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Are Metal Dome Tweeters Harsh?

Metal Dome Tweeters Are Harsh

Have you ever heard that metal dome tweeters are harsh?

Have you sworn you will never like metal tweeters?

“These d@(& tweeters are harsh.”

“They hurt my ears.”

“It sounded too bright.”

“My ears were bleeding”

Maybe you’re sitting and nodding your head right now. I see there’s an opportunity to explain what might have led to this belief, this opinion, this bad rep that metal dome tweeters have the burden of bearing unfairly. 

Dome Tweeter Cutaway Side View

What’s In a Dome tweeter?

  • The dome that we see through the protective grille. This can be made from a variety of organic and inorganic materials.
  • Often there is a form of absorbing material directly behind the dome
  • A flexible surround to connect the edge of the dome to the outer structure. Another term is “suspension”.
  • A length of fine coated wire called the Voice Coil, which is connected to the back side of the dome…
  • which is interacting with a magnetic structure called a Motor

What Parts or Design Considerations Matter in a Great Dome Tweeter?

We find there tends to be a lot of resistance to an idea if it’s mainly coming from an individual’s collection of experiences and stories. Personal anecdotes are valuable and interesting. They’re not enough to justify product design decisions where a business is at stake, at least not in the fields of audio reproduction. I asked the product design team at CDT Audio for some help with this article.

CDT Audio banner image

Design Priorities From a Tweeter Design Team

  • Control of the back wave, potentially including a back chamber.
  • A flexible non-resonant surround so as not to contaminate the dome sound.
  • A non-resonant soft dome or hard dome whose resonance is beyond the audible frequency range.
  • A powerful magnetic field for good sensitivity.
  • A smooth mounting surface and potentially adding a waveguide can also be employed both to control dispersion.

Along with this information came a warning.

Remember sometimes the harsh sound comes from the mids but tweets get the blame.

Further reading:

What’s great about your favorite tweeters? Do you know what materials were used to make them sound so good? Scroll down to leave a comment!

Barry Schanz
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