Difference between a Tweeter and a Subwoofer

Assuming you’re someone who enjoys listening to music and watching movies, what do you look for in a sound system? Sounds are more complex than just waves. A good speaker can make an audible difference in sound quality and can enhance your entire listening experience.

When a sound is produced, a number of frequencies are at play. So, to ensure you’re getting the best possible output from your speakers you have to equip your system with the required frequency converters. Only having a right and left stereo speaker is just not enough.

This is why tweeters and subwoofers are an important addition to your home theater system. But what exactly do tweeters and subwoofers do?

Tweeter and Subwoofer Key Differences

Subwoofer Tweeter
1.  Creates low-frequency sounds from 20Hz to 200Hz. 1.  Creates high-frequency sounds from 2000Hz to 20,000Hz.
2.  Produces deeper and fuller sounds (bass). 2.  Produces realistic and sharp sounds (treble).
3.  Bigger in size and requires more space. 3.  Compact and light design.
4.  Needs more power to generate sound. 4.  Needs less power to generate sound.
5.  Enclosure can be sealed or ported. 5.  Enclosure isn’t necessary, comes with a sealed back chamber.

What is a Tweeter?

A tweeter, much like its name, is designed for high-frequency sounds. It exists in various shapes and sizes, but typically a tweeter has a magnet and a circular gap inside it including a voice coil that is attached to a speaker dome.

Many tweeters are attached to a horn to magnify the sound. It is in charge of producing the upper range of sounds, better known as a treble. As higher frequency sounds have relatively smaller sound waves, tweeter speakers are smaller in size.

It is connected to a crossover that blocks low frequencies and can be directly connected to an amplifier to increase the volume of the sound.

What is its purpose?

The main purpose of a tweeter is to reproduce low-frequency sound waves for a more realistic experience. You won’t realize what you’re missing until you start noticing the distinct difference a tweeter makes in the way you perceive sound.

It produces sharper sounds

A tweeter produces sharp and realistic sounds as opposed to a woofer or a subwoofer. It highlights subtle details in sound that other equipment cannot pick up. A speaker system that does not have a tweeter is not able to produce high frequency sounds adequate, resulting in a less detailed output.

It has a higher frequency range

Essentially, a tweeter is a small sound generator. It produces high-frequency sounds that can range from 2000Hz to 20,000Hz. This allows it to provide a clear and crisp audio experience. It reproduces details in harmonies and makes them sound much sharper. In order to grasp and produce all necessary frequencies from musical instruments, having a tweeter is crucial.

It complements other speakers

A tweeter works alongside other speakers and amplifiers to enhance the overall sound quality. It is mostly used in home theaters or car speakers. The sound it produces cannot be achieved by any other speaker, which makes it an important component of a good sound system.

Size and Placement

A tweeter is small in size and deals with smaller wavelengths of sound so it does not require too much space, making it extremely convenient. It generally does not require an enclosure as it comes with sealed back chambers and is light in design. The sound is heard best when pointed towards the listener.

What is a Subwoofer?

A subwoofer is specially designed to reproduce low-frequency sounds or bass. Bass is the component of sound that has depth. While people tend to confuse woofers and subwoofers for being one and the same, they have some noticeable differences. One is the range of sound they can produce. A woofer is a loudspeaker that can turn low frequencies into audible sound. While a subwoofer essentially does the same, it has a comparatively narrow range. As a result, it produces a fuller bass. The thumping sound you hear when you play loud music? That’s bass. Subwoofers help enhance it.

What is its purpose?

In contrast to a tweeter, the purpose of a subwoofer is to highlight the depth of bass in sound as more audio power comes from it. Woofers and subwoofers consume the most frequencies, making them extremely necessary sound equipment.

It creates depth

The basic idea of a subwoofer is to reproduce low frequencies. Without a subwoofer, the deeper spectrum of sounds wouldn’t be heard or felt. Subwoofers produce fuller and richer sounds. As bass waves are large, they can be uneven, therefore more than one subwoofer can also be used for the perfect audible experience.

It deals with the lowest frequencies

A subwoofer can reproduce low frequencies within the range of 20Hz to 200Hz. In addition to it, a pair of smaller speakers can be used to produce low bass that other speakers are not capable of producing.

Some music in particular generates such low frequencies that other sound equipment can’t catch it. This is why subwoofers are important. They improve the overall sound by adding more depth to it. If you can feel it in your chest, it is doing its job.

It generates powerful sounds

When it comes to bass, driver size and power matter the most. How loud of a sound a subwoofer can produce is determined by its watt. It also has its own built-in amplifier. A good quality subwoofer can create deep, realistic, and strong bass.

While the volume can be adjusted, how much sound it can generate may depend on the size of the room it is in.

Size and Placement

Subwoofers are fairly large in size. As it deals with big sound waves, it requires a similar space to generate the sound. The large driver of a subwoofer needs sufficient space in the back to perform its best. It can be placed in vented or sealed enclosures.

They can be placed in the corners to ensure even distribution of sound. Good placement is necessary for it to create broader sounds that can be heard throughout the room.

Not sure which tweeter or subwoofer to get? We have listed some of our favorites for your convenience.

Subwoofer Recommendation

 Polk Audio AM1055-C PSW10

 Key Features:

  • Brand: Polk Audio
  • Type: Powered
  • Size: 10 Inch
  • Maximum Power Output: 100 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 40-160 Hz
  • Sound Clarity: 200 Hz

 Other Features:

  • Laser-based Klippel measurement technology
  • Resonance-free Dynamic Balance driver materials
  • Perfect for small to mid-range rooms

Yamaha NS-SW100BL

 Key Features:

  • Brand: Yamaha
  • Type: Powered
  • Size: 10 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 100 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 25-180 Hz

 Other Features:

  • New twisted flare port contributes to clear and tight bass
  • Advanced YST II (Yamaha Active Servo Technology II)
  • Excellent bass for movies and music

 Klipsch Reference R-10SW

Key Features:

  • Brand: Klipsch
  • Type: Powered
  • Size: 10 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 300 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 32-120 Hz

 Other Features:

  • LINE/LFE inputs ensure compatibility with old and new receivers
  • Injection Molded Graphite (IMG) woofer
  • Equally impressive with music and movies

 Klipsch R-12SWI

 Key Features:

  • Brand: Klipsch
  • Type: Wireless
  • Size: 12 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 400 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 29-120 Hz

 Other Features:

  • 4Ghz wireless Hi-Fi pre-paired transmitter
  • No subwoofer cable required
  • Effortlessly produces incredible bass for larger rooms

Tweeter Recommendation

 DS18 PRO-TW120B

Key Features:

  • Brand: DS18
  • Type: Super Bullet Tweeter
  • Size: 1 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 300 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 2000-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 103 dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Sold as: Pair

Other Features:

  • High-quality Aluminum Frame and Diaphragm
  • Bullet dust cover to protect the voice coil
  • Handles high frequencies with ease

Skar Audio VX35-ST

Key Features:

  • Brand: Skar Audio
  • Type: Bullet Tweeter
  • Size: 3.5 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 500 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 2200-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Sold as: Pair

Other Features:

  • High compression titanium bullet tweeter
  • Kapton voice coil with in-line capacitor crossover
  • The great accuracy of frequencies

Power Acoustik NB-2

Key Features:

  • Brand: Power Acoustik
  • Type: 3-Way Tweeter
  • Size: 1 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 200 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 5-2000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 97 dB
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Sold as: Pair

Other Features:

  • Good quality Polypropylene Diaphragm
  • Does not need a crossover
  • Provides decent volume without an amplifier

If you’re wondering what speakers are best suited for your home theatre system, look no further. Here’s a list of the best combinations of tweeters and subwoofers to help you decide.

Subwoofer and Tweeter recommendation for Home Theater System

 Dayton Audio B452

Key Features:

  • Brand: Dayton Audio
  • Type: 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker
  • Size: 9.5 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 60 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 85-20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 84 dB
  • Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Sold as: Pair
  • Mounting Type: Bookshelf, In-wall

Compatibility:

  • Any computer (Mac or PC)
  • Compact Surround Speakers

Other Features:

  • Compact, wall-mountable enclosure for unlimited applications
  • Requires power amplifier, perfect for home theater rears or stand-alone stereo use
  • 4-1/2″ woofer and polycarbonate tweeter for full-range sound

Audioengine A5 Plus Classic

Key Features:

  • Brand: Audioengine
  • Type: Powered Bookshelf Speaker
  • Size: 10.75 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 150 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 50-22,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 95 dB
  • Impedance: 10 Ohms
  • Sold as: Pair
  • Mounting Type: Bookshelf, Desktop

Compatibility:

  • Any computer (Mac or PC)
  • iPod, iPhone, and iPad (all iDevices)
  • Audioengine wireless audio adapters
  • Apple Airport Express + Airplay
  • Any product with mini-jack or RCA audio outputs

Other Features:

  • Built-in power amps, clear, full, and powerful audio that fills any room.
  • Custom Kevlar woofers and silk tweeters
  • Hand-built MDF wood cabinets
  • Magnetically shielded

Klipsch R-41PM

Key Features:

  • Brand: Klipsch
  • Type: Powered Bookshelf Speaker
  • Size: 11.30 Inch
  • Maximum Output Power: 70 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 76-21,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 105.5 dB
  • Sold as: Pair
  • Mounting Type: Bookshelf, Desktop

Compatibility:

  • Mobile devices
  • Any computer (Mac or PC)
  • Any product with mini-jack or RCA audio outputs

Other Features:

  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Incorporate individual ultra-low noise amplifiers
  • Linear Travel Suspension (LTS) aluminum tweeter minimizes distortion for enhanced, detailed performances

Final Thought

In conclusion, for overall better sound quality, both tweeter and subwoofer are recommended. As they deal with two different spectrums of sound waves, having both in your possession guarantees a more satisfying experience. So, the next time you sit down to listen to some music or to watch a movie with your friends, pay attention to the bass and the treble.