Best Car Tweeters 2020: Comprehensive Buying Guide With 8 Top Picks
When building a custom sound system or upgrading some aspects of your existing system, it is important to appreciate the value of tweeters in sound reproduction.
You might have great subs and mid-range speakers but without well-selected and installed tweeters your music will not sparkle with sweet details.
Do you need to add tweeters to your audio system?
There’s a lot of satisfaction in listening to music with clear details.
When you can hear all the lyrics, instruments, horns, riffs, claps and any other detail meant to make the music livelier, you appreciate your audio system.
No one likes dull, muddy, and fuzzy sound but unfortunately, this is what you get without a high-quality high-frequency driver/tweeter.
The comparison table below provides a quick overview of the top-ranking tweeters in 2020. It ranks the tweeters with their most critical attributes.
You can easily spot the features you are looking for and have the tweeter of your choice on the way coming in a few minutes.
JBL GTO19T Premium[Budget choice]
Knowing how to choose the best car tweeter for your system is an immensely useful skill.
We’ve put our expertise and decades of cumulative experience with car tweeters in the following guide to help you identify what to look for when evaluating individual tweeters.
Individual reviews of the 8 winning tweeters follow shortly after this guide. We believe that the understanding you develop from the guide will help you find the tweeter set that fits your needs
Car Tweeter Selection Guide: How to Find the Best Tweeter for Your Car Audio System
Tweeters are designed to improve sound-staging, stereo separation and make the audio feel fuller and more enjoyable.
To ensure that these drivers perform at their best, manufacturers make them into different shapes using different materials.
Having a good understanding of these variations can be useful when deciding the type of tweeters you want in your speakers.
A number of factors are discussed below to help you make the right decision.
Choosing Tweeter Material
Material affects two aspects of the tweeter: sound quality and tweeter’s durability.
Soft materials such as textile blends, silk or poly give smooth and more refined sound. Choose such materials if you want warm and smooth highs in your audio. They really shine at moderate volume levels.
Synthetic films like Mylar and PET are also popular tweeter materials. They are lightweight and often require less power to operate. However, they lack stiffness and this limits their damping capabilities.
Other tweeters are made with hard materials like ceramics, graphite, and metal. These produce stronger and brighter sound even at the highest volumes.
As expected, harder materials are more durable than softer ones. This isn’t to say that soft dome tweeters don’t last long. The soft materials are of high quality and therefore give you a long-lasting service.
The shape of the tweeter
The tweeter’s shape affects its effectiveness in distributing high frequencies in the car. The most common tweeter shapes or designs are semi-cone, cone, semi-dome and dome.
What tweeter shape should you look for?
Semi-dome tweeters are mostly used in low-cost speakers. A small dome is nestled inside a shallow cone.
This shape allows the use of softer materials and the tweeter is made to a low profile that can fit in tight mounting spaces. Most coaxial tweeters feature this design.
Dome tweeters are an improved version of semi-domes.
The dome shape is designed with a wider dispersion pattern that allows the tweeter to offer a larger “sweet spot” to work with when setting up the system.
Dome tweeters are the best option when building a custom system.
A big dome tweeter can disperse sound more effectively but will require more power.
Another tweeter design variation is the inverted-dome design.
The dome sits upside down in the center instead of protruding outwards.
This design is associated with improved sound radiation, efficiency, and superior control.
Power handling and impedance
Most high-quality tweeters lie within the 25w - 50w RMS power range which is fairly good.
If you find one with a higher power rating and matches well with your system’s power handling, don’t hesitate to take it.
Also, remember to check the tweeter’s impedance and match it with that of the amplifier. To get the best out of your system and avoid amplifier overheating, make sure that the tweeter’s impedance isn’t too low for your amps.
For instance, if the stereo is rated at 4 ohms minimum, the tweeters should be rated 4-ohm at least.
Choosing the right tweeter starts with understanding the system’s requirements and then considering your listening desires.
As you can see, the car audio system’s power handling, impedance, and speaker types determine the type of tweeter to be used.
How we put together this review
Just as with other speaker types, choosing the best tweeters isn’t an easy task. But we are here to make it easier for you to achieve a great sounding audio system.
We did a survey to capture the views of as many users as possible before proceeding to the testing phase.
The survey yielded a huge list of tweeters from many brands, which provided the starting point of our research.
During the testing phase, every tweeter was put to performance and evaluated by different audio experts to aid ranking.
Main performance indicators used for ranking included sound clarity, ability to produce highs at high volumes, sound brightness, how detailed the sound came out, and the absence/presence of distortion and harshness.
We ended up with 8 top performing tweeters from the most respected brands.
Now being well-informed about selecting car tweeters, you can check out the features of each of these tweeters to see which best fits your requirements.
1. Pioneer TS-B350PRO – Overall Best in 2020
Pioneer always stands tall among competitors in the audio equipment world.
The TS-B350PRO inevitably fell into our review basket and we knew we’d find something peculiar in it.
This bullet car tweeter is among the biggest tweeters you’ll come across but there’s something beyond the size you’ll love: its high efficiency and power handling.
TS-B350PRO’s cutting-edge features
What we think: Pioneer TS-B350PRO rightfully earns top place in the list of best car tweeters.
The high power handling and sensitivity allow for delivery of mind-blowing sound volume. Top-notch materials and construction make it a reliable tweeter upgrade for any type of vehicle.
This Pioneer tweeter is a definite pick for any high-performance system. It will deliver to your ears the finest details in your music.
2. Alpine SPS-110TW
Alpine SPS-110TW takes every detail in your music and delivers it to your ear-drums clear and crisp, never sounding shrill or harsh.
These tweeters come in at number 3 with 100 watts continuous power handling and fairly high sensitivity of 88dB.
See below what Alpine has included in this trendsetter to give you the best sound.
Alpine SPS-110TW Unique Features
Our say: Alpine SPS-110TW is an efficient tweeter that fits right into any OEM or aftermarket audio system. It is easy to install and comes with a price that will not break your pocket.
If you want to be impressed by airy highs, Alpine SPS-110TW will give you exactly that.
3. Polk Audio DB1001 – For strong and precise highs
Polk Audio allows you to enjoy the musical nuances you have been missing from your audio. Install their 1-inch DB1001 in a nice spot in your car for brighter vocals, instrumentals, and percussion.
These silk/polymer dome tweeters come with an in-line crossover for accurate high frequencies production and built-in protection circuitry that helps to avoid damage due to voltage overload.
Features of Polk Audio DB1001
What we like
What we don’t like
Verdict: Polk audio has won the trust of users with its high-caliber speakers. These marine certified tweeters may be the best sound upgrade for your system.
Grab a pair of Polk Audio DB1001 tweeters today and bring your car’s sweet highs back to life.
4. JBL GTO19T Premium – Budget choice
When you need to quickly replace your blown tweeters with higher quality ones that can add awesome detail to your highs, the JBL GTO19T ¾-inch component tweeters are prime candidates.
These give you not only a tweeter replacement but also a great upgrade to your sound.
See more competition-winning features of JBL GTO19T below
Our view: Don’t let your blown speakers be the reason for having sub-optimal sound in your car. Upgrade the stereo system with JBL GTO19T and you’ll love the new feel these tweeters add to your listening experience.
Check out the GTO19T on Amazon to see what other users have experienced with it.
5. Kicker 43CST204 –Best for crystal clear sound
You can enjoy crystal clear music without having to lower the bass levels.
How? By installing Kicker’s 43CST204 3/4" Titanium Dome tweeters, you make sure that the music’s sweetness is not eaten up by the heavy bass coming out of your subs.
What makes Kicker 43CST204 the best tweeter
Verdict: There’s no better way to achieve clearer upper frequencies than with Kicker 43CST204. Try this tweeter pair and you’ll love your life behind the wheel.
Let this Kicker kick the highs off the floor so that you can enjoy the clearer and fuller sound.
6. New BOSS Audio TW-30: For high sensitivity
The TW-30 is a classic bullet dome super tweeter with high sensitivity and smooth and extended frequency response.
It is designed for excellent high-frequency action, as evidenced by its 250w RMS power rating per 4 pack. The tweeters deliver consistently strong highs with no distortion or shrillness.
Why consider New Boss Audio TW-30?
Our say: New Boss Audio TW-30 is the best solution for audio enthusiasts who are searching for a high-quality bullet dome tweeter to use in high sensitivity / high output applications.
You’ll rarely get a high-performance bullet tweeter that’s priced better than the TW-30. Therefore, take the opportunity and order this inexpensive driver.
7. Rockford Fosgate Prime R1T-S – Least expensive car tweeters
Are you looking for nice tweeters that can make your music more exciting without grating on your ears?
Rockford Fosgate Prime R1T-S tweeters are exquisitely constructed to lift sweet music details off the floor. They reproduce highs faithfully to ensure a smoother audio response and better overall sound quality.
This tweeter pair is less expensive than the majority of high-performance competitors but it offers you great value with its decent specifications and materials.
Features that make the R1T-S unique
What we like
What we don’t like
Verdict: With a frequency response of 2500 – 22000Hz and an RMS of 80 watts, Rockford Fosgate Prime R1T-S is a fairly performing tweeter pair.
It promises plenty of shimmers and shines by adding accurate high frequencies to your audio.If all you want is brighter highs at a small budget, the R1T-S tweeter pair is a great option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need car tweeters in my audio system?
If you enjoy clearer and more natural-sounding audio, you definitely need to add tweeters to your car’s sound system.
Tweeters are the smallest audio drivers in a car audio system. Their function is to reproduce upper frequencies.
Higher frequencies usually have smaller sound waves that bigger speakers cannot produce.
Without tweeters, getting excellent sound quality is impossible, especially if you are a true sound enthusiast.
A tweeter works together with other bigger speakers to ensure that there is full-range sound production.
Which tweeter size should I choose?
Tweeter sizes (the diameter of the tweeter) can range from ¼-inch to a few inches.
While the frequency range of tweeters generally varies from about 2kHz up to about 20kHz, the size of a particular car tweeter influences the tweeter’s frequency response.
The smaller the tweeter, the higher the frequencies it can reproduce. Thus, a small, lightweight tweeter moves faster and produces higher frequencies more accurately compared to a bigger tweeter.
Which is the best tweeter shape?
A car tweeter design follows one of three main shapes: semi-dome, dome, and inverted-dome designs. The right design for you depends on your listening preferences.
Semi-dome tweeters use a small dome nestled inside a shallow cone.
The main distinguishing features of this tweeter design are softer materials and a low profile. These tweeters are suitable for low-powered car audio systems or speakers.
Dome tweeters are designed to offer wider sound dispersion. They are considered a better version of semi-dome tweeters. Domes are a perfect choice when you are building a custom car audio system.
The third tweeter design is the inverted-dome design. Instead of protruding outwards, the dome is placed in the center facing upside down.
If you are searching for a tweeter that will offer improve sound radiation, superior control, and efficiency, the inverted-dome tweeter design gives you exactly that.
What could happen if I run too much power through a tweeter?
While it’s widely known that tweeters do not wear out, too much power can damage them. Excessive current may make the tweeter to go open circuit.
The current may also evaporate the ferrofluid in the air gap, or it may cook the voice coil.
Which is the best material for car tweeter?
Desirable characteristics of tweeter material include being lightweight and resistant to humidity.
Synthetic films such as PET, Mylar, and polyimide have these characteristics. Film tweeters don’t need a lot of power to move their lightweight materials up and down.
Therefore, these tweeters are good for lower-powered systems. One drawback of lightweight materials is that they have poor dampening properties.
Thus, film tweeters are not the best for high accuracy musical reproduction.
Tweeters with textile materials sound warmer and more refined. Silk is the most common material in the textile category.
It has high power handling especially with synthetic material reinforcement that adds extra stiffness.
Some tweeters feature metals such as aluminum. If you want bright, loud highs, consider a tweeter with a metallic material.
These tweeters are strong and produce crisp, bright audio at high frequencies.
Where can I install my new car tweeters?
There are various locations inside a car where you can place your tweeters to enhance sound quality.
One of the best locations is in the car’s dashboard. If you have two tweeters, you can place one facing the center of the driver’s seat and the other facing the center of the passenger seat.
Sound from both tweeters will be able to reach the user’s ears at the same time. This provides a pleasurable listening experience.
The other location for tweeter placement is the ‘triangular corner’. If you are unable to install the tweeters here due to the shape of your car, you can place them on the A-pillars of the car.
These tweeter locations will give your in-car entertainment experience a major boost.
Our pick is…Pioneer TS-B350PRO
The TS-B350PRO offers the best value among all car tweeters reviewed. Its power handling (200w RMS) and efficiency (100dB) are unmatched.
You can be sure to enjoy the loudest sound while driving as these tweeters are able to sieve the awesome details in your music and deliver them with clarity and crispness.
Although these drivers work better with high-power systems, their record-breaking sensitivity renders them suitable for low-powered systems too.
This flexibility is considered a great plus by many users.
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In addition to these top-class power handling and efficiency features, the TS-B350PRO is able to reproduce frequencies as high as 27,000Hz.
No other tweeter managed frequencies this high, which is why Pioneer stood tallest among the competition when playing music with very high details.
We were also pleased by the price of the tweeter. You’d expect such a high-performance driver to be expensive but Pioneer has maintained it at a price many users find quite affordable.