2 Way vs 3 Way Car Speakers: What’s The Difference?

The pleasure of playing your favourite track on the way back from a tiring day at work keeps most of us
moving through. The therapeutic power of music at different levels of the volume is irreplaceable. The
right type of speaker system can transform your musical ride.

While deciding upon the right speaker system for your car, you will come across two common terms, 2-
way speakers and 3-way speakers. If you have just bought your speedy beast or it’s the first time you are
choosing a speaker system then don’t worry, we have got you covered. The basic understanding of 2-
way and 3-way speakers will help you to choose the sound system as per your music taste. Before the
final call, you should google a 6×8-inch car speaker, 6×9-inch car speaker, 5.25-inch car speaker, 6.5-inch
car speaker, and budget car speaker to learn more about it.

Let’s move forward to discuss 2-way speaker vs. 3-way speakers.

2-Way Speakers For Cars

A 2-way speaker system comprises of a woofer and tweeter together in a speaker basket. The number
two in its name stands for two drivers. The conical part of the speaker from which it emits sound upon
vibration is a driver. The driver is calibrated to produce more sound for certain frequencies depending
on the nature of the material used in its making. A wide range of sound between 20Hz to 20,000Hz is
made possible with a combination of drivers and materials. You can handle frequencies above 2,000 Hz
with the tweeter while the woofer operates on the frequencies below 2,000 Hz.

A crossover blocks certain frequencies from the incoming audio signal for each speaker sending it to the
right driver using a 2,000 Hz high-pass filter. The dedicated tweeter adds more clarity, life, and air to the
sounds. This is how 2-way speakers are way better at producing good sounds than single speakers. The
woofer is the part where the sound frequencies are compromised in this speaker system. It is designed
without lower basses to produce a good quality sound. This is why the 2-way speakers rarely have deep
sounding basses.

Benefits of Using 2-way Speakers:

1. Price

2-way speakers cost less than 3-way speakers because of less material required in its manufacturing. Their crossover circuit is quite simple and splits the signals in just two ranges.

However, some of these 2-way speaker systems can be expensive when it comes to high-quality manufacturing and engineering prospects.

2. Works With Passive Crossover

Most of the 2-way speaker systems work perfectly with a passive crossover. This circuit separates the signal into different ranges without amplifying it. Yes, a 2-way speaker system produces amplified sound without additional components helping you to save up on the material costs.

3. Seamless Coaxial System

2-way speakers suit the coaxial speaker system ideally. The coaxial system comprises more than one speaker in the same box, both producing sound on the exact same axis.

Drawbacks of Using 2-Way Speakers:

1. Compromise On Sound Quality

2-way speakers rip off the sound quality as compared to 2-way speakers due to the bundling of sounds from bass into the woofer. This produces a mid-range sound compromising the sound quality.

2. Limited Bass

The wide range of sound is difficult to cover by a single speaker driver. The 2-way system thereby filters out the low basses from high tweeter frequencies for the woofer to produce more suitable sounds.

3-Way Speakers For Cars

3-way speakers come with both coaxial system and component systems. The component system uses three different boxes for three drivers, while the coaxial system comprises of three drivers in a single box. The high-quality manufacturing of a 3-way coaxial system doesn’t allow it to outnumber a 2-way coaxial system in performance. This shifts a 3-way coaxial speaker down on the consumer choice list.

3-way speakers make a mark when we talk about component systems. It is the best choice for an audiophile user demanding the best of both worlds. The sound quality still depends upon the material used in manufacturing the drivers and the crossover used.

Benefits of Using 3-Way Speakers

1. Quality Sounds

Assuming that both speaker systems are made from the same material, the 3-way system would still produce better quality sound. The sounds are channelled into different compartments depending on the frequencies producing the best ranges with high purity levels.  

2. More Bass Production

Bass is important for rich and rhythmic music. Quality 3-way speakers work best for low bass because of a dedicated woofer fitted in its manufacturing. The mid-range driver handles the mid-range frequencies separately.   

3. Unbeatable For The Component System

You cannot easily differentiate between the sounds of a good 2-way coaxial speaker system and a good 3-way coaxial system, but that is not the case with a 3-way component system. Sperate drives and close-fitted high-level tweeter produces unbeatable higher frequency sounds as per its directional nature.

4. Compatible With A Higher Power

Separate mid-range handling in 3-way speakers makes it compatible with more power without distortion as compared to the 2-way system.

Drawbacks of Using 3-Way Speakers

1. Price

Purchasing 3-way speakers are heavy on your pocket, whether you go for a coaxial system or component system. The improved crossover circuit and mid-range drivers make it cost more. So if you are working on a budget, then this is not the right choice.

2. Quality Crossover

3-way speakers need quality crossovers to function properly, which is an added cost. It would require more power to operate, as well.

3. Not The Right Choice For The Coaxial System

You wouldn’t find a difference between a 2-way and 3-way coaxial speakers. If you are selecting a 3-way coaxial system, then you are paying extra for nothing new.  

2 Way vs 3 Way Car Speakers Product Comparison Table

We have discussed all the basic that creates a differentiating point between the two systems; however, you will need accurate information for making the final decision. To make the right choice, let’s compare their qualities side by side to understand what would suit us the best.

Features2 Way Speakers3 Way Speakers
Coaxial systemGreatPoor
Component systemGoodIdeal
INSTALLATION PROCESSEasy installationComplicated installation
OUTPUTLow powerHigh power

In Conclusion

The right choice from the above comparison is clear; that is the 3-way component speaker system if money isn’t an issue for you. However, if you are someone who is working on a budget, a good quality 2-way coaxial system is a better compromise. You can still hear good music along the drive without putting a load on your pockets.