Car Stereo Speakers
Attention: Car stereo speakers have the floor.but also the dash and inside your doors
Pure car stereo is an endangered term nowadays. DVD players are arriving in dashboards with full Dolby Digital and DTS decoding. Mobile video and conventional two channel stereo signals are being processed with advanced multi-channel musical formats; can we still call it a stereo? Automobiles have long worked with four speakers, give or take a subwoofer. This is the perfect setting to take advantage of some of the advanced two channel processing methods like Dolby Digital II and DTS Neo:6. That's exactly what many DVD based head units are doing now- it took them long enough.
The enclosed cab of an automobile is the perfect acoustic setting to control ambient reflections inside the listening area. Especially if these reflections can be exploited by two-channel processing like Dolby Digital II to turn your car into a concert hall, nightclub or theater. These multi-channel processors offer more advanced acoustic technology than the simple DSP we've seen since we were playing with tape decks.
A four channel system found in any automobile is perfect for the presentation of digital multi-channel surround formats. The high end systems would really make high resolution audio like DVD-Audio and SACD really stand out. Custom sound rigs are beginning to include center channels right inside the dash to complete the digital surround effects. One thing car stereos really have going for them are speakers and lots of them.
Top notch car stereo speaker tips
- If your budget is limited, put your best speakers in the front.
- Stick your sub in the trunk or in the back of a hatchback to form an extra enclosure.
- Good speakers need amps. Aftermarket speakers deserve a power amp; the head unit isn't sufficient.
- Watts don't equal volume. Your speaker's sensitivity rating tells you how loud they'll go matched with X-number of watts.
- Larger subwoofer diameter equals lower frequencies at higher volumes. But they will also compromise speed and tight low freq response
Car stereo speakers come in different shapes and sizes. They are generally defined by a measurement that is required to fit them inside the stock enclosures built into the doors and dash of your car. Generally these stock speaker slots should be used by your aftermarket speakers unless you're willing to spend a lot of extra on some serious customizations.
Most aftermarket speaker manufacturers make speakers in sizes to fit every auto manufacturer. If you need it, customizations are relatively easy jobs for custom speaker installers. However, using custom builds will draw attention to your car stereo and this can be unwanted depending on where you park your car at night. Thieves don't usually care about a stock stereo setup and they can't hear it if they're only peeking into your windows while you're not there.
Just like home stereo speakers, the size of the driver or cone determines the frequency range the speakers can reproduce. Car stereo speakers tend to come in either modular or single driver categories. They've got some clever designs to double up the number of speakers into a single cone; you'll often see car stereo speakers with a tweeter built right inside the midrange driver. But modular speaker systems, where the speakers are separate, make for a superior design.
Smaller drivers mean higher frequencies; the smallest drivers being tweeters. The next size up is the midrange drivers which are responsible for most of the sound the listener will hear. Despite the popularity of boomin' bass you can feel, the midranges are still the speakers that carry the most detail for our ears. The next size up is the woofer and subwoofer. A subwoofer is the speaker that gets the most attention in high-school parking lots and makes old people think kids these days will all need hearing aids before too long. That may be true about the hearing aids, but it's not because most of the rumbling bass you're hearing from the car next to you.
The deepest rumble you hear from a subwoofer being pounded by a high current amp is just as loud to all the drivers and passengers in neighboring cars, as it is inside the car playing the loud bass. This is because low frequencies are less affected by materials that get in their way. They pass through walls as effortlessly as air and the thin sheet metal of your car's doors is nothing to a 12" sub blasting from the trunk next to you at the red light. In fact, if that sub is rear firing from the trunk, there is a good chance it sounds louder to you than it does to the driver of the car playing it- especially if you're right behind the car.
But the sounds you don't hear are all the mid ranges being absorbed by the over-eager car stereo audiophile. Those midranges are lost in the air between your cars. It's also those mid ranges bouncing around inside his car that will surely damage his ears when played at volumes greater than 85 dB for extended periods.