As an audiophile who doesn’t like to commute without music, I’m always on the lookout for the best car tweeters. While quality subs and mid-range speakers help to bring out that sweet ‘thumping’ low end and spiked presence, the right tweeter will enhance the upper-frequency notes to give you the ‘cleanest’ listening experience. That means no muddiness or fizziness to prevent you from hearing every detail!
Best Car Tweeters
- Best Car Tweeters
- How to Choose the Best Car Tweeter
- Car Tweeter Reviews
- What Is The Best Car Tweeter
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Choose the Best Car Tweeter
There are tweeters of all kinds on the market, made of different materials and in different shapes. These features give them distinct sonic characteristics as well as impacting how durable they are. In this section, I’ll help you understand what these variations are all about, so you can choose a tweeter that best suits your needs.
In addition to the sound itself, you need to make sure that the tweeter is compatible with your car audio system. This means you’ll have to look into the particular speaker type, power handling and impedance of your system. If these terms confuse you, don’t worry. I’ll explain what they are as we go along.
A tweeter’s material impacts two things: how it sounds and how long it will last. For instance, certain softer materials like silk can produce a more refined and smoother sound, bringing out the sparkle in treble instruments like the horn or guitar. However, these don’t improve the durability of the tweeter as much as hard materials.
In contrast, tweeters made of metal or graphite tend to color the sound a bit brighter and make it more energetic.
Silk is the most popular material in the textile category. The sound outputted by silk tweeters is quite balanced and mellow. The only drawback in terms of audio quality is that the accuracy of the sound does tend to diminish as you hit loud volumes. This is due to the fact that silk isn’t good at dampening noises. But if you’re the kind of person who hardly ever ‘blasts’ music, then you’ll be quite happy with a silk tweeter.
That being said, you can now buy silk tweeters that have been ‘reinforced’ with synthetic films. This makes the tweeter stiffer, allowing you to pump up the volume while retaining the same silky-smooth sound audio quality.
There are a couple of pros to making tweeters out of materials like Polymide and mylar. First of all, they can withstand humidity, which helps tweeters last long. Secondly, these materials are lightweight, meaning that you don’t need a ton of power to make them work. So they pair well with car audio systems that contain low-powered speakers.
On the other hand, they don’t have the best dampening capabilities, so you’ll lose accuracy at louder volumes.
Aluminium is perhaps the most popular choice when it comes to metal tweeters and it’s easy to see why: it’s relatively light, durable and adds just the right amount of brightness to the sound. If you want to make sure that the higher frequencies aren’t drowned out by ‘booming’ bass lines, then an aluminium tweeter might just be what you’re looking for.
For some people, the bright overtones coming from aluminium tweeters can seem a bit too harsh. In that case, titanium is a good alternative. Titanium is actually lighter and more resonant than aluminium, which allows it to enhance higher frequencies while dialing back the ‘bite’ at the same time.
Softer Vs. Harder Materials: What Should You Go With?
The simplest way to figure this out is to ask yourself two questions:
- How often do you like blasting music inside your car?
- How much road noise do you have to deal with on a daily basis?
Harder materials like metals can help retain sound accuracy at higher volumes while also helping the music cut through loud ambiance. When you’re dealing with a lot of background noise, clarity is probably more important than refinement, which is exactly what hard materials offer.
If your commuting isn’t that noisy and you like to have your music playing at a moderate volume, then a tweeter made of soft materials should suffice.
Why does shape matter? Because it determines how exactly the different frequencies are distributed when they are outputted. Here are some of the commonest tweeter shapes you’ll find:
Cone-tweeters are the cheapest to produce, which coincidentally makes them the most widely available. These tweeters help spread out the frequencies widely, resulting in a very balanced, more accurate reproduction of sound. Wide distributions are very important for upper frequencies in particular. Because of the larger space available, you can really hone in on the most pleasant frequencies in that part of the EQ curve.
Some manufacturers use the ‘whizzer cone’ design, which thins out the distribution and spikes up the high-end of the sound. As a result, the sound reproduction is far from accurate and so you should always avoid this particular cone shape.
These tweeters contain a dome-shape that is fitted into a cone. This shape pairs well with softer materials and is able to fit into tight mounting spaces without suffering any damage. When compared to cone tweeters, semi-dome shapes produce a narrower dispersion.
Dome shapes produce a wider distribution of frequencies than semi-dome tweeters. The larger the dome, the greater the dispersion but it also means that more power is required to drive it.
Power Handling and Impedance
Power handling or power rating is the amount of power (in watts) that a speaker can safely receive. If too much power is driven into the speaker, it can start overheating and lead to its components being damaged. On the other hand, if insufficient power is given, then the quality of the outputted sound won’t be as great.
When picking out a tweeter, always make sure that its power rating matches that of the speaker present inside your car’s audio system. If the former is lower than the latter, your tweeter will be prone to damage. If the opposite is true, your tweeter won’t receive enough power to produce the best clarity and fullness of sound.
Impedance refers to the amount of resistance (in ohms) that your tweeter shows to the current supplied by an amplifier. Why does this matter? The lower the impedance, the greater the amount of current an amplifier has to supply, which means that it has to work harder. If the amplifier has to keep working hard, then it’s eventually going to overheat and its components will be fried. Hence, make sure that your tweeter’s impedance isn’t too low.
I’d recommend getting a tweeter that’s got an impedance of at least 4 watts. On the other hand, if the impedance is too high, the tweeter won’t receive enough power.
Car Tweeter Reviews
Now that you know what factors to consider when choosing a car tweeter, let’s take a look at my favourite picks for this year, starting with the:
- In-line crossover filter Aggressive magnet structure Surface mountable...
The first thing you’ll notice about the B350PRO is that it’s bigger than most tweeters out there. Here’s what I personally love about it:
And it should be, with a power rating of 200 watts. Speaking from personal experience, the B350PRO can really make those high-end frequencies sing. If you’re into hard rock or heavy metal music, especially the kind that contains rippin’ guitar solos, then you’ll be very happy with this tweeter.
The B350PRO contains a titanium diaphragm and an aluminium chassis. The result? Incredible clarity and resonance at higher volumes with no rattling whatsoever. Plus this makes the tweeter extremely durable as well.
The Upper-Frequency Response Limit Is Very High
When upper frequencies get cut off, the sound tends to lose some of its warmth. Fortunately, this was never an issue during the months that I tested the B350PRO. This is due to the fact that its upper-frequency response limit is at 27000Hz. Needless to say, you won’t be missing any high-pitched notes in your favourite songs.
- High Power Capacity
- Very efficient
- Its large size allows for wide frequency distribution
- Relatively inexpensive
- Needs a lot of power to achieve optimal audio quality
- I found it a bit difficult to install
- SPS-110TW - Alpine 1" 200W RMS Type-S Series Tweeters with Passive...
- Power Handling: Peak: 600 watts per pair / 300 watts each | RMS: 200...
- Pure Silk Soft Dome tweeter construction
- 4 ohms impedance
- Top-mount depth: 3/4"
Second on the list is a silk tweeter, which produces all of the mellowness and warmth you’d expect from such a soft material. Here are the reasons why it’s on my list:
The Sound Quality Is Immensely Clear And Sharp
As expected from a silk tweeter, the sound outputted from the SPS-110 TW is refined and detailed. It enhances the highs but never ventures into harsh or fizzy-sounding territory. That is if you don’t crank up the volume past its comfort zone. I had a very pleasant experience listening to classical music through this tweeter as it seemed to push through every detail.
Wide Frequency Response
The Alpine SPS-110TW is a dome-shaped tweeter and you know what that means: wide frequency distribution! As a result of this wide inclusion, I was able to hear everything from the lowest sub-bass electronic beats to the most shrill violin scores.
High Power Handling
While the SPS-110TW’s power rating is listed as 100 watts, I found that it could be pushed to 300 watts without a problem. This, of course, means more accurate sound reproduction.
- Wide frequency response
- Silk diaphragm produces a very refined and warm sound
- It was very easy to install thanks to the included mounting components
- It doesn’t do too well at higher volumes due to poor dampening
- Two 3/4" Titanium dome tweeters. Flush-, surface-, and angled-mounting...
- External passive high-pass Crossover included (6 dB per octave at 4,...
- Power handling: 2-50 watts RMS (100 watts peak power);
- Frequency response: 4, 500-21, 000 Hz | sensitivity: 92 dB |
The Kicker 43CST204 is a titanium dome-shaped tweeter. This means you’ll get the immense clarity of aluminium tweeters but without the tone being colored too brightly. Here are some other things the 43CST204 does right:
Compact but Powerful
Despite the tweeter being just quarter of an inch in diameter, its peak power capacity is at 100 watts. As a result, I had no trouble hooking it up a high-performance car audio system. The high power handling also meant that the higher frequencies did not lose out to the bass even at high volumes.
As mentioned above, the 43CST204 is made out of titanium which is not only immensely strong but also lightweight at the same time. Being a very hard material, the titanium keeps the 43CST204 stiff and prevents it from rattling whenever you crank up the volume.
It doesn’t require an Amplifier
Typically, amplifiers are needed to drive lots of power to tweeter but that’s just not the case with the Kicker 43CST204. This is because the 43CST204 has got a sensitivity rating of 92 decibels, which means that with just one watt of power supplied, the tweeter is able to achieve a volume of 92dB. 92dB is around moderate volume levels, which means that the 43CST204 can still get the job done with low amounts of power.
- Very durable build
- Can function without an amplifier
- Immense clarity at high volumes.
- The tweeter domes aren’t covered with a mesh, meaning they’re susceptible to dust.
- Soft-dome tweeter features oversized voice coils for greater heat...
- Carbon-composite, nonmagnetic baskets maintain their integrity and...
- Low-impedance, three-ohm speakers compensate for the undersized wires...
JBL is known for putting out high-quality products and my personal experiences with them have always been positive. Fortunately, the GTO19T was no exception. Here’s why:
Great Power Handling
Similar to the Infinity REF-075TX, the JBL GTO19T contains enlarged voice coils which drive up the tweeter’s power handling. In addition, these voice coils improve the device’s ability to dissipate heat, allowing it to draw lots of power without overheating. Due to this, I didn’t hear any fizziness in the higher frequencies, even after blasting some rock classics on the tweeter for quite some time.
I’m always pleased when manufacturers make an extra effort to include mounting hardware with tweeters. With the included Starfish brackets and the I-mount I had no problem with surface and flush mounts.
The JBL GTO19T is made of a carbon-composite material that affords it a long lifespan and the ability to withstand external pressures. Since it’s a hard material, you’ll be able to enjoy ambiance-slicing, sharp highs and crystal-clear sound at the highest volumes. If your daily commute is a noisy one, then this is the tweeter you should go with.
- Strong upper frequencies that can cut through loud noise
- Great Power Handling
- Made of very durable material
- Low impedance
- May put a lot of strain on your amplifier over time, especially with heavy use
- Polk Audio DB1001 1 inch Silk/polymer composite dome tweeters (pair,...
- Maximum input power: 180 watts
- One 1 inch liquid cooled silk polymer Composite dome tweeter per...
- Equipped with a neodymium magnet for clear, detailed highs
- Flush surface mount swivel cups allow placement flexibility and...
This silk/polymer hybrid dome tweeter gives you accurate sound reproduction with a brighter tint than most pure silk types. Here are some other features that I found really appealing about the DB1001:
High Power Rating
The Polk Audio DB1001’s capacity peaks at 300 watts, which makes it one of the most ‘power-hungry’ tweeters on this list. As you know, more power means greater sound quality and more importantly, the ability to maintain precise reproduction at larger volumes. Just make sure that your speaker and amplifier can keep up!
Refined Sound at High Volumes
Earlier, I talked about what could happen when you reinforce a textile material like silk with synthetic films. It causes the tweeter to become stiffer, which in turn allows you to crank up the volume without having to worry about rattling. This is exactly the case with the silk/polymer combination present in the DB1001.
The DB1001 is actually marine-certified, meaning it’s stable enough to be installed in boats. So it’ll definitely last a long time in your car.
The DB1001 includes both flush and surface mount swivel cups which make setting up a breeze.
Built-in Protection Circuitry
This prevents the inner components from frying when too much heat is generated. This seems like a very practical feature, considering the fact that the DB1001 can draw a lot of power.
- Marine-certified build
- Easy to set up inside the car
- Detailed sound reproduction even at high volumes
- Resistant to heat damage
- Lower frequency limit is a bit lacking at 4 kHz
- A bit expensive
- New *Boss TW50* 3" 500W Car Tweeters (2 Pairs)
- 250 Watt Max (500 Watt Total)
- Flush Mount Mounting
- Strontium Magnet
- Impedance: 4 Ohm
The TW-30 is a high-power dome-shaped tweeter that offers a particularly smooth listening experience. Here’s why I think it’s a very worthy consideration:
Dynamic Bass Response
It’s rare that you find a tweeter that places a lot of care at the low end of the frequency spectrum. The BOSS Audio TW-30 contains strontium magnets, which allows it to capture dynamic bass sounds instead of just outputting a constant, droning ‘thump’.
In addition, the low end cut off mark sits at around 2.5 kHz, which allowed me to hear those really hard-hitting sub-bass lines in electronic genres like synth-wave and dubstep.
Wide Frequency Dispersion
Thanks to its dome shape, the BOSS TW-30 is able to offer a wide distribution of frequencies. As a result, more upper frequencies will be included when the sound is being reproduced.
- Wide frequency dispersion
- It’s quite nice that there is more inclusion of the lower frequencies
- Great power handling
- It wasn’t the easiest tweeter to install
- Tended to heat up a bit with extended use
What Is The Best Car Tweeter
Overall, I’d say that the Pioneer TS B350PRO was my favorite out of all the car tweeters I’ve tested so far. In my opinion, the combination of its never-failing pristine audio quality, durable build and all-inclusive frequency response limit makes it a solid choice for any audiophile.
One feature I absolutely love about the B350PRO is its ability to work with both high-powered and low-powered audio systems. Its 200-watt capacity ensures that it doesn’t overheat when driven by a powerful amplifier while at the same time it’s sensitive enough that it doesn’t need all that much power to work effectively.
In addition, the Pioneer TS B350PRO contains the highest frequency response limit of all the tweeters on this list. With the cut off sitting around 27000 Hz, I was able to enjoy every minor detail in my favorite songs. Last but not least, the B350PRO isn’t even that expensive, especially when considering all that it offers.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, I’m going to answer the most common questions people have about tweeters. This should cover some minor points that weren’t addressed above.
Who makes the best Car Audio Tweeters?
Brands like Pioneer, JBL, Infinity, and Polk Audio are known to put out quality tweeters consistently. Not only that; these brands provide excellent customer service as well.
For 2019, I’d have to hand this title to Pioneer for making the TS B350PRO my favorite pick of the year.
What Do Tweeters Do For Your Car?
To put it simply, tweeters add treble to speaker output. Most speakers aren’t really good at capturing some of the upper frequencies by themselves. As a result, the sound reproduction isn’t as detailed and accurate as it should be. Tweeters increase the frequency response limit so that the treble is faithfully reproduced.
Are All Car Tweeters The Same Size?
Tweeters come in a variety of sizes, with diameters typically ranging from a quarter-inch to a few inches. A larger diameter means more frequency distribution, which in turn means that even those frequencies in the extreme upper end will be reproduced by the tweeter.
Do Tweeters Really Make A Difference?
Yes, they do. Without those upper frequencies, you’re really not able to hear every detail in a particular song or at the very least, it’ll be missing character. Treble (in the right quantity) adds liveliness to an instrument. It also helps certain instruments like the guitar cut through a mix full of bass-heavy sounds.
Do Tweeters Count As Speakers?
Make no mistake: tweeters aren’t the same thing as speakers. They work with speakers to reproduce music as accurately as possible. This means enhancing those high frequencies to achieve a crisp and full sound.
Do Tweeters Wear Out?
Tweeters like the ones mentioned in this list generally last a very long time, provided that you take care of them well. It’s very important that you match the power rating of the tweeter to that of the speaker. If the speaker outputs more power than it can handle, then its components will be damaged over time.
Where Is The Best Place To Put Tweeters In A Car?
The commonest mounting locations include:
- The Dash
- Upper Door
- Pillar – Pillars are found between the windshield and the front door window.
The products featured on this page were last updated on 2020-02-23 at 16:13 /. Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.