Written By
Published Dec. 6, 2018

There is nothing like the feeling of driving while enjoying some of your favorite tunes. But many car audio systems simply aren’t up to the task of playing your music the way it was intended, which is why audio enthusiasts and casual listeners alike should consider upgrading their car speaker systems. While many are fine at playing mid-level tones, they struggle with anything lower or higher. To get around this issue, more and more people are investing in car tweeters to enhance the higher frequency notes, giving a much better all-round audio experience

If you never bought a car tweeter or are simply looking for some clear advice on what you should be looking for, this guide is for you. We have a rundown of some of the best car tweeter options currently available in the car stereo marketplace. At the end, you should feel more informed and ready to make the right decision for your vehicle’s audio needs. So, let’s choose the tweeter that is going to strike the right note with you.

The Best Car Tweeters

Available in several different sizes to suit your vehicle and audio needs, this set of two car tweeters is designed in a soft dome format. The high notes should come out smooth thanks to the oversized voice coils, which offer higher levels of heat dissipation and greater power handling.

Even under demanding conditions, the carbon-composite, nonmagnetic baskets retain their integrity. While many modern cars come with undersized wires, these speakers are designed to make up for this and get the best sound quality that your vehicle can deliver.

Key Features
  • Oversized voice coils offer greater heat dissipation and higher power handling
  • Low-impedance, three-ohm speakers
  • Smooth, fatigue-free highs
  • Nonmagnetic baskets maintain their integrity
Specification
  • Brand JBL
  • Model GTO19T
  • Weight 2 pounds

Providing an increased output in comparison to factory speakers or similar models, this pair of tweeters has a high level of sensitivity. Ultimately, this means higher performance levels whether you are using a dedicated amplifier or not.

Every Kappa series component tweeter uses high-quality parts, though the individual components are kept at a minimum to reduce phase-related anomalies. Your installation options include flush mounting or surface mounting depending on your preferences.

Key Features
  • Uses high-quality parts in manufacturing process
  • 3/4" soft dome tweeter
  • 2 ohms impedance
  • Frequency response: 3500-35,000 Hz
Specification
  • Brand Infinity
  • Model Kappa 10.11T
  • Weight 1.23 pounds

An affordable option for those on a tight budget, once you have installed these car tweeters in your vehicle, they will round out the sound nicely. The rare magnet material of niobium is used to provide highs that offer strong clarity and a smooth sound.

The high-pass crossover stops low frequencies from overly distorting the sound, while the dome is lightweight and highly sensitive with low distortion.

Key Features
  • Uses Niobium rare earth ferroelectric transducer magnet
  • Transparent detail in sound quality
  • Enhances wide range of audio systems
Specification
  • Brand Power Acoustik
  • Model NB-2
  • Weight 3.2 ounces

An attractive product from a well-known brand, these car tweeters will play a central role in clarifying the sound in your car. You can either flush mount it in your vehicle or choose a different method of installation.

As well as being easy to install, these tweeters are also low profile enough to blend in seamlessly with your car’s interior. Check the guide further down in this blog post for more advice on the different ways that you can install car tweeters.

Key Features
  • Straightforward product to clarify your car’s audio
  • Easy-to-install
  • 3 Year Platinum Online Dealer Warranty included
Specification
  • Brand BOSS
  • Model TW15
  • Weight 1 pounds

Thanks to the high level of performance that they offer, Infinity speaker are a popular choice with many audio enthusiasts. Producing a silky-smooth sound in a precise level of detail, the high notes of your favorite tunes are bound to sound even better when played through these tweeters.

Not only do they handle well on their own, but they also produce an excellent bass response at the same time.

Key Features
  • Popular choice with audio lovers
  • 45W RMS Output
  • 3.0 ohms Impedance
Specification
  • Brand Infinity
  • Model REF-275tx
  • Weight 15.2 ounces

Producing the high-quality sound that titanium tweeters are renowned for, this package includes a kit to install them, whether you want them flush, surface, or angle-mounted. Also includes is an external passive high-pass crossover.

As for the power handling, they offer between 2-50 watts RMS, with 100 watts as the peak power. Ultimately, these tweeters help to add a level of crispness to your car sound which was missing

Key Features
  • Frequency response: 4, 500-21, 000 Hz
  • Flush, surface, and angled-mounting hardware included
  • External passive high-pass crossover included
Specification
  • Brand Kicker
  • Model 43CST204
  • Weight 12 ounces

Whichever way you choose to install this tweeter into your car, this kit includes a recessed tweeter mount to do this. Providing concentric clamping pressure around the perimeter of the mounting hole, setup should be straightforward.

The system includes 120 watts maximum power handling, as well as the one-inch PEI dome tweeter itself. The frequency response is 3.5kHz-22kHz with 90dB sensitivity.

Key Features
  • Includes external, audiophile-grade, 12dB/octave high-pass crossover
  • Suitable for flush, surface, and angle-mounting
  • Designed for straightforward installation
Specification
  • Brand Rockford Fosgate
  • Model P1T-S
  • Weight 1.51 pounds

When you invest in car tweeters, you know that you are looking for a more complex and complete audio system, and this is exactly what these tweeters from Pioneer are built for. Everything is included whether you want to flush or surface-mount the hardware.

If you have been missing the high notes while you have been driving, this product will help you to unlock them again.

Key Features
  • Power handling: 2-40 watts RMS
  • Frequency response: 2,500-30,000 Hz
  • Flush- and surface-mount hardware included
Specification
  • Brand Pioneer
  • Model TST110
  • Weight 9.1 ounces

Combining superior looks and sounds in one package, these dome tweeters make a high-performance product affordable. Made with a liquid-cooled silk design, the neodymium magnet helps to create sounds which are both clear and detailed.

When you come to installing the tweeters, you can do so with the flush and surface mount swivel cups, which provide the flexibility to choose where you will get the optimal sound. They are built to offer a long-term level of reliability and performance.

Key Features
  • Neodymium magnet for clear, detailed highs
  • Flush surface mount swivel cups for optimum placement
  • Durable and long-lasting product
Specification
  • Brand Polk Audio
  • Model AA1101-A
  • Weight 4.41 pounds

The next product on our list is this pair of silk dome tweeters, which provide the high level of performance that you would expect from Alpine. Allowing you to listen to your music with the clarity of high notes that you are looking for, these tweeters also include a copper-clad, aluminium high-temperature voice coil.

The highs are both crisp and loud, and these tweeters certainly offer an upgrade to the majority of standard car audio systems.

Key Features
  • Silk dome tweeter construction
  • Features copper-clad aluminium high-temperature voice coil
  • Clear and crisp sound
Specification
  • Brand Alpine
  • Model SPR-10TW
  • Weight 1 pounds

Best Car Tweeters Buying Guide & FAQ

Features to Consider When Buying a Car Tweeter

When you invest in a car tweeter, you expect the audio to be both fuller and better-quality. However, before you rush out to buy one, it is important to have an idea of the different features and variations so that you can choose the right product for your vehicle. Here’s an overview of some of the top points which are all worth bearing in mind.

  • Tweeter Material

The material used to make the tweeter will affect two major aspects of it: the sound quality and durability. Softer materials such as textile blends tend to give out a sound which is smoother and more refined. If you want the high notes like this and you like your music at a moderate sound level, these are a good option for you. Synthetic films can also be used to make tweeters, and they have the advantages of being lightweight and low-power consuming. However, they may have limited damping capabilities.

Some tweeters are made from harder materials such as ceramics, graphite, and even metal. The sound is often stronger and brighter, even at the highest of volume. And they also offer a high level of durability. Of course, many ‘softer’ tweeters are still designed to stand the test of time and are still the preferred option of a lot of audiophiles.

  • Shape

The shape of the car tweeter is another aspect which has an impact on its ability to distribute high frequencies around your car, with the most common shapes being semi-cone, cone, semi-dome and dome. Consisting of a small dome inside a shallow cone, semi-dome tweeters are often the most affordable. Softer materials are often used, and they can fit into tight mounting spaces.

Dome tweeters tend to be an upgraded version of the semi-domes, allowing for a wider dispersion pattern. If you are building a custom system, these are a great option. On the downside, they often require more power to work effectively. You also have inverted dome tweeters which are said to enhance sound radiation and control.

  • Power Handling and Impedance

Another pair of factors which may have an impact on your decision are the power handling and impedance. Many tweeters lie between 25w and 50w RMS. If you are thinking about getting one which is more powerful, you should make sure that it matches up with your vehicle. As for the impedance, you need to line it up with your amplifier to make it less likely to overheat. A stereo rated at 4 ohms should have a tweeter which is measures up equally.

tweeters for car

Different Tweeter Types and Materials

As we mentioned above, car tweeters come in a range of varieties and are made with different materials. It can feel like a challenge to pick one, especially if you don’t really know what you are looking for. Check out this overview of some of the main shapes and materials to help make your decision just a little bit easier.

Tweeter Shapes

Let’s start off by talking about the different shapes of car tweeter which you can buy, and how this affects their performance.

  • Cone Tweeters

Firstly, you have the common cone tweeters which are often mass-produced. While they are usually affordable, the downside is that they don’t tend to spread the sound as widely.

  • Semi-Dome Tweeters

Semi-dome tweeters feature a small dome inside a shallow cone and are another low-cost option. Materials used are often softer and less rigid. However, they tend to be used in coaxial speakers rather than as separate tweeters.

  • Dome Tweeters

Dome tweeters are a step up from the semi-dome varieties thanks to their improved sound dispersion. Higher-frequency sound waves are directional, and the wider dispersion will give you more of a ‘sweet spot’ when you are setting up the system. However, it may require more power to be work at its optimum level.

  • Focal Tweeters

Another variation is the focal tweeter, which turns the dome upside down and does not protrude from the vocal coil. As well as improving the sound radiation pattern, it also provides a high level of control.

Tweeter Materials

Now, we come onto the different types of materials which can be used to make your car tweeter and how they can have an impact on its performance, durability, and life.

  • Synthetic Films

First and foremost, you can choose from synthetic films such as mylar, polyimide, and PET. One of the main advantages is that they are resistant to humidity, which is obviously very important in a car interior. And they are also lightweight and do not require a great deal of power to drive them effectively, making them especially suited to lower-powered systems and speakers. On the negative side, they are not particularly stiff and have poor damping qualities, meaning that the musical reproduction may not be as accurate.

  • Textiles

Next up, we have the textiles. Silk is a commonly used material, and silk-blended tweeters have a sound which is both warm and refined. In fact, this is a material which is also used by many home speakers too, and they are the preferred option of many audiophiles. They are often reinforced with other synthetic materials to add stiffness and improve damping. This enables you to turn up the volume without losing the smooth sound that these tweeters are known for.

  • Metal

Producing loud and bright high notes, metal tweeters are another option. Aluminium is a popular choice as it is light and strong enough to produce a bright and clear sound at higher frequencies. Titanium is another option, which is lighter and less resonant, reproducing higher sounds with extreme accuracy. Speaker manufacturers are always on the lookout for the next great material which they can build their build their devices with, and we can expect to see more experimentation with ceramic and metal blends in the future. Metal speakers tend to be the better choice if you are dealing with a lot of background road noise or you drive with the windows down on the highway. However, if you generally drive in a quieter environment, you may find that silk gives a more natural sound.

How to Install Tweeters

When you come to install the tweeters in your car, you have three main options of how to do this. Everything depends on your vehicle and what sort of audio experience you are looking to create in your vehicle.

  • Surface Mounting

In this scenario, the tweeter needs to be mounted on top of a specific location and positioned inside a cup with a screw holding it in place. If you want to keep the interior sound consistent or don’t have a lot of depth, then this is a good option. The main downside is that you will be left with an obvious installation in your car, which some people are not happy with.

  • Flush Mounting

Flush mounting involves drilling a hole on the dashboard or on the door for the tweeter to be installed. This is a highly popular method of installation as it creates a look which is smooth and integrated with the rest of your vehicle. Many tweeter manufacturers also include angle-mounts which allow you to adjust the broadcasting panel even when mounted in the panel.

  • Bottom Mounting

The third and final option is to bottom mount the tweeters, which is usually done under an existing grille, meaning that you won’t need to make any new holes in your car. Bottom mounting is often done in the dashboard, but you may have to build a bracket to properly support the tweeter.

car speakers

Common Tweeter Locations

Now, let’s talk about the possible locations you could put the tweeters inside your vehicle. Many people install them on the sail panel, which is found on the top corner of the door window and is the place where some factory tweeters already mounted. For this installation method, bottom or flush mounting are the best options. If your vehicle already comes with tweeters in the dashboard, bottom mounting is a good option which means that you won’t have to create any additional holes.

Another option is to choose the ‘A’ pillar, which is the one that lies in between the front windshield and door. It is a viable spot to surface mount your tweeter in many vehicles. Otherwise, you could put it on the upper door panel, which involves drilling a large hole. If your car doesn’t come with factory tweeters, this is a viable option.

Whichever one you choose, it is worth bearing in mind that you should mount your tweeters within 12 inches of the speakers. Otherwise, the sound waves from the woofers and tweeters may not properly line up, leading to wave interference.

Installation Process

Now we come onto the installation process itself. Before you do anything else, you need to disconnect the negative terminal from your car battery. Next, you need to locate where the tweeters are mounted so that you can take them out. You will need to disconnect all the wires and use a screwdriver to remove the tweeter from its mounting location.

Now is the time to connect the head unit or hook the external amp power output wire up to the crossover. You can solder the crossover cable’s input to the main power source and make sure that the positives and negatives are correctly matched up. The high-frequency wire from the crossover should go to the tweeter, while the low-frequency wire needs to match up with the woofer.

Finally, you will need to remount the tweeters. Sometimes, this involves drilling holes on the dash edge or door panel to accommodate them. Whichever mounting location you choose, it needs to have access to the existing speaker wiring. Wherever you mount the tweeters, ensure that they are fitted securely.

How Tweeter Design Affects Sound

We have already gone into some detail about how the shape and materials of the tweeter can end up affecting the type of sound produced, but there are some more points which are worth looking at in more detail.

One of them is the inclusion of wave guides, which can improve the sound radiation pattern that the tweeter produces, as well as directing sound waves towards the position from which you are listening. Another design feature which has an impact on the performance of the tweeter is the inclusion of ferro fluids, which stick to the voice coil of the tweeter. These help to dissipate heat when the tweeter is particularly warm. And then you have the simple issue of quality. A low-quality tweeter is going to sound less impressive no matter where you mount it in your car.

Best Car Tweeters FAQ:

Q: What are tweeters?

Car tweeters are high-frequency speakers which are specifically designed to reproduce high tones. Due to their construction and size, they are significantly different from mid and low-frequency speakers, but their basic operating principles are the same. Designed to complement woofers and other speakers which cannot produce sounds of a higher pitch, they are always small speakers with hard membranes or cones which allow for minimal suspension travel. Generally, they work best when they are pointed directly towards the listener.

Q: What do tweeters do?

Tweeters are designed to produce sounds ranging from 2,000 Hz to 20,000 Hz, which is up to the limit of human hearing and above. An integral part of a pre-built speaker system, they are an excellent addition to any set of speakers as they complement the sounds produced. When an amplified musical signal is sent via the tweeter, the vocal coil will create a magnetic field inside the magnet. This causes the tweeter coil to move forwards and backwards, moving the air rapidly and producing sound.

Q: Why do tweeters need crossovers?

For those who weren’t already aware, a crossover is a device which divides the input signal into multiple outputs of different frequency ranges. These ensure that your tweeters and woofers will only receive the frequencies which they were originally designed to play, whereas frequencies outside of this range will be blocked. Every speaker system requires a crossover system of some variety to play your music properly and ensure that every part of it is doing the job that it is supposed to.

Q: What does a tweeter impedance rating mean?

Tweeters with a lower impedance rating allow more electrical signal through and a better ‘flow’ of sound. While you should always remember that a lower impedance rating will allow more electricity through the speaker, this doesn’t mean that you should always go for the lowest option available. You need to match it up with your existing sound system. A lot of audio systems are designed to work with a specific level of tweeter. Using mismatched devices can end up causing problems as your sound system may not be able to handle the impedance rating of the tweeter which you have bought. car speaker

Our Top Pick

JBL GTO19T Premium 0.75-Inch Component Tweeter – Set of 2

The low impedance rating is one of the central selling points of this set of two tweeters. Essentially, this means that the three-ohm speakers will compensate for the undersized wires which are common in many of today’s vehicles. What’s more, they will make the most of every watt of your car stereo’s capabilities.

Made in a soft dome shape, the oversized voice coils are designed to increase heat dissipation and offer higher power handling, which results in smooth high notes. Another point in their favor is the carbon-composite, nonmagnetic baskets, which help to ensure that they remain precise in their sound delivery – even in the most challenging of conditions.

All the points which we have listed above add up to making this set of tweeters our top pick of the bunch.

Sources:

  1. How to Install Tweeters – wikiHow
  2. What is a speaker tweeter? – howstuffworks

MORE TO READ