One of the most common debates for music lovers when they discuss 2 Way Vs 3 Way Speakers. It raises the question of whether the 2-way speaker is better than a 3-way speaker or vice-versa.
And it is often a difficult subject to resolve whether you are a musician, audiophile or just a guy who enjoys to listening high-quality sound.
Here, we come up with a complete guide that will help you make an informed buying decision.
2 Way vs 3 Way Speakers: Why You Should Choose 2-Way Car Speakers Over 3-Way Car Speakers?
What is a 2-way speaker?
A two-way car speaker which consists of usually a woofer and a tweeter .it is also known as coaxial speakers.
01. Top features of a 2-way speaker:
Design & High Fidelity Sound:
Despite the limitations of only having two drivers to handle the full range of sound, this is a very common design. Creating a two-way system requires an ideal combination of drivers.
Frequency Filtration & Distribution:
These speakers are able to handle a broad range of frequencies, one handling mostly low frequencies and the other handling mostly the high frequencies.
Mid Range Driver:
There is no mid-range driver, therefore the two drivers must be able to complement each other.
The Combination of a mid-range driver with a tweeter (high-range).It exposes the need for a bass driver (low range) and therefore does not provide good sound quality.
As a result, the mid-range driver is often combined with a low-range driver in order to provide a more complete sound.
02. Benefits of a 2-way speaker :
A two-way system introduces some compromises in sound quality while decreasing footprint size from three drivers to two. The advantages of a 2-way speaker include location and flexibility.
As we know, the tweeters play the high range frequencies, and these are more directional and therefore should be placed higher in the vehicle.
In contrast, larger speakers will offer more bass when placed in a lower area with more air volume, such as the door.
The lower range frequencies are not as directional, so it would be fine to place it somewhere out of the way.
Another advantage is that the frequency signal is being split into two, protecting each component speaker from playing frequencies outside of their range.
As well as letting each component speaker handle the frequencies that they are specifically designed to play.
For example, a tweeter would not be able to handle low bass frequencies, and if it tried, in most cases the speaker would break virtually instantly.
On the other hand, a woofer can handle higher frequencies, however, it would have difficulty in handling low and high frequencies simultaneously.
Moreover, this would result in beaming, which is when the sound heard directly in front of the speaker is different from the sound heard at an angle.
In a car environment where there are a lot of noise reflections due to windows and other objects in the vehicle, beaming should be minimized.
This can be done by only sending appropriate frequencies to the speaker that will not result in beaming.
03. Problems of the 2-way speaker :
No dedicated mid-range driver to handle important mid frequenciesTweeter and woofer are required to handle a much wider range of frequencies, possibly reducing overall sound quality from each speaker.
Poorer bass sound, since the woofer is covering both low and mid-range frequencies.
04. Cost of a 2-way speaker
Since a 2-way speaker only requires two-component speakers (tweeter and woofer). it is a more affordable option compared to a 3-way speaker, requiring at least three component speakers (tweeter, mid-range, woofer).
It also requires only one crossover optimizer that helps provide a seamless transition between the two-component speakers.
What is a 3-way speaker?
A three-way car loudspeaker system consists of a woofer, a mid-range, and a tweeter. It is a three-way standard system also known as tri-axial speakers.
01. Top Features of a 3-way speaker:
In terms of tweeters, manufacturers limit themselves to high frequencies in order for the driver to do very well.
On the bottom end, that is, the lower frequencies, driver sizes are larger in order to achieve the bass sound. Having the high and low frequencies taken care of, it leaves the mid-range frequencies to be desired.
Mid Range Driver :
One of the workarounds for this is to add a third driver to provide a seamless transition between the high and low drivers while maintaining accuracy.
This mid-range driver will be asked to handle its frequencies, leaving the low driver to handle the bass. And the high driver to handle the treble, enabling both to perform very well in their own respects.
This is the advantage of the three-way speaker design. In terms of speaker design, the holy grail is that you want a speaker to reproduce its source signal so it sounds as natural as possible.
In other words, a violin should sound like a violin, and not a viola. A clarinet should sound like a clarinet, and not an oboe.
This should be the frame of reference when designing a speaker, to simulate the sounds as close to the real thing as possible, as if the acoustic instruments were really there in the room.
It’s not just frequency response or tonal aspects of the speakers. it’s the dynamic capabilities of the speaker, or how well the speaker system covers the dynamic range.
02. Benefits of a 3-way speaker:
A three-way speaker has a more complicated crossover network, due to the added mid-range driver. High and low pass filters must be added to the mid-range driver to equip it to handle mid-frequencies.
It must be ensured that the mid-range driver does not attempt to handle high frequencies meant for the tweeter, as well as low frequencies meant for the woofer.
This means the mid-range driver has two filters applied, in addition to the filters already applied to the tweeter and the woofer.
As a result, blending three drivers together is more difficult than two. However, the advantages can be extreme.
A properly designed and built mid-range driver that can handle its frequencies much better than a woofer or tweeter can vastly improve the overall sound output.
The mid-range band is a very important component in many forms of audio. And it is only beneficial to have a designated driver to handle such frequencies.
The designated mid-range driver also has the capacity to disperse the wavelengths at an appropriate volume and power.
03. Problems of a 3-way speaker
- More expensive in both coaxial and component versions since they require more materials.
- It Will not produce good quality sound unless linked by a good crossover.
- The three drivers need to seamlessly work together and transition between one another in order to provide consistently good quality sound.
- This can be harder to do and requires a high-quality crossover circuit.
- A 3-way speaker performs better as a component system rather than a coaxial system.
- As the individual drivers of a 3-way component system will provide optimal power and sound quality.
- while a 2-way component and a 3-way component will have vast differences in sound quality.
04. Cost of a 3-way speaker
It’s more expensive to build a three-way speaker than a two-way speaker. This concept of economics is why two-way speakers are more common in the marketplace.
Simply put, speakers are designed to handle different frequencies using different types of drivers. The most common crossover is two-way, limiting how low a tweeter can go, and limiting how high a woofer can go.
Woofers don’t make great tweeters. As the frequencies get higher, the wavelengths get progressively smaller.
The large diaphragm of the woofer will have difficulty in dispersing the small wavelengths in a way that sounds natural, which a tweeter can do much more easily.
Moreover, a two-way speaker is a much less complicated crossover. This is because the attempt is to have seamless transitions between drivers.
A low-pass filter applied to a woofer married to a high-pass filter applied to tweeter results in an even frequency and amplitude response, as well as amplitude. This is done through the skillful blending of drivers.
Comparison of 2-way & 3-way in terms of (coaxial and component speakers):
A component speaker is any speaker that isn’t designed to be an all-in-one standalone speaker to cover the whole dynamic range.
For example, a tweeter that covers the 2000-20000Hz range. A mid-range that covers 200-2000Hz range, and a woofer that covers the 0-200Hz range.
In contrast, coaxial speakers are a combination of drivers. It is also considered full-range speakers, designed to handle the full spectrum of frequencies.
Component speakers, on the other hand, divide up the full spectrum coverage into individual speakers. This speaker is designed to handle a specific range of frequencies.
Crossover networks are the electrical circuit brain devices of any car speaker system. This circuit component box splits the audible frequency ranges of Car audio systems.
Using these low and high frequencies ranges it produces high-quality sound. Independent crossover is electrically more efficient than an integrated crossover network.
2-way car speakers reviews
JBL CLUB6520 6.5″ 300W 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker (1 Pair)
Dimension: 15.6 x 4 x 8.5 inches
Item Weight: 3.8 pounds
Sensitivity: 92 dB
RMS: 50 Watts
Peak Power: 150 Watts
Frequency Response: 55Hz-20kHz
2way/3way/4way: 2-Way Coaxial speakers (1 pair)
These speakers have launched with brackets for mounting if it does not align with your existing vehicle opening. It also comes with screws and Rear Door Panels. These speakers bring to you High-sensitivity design as well as high fidelity sound quality. These speakers have a tight bass, and that would be a good compliment to a sub.
3 Way Speakers Reviews:
4 New Rockford Fosgate R165X3 6.5″ 3 Way Car Audio Coaxial Speakers Stereo
Dimension: 20 x 8 x 8 inches
Item Weight: 9.7 pounds
RMS: 45 Watts each
Maximum Output Power: 180 Watts
2way/3way/4way: 3-Way Coaxial (1 pair)
Thes speakers have Come with 2- boxes with 2- speakers in each so 4 total. If you are looking to upgrade your stock system with these brands, you will be happy with these high-quality sound car speakers.
These high-quality brands have a very minimal distortion rate at high-volumes. it also provides you excellent mid-range bass which fits in great with your 10-inch sub.
Having Only Coaxial Mounting:
These speakers are only built with the tweeters mounted coaxially over the full range woofer cone. This is why they are eligible for blocking the sound produced by woofer cone.
Most of the tweeters in 3-Way car speakers system are manufactured with polyethylene terephthalate (PET). This similar plastic materials do not produce high fidelity sound as you can get from 2-way speakers.
Built-in Integrated Crossovers for 3-Way Speakers:
It is not constructed independently they simply will not satisfy you. It won’t also provide you the flexibility in wiring connectivity to a car audio amplifier.
2 Way vs 3 Way Speakers: Which speaker is better for your vehicle?
The answer to this question depends upon your listening preferences, as well as the budget and type of vehicle. For a vehicle with limited space, a 2-way speaker is ideal because of the smaller footprint.
Since 2-way speakers also perform very well in a coaxial setup, its smaller size is ideal for a smaller vehicle.
However, if you have a spare room in your vehicle, a 3-way speaker may be the better option for your car. Since it provides a higher overall sound quality.
A 3-way component speaker system is also ideal if there is a lot of bass in the audio. As the dedicated woofer will excel at reproducing the low frequencies.
Why 2-way speaker is better than a 3-way speaker?
In some ways, a 2-way speaker is better than a 3-way speaker. One of the reasons for this is its performance in a coaxial system.
Since the speakers in a coaxial system are already bundled together. There is an added convenience in blending, making it easier for crossover circuits to provide smoother transitions between the two drivers.
Moreover, it requires fewer materials. The cost of a 2-way speaker is less than that of a 3-way speaker, and also takes up less space.
Installation is easier for a 2-way speaker because of a much less complicated crossover between two filters.
As opposed to a more complicated crossover with at least three filters in a 3-way speaker. Similarly, it requires less power to operate, saving costs in energy.
When choosing the right speaker setup. You need to there are always compromises. This also depends on the type of vehicle and the environment in which the speaker will be installed.
If the car has limited space, for example, only space for one speaker in the door panel. The coaxial 2-way speaker will sound better and is easier to install due to the inherent blending and simple single crossover.
Component systems can sound better. However, they take up more space and are more difficult to install.
Due to the more complicated crossover circuit and ensuring that seamless transitions are made between the drivers.
The component system also provides better low and mid-range frequency reproduction. Since it has dedicated drivers and filters to do so.
Some YouTube videos that explain the differences between 2-way and 3-way speakers:
“Car Audio Myths – 2 Way or 3 Way Speakers?” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXBf46hCnmE&t=11s
“2 Way vs 3 Way” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F98MB3m8jCs
“2-way or 3-way crossovers?” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVDmvQG2xsQ