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An Introduction To Car Speakers

James Benchman
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by James Benchman

You’re not alone if you love the feeling of driving down the highway and absolutely enjoying the sound quality of your speaker system. Car speakers are a commitment, thus doing the research in order to find the perfect brand and quality for your speakers is definitely worth the hassle.

Some of the best car speakers on the market might not be the best for your car, and some of the highest priced might not be the best quality either. Even as a beginner, there are a few things to keep in mind when buying car speakers, and knowing what to look for is essential. But knowing what is best for you and your car is invaluable.

1. Knowing the Basics

Before settling on a new set of speakers, it’s imperative to know what factory speakers actually sound like, as well as their capabilities. There is a fine line between having the perfect level of sound and blowing the system, and many people learn that lesson the hard way when they don’t know what to listen for if a speaker is about to malfunction or blow out entirely.

Louder isn’t always better.

The other tip to keep in mind is that factory speakers are not even close to the sound quality that could be experienced with car speakers of a higher caliber, which will offer better sound and longevity. Even if on a budget, there are improvements that can be made to factory speakers that will improve the sound.

Choosing the best way to go about it comes down to skill, knowledge, and budget.

See also: Coaxial vs Component Speakers – What You Should Know

2. Budgeting for Sound

Subwoofer Testing

According to the preferred budget for car speakers, several methods can be used to improve or rebuild them. Factory speakers are relatively easy to improve with adjustments to bass and treble levels, as well as to the overall quality of sound. Tweaking these small parts can dramatically improve sound without having to spend a fortune.

For the more ambitious engineer, there are also ways to rebuild the entire sound system from scratch in order to compile the perfect combination of sounds for your car. This, of course, will be the most expensive option but can be the best for the serious listener.

It also is a valuable learning experience for anyone interested in all things audio.

Individual Parts

1. The Woofer

The woofer produces the lower notes in the speaker which are essential to the overall sound. Made to be stiff and also lightweight, the woofer is the main component to any speaker, and will create a sharper sound the stiffer it is.

Most woofers are manufactured using synthetic polypropylene. Other materials that can be used to make a woofer include synthetics coated with metals like titanium or polypropylene mixed with mica. The use of these materials makes the woofer durable and resistant to the elements.

2. The Tweeter

A tweeter’s sound is reliant on the type of material it is made from. There is a diverse use of materials that can be used to make a tweeter, including poly, textile blends, and silk for soft sounds. For high, sharp sounds, tweeters are made with graphite, ceramics, or metal.

3. Surround

Surround is extremely important to the overall sound of a speaker. The material used in the surround aspect of the speaker will also affect the sound it emits. Speakers made from rubber are durable, perform well, and withstand the test of time.

Types Of Speakers

Full Range Speakers

Full range speakers are just what they sound like, a speaker that includes a full range of sound and the elements that contribute to that sound. In general, the simplest speakers are comprised of a woofer and tweeter mounted on it to produce the high range frequencies.

If deciding to entirely replace factory speakers, full range speakers are recommended as they can be replaced with relative ease.

The variety of full range speakers is unmatched as there are all different kinds and sizes to suit an individual’s needs. There are also full range speakers that include additional accessories like mid ranges or super tweeters.

Depending on the frequency and power preferred, full range speakers are an excellent option for those just beginning their foray into speaker dom.

Component Speakers

Component speakers are a bit more luxurious and complex than full range speakers. They are meant to perform at the highest quality. Component speakers, contrary to full range speakers, are composed of different parts rather than one comprehensive speaker.

Component speakers include separate woofers, tweeters, and external crossovers. They are made to be completely in sync with each other.

What consumers like and want from their component speakers is the “live” experience. These speakers boast a greater depth of sound that will make the listener feel as if the music is being played right in front of them.

This type of sound is owing to the mechanical separation between the woofer and tweeter, which allows for both frequencies to be heard more clearly.

See the best component speakers reviews.

Other Car Speakers Buyer’s Guide:

About James Benchman
James Benchman
James is an Automotive Mechanic with over 20 years experience and 300+ car repairs. He is an expert with cars and has worked with different models from the biggest brands. James is a Mechanic , Husband , Father of 3 , and head of content at Caraudiologic. Learn more about us
  1. Thanks for pointing out that tweaking the bass and treble levels of a car speaker system can dramatically improve the sound without having to spend too much. Lately I’ve been noticing the audio in my car doesn’t sound so good, so I’ve been looking for tips online about how to improve it. I think I’ll go to an audio repair shop and have them adjust my speakers to improve the sound.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Amy. There’s definitely a lot that can be gained from proper system tuning, no doubt. If it’s not time yet for upgrades or while one waits to save money, you can get solid sound quality improvements from the right settings or maybe an addition of a sound processor (here’s a great example of one) — which I’ll save that topic for another article to come!

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