I was recently asked by a new car stereo enthusiast what tweeters are and if he needed them. So I decided I would write a brief explanation of what a tweeter is and what they do. First thing I would like to go over is what a tweeter is. A tweeter is a smaller speaker that plays the high notes of your music. Music without these would be very dull and would not have any life.
The frequency a tweeter plays will vary depending on the brand and model but most have a typical frequency range from 3,000 – 5,000 Hz to 20,000 Hz+. Now again this will vary slightly. Almost every pair of car stereo speakers have tweeters built into the speaker. This is the small silver looking speaker in the center of the speaker. Some speakers that are 3 way or 4 way can have several midrange and tweeters in one speaker.
If you were to search for tweeters though you will notice that they are also sold separately as well. Most major name brand stereo companies like Kicker or Rockford Fosgate make a few different models of tweeters for you to choose from. When tweeters are purchased by themselves they should be sold with a crossover or have a crossover built in to protect the speakers from the lower frequencies that will damage them.
Tweeters come in a variety of sizes ranging from a half inch to a couple inches in diameter. Many tweeters have a number of mounting options as well letting you select the option that works for you. The most common mounting options are flush, surface and angled. This makes adding a new pair of tweeters to your car stereo very easy and will look good with minimal effort.
You can also purchase for your car what are component sets. A component set is a mid-range speaker that has been matched with a separate tweeter. Now what makes this different than a traditional speaker is they will mount in separate places. A component set will generally give you better sound production than a traditional coaxial speaker. This is because the mid will play better and clearer frequencies because it has a solid cone without a tweeter going through the middle of it and the highs will sound better since they can be pointed towards you.
The material your tweeters are made out of will vary depending on price and brand. Different materials will give you a different sound though. A tetron balanced soft dome tweeter will give your music a more smooth and natural sound, while a mylar balanced dome tweeter will deliver more of a crisp sound.
So to answer the question of whether or not you need tweeters the answer is yes. What form these come in will be up to you and what you are looking for in your car stereo system.