One of the surest ways to enhance your everyday commute is to upgrade your vehicle speakers. There is, without a doubt, no greater feeling than driving back home after a long day at work and blaring your favorite music or radio through your car stereo system. The types of car speakers you have can contribute to how enjoyable lengthy trips are for you.
One of the most significant benefits of updating your car speaker types is to enjoy improved sound quality and clarity. However, the speaker systems installed by your car’s manufacturer may not necessarily produce the best sound quality. For this reason, many sound enthusiast car owners opt to upgrade or replace their car speakers with more specialized sets.
What Are the Types of Car Speakers?
Generally, there are two types of car speakers you can choose from, each with its unique features.
Generally, these car speaker types have the most advanced architecture that produces the best high-quality sound imaginable. A typical component system consists of a woofer (a big speaker producing low frequencies), a tweeter (a tiny speaker that generates high frequencies), and external crossovers, all of which explicitly work together to sing in tune.
Their tweeters and woofers stay separately but have an external crossover filtering the low and high frequencies and routing them to the appropriate drivers. Because the crossover network is external, select frequencies go to specific speakers, minimizing distortion and increasing overall sound quality.
Typically, you should install the woofer in its original position and the tweeters higher up on the door. Note that most cars don’t have in-built tweeter mounting; hence, you may need to cut a tiny hole in your door panel to make room for them.
Because tweeters are innately linear, putting them in a higher position on the door increases their prominence in the audio field. The woofer receives low to mid-frequency signals, while the tweeters receive high-frequency signals.
Full Range Coaxial Speakers
Full-range coaxial speakers are the most common you’ll find in nearly all car audio systems. They include all of the speaker components and can generate a wide variety of audio frequencies. If you’d like to upgrade your original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicle speakers, these speakers are the way to go.
Coaxial speakers transmit sound along the same axis. It has a tweeter that generates high tones on top of a woofer that produces low tones.
The 2-way and 3-way combinations are the most popular kinds of coaxial speakers. The 2-way design consists of a woofer for low frequencies production and a tweeter for higher frequencies. The third speaker in the 3-way design accommodates the mid-level to mid-high frequencies. While this arrangement is superior to a single full-range speaker, the tweeter placed above the woofer reduces its sound production.
Coaxial speakers are available in different forms, sizes, quality, and costs, making it simple to select a model that will effortlessly replace your existing speakers. You can easily install the speaker by yourself or hire a professional to do it for you if you don’t want to bother yourself with installation.
Other Types of Car Speakers
Apart from the full-range and component speakers, there are other smaller speakers that you can easily install to improve your car stereo.
Tweeter speakers have the highest frequency range, usually from 2,000 to 20,000Hz. This range is the upper limit of the human ear. These types of car speakers typically come in small sizes, usually between ¾ to 1 ½ inches. They’re usually the smallest in a component arrangement and stay higher up in the car than other speakers.
These speakers give the sound its clarity and sharpness and replicate high-frequency sounds like high hats and cymbals. Many versions have extra capabilities that enable you to tailor the audio to your specific car.
Besides the regular tweeter speakers, there are super-tweeters for true audiophiles. These speakers are significantly smaller than a standard tweeter and are for augmenting high frequencies. A super-tweeter handles the issue of distortion and failure to wield ultra-high frequencies common with regular tweeters. It does so by generating frequencies in the 20 kHz range and above.
A tweeter’s design and material contribute to the type of sound it outputs. They usually have soft materials like silk or textile blends, producing a mellow and clear sound. But, if you prefer to have clear and crisp high notes, you’d be better of with one that has ceramics, metals, or graphite materials.
These types of car speakers deliver the lowest sound frequencies imaginably, usually ranging between 20 to 200Hz. These bass speakers enhance the power and depth of your music. They ideally come with bespoke subwoofer box casings to drive and contain the bass frequencies.
The most appropriate place to install a subwoofer is under the seats or car trunk. Like tweeters, a subwoofer’s material composition has a significant effect on the sound output. OEM speaker cones usually have paper materials that wear out over time. However, you can always replace them with more stiff, durable, yet, lightweight materials. These materials will allow them to retain their shape and produce excellent sounds.
Mini amplifiers are the easiest way to improve your car’s sound system. These speakers are easy plug-and-play solutions that let you retain your OEM speakers and stereos while providing enough power to boost the sound. You can also use micro amplifiers as a base for an entirely new sound system.
Features to Look for in Car Speakers
It may be tough to choose a car speaker type without first hearing them. But looking out for the following features and specifications will give you an idea of what the speaker will sound like.
A speaker’s sensitivity tests its capacity to transform power (in watts) to loudness (in decibels). It is also the measure of the sound level that a speaker produces based on the power you supply to it.
Generally, speakers produce the best sound quality when you power them correctly. Low-powered car speakers will work better with high speakers having high sensitivity ratings. On the other hand, high-powered audio systems will work better with speakers having a low sensitivity rating.
This feature refers to the amount of power that a speaker can handle (in watts). It tells you if your speakers can take the power that your external amplifier or car stereo generates.
Power handling rating comes with two numbers – RMS (Root Mean Square) and peak power. The RMS rating (the lower rating) represents the minimum power at which your speaker will produce the desired sound quality. The peak power (which is the higher rating) measures the maximum power that the speaker can handle easily while performing at an optimal level for an extended period.
Any output sound that exceeds the RMS power rating will damage the speaker. However, speakers with higher power ratings have a lower chance of failure at high volumes.
If your car’s audio system is low-powered, your speakers will not need to deal with a lot of power and may have a low power handling. However, if your car speaker’s external amplifiers are powerful, its power handling must be close to the amplifier’s power output.
Almost all speakers use crossovers to guide frequencies to the right driver. It can either be passive or active. With active crossovers, the speakers have a higher possibility of customization and are usually more expensive. In contrast, passive crossovers do not need a dedicated power supply. They are easier to install for directing frequencies to the right driver.
Passive crossovers often give a clean separation of the frequencies transmitting to the tweeter and woofer. This separation enhances your speaker’s output.
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