren’t very durable and tend to blow out in less than a year.
- You should introduce a crossover to your speaker system if the tweeters don’t have a built-in amplifier. A crossover filters sound frequencies and prevent lower frequencies from destroying the tweeters. Tweeters cannot produce full-range sound and get damaged easily by bass.
- If your car has a plastic interior, you should use silk tweeters to get a more natural sound. Also, if you love to drive with the windows down, you should get metal or ceramic tweeters, as they produce a clean sound despite the road noise.
- The tweeters should be connected parallel with other speakers in the factory system. Use a crimp connector for a long-lasting connection, and insulate the wiring with water-resistant tape if you don’t have a soldering iron or crimp connectors.
Q: Where’s the best place to install tweeters in a car?
A: The most common tweeter mounting location is on the upper part of the doors. A flush mount would work best in this spot. The “A” pillar or the area between the windshield and front door window is a good place to surface mount the speaker. Also, you can bottom mount the speakers on the dashboard. Remember to face the speakers towards you for an enhanced sound experience.
Q: Do I need to buy an enclosure for my tweeters?
A: It’s not necessary. Tweeters come with mounting hardware, and you only have to make a small hole in the mounting location and place the tweeter in it. Enclosures are mostly used for subwoofers to reduce heat and promote better distribution of low frequencies. This is not an issue with tweeters as they barely heat up, and the high frequencies move in short waves that can be "swallowed" by an enclosure system.
Q: How do I keep my tweeters from blowing out?
A: Do not use a high-powered car stereo to power a tweeter with a low sensitivity and RMS power. Avoid playing music at loud volumes for too long as it may lead to blown speakers. A blown tweeter could also be caused by a technical issue in which the speaker may be improperly designed. Buy speakers from high-end brands to avoid this.
The Rockford Fosgate Prime Tweeter Kit are high-frequency tweeters that produce an excellent and smooth sound. They generate crisp, loud, and detailed notes, which is what every audiophile needs in their car. That’s why it is our top pick.
If you are on a tight budget and need a set of speakers to keep you entertained before you upgrade your car’s audio system, then consider the Power Acoustik 3-Way Tweeters.