Understanding How Component Car Speakers Work (From Autos.com)
Component car speakers are much different from the typical stock coaxial car speakers that usually come with vehicles. They are usually more expensive and more difficult to install, but they generally sound better than stock coaxial car stereo speakers. Read onward to better understand how component car speakers work.
Speakers use things called drivers to produce sound. Drivers are devices which convert electrical energy into sound waves. Different drivers produce different sounds, depending on the frequency of the sound. The 3 basic drivers included in car stereo systems are tweeters, mid-ranges and woofers. Tweeters generally handle the high frequency sounds (such as bells and whistles), woofers generally handle the low frequency sounds (such as bass) and mid-ranges handle the frequencies in-between, which include most vocals and the majority of melodic instrument sounds.
Some component car speaker systems may include further specialized woofer and tweeter drivers for ultra-low and ultra-high frequency sounds. Car subwoofer speakers only deal with very low sound frequencies, such as the pounding bass in a hip-hop song. Super tweeters, on the other hand, deal with only very high frequency sounds, such as the very high "tings" of certain cymbals. These drivers can help to really give a listener the full spectrum of sound.
In order for the different drivers of component car speakers produce different frequencies of sound, a device called a car speaker crossover is required. The crossover receives the electrical sound signals and separates and distributes the different types of sounds to the various components. The ultra-low sounds would be sent only to the subwoofer speakers, the low sounds would be sent to the woofers, the medium frequency sounds get sent to the mid-ranges, the high frequency sounds get sent to the tweeters and the ultra-high frequency sounds are sent to the super tweeters. The separation of sound frequencies and their distribution to specific components can provide optimal sound.
To truly achieve optimal sound in a vehicle, though, the separate drivers of a component speaker system must be properly placed throughout the car. While the placement of the various components involves some degree of personal preference, there are general areas that should be used to accommodate certain types of components. For example, the woofers and/or mid-range speakers may be placed on the sides of doors, the tweeters may be placed closer to the dashboard or windshield and the subwoofers will probably sound best when placed in the rear of the vehicle, perhaps in the trunk. You don't want to have a subwoofer speaker above your ears or a tweeter down by your feet.
Component car speakers can really give a listener a great experience. However, any potential car speaker buyer should note that, while component speakers are generally better than standard coaxial speakers, cheap component speakers will almost always sound inferior to quality coaxials. So, to achieve optimal sound, the component speakers must be of good quality, properly fitted, installed in the correct locations and properly paired with any receivers, amplifiers, and other audio components. Understanding how component car speakers work is crucial in making the right decisions when putting together a vehicle's audio system.