Most shoppers will source for cheap car audio speakers buying guides from the internet, technology magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets in car speaker shops and dealers. Making the best and most affordable choices comes with many challenges especially to newbies in the car audio industry. It can also pose a great challenge to those upgrading their car stereo.
Cheap car audio systems are the most sourced components by most car owners because they need not break a bank to get these components installed in their motor vehicles. Some people might think cheap means poor quality but in the market survey, cheap is an audio component that a buyer can buy comfortably without straining his or her wallet.
Cheap car audio speakers are categorized by the type of sound that each speaker is manufactured to produce once installed in a car. They differ in terms of appearance, design, size, and material built and are identifiable by their physical appearances.
The car owner needs to be knowledgeable about car speaker components in order to know what to look for in car speakers and make the best choices. They should read various materials on car speakers guide whether buying new or used components to upgrade car stereo. The following are some of the most types of stereos you will find in a typical vehicle:
Cheap car audio component speakers
These are cheap car audio speakers where the tweeters and mid-base speakers are manufactured separately and paired together to form component speakers. They are common with premium car audio systems, which are mostly found in high-end cars in the market.
The two speakers’ installation into vehicles is done at different positions in the car interior in order to have a distinct audio experience. Tweeters are small physically, but produce high pitch sound hence they are placed on the dashboards, upper door parts, or above the window panels.
This allows these cheap car audio speakers to utilize small spaces and prevent distortion of the high pitch sound, and also makes the high range sound closer to the listeners’ ears.
The mid-base speakers are bigger in size as compared to cheap car audio tweeters hence need more space for installation. They are installed at the lower parts of the door panels. At this part, they utilize the spaces there efficiently in the car cabin. For the two-component speakers to produce accurate audio quality, a crossover is used to limit the frequency range.
The crossover acts as a distributor where it directs high sound frequencies to the tweeters and low sound frequencies to the mid-bass speakers. These frequencies are received via the amplifier or radio connected to the crossover then to the speakers.
Component speakers are a bit complex to install but are the best combination for the car audio experience. They take much time to install and test but worth listening to in the next coming years of the car owner.
The tweeter and mid-bass speakers should not be located far from each other to allow the sound to reach the ears at the same time and not at separate intervals. The advantage of component speakers is that they have better sound clarity since the crossovers assign frequencies to the respective speakers hence a speaker does not play frequencies which it cannot handle. A boost in audio clarity is experienced since the music is raised to the ear level in the car instead of knee level hence an enhanced stereo clarity.
Full-range speakers (coaxial)
These are cheap car audio speakers, manufactured to produce sound within the audible range to the human ear. They cannot produce all sound frequencies hence they are of less audio quality as compared to component speakers.
The speaker is one component only made to produce a wide range of sound frequencies. Their limitation is their physical size, design, and manufacturing specifications. Their frequencies are optimized by the use of a Whizzer cone and voice coil, which controls the movement of the diaphragm. The Whizzer cone acts as a tweeter to produce high frequencies while the voice coil combined with the diaphragm to produce the mid-range audio.
Materials used to manufacture these components of cheap car audio speakers are highly customizable hence bringing the difference of car audio components and their quality depending on their built quality. The enclosure of the speaker also influences the audio quality.
Most are enclosed in plastic boxes for the low-end speakers to large hone-loaded enclosures in high-end speakers. These speakers are made to produce frequencies above 100Hz and the lower ones by the use of a separate subwoofer or by the enclosure of the speaker specially made to reinforce low frequencies. Therefore, full-range speakers are made to produce all ranges of frequencies in the audio spectrum.
Full-range speakers, also known as coaxial speakers, have a good audio experience hence they are the most common cheap car audio systems because of their capabilities in wide frequency range audio production. They are affordable, durable, and easy to install as compared to component speakers. Commercial full-range speakers can be expensive because of their size, built quality, and material components. Speaker design is the most crucial factor to consider when looking for coaxial speakers to purchase.
These types of speakers are most common in the car audio industry. They are made to produce higher base frequencies of 40Hz-60Hz. They are used where there is a dedicated subwoofer to produce the low audio frequencies.
In car audio systems, these are used to blend the audio produced by subwoofer and mid-range speakers common in complex car audio systems. The frequencies produced by these speakers require a high power input from the power source to produce the low frequencies.
To avoid straining the mid-range speakers, they are installed in car stereo systems to cancel out the strain. They are installed in car audio systems to cancel out the extra-low base produced by the subwoofers hence a crucial speaker component in a car audio system.
Their application in audio experience is to produce the orchestra instruments’ music frequencies such as the cellos and bassoons. Most male voices fall into this range whether they are speaking or singing.
These speaker drivers produce sound frequencies ranging from 250Hz-2000Hz. They have two construction variations, which include dome type, cone type, and compression horn drivers. The cone type looks like a truncated cone, with a voice coil attached to its neck hence resembling small woofers.
The main construction of cone type, mid-range speakers is paper impregnated with resins and polymers in order to dampen vibrations. Light metals can be used such as aluminum, magnesium, titanium, and other alloys. The radiating surface is made up of cloth, metal, or a plastic film. They are available in 3-way and 4-way speaker units.
Mid-range speakers are also called squawkers or loudspeakers because they are constructed to handle the biggest audio spectrum. This is the region where the most fundamental musical instruments produce their sound including human beings’ voices.
Distortion is mostly observed in this region hence the mid-range speakers undergo a lot of scrutiny from listeners. A car audio system buyer should put this speaker into great consideration when shopping for car audio systems.
The baffle enclosure and materials surrounding the audio driver also influence audio output. Quality enclosures will create a more enhanced audio experience for the listener.
Subwoofers are big-sized speakers used to produce low audio frequencies in the audio spectrum. Some soft music car owners would skip this because of the high bass produced by these speakers.
Some will opt only for mid-range speakers because they have the capacity to produce some low-range audio although not perfectly. Subwoofers are big in size ranging from 8 inches to 15 inches.
A cheap car audio system buyer should first consider sourcing a component subwoofer; which is a subwoofer without the box enclosure. If it is a hustle to the buyer, he or she can buy an “off the shelf” subwoofer, which includes the subwoofer speaker and its box.
The buyer is then tasked with buying an amplifier to power the subwoofer. When the subwoofer comes with a box, the buyer will not do the job to design and fix the subwoofer to the box. The “off-the-shelf” subwoofer is good for new buyers and those who are not good at fixing things by themselves. You can also hire a technician to fix the subwoofer for you.
Subwoofers installation is at the rear of the car, in the boot, or behind the rear seats. The reason for rear installation is due to their big physical size and the bass sound better originating from the rear rather than from the front of the car.
When a cheap car audio system buyer want to purchase a subwoofer, he or she should put into consideration the following factors:
The power output of the unit
The buyer should consider the RMS output of the speaker, which is the measure of power output over time. This is totally different from PMPO which is the peak performance output of the speaker which occurs at certain milliseconds in a piece of music played. If you are a bass enthusiast, a subwoofer with high RMS is the best choice for you.
This is how low the subwoofer can handle low sound frequencies. An ideal subwoofer can handle as low as 20Hz or 40Hz frequencies up to 250Hz, which are audible to the human ears. This is also influenced by the enclosure of the subwoofer, which helps to boost the sound and cancel out excess vibrations.
This is the current rating of the subwoofer. Most car speakers are 4 ohms although 8 ohms are also popular. This helps the buyer choose the right amplifier for their car music system.
Most car subwoofers are 8-15 inches in size. This is a big size considering even the enclosure box is big and heavy. The car size is also a factor to consider and its utility because the boot of the car is the most common place to install the unit. This might interfere with the cargo space capacity of the car.
Cheap Car Audio Tweeters
Tweeters or treble speakers are speakers, which produce high audio frequencies in the audio spectrum. These frequencies are based on human hearing capabilities. The frequencies produced range from 2kHz to 20kHz.
Some specialized cheap car audio tweeter speakers can produce up to 100kHz. Their construction involves electrodynamic drivers using a voice coil suspended within a fixed magnetic field. Operation is by application of power from an amplifier to the voice coil.
The voice coil produces a varying magnetic field, which works against the fixed magnetic field of a permanent magnet around which the cylindrical voice coil is suspended hence forcing the voice coil and diaphragm attached to it to move. Tweeters convert electrical energy to mechanical air movement only.
Tweeter domes are manufactured out of materials good in damping, low mass, and high stiffness. Copper was the first material used to make tweeters. Today other manufacturing materials introduced include aluminum, titanium, and beryllium while synthetic diamond used in exotic speakers.
Beryllium is used in high-end car audio tweeters because they are good in resonance, hence no distortions in treble production. Bullet speakers can also be used in car audio systems. They are called bullets because of their pointed cone shape. They normally have resonance issues hence suitable with high-powered subwoofers and close range listeners such as in confined spaces like the car.
Tweeters are installed on the upper parts of car doors, in the “A” pillars between the windshield and front door window, or mounted on the dashboard. Installation on the “A” pillars and dashboard is generally done on factory-installed systems. A crossover is required to install tweeter components but some tweeter that are in pairs have a crossover included hence not sourced separately. This will aid in separating the bass and treble hence high frequencies sent to the tweeter.
If a crossover is not provided, the tweeter component will get damaged due to the more power supplied to the component. Tweeters require less power from the amplifier as compared to the speakers.