When building or upgrading car audio systems, you will come across two types of speakers: coaxial and component. Coaxial speakers are the most common type of speakers on the market, and most car stereo systems come with them. Component speakers are popular with people who build car stereos and are known for making better sound.
How are these two types of car speakers different, and which is better? Read on to get a better idea of what I mean. I’ve also put in a section about how to choose car speakers. Enjoy.
How do coaxial speakers work?
Coaxial speakers, also called “full-range” speakers, have the same kind of drivers as component speakers. But, to save space, the drivers in a coaxial speaker are all in one piece. Coaxial speakers can be set up in two main ways. One is a small design with two, three, or even four speaker drivers, which is often used for car audio. The other is a high-power, two-way design that is used in professional audio. These are also called single-source or dual-concentric loudspeakers.
There are either 2-way or 3-way coaxial speakers in cars. A tweeter is usually placed on top of a woofer in 2-way speaker designs. The three speakers in a 3-way speaker design, also called a tri-axial speaker, will be a tweeter, a mid-range speaker, and a woofer. Besides these two common types of car speakers, there is also a 4-way speaker design. A super tweeter is an extra speaker driver that comes with a 4-way speaker. The super tweeter is in charge of handling sounds with very high frequencies.
Almost every OEM car stereo system has coaxial speakers. This type of speaker is the most popular because it is cheap, easy to set up, and usually doesn’t need many extra parts to make good sound. Coaxial speakers come in different sizes that fit most cars and are easy to put in yourself if you want to upgrade your car’s sound system.
But coaxial speakers have some problems, one of which is that they don’t sound very good. Even though listening to them is still enjoyable, the best full-range speakers can’t compete with the best component speakers. When the tweeter, mid-range speaker, and woofer are all mounted together, the sound quality usually gets worse. This is because of problems caused by the woofer in the back. But thanks to modern technology, some of these problems aren’t as bad as they used to be.
How do Component Speakers Work?
Separates is another name for component speakers. Component speakers are different from coaxial speakers in that they have separate speaker drivers for each part of the frequency response. This is done with a crossover, which splits the sound signal and sends each part to the right driver so that sound can be heard. A component system usually has two tweeters, two woofers, and two crossovers. The crossovers are set so that the tweeters get the highest frequencies (called treble) and the woofers get the lowest frequencies (called bass). Midrange speakers are added to fill the space between the high and low speakers.
Component speakers sound better in stereo than coaxial speakers once they are installed in a car. Most of the time, the woofer or subwoofer is mounted in the truck or in a place like the door where it came from the factory. Tweeters are placed close to where a user’s ear is. This gives you a better sound stage and surround sound, as if the musicians were right in front of you.
Component speaker setups are also better at being modular, which means that users can easily change and upgrade individual parts. There will be a subwoofer, mid-range speakers, and tweeters in a complete component speaker system. This set-up makes it easy to add new speaker drivers or upgrade the ones that are already there, depending on the user’s needs.
The cost of the system and the work to put it together is a drawback of component speakers. Even if you do the installation yourself and are willing to learn, it still costs a lot to get a good set of components up and running. Aside from speakers and crossovers, car amplifiers and car equalizers also help make the sound as good as it can be. With amplifiers and equalizers, a car audio system can also be set up in a more personal way.
Component speakers vs. coaxial speakers
Component speakers and coaxial speakers both have their pros and cons. Read what’s below before you decide which of these two types of car speakers to get. I’ve put together a list of a few things that will help you decide between component and coaxial speakers.
- Size & Fit
Most coaxial speakers fit easily into the places in your car where speakers are supposed to go. This is why there are so many more coaxial speakers on the market than there are component speakers. Since most car manufacturers also use coaxial speakers, all you have to do to improve the sound in your car is buy new speakers. Component speakers are similar to coaxial speakers in size and shape, but you will need to do research to find one that fits your car.
The prices of coaxial and component speakers are not that different. But if you are on a tight budget, coaxial speakers are always the best choice. Your budget gives you two reasons to choose coaxial speakers.
First, coaxial speakers are easy to set up, even for people who have never done it before. You don’t need to hire a pro to put coaxial speakers in your car because it’s easy to do it yourself. So, you save money, and if you like doing things yourself, this might be worth a shot. Second, you don’t need anything else besides the speakers to make them sound good. There’s no need to add amplifiers, equalizers, or even crossovers to improve the sound.
In addition to being expensive, component speakers may also require you to change the interior of your car to fit them and get the best sound. For a beginner or someone on a tight budget, the price is just not good.
Component speakers are the best choice if you like to do things yourself and want to build your own car stereo. This is because they can be put together in more ways. So, you can upgrade individual parts over time until you have the car audio system you want. You can’t upgrade just one of the speakers in a set of coaxial speakers because they all come as one unit. So, you will have to find another speaker to replace the one you already have.
- How the sound is
Component speakers have better sound quality because each speaker driver is designed to handle a certain range of frequencies. Crossovers are used to make sure that the right frequencies go to the right speakers. The subwoofers handle the low end, the tweeters handle the high end, and the midrange speakers handle everything in between.
Adding things like a car amplifier or equalizer also makes the sound better as a whole. Car amplifiers give the power that the speakers need to sound their best. On the other hand, an equalizer lets the user change the way the sound is reproduced to suit their own tastes. It also helps control frequencies that are lowered or raised because of the shape of the car, the materials used to build it, or other things. Find out more about equalizers for cars.
Component speakers usually sound better than coaxial speakers, but the best coaxial speakers can also sound pretty good.
Why do speakers with separate parts need an amp?
In car audio systems, a signal that is too weak to drive speakers is picked up by an amplifier and made stronger so that it can drive speakers. Even though a car’s head unit has an amp built in, the amp isn’t always strong enough to drive component speakers well. Remember. Passive speakers don’t have their own amplifiers, so they are also called “component speakers.” So, the audio signal needs to be amplified by an amplifier before it can go into a component speaker and make sound that a user likes.
Does a sound amplifier make the sound better?
Yes. Amplifiers take the signal from your car stereo and turn it into a strong signal for the speakers. An amplifier makes the sound in your car better by turning up the volume to a level that can be heard without getting too distorted.
What is a speaker woofer?
A woofer is a type of speaker that is made to handle the low end of the sound spectrum. There are different kinds of woofers, and even though they are all made in a similar way, they are not all the same. They are the standard woofer, the subwoofer, the mid-woofer, and the rotary woofer.
What does a midrange speaker do?
Midrange speakers, like woofers, are made to handle midrange frequencies. Most sounds, like the human voice and most musical instruments, are in the midrange. Midrange speakers often sound dull or flat because they can’t play both high and low frequencies. But if you add a woofer and a tweeter, you’ll get the best sound.
How do you get speakers to work?
Many people have said that the break-in process is good for speakers. To break a speaker in, all you have to do is play music. But you should play something with a wide range of volume, like something with strong bass and strong highs. If you play music louder than most people do, it will help break in happen faster.
Both component and coaxial car speakers have their pros and cons. Your choice between these two types of speakers, though, will depend on what you like. Coaxial speakers are a good choice if you want to save money and set them up quickly. Component speakers are the best choice if you want to be able to change the sound and make it sound better.
Have I forgotten anything? If so, leave a comment below, and let’s keep talking.