【SECRET】2-way, 3-way, 4-way Speakers » What are Difference Between 2 way, 3 way, 4 way Car Speakers
When you’re picking out speakers, there are a lot of phrases that you’ll lock into and find yourself wondering about. Figuring out the What are the difference between 2 way, 3 way, and 4 way speakers for instance, is one of the hardest to figure out for a newbie.
We’re here to break it down for you and make the selection process a whole lot simpler.
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What We’re Talking About
Speakers come in a variety of different configurations. At their most basic you have a speaker with a single driver which makes things pretty easy to figure out. A single driver speaker is just a single speaker, with no additional properties.
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On the other hand, most of the actually upgraded speakers on the market are going to have multiple drivers. Indeed, even the majority of stock speakers are going to be at least 2 ways.
This is where phrases like 2 way, 3 way, 4 way, etc. are going to come into play.
What you’re actually looking at are speakers which contain sub-speakers within themselves. This gives a much fuller range of sound, and picking wisely is the key to ensuring that you’ve got clear highs and mids in your sound.
As a general rule, these are the full range speakers for your system. You’ll want to look into bullet supertweeters for crystal clear highs and subwoofers to get the really booming lows and those are separate subjects entirely.
What to Expect
For the most part, the speaker configurations are going to be pretty simple.
2-way speakers are comprised of a “woofer” and a “tweeter.” Basically, the larger speaker is going to handle the lows and mids, while the smaller integrated speaker handles the upper range of the mids and the highs.
They’re some of the most common speakers around, often simply described as “coaxial” and are the usual fare for those who are looking into upgrading their systems. Even many stock speakers are going to fall into this category.
3-way speakers will have the same features as the 2-way plus an additional speaker for the mid-range of sound. They’re the beginning of serious upgrades for those who care about the entire scope of their sound rather than just focusing on one feature.
4-way speakers are the same as 3-way speakers with the addition of a super-tweeter. Obviously they give an even wider and clearer range to all of the sound that you’re looking for and they’re pretty much top of the line.
So Which is the Best?
As a general rule: more sub-speakers leads to superior sound.
This isn’t always the case however as there are a lot of inferior knock-offs which have made their way into the market. You want to avoid these at all costs, they’re rarely worth the materials that they’re stamped out of.
Within the same brand and model, however, you’ll get better sound as you go higher.
There’s one big thing to keep in mind, however: you may want to go with less drivers in your full-range if you’re planning on implementing a complete system within your vehicle. It’ll save you money and, in the case of supertweeters, can avoid interference which you’ll have to fine tune out by spending a lot of quality time with the equalizer in your vehicles.
Many people make the mistake of thinking they can just throw together high cost components and have a great system, but user experience and the integration of the whole is going to play a major part as well.
You’re not going to be able to create a professional system with just a couple of cheap knock-offs which barely function, but you’re also not going to have a professional sound just because you dumped a ton of cash into your vehicle’s audio system either.
Our recommendation is pretty simple, however, and earned through experience:
Go with 2-way speakers unless you’re planning on a full-range system with only component speakers. And avoid cheap coaxial speakers with 3-way or 4-way at all costs.
The reasons for this are pretty simple:
- 4-way coaxial speakers are really just a way to raise the price and make a buck off of those who don’t know what they’re looking for. Without the ability to tune each speaker to your own needs, you’re just going to end up with a ton of treble.
- 2-way speakers tend to “bleed” better. This crossover of sound frequencies is actually pretty desirable and it’s the reason that many super high-end speakers are still 2-way. It keeps things smoothed out.
- If you’re going to be running subwoofers and supertweeters on their own, then it makes sense to not have anything else interfering in their dedicated frequencies.
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2 way, 3 way, and 4 way are distinct physical features contained within your speakers. They can also be extremely useful in all ranges when utilized properly.
For the average person just looking for an upgrade on their stock speakers, they’re a bit of a money pit.
On the other hand, for those who are dedicated audiophiles, high-end speakers in the 3-way and 4-way range can be a good way to get a complete full-range system without having to dedicate internal space for subwoofers and supertweeters.
If you’re going to go ahead and look for a ton of drivers, then you’ll want to make sure of all of the following:
- Ensure they’re component speakers so you can control each of the sub-speakers individually.
- Only buy 3-way and 4-way speakers from a reputed brand. No-name brands can produce some pretty awesome speakers, but if you’re going to sink the extra money then you need to ensure they’ll be quality components.
- Don’t get sucked into the marketing buzz that can be generated by increasing amounts of sub-speakers. You need something solid with a bit of crossover, or you’re going to end up with some weird effects in your music.
We hope that we’ve answered your question, learning car audio is a complicated process. Knowing the difference between 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way speakers is just the beginning but it’s definitely a good place to start for those who are new to the fascinating world of car audio.