How To Install Tweeters In a Car
So, you’ve got yourself some tweeters and you’re a bit stuck on how to install them, fear not. It’s not as difficult as you might imagine and with a bit of patience, care and the right tools at hand anyone can do it.
Tweeters are designed to reproduce high frequency sounds, and installing a set will dramatically improve the sound quality of your car stereo system.
But how do you install a set of tweeters? It all depends on the set up you have now, but let’s say you’re installing a separate set, or maybe replacing the tweeters you have with your set of component speakers, it’s not that difficult.
Basically, you have to locate the place you want to install them, drill some holes in the panels if you’re flush mounting them, and wire them to your crossovers. Of course, it’s a little more complex than that, but that’s the basic outline.
Why Get Some Tweeters
A good quality car stereo speaker system will include a subwoofer and some midrange speakers. These cover the lows and mids, leaving the tweeter to take care of the highs.
Many coaxial speakers come with built in tweeters, and component speaker sets include them. However, if you don’t have tweeters, or yours are underwhelming, you’ll miss out on the stereo imaging that perfectly reproduced music offers and the soundstage will feel pretty flat.
Tweeters are designed to produce high-frequency sounds from 2k Hz to 20k Hz. If you don’t have a set of tweeters installed in your car, your midrange speakers will have to do that work, and the sound quality won’t be the same.
Vocals, guitars, cymbals, horns, and drum effects are the main beneficiaries of treble, and a good set of tweeters will offer a crisp and clear sound stage and introduce you to sounds that you’ve unlikely heard with a basic speaker set up.
How To Install Tweeters In A Car
So, you’re ready to install your tweeters? As already stated, it’s not hat complicated, just read the following and complete each task and you’ll have your tweeters installed in no time.
- First, you want to disconnect the battery. Make sure your engine is off before you do this and then using a wrench disconnect the black cable from the negative terminal of the battery.
- Once, this is done, you’re ready to start the installation. Now you need to remove the panel where you’re going to place them. So, if it’s in your car doors you’ll probably have to unscrew a few screws under the door lever first and then start removing the full panel using a pry tool to prize it off.
- If you’re installing your tweeters in the A pillar, simply prize it away as well. You will still have to remove the door panel if your crossovers are there, because you’ll be wiring the tweeters to your crossovers no matter where you install the tweeters.
- Wherever you decide to mount the tweeters, you’ll need to drill some holes using a power drill if you’re doing a flush mount that is. This is the best way because if you surface mount them to the panel, they will likely get in the way at times and can easily be damaged, although this way means you don’t have to drill any holes.
- If you do prefer to surface mount your tweeters, putting them on the A panel is the best place, which is the panel between your windshield and the front door window.
- But let’s say you want to flush mount your tweeters. You’ll need to drill the hole exactly the size as your tweeter pod that it mounts into. Check the installation guide for the drill size as it will all be on there.
- It’s a good idea to smooth the edges with either a boxcutter or some sandpaper, so you don’t have any sharp bits.
- Then slip the tweeter pod into the hole so it’s nice and tight, and you have the flush mounting set up ready.
- You should already know where your crossovers are and you need to start the wiring process from the tweeters to your crossovers. The crossover is the filter which directs the different frequencies to the correct speaker. For more on crossovers, check this article out.
- Most component car speakers crossovers are inside the door panel, and you need to wire your tweeters to the High Pass connectors on your crossovers.
- To do this, simply loosen the screw, and connect the wire end and tighten the connector, making sure you connect the positive and negative speaker wires to their correct connector.
- Your crossovers should then be wired from your amplifier to your crossover and the out from the other side to your tweeters. Ideally, your tweeters should have their own channels on the amp.
- It’s important not to have too much loose wire, because it can move about over time and even rattle on your doors. So, cut enough so it’s not too long or short. It’s a good idea to tie it to something so it’s not hanging freely. This will ensure you don’t get any annoying rattles once you’re installed.
- Now you are all wired up, give the wire a little tug to make sure it’s secure. If it is, it’s time to test your new tweeters. You want to do this before putting the panel back on just in case there’s a problem.
- Reconnect the battery and then turn on your car radio, and put on some music. Listen specifically to the tweeters, you shouldn’t have to put your ear right next to it of course, but do wait for a change in music with different instruments and vocals.
- You should now be hearing the high frequencies coming out of your tweeters, and certainly enjoying the new fuller fidelity in your car.
- As well as a good sound stage, make sure the tweeters you’re installing aren’t vibrating, because if they are, it will only get worse. If your tweeters are vibrating, make sure you have screwed them down properly.
- If for some reason, the tweeters aren’t working, check the wiring is secure on both ends, and that the crossover is wired to the amplifier, as something may have come loose.
- Then if all is well, reattach your panels, screw everything back in place and you are good to go. Congratulations, you’ve just installed a set of tweeters in your car.
How To Install Tweeters Without Crossovers
Not every car stereo set up uses external crossovers, and you can install tweeters without them. Technically, your tweeters have inbuilt crossovers anyway, but these aren’t the best and you won’t get the best out of your tweeters if you only use them.
You can wire them straight to your head unit, but really, the best way if you want the best high fidelity is to either connect them to an external crossover (as instructed above) or connect your tweeters directly to your car amplifier.
You can do this as long as your amplifier has a HPF. To do so, follow the above instructions, but instead of wiring them to your external crossovers, just wire the tweeters directly to your amplifier’s HPF output, making sure you set it at around 5k Hz.
It’s important to remember that your tweeters are very sensitive and if you set the filters wrong you can damage them, so it’s a good idea to protect your tweeters with a capacitor.
Capacitors are an electronic component that store and release electricity in a circuit. Basically they will protect your tweeters from getting too much lower frequencies that could ultimately ruin your tweeters.
You need to solder the capacitor to your positive speaker wire. It’s little complex to explain so watching this video will be easier to follow.
Capacitors come in different sizes, so getting the right one for your tweeters is important. They’re rated in micro ferrets (µF), and the size you need depends on the tweeter’s impedance and the crossover frequency. Check out the chart below for the correct size you need.
Installing Tweeters For A Better Soundstage
Some tweeters are easier to install than others. Maybe you have enough room behind the speaker grille in your car door. If so, you could always install them there so you don’t have to drill any holes. That said, I prefer to keep my tweeters a bit away from the midrange drivers, especially if they’re lower down in your car door.
There’s no set rule, but it sounds better if your tweeters are closer to your ears. Not too close, but a bit higher than your car door speakers, and pointing towards you at least. So, higher up in your car doors, or the A panel or sail panel is an ideal location.
Wherever you intend to install tweeters in your car, as long as you follow the instructions above, you shouldn’t come across any problems. Hope you enjoy your new soundstage, and if you have any further questions or want to share your experience, leave a comment down below.