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.
Table of Contents
- Comparison Table for Best Car Tweeters 2020
- Car Tweeter Selection Guide: How to Find the Best Tweeter for Your Car Audio System
- 1. Pioneer TS-B350PRO – Overall Best in 2020
- 2. Alpine SPS-110TW
- 3. Polk Audio DB1001 – For strong and precise highs
- 4. JBL GTO19T Premium – Budget choice
- 5. Kicker 43CST204 –Best for crystal clear sound
- 6. New BOSS Audio TW-30: For high sensitivity
- 7. Rockford Fosgate Prime R1T-S – Least expensive car tweeters
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Our pick is…Pioneer TS-B350PRO
Comparison Table for Best Car Tweeters 2020
JBL GTO19T Premium[Budget choice]
New Boss Audio TW-30
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
- Exceptional loudness and sound delivery: What else do you expect from a big tweeter pair with 200 watts RMS rating? These tweeters will spice up your music with impressively powerful high ends. Be sure to never miss a clap, snap, guitar riff or any other detail in your jams.
- Greater emphasis on efficiency: Being part of the P.R.O. series, the TS-B350PRO has a record-breaking sensitivity rating of 100dB. These tweeters are specially designed to produce some serious high frequencies. They are probably the best match for a powerful stereo and the best bet for breath-taking audio output.
- Top-notch materials and technologies: Great sonic performance requires the use of above average materials and construction technologies. The TS-B350PRO features titanium diaphragms, aggressive magnets and a sturdy aluminum chassis. In addition, it sports advanced-grade motor assemblies that ensure production of a wide range of clear, loud, and crisp high frequencies.
- Wider frequency response takes your listening experience to a higher level: No other tweeter in our list can beat Pioneer TS-B350PRO in delivering high frequencies. Check the upper frequency response limit (27000Hz). It’s needless to say that these tweeters provide great high end frequencies to satisfy the most demanding audioholic wants.
- Bigger than most tweeters
- Very high power handling
- Wider frequency response than other tweeters
- Budget-friendly price
- Needs high-power input to function optimally
- Expert installation may be required
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
- Designed for wide frequency response: This 1-inch silk dome tweeter provides wider sound dispersal compared to other tweeters on the list. While many of the tweeters we’ve reviewed reach a maximum frequency of 21kHz, this Alpine is able to achieve 22kHz and this means better highs and higher quality sound.
- Crisp and clear sound: Alpine made lots of efforts to ensure that you get a nearly perfect listening experience. They used a high-efficiency silk diaphragm that’s designed to produce smooth, clear and crisp sound all the time.
- Impressive power handling: It is noteworthy that the tweeter’s power handling is well above average. 100 watts RMS is quite high for a driver of this size, and what’s even more impressive is that they can take up to 300 watts of power.
- High sensitivity: You’ll not have to worry about adding an amplifier to your system for you to get better highs as these tweeters come in with high sensitivity (88dB). But if you have already installed one and your system operates under high power, the tweeter make a perfect fit with its high power handling.
- Very high power handling
- Rich high-frequency performance
- Fits right into a high-performance system
- Makes dull and unfocused sound brighter and more precise
- Included mounting hardware make installation easier
- Tend to roll off at very loud volumes
- Don’t play as high as titanium and aluminum tweeters
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
- Great power handling capacity: When you look at these tweeters you might think they are just the average high frequency drivers. But on trying them you’ll be surprised by their high power handling capability rated at 120 watts RMS and 360 watts peak power.
- Durable materials and construction: You get a pair of marine-certified dome tweeters that can be used even in boats of all types. This feature does not only make the tweeters more versatile but also enhances their durability. Order Polk Audio DB1001 with certainty that it’s a long-lasting investment into your automobile audio system.
- Clear, detailed highs: The type of magnet used influences the tweeters’ performance. For the DB1001, a neodymium magnet has been used. This magnet type is reputed with preciseness in sound reproduction and it’s the major reason for the tweeters’ exceptionally crisp and clear highs.
- Mounting flexibility and ease: The stainless steel mounting hardware is a great addition according to the majority of users. You are provided with both flush- and surface mount swivel cups, which allow for more mounting flexibility and optimization.
- Works perfectly with OEM as well as high-powered aftermarket systems: The tweeters’ high sensitivity rating (92dB) makes them a good fit for low-powered stock systems. But they can also be added to a system with an aftermarket head unit and external amplifier since they can take in higher power levels up to 180 watts.
What we like
- Produces excellent, smooth sound
- Durable and attractive design
- Great efficiency; 92dB
- Electronic protection
What we don’t like
- Lacks in-built tweeter attenuation settings
- 4kHz lower frequency limit may not be suitable for some audio systems
- Quite expensive compared to other listed tweeters
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
- More power drawing ability with 3-ohm impedance: The tweeters are rated at 45 watts RMS but they can draw a little more power from the car audio system thanks to their 3-ohm impedance. This ability adds on to the tweeters’ ability to deliver strong volume with crisper details using power as little as 5 watts.
- Soft-dome tweeter with oversized voice coils: In a bid to drive the tweeters’ power handling even higher, JBL used oversized voice coils on the GTO19T. The voice coils allow for the production of smooth, fatigue-free highs. They also enhance heat dissipation, thus preventing heat buildup which could affect the tweeters’ performance.
- Versatile I-mount and Starfish mounting hardware: JBL makes tweeter installation a breeze by including mounting hardware that gives you many installation options. Regardless of how complicated the car’s interior might be, the hardware allows you to easily flush-mount or surface-mount these sound babies.
- A tweeter structure you can rely on under all conditions: In addition to having great performance attributes, these tweeters are built in strong, carbon-composite, non-magnetic baskets that are able to maintain their precision and integrity all the time. Turn your music up the way you want without worrying about the structural integrity of the tweeter.
- Delivers strong, clear highs
- High power handling
- 3-ohm impedance
- High sensitivity
- Compact in-line crossovers included
- Power handling slightly lower than top performers
- Tends to heat up when under extensive use
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
- Massive power from a small-sized tweeter: Let not the tweeter’s size make you underestimate its power. This 0.75” tweeter has potential to deliver up to 100 watts. Such power handling capacity ensures that the vocals and instrumentals in your music are reproduced with sufficient power and that they are not diminished by low frequencies even at the highest volumes.
- Quality materials and sound: The Cs-series tweeter features a titanium frame that efficiently produces brighter and clearer sounds. The material is quite durable and so the tweeter will hold up well to the test of time while giving the best high frequencies.
- Work well with your system even if it doesn’t have an amplifier: You don’t have to worry about installing an amp to use these tweeters. They are endowed with a nice sensitivity rating of 92dB which implies that the drivers can produce sufficient sound using little power.
- A -6dB per octave external passive high-pass crossover is included: This ensures that the tweeters are getting the right frequencies for more accurate sound reproduction. It is an addition to Kicker’s other efforts aimed at enabling the 43CST204 to deliver crystal clear highs without compromising production of other frequencies.
- Best for crystal clear sound
- Titanium construction and neodymium magnet
- Provide great acoustic control
- Durable build design
- Durable build design
- Crossover slope is -6dB instead of -12dB like most tweeters
- No mesh to cover the tweeter domes
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?
- Amazing efficiency: While the majority of speakers currently on the market have a sensitivity rating closer to 84dB, the TW-30 has a significantly higher rating of 100dB. New Boss Audio boasts of this rare efficiency because the tweeter only needs little energy to produce loud and strong highs.
- Exceptionally dynamic bass response: The tweeters use strontium magnets that have a higher magnetic flux density than other magnet types. These magnets enable the tweeters to reproduce dynamic bass sounds from a small voice coil.
- Larger “sweet spot” to work with: The bullet dome shape radiates sound with a wide dispersion pattern. And because high-frequency sound waves are largely directional, a wider dispersion means you have a larger “sweet spot” to work with when you are setting up your system.
- Smooth frequency response: 2.5kHz to 21kHz frequency response is suitable for most stereos. There is no reason to settle for low-quality tweeters while you can have a tweeter that combines high power handling, great sensitivity, and a smooth frequency response.
- Very high efficiency
- Wide dispersion pattern
- Extended frequency response
- High power handling
- Can work with both high-power and low-power systems
- May heat up during lengthy high-power applications
- May need expert installation
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
- Mylar balanced dome construction: This feature makes for a highly dedicated tweeter system with high sensitivity and a smooth extended frequency response. The material is known for allowing wide dispersion and accurate reproduction of sound. You will enjoy clearer and more vibrant highs and sound stage details.
- Highly effective even with lower-powered systems: Since the film material is lightweight, the tweeters don’t need much power. If you have a low-powered stereo system, therefore, these are a great choice.
- Come with flush-, angle-, and surface-mount hardware: The R1T-S has multiple mounting configurations. You can install the tweeters in the most suitable way for your vehicle and listening needs.
- Built-in passive crossovers: Addition of crossovers to any driver simply means higher audio fidelity. The crossovers break music into its component frequencies and send the frequencies to their respective speakers. Thus, only the right frequencies are allowed to reach the right speakers and the overall result is distortion-free, higher quality car audio.
What we like
- Frequency response well above 20kHz
- Adds plenty of shimmer and shine to the sound
- More accurate highs than factory tweeters
- Mylar material is highly durable
What we don’t like
- Low sensitivity (72dB)
- Blur a little at high music volumes
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.