Car Audio Speakers: What that you must know

Speaker Information…

Speaker techniques are crucial as a result of they’re the models that really reproduce the sound from electrical vitality. Once I purchase speakers, I solely need to get excessive finish. Here’s what that you must know, and what to search for:

First, let’s begin with the sorts of speakers that you will encounter within the car audio world.

Woofer: A big speaker designed to breed the decrease frequencies of the audio spectrum.
Mid: A medium sized speaker designed to breed the center frequencies of the audio spectrum.
Tweeter: A small sized speaker designed to breed the best frequencies of the audio spectrum.

There are different variations of those speakers out there as properly.

You’ve got actually heard of “subwoofers” that reproduce the bottom of the audio frequencies. Basically, these are the identical factor as woofers, simply greater and with extra power dealing with. The end result? Thunderous bass! Just like the gods despatched it themselves…

You may also encounter “midbass” drivers. These are just like woofers, however are normally used to deliver extra bass to the entrance soundstage. Typically occasions, they’re linked to crossover networks.

One other kind of speaker you would possibly encounter is named a “supertweeter”, and reproduces the best frequencies within the audio spectrum.

Now, to shock you…

While you purchase a “speaker”, you might be truly shopping for a speaker system. AKA, multiple factor working collectively to supply a end result. Let’s check out the sorts of speaker techniques out there…


Principally, there are two sorts of speaker “techniques” that exist.

1. “Coaxial”, “three approach”, “full-range”, and so on.

These speaker techniques are designed to suit into the manufacturing unit speaker location in your car. They’re also known as a “speaker”, however have multiple speaker, and also will comprise a crossover. (coaxialspeak.jpg)

2. “Elements”, “Seperates”

These speaker techniques basically take every little thing from the above speaker system, and break it up into components. (componentspeak.jpg)


To restate the plain, one speaker system has all of its elements in a single bundle, and the opposite speaker system has all of its elements in separate packages. Each speakers do the very same factor, and work in the very same approach, BUT COMPONENT SYSTEMS ARE BETTER.


I am going to inform you, hoss!

However earlier than I do, you must know concerning the PROPERTIES OF HIGH FREQUENCIES. OK, it is boring, so I am going to provide the govt abstract: Excessive frequencies are extraordinarily slim of their dispersion. (Whu huh?) In short, excessive frequencies (if we may see them) disperse like a string. Low frequencies, if we will see them disperse like a fan. So, since excessive frequencies do not disperse very properly, they should be aimed on the ears, in any other case we cannot hear them! This is likely one of the benefits of part techniques; they permit the tweeters to be aimed! Why do we would like this? So when a singer hits an “s phrase”, or a cymbal crashes (each of these items occur within the greater frequencies), the sound will SPARKLE, quite than sound lifeless and flat.

PIX: tweeterdisperse.jpg, wooferdisperse.jpg

One other benefit of elements: Their crossovers are normally greater high quality models than you may discover in coaxial or full-range speakers techniques. That is good since you’ll introduce much less distortion to your speakers, and make sure that your speakers are solely enjoying the frequencies that they are designed to play. The end result? BETTER SOUND.

The final benefit of elements is that they’re GENERALLY designed for people who find themselves extra excited by sound high quality. Due to this, elements are typically greater in high quality. On the subject of coaxials, even the most costly fashions will likely be eclipsed by the standard of elements in the identical value vary.

OK, OK. I do know not everybody will think about part speaker techniques. The reality is that they’re more durable to put in correctly and dearer. After all, if sound high quality is your factor, you may undergo the additional effort! Even car producers are getting with this system nowadays, and embrace part speaker techniques of their automobiles. Even my lowly Honda Civic has ’em!


So, you have in all probability seen me utilizing the phrase “crossover” above. What it’s possible you’ll not know is what a crossover is, and what it does. Principally, a crossover takes a full spectrum audio sign, and breaks it up into totally different frequency “bands”, and sends the suitable frequencies to the suitable speakers. This is an image! (xover.jpg)

If this rationalization was too easy for you, you may take a look at my crossover page for extra in depth data. Thanks!

OK, OK, OK. It is time to get all the way down to enterprise, and take a look at speaker specs, and the way they have an effect on you.


That is typically expressed in inches (however typically metric for european manufacturers), and refers back to the MOUNTING of the speaker, not the precise speaker. For spherical speakers, the diameter is given comparable to 6.5″ or 5.25″. For oval speakers, the size are given, comparable to 5×7″ or 6×9″.

Mounting Depth:

Principally, this tells you the way deep the speaker is behind its mounting. Most speakers are about 3-4″ inches deep. That is necessary to know since you need to ensure that there may be sufficient room behind the speaker to mount it correctly.

Frequency Response:

This tells you what frequencies the speaker is capbale of reproducing. Most good speakers will go as little as 50hz, and all the best way to twenty,000hz (and past). Nonetheless, for those who’re planning so as to add subwoofers to your system, you do not want your speakers to go a lot decrease than 100hz. Additionally, it is not important to your speakers to go greater than 20,000hz since us lowly people cannot hear something in that frequency vary.

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Power dealing with:

That is the quantity of power a speaker can deal with with out getting broken. That is normally expressed in two methods: RMS and MAX. RMS is what the speaker can deal with repeatedly, and the MAX ranking tells what the speaker can deal with in short bursts.


That is measured in Ohms, and tells you the way a lot resistance the speaker has. Principally, the one factor helpful about this spec is so you recognize what amp to hook your speakers as much as. Most car speakers (apart from subwoofers) are 4 ohm speakers, and all auto amplifiers are constructed to deal with a 4 ohm “load”. Most amps also can deal with 2 ohm hundreds, however 2 ohm speakers are very uncommon. I’d say this spec is way more necessary in relation to subwoofers quite than speaker techniques.


Measured in db, sensitivty basically tells you the way loud a speaker will likely be. When powering your speakers off of a low power amplifier, you desire a extra delicate speaker. When powering your speakers off of a excessive power amplifier, the sensitivty ranking is way much less necessary. Additionally, extra delicate speakers are inclined to distort extra simply.

A fast phrase about power dealing with, amps and distortion…

SPEAKERS DO NOT GET DESTROYED BY VOLUME, BUT BY DISTORTION! As such, it’s your predominant aim to restrict the quantity of distortion that your speakers obtain. Not solely does this make your music sound higher, nevertheless it additionally protects your speakers from untimely harm.


Shopping for as a lot power as you may afford, even when it exceeds the “power dealing with” spec to your speakers.

WHAT?!!! WHY??!!!

As a result of, as a result of, as a result of turning up the quantity too excessive is what causes your amplifier to “clip”. That is the worst distortion you could ship to your speakers. It’s brought on by attempting to get an excessive amount of quantity out of an amp that may’t present it. SOOOO, you get a BIG, BAD amp with loads of power. Now, while you flip up the quantity excessive, as a substitute of pushing the amp’s limits, you are simply beginning to get the amp going. So, as a substitute of clipping, the amp sends a pleasant clean sign to your speakers. No distortion, no harm, NO PROBLEM!

Now that I’ve educated you, it is time to consider what you need out of your speakers…