When you decide to upgrade audio systems in your home, office or car, it helps to understand the terminology. One reference you will hear in your high end audio establishment is “tweeter.” This overview will explain tweeters, their varying designs and the effects those have on sound quality.
What is a tweeter?
Speakers originally used electromagnets to produce sound by vibrating a flex cone. Drivers translated the electrical signals into sound. Tweeters were added later as a speaker driver capable of higher sound frequency.
Tweeters are the opposite of woofers, which produce low-frequency sound. They are smaller than woofers, and since they handle higher sound frequency, they are often more durable. That is due to higher frequencies producing more vibrations. If your tweeter in Chicago is inadequate for your purposes, it will compromise sound quality and you will likely hear the lower frequencies without balance, which can make music or movies sound distorted.
Types of tweeters
Tweeters vary mainly by their processes. Each is meant to deal with sound differently, and the ideal one depends on your situation and budget. Here are four common designs currently available in the market:
- Dome: Ninety-five percent of speaker systems use dome tweeters as they are the most prevalent with mid-range consumer products. It is the original invention and it offers good response and sound disbursement, but less sensitivity. Higher end products that still use dome tweeters can produce excellent sound quality. The design uses a dome with integral suspension and an aluminum wire voice coil which attaches to the rim. A plastic frame and ring magnet motor system manages the sound vibrations.
- Electrostatic: Instead of carrying power through different voice coils, the electrostatic tweeter charges a diaphragm. This system is much more sensitive and produces realistic sound. There is no heat produced, meaning speakers are much less likely to blow than with traditional tweeters. With a more streamlined process for handling sound vibrations, there is less distortion. This design is often limited to higher end commercial products, as the typical residential home outlet does not offer enough power.
- Piezo: Not considered high fidelity, Piezo tweeters are most common in combination units and car stereo systems. Like electrostatic tweeters, there is no magnetic motor and voice coil, so the sound can be clear and complex. These are very inexpensive but mainly available only to manufacturers. They can be adjusted for greater sound sensitivity and quality.
- Plasma ion: These tweeters offer the shortest instance of electric signal to oscillating air, meaning the sound travel is even more efficient than on dome or electrostatic speakers. It works by ionizing gas with high-voltage electric fields to produce plasma. This results in an immediate response with no distortion from mechanical or electromagnetic components. Some argue this is the ideal tweeter, including many high end audio enthusiasts.
Quintessence Audio LTD offers high end audio equipment and can educate you further on the varieties of tweeter in Chicago. Whether you want a high-tech home theater or a better office sound system, we can match you with just the right speakers and components. Come visit us today!