|When Revel launched their Ultima2 line of speakers, they went with a beryllium-domed tweeter.|
We audiophiles are oftentimes a strange bunch. The endless — and if we’re honest, silly — debates that we engage are oftentimes based more on folklore than fact. One such area is about tweeter materials.
In general terms, dome tweeters are either soft or metal. We should note that there are other tweeter technologies too such as ribbon tweeters that we won’t get into here. With dome tweeters, you’ll sometimes hear soft dome referred to as silk dome or fabric, depending on the material used.
Metal dome tweeters tend to be either aluminum, titanium or beryllium. As a rule of thumb, you’ll see aluminum dome tweeters in entry to midrange level models, titanium in midrange to high end speakers and beryllium used in very expensive high end models. As with any rule, there are certainly exceptions, but this is a fair description of the current marketplace.
But the real question is, “Which is better?” Gene DellaSala over at Audioholics.com has published an excellent article highlighting some of the differences between soft dome and metal tweeters in this article.
Those who have their opinions firmly rooted in one over the other may find themselves a bit disappointed. As with all technologies, it sometimes boils down to how something is implemented.