A tweeter is a type of speaker that can reproduce a high-frequency sound. You will need to install tweeters in your car audio system if you want to enjoy the full-range sound from your car stereo system.
But, how many tweeters should you have in the car? Let’s find out.
Generally, you need two tweeters in front to improve the high-frequency performance of your car stereo system. If you’re using many mid-range speakers in your car, you can install four tweeters to provide a matching high-frequency reproduction. Also, if your vehicle is large and you want precise high frequencies in the entire cabin, you can install 4 tweeters:
- two on the front doors, and
- two on the rear doors
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Tip: When installing tweeters, the best location for the music experience is the car’s dashboard, facing towards the center of the passenger seat and the driver seat.
This position helps to make the sound of both tweeters reach the ears of the user at the same time, providing a delightful experience.
Unfortunately, not all tweeters can be installed in the dash without its modification. If your dashboard does not have factory spaces for the tweeters, you can use surface-mount ones that can also be adjusted for better sound direction.
An excellent example are the Kicker 46CST204 equipped with 6dB crossovers, thanks to which you can add them to any coaxial or component speakers.
This article will help you determine how many tweeters you need to install in your car’s audio system to improve its overall music performance.
How Many Tweeters Do I Need in My Car?
Although there are either two or four tweeters installed, their number will depend on the type and place of installation.
Here are some factors that can affect the performance of tweeters. It is advisable first to try adjusting them to see if there will be an improvement in the high-frequency performance of your car stereo system before deciding to install extra tweeters.
Tweeter Mounting Locations
Considering that sound travels in waves, the placement of car tweeters is vital to their performance.
However, before trying to change the location of your tweeter, you need to learn the different mounting methods that will help you conveniently mount your tweeters in different places.
Here are the common tweeter mounting types:
This tweeter mounting method involves drilling a small hole and placing the tweeters on the spot.
Pass the connecting cable through the hole and then attach the mount to the surface of the dash or door.
This method involves drilling a hole equal to the size of the tweeter on the location you’re planning to mount it.
Considering that the size of the hole is equal to the size of the tweeter, you can then adjust the tweeter to the angle or level that will give you the sound imaging you want.
The bottom-mount tweeter mounting method involves installing new car tweeters to the existing holes of the factory tweeters.
Typically, you boost the car’s high-frequency performance by swapping the tweeters. Considering that the existing holes might not match the new tweeters, you need to use brackets during installation.
Now that you know the different methods you can use to mount tweeters in various locations in your car, here are some locations you can try out to see whether there will be an improvement in the high-frequency performance of your car stereo system.
You can obtain excellent stereo imaging by mounting the tweeters on the upper part of your car doors. If the car factory tweeters are not on the car doors, you can install new ones using the flush mount method by drilling a large hole in the panel and installing the tweeters.
Installing the tweeters on the upper doors allows you to align with the tweeters for excellent sound clarity.
However, the distance will not be equal, and one tweeter will be far away from you. That means the sound from the nearest tweeter will reach your ear faster than the other.
Also, the tweeter placed closer to your ears will sound louder than the one on the other side. You can avoid this by not installing the tweeters at the same height as the car’s floor.
Install the tweeter nearer to you at a level nearer the car’s floor and an angle facing upwards. On the other hand, install the tweeter far away from you at the upper door, facing straight towards your ear.
In this installation, the distance from the tweeters will be almost the same:
- The tweeter nearer to you will be off-axis to your ear
- The tweeter far away from you will be in the axis to your ear.
This way, the tweeter nearer to you will not sound louder. However, depending on the size of your car, installing the tweeters in the doors can require you to install in all four doors for better sound quality at the back of the vehicle.
In most cases, cars with factory tweeters are pre-installed in the dashboard.
That means you might need to use a bracket to secure the new tweeters if you want to swap the factory ones with aftermarket ones.
You should install them facing the driver and passenger seats rather than the car’s windscreen. This installation provides an ecstatic experience with the sound from the tweeters reaching your ears simultaneously.
Installing the tweeters on the dashboard means that you will only use two tweeters, as the sound can reach the rear seats.
The A-pillar is the pillar that sits between the front door window and the car’s windshield.
Unfortunately, especially in older cars, you can use only the surface mount method to secure the tweeter to this pillar.
Like when installing in the dashboard, installing the tweeters in this pillar means you’ll only use two tweeters in your car. At this location, the high-frequency sound from the tweeters can easily reach the back seats.
The sail panel is the panel at the corner of your car’s door window.
Some car models come with factory tweeters pre-installed in this location. If your car has factory-installed tweeters, you can use the bottom mount method to install new tweeters.
If your car doesn’t have pre-installed tweeters in the sail panel, it is advisable to use the flush mount method to install new ones. In most cases, you will only need to install two tweeters in your car if you plan to install them in the sail panel.
You can further improve the sound quality at the car’s rear by installing the tweeters at an angle. However, if you need good sound quality at the rear or you have a mid-range speaker at the rear, you may need to install another pair of tweeters behind the front seats.
Type of the Tweeter
There are different types of tweeters, and the number of tweeters you will need in your car will depend on which type of tweeters you are installing.
Here are some of the popular models.
The cone tweeters are affordable, in many cases, installed as factory tweeters in cars.
They are small, round, lightweight, and don’t allow wide sound dispersion. They can still work well in a smaller space such as a car.
The cone is made of paper and is prone to moisture damage. Maxing the volume of your car stereo system can push the cone extremely hard, making it pop and rip.
Considering that the sound quality is not the greatest, it is advisable to swap them with other aftermarket types rather than improve the audio quality by installing more cone tweeters.
The design of dome tweeters involves an aluminum wire coil and a suspension around the dome’s rim. It uses a moving component within a ring magnet, with the plastic framing supporting the moving element.
Also, a faceplate on the top section of the dome tweeter helps control the direction of the sound.
Dome tweeters come with different driver materials, including composite materials, silk, treated cloth, doped fabric, beryllium, aluminum, plastic, and titanium.
Depending on the driver material the tweeter driver uses, it can be a metal dome tweeter or a soft dome tweeter. Typically, the drivers of soft dome tweeters feature the construction of silk or fabric material.
Due to the sound dampening of these materials, soft-dome tweeters have a smoother frequency response and don’t ring like the metal ones.
They have more headroom for sound pressure, low resonance frequency, and high power handling. However, they are not sturdy and durable like the metal ones.
On the other hand, metal dome tweeters feature the construction of aluminum, beryllium, titanium, or their alloys. Although they tend to ring, metal dome tweeters are stiffer and break up better than soft ones.
Typically, dome tweeters have a higher power rating and better dispersion of sound waves, and you might only need to install two dome tweeters in your car.
The ribbon tweeters use a flat and thin diaphragm to produce sound. The diaphragm features a metalized polymer film or an aluminum foil construction in most cases.
The sound dispersion in these tweeters is generally broader and horizontal, which allows a wider sweet spot. However, they are expensive and not the best option for reproducing lower limit highs.
Considering their price and performance, you might only need to install a single pair in the dashboard area.
Semi Dome Tweeters
The physical design of semi-dome tweeters is more like that of cone tweeters but with an inbuilt dome.
This design allows them to have a small form factor, making them suitable for use in coaxial speakers without any significant increase in the size of the speaker.
If you plan to install semi-dome tweeters built into coaxial speakers in your car, you’ll have as many tweeters as coaxial speakers in your vehicle.
Why Should You Install Tweeters in Your Car?
Considering that tweeters can produce high frequencies that a woofer and mid-range speakers can’t make, there are several reasons why you might want to install them in your car.
Here are some reasons why you need tweeters in your car.
A good car audio system should reproduce a soundstage from pillar to pillar, spanning the middle of your windshield.
Considering that you cannot install a woofer or a mid-range speaker in the car’s dashboard, installing a tweeter can deliver the perception that the sound is coming from a location higher in the vehicle.
When you install car tweeters, you’ll have the woofer, the mid-range speakers, and the tweeters as separate drivers.
This configuration allows you to customize and configure the different drivers differently through an equalizer.
By installing the tweeters, the mid-range speakers, and the woofer as separate units in your car’s stereo system, you will be able to set up or cost-effectively upgrade specific components.
Installing woofers and tweeters as separate units in a car stereo system enhances their performance by operating using the correct frequency.
An external crossover splits the frequencies and assigns the high frequencies to the tweeters and the low frequencies to the woofers.
This assignment ensures that the different drivers won’t have to play frequencies they can’t handle. In turn, this boosts the overall tonal clarity.
Installing tweeters is the only way to improve the high-frequency response of your car stereo system.
However, the number of tweeters you need to install in your car will depend on the type of tweeter and the place you are installing it.
With the help of the above guide, you will have no trouble deciding how many tweeters you need to install in your car.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Connect Multiple Tweeters in a Car?
You can connect multiple tweeters in a series by connecting the first tweeter’s negative terminal to the amplifier’s negative terminal.
Connect the first tweeter’s positive terminal to the second one’s negative terminal. Then, proceed with this series, and connect the last tweeter’s positive terminal to the amplifier’s positive terminal.
Does the Size of the Tweeter Matter?
Yes, the size of the tweeter matters, especially when it comes to fitting it during installation.
Typically, smaller tweeters are easier to install, and they reproduce higher frequencies than larger ones. On the other hand, larger tweeters are louder.