The quality of your speakers determines the ultimate quality of sound your system will produce. There are many types of speakers that you can choose from so it is good to know which one will be best suited to you and your requirements.
Single Speaker: Can reproduce the full range of sound but is probably not the best choice because if the speaker is too big it will fail to reproduce high frequencies and if it is too small it will struggle to reproduce low frequencies.
Multiple Speakers: These speakers will be individually designed specific to the sound frequency they are built to output. A tweeter is the speaker that will reproduce the high frequencies (usually above 2kHz). They respond quickly because of their size and weight, they are small and lightweight – this also means that very little power is needed to make it function.
Woofers: Produce sound at frequencies below 250 Hz and in subwoofers below 100 Hz, because so much sound is being created the woofers require a lot of power to move air. The size of a woofer can range from 10” to 18” because of the large amounts of air they need to move.
The two main specifications that you should look out for when picking your speakers is sensitivity and power handling.
The sensitivity is a very important specification for a speaker, it measures the amount of sound a speaker yields when power is applied to it. It gives you a good indication of how loud a speaker will play with accordance to the input power. Most factory car stereo systems are low-powered so a high sensitivity rated speaker would fit best, whereas with high-powered systems, you should be looking for lower sensitivity speakers. Note also, if you are planning to run the speakers off the head unit you will need to find speakers with higher input sensitivities as head units don’t usually have much power.
Power handling is measured in watts and determines how much power a speaker can handle. This is mostly needed with systems that have powerful external amps and will require the power handling to be close to the output of the amps. For tweeters and midranges power handling is not as important because it doesn’t require much power for them to be played loudly. The key specification is the maximum RMS power handling, not the peak. The RMS will measure how much power the speaker can handle on a continuous basis and not just for a short period of time. Many manufacturers claim high power handling figures but this is based on short peaks.
You can always get in touch with Car Audio Centre for further advice, explaining what sort of outcome you want from your speakers.