What Are Car Tweeters?

Dustin Hawley | Feb 26, 2021

Modern vehicles are truly works of art. Not only can they transport us from place to place with ease, but they can also play our favorite music with enjoyable detail and vibrancy. But though we are aware of the advanced technology that makes up your car’s speaker system, it is even more complex than you may think.

What are car tweeters

These systems are comprised of far more than just single unit speakers. To have a complete system, you need specialized speakers known as “tweeters” producing sound alongside other speaker systems, such as woofers.

Not exactly sure what car tweeters are? Let’s take a closer look at these specialized components and understand why they play a vital role in the sound of your car speaker system and explore why you should replace them in your car if they ever malfunction.

Tweeters In Speakers

Tweeters aren’t just passive components in your car’s speakers. They’re essential parts in most full-range speaker systems, including those used outside of vehicles.

Tweeters are utilized in conjunction with other speaker types, such as woofers, that produce high-quality and wide-ranging sounds in conjunction. They can be used to reproduce audio like music and speech with excellent accuracy, detail, and transparency.

What Sounds Do Tweeters Produce?

Tweeters are relatively small speakers that emit the “upper” range of sounds used for reproducing music and speech called “trebles.” Woofers and subwoofers cannot produce the same sounds that tweeters can due to their construction and cone sizes.

More specifically, tweeters produce crisp and detailed sounds that add dynamic range to complete sound systems. In short, without tweeters, your car speakers would only be able to produce bland or undetailed music without many of the auditory aspects that make it worth listening to in the first place. 

Tweeters are limited to producing sound frequencies between about 3 kHz to 20 kHz. For context, the human hearing range is between 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Kilohertz are units that can describe the frequency of a sound, and the higher the kilohertz, the shorter the wavelength is or the faster its wave cycles crest.

Tweeters are used to produce high-pitched sounds like:

  • Many high pitched vocal frequencies, like feminine voices
  • High-pitched instruments like chimes, electric guitar notes, cymbals, synthetic keyboard sounds, some drum effects, and more

How Do Tweeters Work?

Tweeters, like other types of electrical speakers, are driven by components called amplifiers. Amplifiers convert electrical signals from your car’s computers into acoustical waveforms. The other speaker components then transform the waveforms into hearable sounds.

However, tweeters are unable to produce bass sounds. They can also distort very easily if full range music is applied (sent) to them. Therefore, speaker systems that combine tweeters, woofers, and other speaker types utilize crossovers, which are specialized components designed only with the appropriate sound waveforms to reach the tweeters and other speaker components for playback.

Primary Tweeter Parts

Tweeters work thanks to the assembly of a few essential parts. Tweeters are constructed of a small magnet that features a circular gap in the center. They also use a wound copper wire called a voice coil, which is then attached to a speaker dome made out of various polymers or other materials.

The assembled copper wire voice coil and speaker dome are inserted to and suspended just inside the magnet’s inner gap mentioned above. The dome hovers just above the gap since it’s sized in a way where its sides rest on the magnet’s circular borders.

How do tweeters produce high-pitched sounds? Here’s the basic process:

  • The amplifier of your speaker system produces an audio signal.
  • The signal is then fed to a tweeter speaker using both positive and negative wiring connections.
  • Those connections touch the voice coil, which creates a magnetic field due to the electromagnetic reaction.
  • The voice coil is set into the magnet’s gap area.
  • The tweeter’s coil and dome parts move forward and in reverse very rapidly by creating an electromagnetic field. They move the air around them rapidly as well, which makes audible waves our ears can detect

Do You Need Tweeters In Your Car’s Speaker System?

Technically, you don’t need tweeters at all. But without tweeter speakers, you won’t enjoy your music, podcasts, or other auditory content to nearly the same extent as you would with them.

That’s because music is made up of a complex combination of different sounds, frequencies, tones, and other auditory characteristics. Voices and instruments combine in beautiful melodies that can only be fully appreciated if you use multiple speakers in conjunction with one another.

To put it directly, you absolutely need tweeters if you want to enjoy a full sound experience in your vehicle.

How To Find The Right Tweeters For Your Car

Tweeters, due to their limited range, are never used by themselves. They are combined with woofers (which are midrange speakers) and additional components like passive crossovers and/or subwoofers, which produce deeper bass-related tones.

Finding replacement tweeters for your vehicle’s sound system is critical if you want to enjoy your music on the road. You can choose the right tweeters for your speaker system by considering the following aspects and tips:

  • Make sure to measure the size of your speakers that you already have. Doing so can help you pick out replacement tweeters relatively easily.
  • Ensure that you know the type of speakers you can put in your vehicle. Most modern cars have coaxial speakers, which means they have two or three drivers to produce both woofer and tweeter sounds from the same speaker unit. Other vehicles may have separate speakers that contain tweeters and woofers in distinct compartments.
  • Lastly, determine the wattage of your speakers. Only speakers with the right wattage will plug into your car appropriately.

Summary

Tweeters are ill-understood in many cases, but they are critical features of any functioning stereo system, both in cars and elsewhere in the audio world. While they might seem like minor components at first, you would certainly miss them if they weren’t present, or even worse, if they malfunctioned. Your music just wouldn’t be the same without them!

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