Browsing All Posts By Seth Wilde

Where to mount tweeters in a car

Are you trying to figure out where to install the pair of tweeters that came with your recent component speaker purchase? If you are looking for the best location to install your new car audio tweeter, you’ll need to keep in mind that there isn’t one solution because every car is different. However, regardless of the type of your car, the proper tweeter installation can make all the difference in a quality audio system.

If your car currently has tweeters installed, you can use the existing locations. If your car doesn’t have factory tweeters or you want to enhance the imaging by moving the location, then you will have to do some testing in your car.

Mounting a car tweeter might not be as difficult as you may think of. Most of the tweeters come with adapters which make the installation simple and easy. Here you see three simple ways to mount your tweeter perfectly.

Always refer to the installation instructions that came with your tweeters for the proper method for mounting. Installation may vary by mounting type.

 

Tweeter Mounting Types

1. Surface Mount

Make a small hole into the mounting location and place the tweeter to sit on it. Run the speaker wire through the hole and adhere the mount to the surface.

2. Flush Mount

Make a hole into the mounting place equal to the size of tweeter. Adjust the tweeter to the level of its edge or angle as needed for imaging! If the factory tweeters are not installed in your car, flush mount is a common mounting method.

3. Bottom Mount

If your car currently has existing tweeters, you can replace them with the new set and you won’t need to drill a new hole. Just place under an existing grille where it fits perfectly. A bracket might be needed for installation.

Tweeters deliver the great sound if installed in front of you, 45 degree to your ears, near your shoulder level and far apart from each other. We have a few best locations where you can mount the tweeter for better sound staging and greater stereo imaging.

 

Common Tweeter Mounting Locations

1. A Pillar

The “A” Pillar is located between windshield and front door window, and mostly used to accommodate a factory tweeter. Offers a little depth, so ideal for surface mount.

2. Upper door

Mounting tweeters on upper part of your doors give you better stereo imaging. If your car doesn’t come equipped with factory tweeters, flush mount is likely your best bet here. Drill a large hole in the panel and secure your tweeter.

3. Dash

Some cars come with factory tweeters installed in the dash. It’s worth mentioning that tuning is a not that easy job here due to massive reflections from the windshield. A bottom mount will serve your purpose in this case. All you need is to build a bracket under the surface to secure the tweeter.

 

Speaker/Tweeter Installation & Accessories

Get the installation tools and accessories you need to install a pair of speakers and tweeters. From wire strippers to speaker mounts, you can find everything you need here to make your installation easier.

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How to Calculate the Efficiency of an Amplifier

Want to learn how to find the efficiency of your amplifier? In this article we will tell you  how to measure the efficiency of your amplifier with a couple simple tools. Most of the power taken in by an amplifier is converted into music, but there’s always a little loss, mostly in the form of heat. That’s why amplifiers have heat-sinks on them to help dissipate the heat.

Let’s get started with a sequence of steps and you will ultimately figure out the efficiency of your car amplifier.

Step 1. Measure the input power of amplifier

To determine the efficiency, you need know how to measure the input power of a device. Use the formula P=V*I. You can easily measure the voltage of the amplifier and the current coming into the amplifier using a multimeter or an oscilloscope. The product of voltage and current gives you the input power.

Step 2. Calculate the output power of amplifier

Output power is the second important factor to calculate the efficiency of an amplifier. Take the formula P= V2/R, where V is the output voltage and R is the resistance. Simply take the square of speaker output voltages and divide it by the resistance (ohms). This will give you the output power.

Step 3. Determine the efficiency

Using the final formulaEfficiency = Output Power/Input Power, you will be able to find the amp’s efficiency. Divide the output power by input power and the outcome will tell how efficient your amplifier is.

 

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Apple CarPlay Car Stereos

Apple CarPlay Installed by Sonic Electronix

Apple CarPlay is the latest in iPhone integration and offers a powerful way to interface your iPhone device with your car stereo. No more trying to fumble around with controlling your iPhone on an confusing interface. Apple CarPlay is designed for the car to make your life easier, create a safer driving experience, basically just be awesome.

What is Apple CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car. It allows your iPhone (iPhone 5 or later) to completely integrate with your compatible car stereo and bring your iOS experience into the car with ease. CarPlay features Siri Eyes Free mode which allows you to navigate through your phone and apps by voice command, keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. With CarPlay, you can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to your favorite music without ever reaching for your phone.

How does Apple CarPlay work?

CarPlay works by plugging your iPhone in to your car stereo via USB. It is important to note that CarPlay is on your iOS device and not your stereo. Once connected, a customized version of iOS, designed by Apple, will display on your stereo complete with icons and Siri support. Once connected and running, you’ll be able to control your iPhone through the touchscreen controls of your stereo or through voice commands.

  1. Connect Your iPhone to the Stereo Through USB
  2. Open Your Favorite Apps
  3. Control Via Voice Control or Touchscreen
  4. Keep Your Eyes on the Road and off Your Phone

Apple CarPlay is all about being safe while driving. Controlling your phone through voice commands and your stereo stops you from having to reach for your phone to answer a call, check your directions or see what song is playing and leaves your hands and eyes free to concentrate on the road.


Car Stereos with Apple CarPlay

View our current selection of car stereos that support Apple CarPlay

 

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Android Auto Car Stereos

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Android Auto is the latest in Android integration and offers a powerful way to interface your Android device with your car stereo. No more trying to fumble around with controlling your Android smartphone on an confusing interface. Android Auto is designed for the car to make your life easier, create a safer driving experience, basically just be awesome.

What is Android Auto?

To put it simply, Android Auto is Android in your car. Android Auto was created by Google to bring the Android operating system into your car. An Android Auto compatible car stereo allows you to completely integrate your Android device (running the Android Lollipop or newer OS) with your vehicle’s sound system. It is optimized for voice commands for both apps like Google Maps and Google Play Music and convenience features like phone calls and messaging so that you never have to take your hands off the wheel. Android Auto also works with many third party apps like Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and MLB At Bat.

How does Android Auto work?

Android Auto is on your phone, not built-in to the stereo. It projects a customized version of your compatible Android device onto the screen of the stereo (devices need to be connected via USB).The interface projected is very simple and intuitive and can be controlled from the touchscreen display or by voice commands.

  1. Connect Your Android Device Through USB
  2. Open Your Favorite App
  3. Control Via Voice Control or Touchscreen
  4. Keep Your Eyes on the Road, Not Your Phone

When you drill it down to its core, Android Auto is really about driver safety. The ability to control your phone through voice commands and touch screen controls on your stereo means you won’t be reaching for your phone to answer a call, check your GPS or skip to the next song. Concentrate on what’s important, the road, with Android Auto.


 

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Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams

wiring two subwoofers

One of the most common questions in the car audio field is usually “How do I wire up my subwoofers to my amplifier?” This is not easy to explain because there are so many options and variables to consider when making the purchase and wiring up your sound system. Subwoofers have different impedances (Dual 4 ohm, Single 2 ohm, etc) that change your wiring options when you add or subtract woofers. Amplifiers also have limitations on your final impedance, so the subwoofers and amplifier must have the same final impedance to be connected. To most of us, none of this makes any sense at all, so Sonic Electronix created a guide for subwoofer wiring diagrams to make sure you connect your subs right the first time! Simply look at the tables below to find which subwoofer wiring scenario you need and view the diagram!

Wiring Diagrams for 1 Subwoofers

Sub Type Final Ω Amp Type Diagram
One Single 2-Ohm Sub 2-ohm Mono See Diagram
One Single 4-ohm Sub 4-ohm Mono Amp See Diagram
One Single 8-ohm Sub 8-ohm Mono Amp See Diagram
One Dual 2-ohm Sub 4 ohm Mono Amp See Diagram
One Dual 2-ohm Sub 1 ohm Mono Amp See Diagram
One Dual 4-ohm Sub 2 ohm Mono Amp See Diagram
One Single 4-ohm Sub 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram
One Single 8-ohm Sub 8 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram
One Dual 2-ohm Sub 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram
One Dual 4-ohm Sub 8 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram

Wiring Diagrams for 2 Subwoofers

Sub Type Final Ω Amp Type Diagram
Two Single 2-ohm Subs 4 ohm Mono See Diagram
Two Single 2-ohm Subs 1 ohm Mono See Diagram
Two Single 4-ohm Subs 2 ohm Mono See Diagram
Two Single 8-ohm Subs 4 ohm Mono See Diagram
Two Dual 2-ohm Subs 2 ohm Mono See Diagram
Two Dual 4-ohm Subs 4 ohm Mono See Diagram
Two Dual 4-ohm Subs 1 ohm Mono See Diagram
Two Single 2-ohm Subs 2 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Two Single 4-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Two Single 8-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram
Two Dual 2-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Two Dual 4-ohm Subs 2 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Two Dual 4-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram

Wiring Diagrams for 3 Subwoofers

Sub Type Final Ω Amp Type Diagram
Three Single 8-ohm Subs 2.7 ohm Mono See Diagram
Three Dual 2-ohm Subs 3 ohm Mono See Diagram
Three Dual 2-ohm Subs 1.33 ohm Mono See Diagram
Three Dual 4-ohm Subs 2.7 ohm Mono See Diagram

Wiring Diagrams for 4 Subwoofers

Sub Type Final Ω Amp Type Diagram
Four Single 2-ohm Subs 2 ohm Mono See Diagram
Four Single 4-ohm Subs 4 ohm Mono See Diagram
Four Single 4-ohm Subs 1 ohm Mono See Diagram
Four Single 8-ohm Subs 2 ohm Mono See Diagram
Four Dual 4-ohm Subs 2 ohm Mono See Diagram
Four Single 2-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Four Single 4-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Four Single 4-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram
Four Single 8-ohm Subs 8 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Four Dual 2-ohm Subs 2 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Four Dual 4-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp See Diagram
Four Dual 2-ohm Subs 4 ohm 2-Chan Amp (Bridged) See Diagram


Subwoofer Wiring FAQ:

1) What is the difference between dual and a single voice coil?

The voice coil of a car subwoofer is the coiled wire that is wrapped around the “former”, or cylinder inside the subwoofer. The two voice coil configurations allow for different wiring options. For more information on voice coils, please refer to our Knowledge Base.

SVC (Single Voice Coil):

  • One layer of wire wrapped around the former
  • One set of speaker terminals
  • Wired at the impedance of the voice coil


DVC (Dual Voice Coil):

  • Two layers of wire wrapped around the former
  • Two sets of speaker terminals
  • Multiple wiring options at different impedances

2) What is the difference between parallel and series subwoofer wiring?

Parallel Wiring – This is a wiring configuration that applies the same voltage to all the connected components. The current from the amplifier is then divided equally among all the drivers according to their respective impedances. When wired in this manner, the overall impedance of the system drops. As more speakers are added to the parallel configuration, the lower the impedance.

Series Wiring – This is achieved by creating a single electrical current path across all the components. When multiple speakers are wired in series, the total impedance of the system increases. Series wiring is realized by connecting the positive (+) speaker terminal of the amplifier to the (+) terminal of speaker A, the negative (-) speaker terminal of speaker A to the (+) speaker terminal of speaker B, the (-) speaker terminal of speaker B to the (-) negative terminal of the amplifier. Any number of speakers can be inserted into the series of speakers that are wired together.

3) What are the signs of bad subwoofer wiring?

If your woofers are wired incorrectly, the wire is cheap or below the recommended gauge, or one of your wires is not making full contact to the terminal a few things could happen. A few signs of bad woofer wiring are less bass output, distortion or clipping, a burning smell which indicates burnt voice coils and potentially a blown subwoofer. Occasionally, your car amplifier could overheat or catch fire if it does not have safety features programmed into it. Some amplifiers can detect incorrect subwoofer wiring, and will go into protect mode until the problem is fixed

4) Why do I need to follow a subwoofer wiring diagram?

A proper subwoofer installation means that the power requirements between the amp and sub match, the impedance between the sub and amp are consistent, and the subwoofer is mounted in the correct box. Using a subwoofer wiring diagram will ensure that the impedance between the subwoofer and amplifier match. Then you can make sure that the RMS power handling is in line. Failure to properly match impedances and power handling recommendations can void warranties and potentially damage the audio equipment.

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