Radio broadcasting began in 1920, sparking a "radio craze" during the early part of the decade. Many car owners even installed home radio sets in their vehicles in order to listen to music while driving. In 1930, the Galvin Corporation introduced one of the first commercial car radios, the Motorola model 5T71, which was specifically designed to be installed in most popular automobiles. They came up with the name “Motorola” when the company began manufacturing these radios, which is derived from the words "motor" and "victrola".

Car speakers are functionally analogous to most other loudspeaker designs, with one key difference being multi-axial mounting of different types of drivers in the same footprint, such as a tweeter directly mounted over a woofer.  Such “coaxial” speakers are the most commonly used car audio speakers, are easy to install and are a vast improvement over factory (paper “wizzer cone”) speakers in sound quality.

In “component speakers”, the tweeter is physically separate from the midrange driver and includes a set of external modules called crossovers. These crossovers divide the amplifier output into high and low frequency signals, sending them to the tweeter and the midrange woofer respectively. Component speakers are typically the best sounding and are generally more expensive. Subwoofers may also be added to mobile audio applications where cabin speakers themselves lack the desired bass frequency response.

Before stereo radio was introduced, the most common speaker location was in the middle of the dashboard pointing up through perforations towards the windshield. In today’s vehicles, speakers are mounted in various locations including the bottom of the doors, the front dash, the rear deck, and the kick panels.  In the case of subwoofers, they are typically mounted in customized enclosures under seats, in the trunk or in the rear spaces of SUV’s and vans.

Depending on the complexity of the audio system as well as the vehicle itself, Communication Center staff will select the speakers that are best suited for your system and your listening preferences.  There are many details that must be considered, such as whether the speakers are simply replacing a factory set and connecting to the existing head unit, or if they will be operating with high-powered, external amplifiers as part of an elaborate high fidelity system. Let us connect the dots, the wires and the speakers - so that you may enjoy the time you spend in your car and hear your favorite music the way it should be heard!

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