Features to Look for When Choosing Car Speakers

how-to-choose-car-speakersInstalling new speakers can dramatically improve the quality of the music you listen to in your car. There are many types of car speakers on the market with varying features and levels of quality. Here are some tips to help you choose the right speakers for your car.

Full-Range and Component Speakers

Aftermarket car speakers fall into two categories: full-range and component. Full-range speakers contain all components, including a subwoofer for low sounds and a tweeter mounted to the subwoofer for highs. Some full-range speakers have additional drivers. If you are looking for a simple solution to replace your factory-installed speakers, choose full-range speakers. They are available in a range of sizes and prices and can easily be mounted into factory speaker locations.

Component speakers have a better design and produce higher-quality sound. A component system usually includes separate subwoofers, tweeters and external crossovers that work together. The tweeter is separate from the subwoofer and should be mounted in the location that will provide the best imaging. The crossover network is separate from the subwoofer and tweeter. High-quality internal components can produce more realistic sound. Component systems are usually made of higher-quality materials than full-range speakers and can produce better sound and dynamics.


When shopping for car speakers, you should consider the sensitivity. Sensitivity is a measure of how much sound a speaker produces with the power that is applied to it. Most factory-installed car audio systems have low power and will work better with speakers with a higher sensitivity rating. A high-power aftermarket stereo system or external amplifier will produce better sound when paired with lower-sensitivity speakers.


Power-handling is a measure of how many watts of power a speaker can handle. A low-powered system does not need to be able to handle a lot of power, but a more powerful system will need speakers with power-handling close to the amplifiers’ output. Look at the maximum RMS power-handling, which is how much power the speakers can handle continuously, not the peak power-handling.

Speaker Materials

The materials a speaker is made of will affect its durability and the quality of the sound it produces. The subwoofers in either full-range or component speakers should be made of a stiff and lightweight material, such as polypropylene, woven fabric, or synthetic coated with aluminum or titanium. These materials can resist damage from heat, cold, and moisture.

Tweeters made from soft materials, such as textile blends or silk, produce refined, mellow sound. To produce brighter sound, choose a hard material, such as metal, ceramics, or graphite.

The surround on a subwoofer lets the cone move freely so it can produce a bolder bass. The surround needs to be made of a durable material so it can stand up to extreme temperatures and humidity. You can choose a surround made of rubber, foam, or cloth.

Pivoting and Detachable Tweeters

If you are replacing speakers that are low in your car doors, full-range speakers with pivoting tweeters can produce better sound. Since tweeters produce very directional high-frequency sound, pivoting tweeters can be pointed toward the listener to create a higher soundstage and more realistic sound.

Some speakers have detachable tweeters. They can be used on either full-range or component speakers and can be moved from one vehicle to another.

External Crossovers

Component speakers usually utilize passive external crossovers to cleanly separate frequencies sent by the subwoofer and the tweeters. This means they only produce frequencies they are designed to produce, which creates cleaner sound.

Many external crossovers have extra input terminals that allow for bi-amping, in which two sets of cables are connected and each carries a signal from a separate amplifier or channel. This gives both the subwoofer and tweeter dedicated amplification.

Come to My Audioworks to Get New Speakers for Your Car

If you want to improve the quality of the sound in your car, replacing the speakers is a good place to start. My Audioworks can help you choose the right speakers for your car and install them so you can improve the quality of your listening experience while driving. Come to My Audioworks in Milford, Connecticut today.


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