3-Way vs 2-Way car speakers - Which is better?
Whether you’re an audiophile, a musician or simply a regular bloke who enjoys jamming to good music, a high-quality sound system is something to always look forward to when shopping for a car. Some people may not understand this but sometimes it’s just therapeutic to crank up the volume as you drive alone in your vehicle.
The speaker market offers you a wide variety of sound systems that can be installed in your car. Among the many decisions you’re likely going to make is whether to buy a 2-way or a 3-way car speaker system. But before we get to that, what does it even mean?
Which will be the better option.. a 3-way or 2-way speaker?
What is a 2-way Speaker?
A two-way speaker is made up of a tweeter and a woofer. The woofer accounts for low frequency sounds such as notes produced by a drum or a bass. This implies that in a 2-way speaker, the woofer also accounts for a part of the midrange recurrence spectrum.
Meanwhile, the smaller tweeter handles the higher sound frequencies, such as those produced by a tambourine, a cymbal or a woodwind. Additionally, there is a crossover to subtract pieces of the incoming sound signal, sending them to the appropriate driver. Generally, two-way speakers produce much better sound than single-driver speakers.
Two-way speakers tend to be less expensive than their three-way counterparts. This is because they require less material to produce, as well as a crossover unit that separates the signal in two areas. However, these speakers can also get pretty costly when they involve high quality materials or required designing expertise.
Many two-way car sound speakers come with a passive crossover. This type of circuit will isolate the signal into various extents but won’t intensify it. Therefore, two-way speaker systems can offer enhanced sound quality while maintaining simplicity to save on material costs.
Two-way speakers are just ideal for coaxial speaker frameworks. These simply refer to frameworks that contain more than one speaker in the same box. The speakers then create sound on a similar axis.
Two-way speakers produce a sound that is relatively of lower quality than three-way speakers. This is because both the mid-range and bass sound proliferation have been bundled into the woofer, which is unlike in three-way systems where they get isolated.
The woofer featured in three-way speaker frameworks handles sound frequencies ranging between 20 Hz and 2,000Hz, which is a wide range and harder to cover when using a one speaker driver. As such, 3-way frameworks sift through the low frequency and high frequency sounds to result in an increasingly better sound in the woofer.
What is a 3-way Speaker?
A three-way speaker framework uses three drivers inside the speaker to produce sound effects. Unlike in two-way speakers, the sound signal, in this case, is separated into three different territories. The first range is the tweeter, which handles sounds with a frequency above 2,000Hz.
The second, which is the mid-range, is responsible for sound between 200Hz and 2,000Hz. The third and final range is for the woofer and this is usually responsible for sounds with a frequency below 200Hz, which is typically the base scope. The three territories are frequently referred to as low, mid, and high.
Generally, three-way speakers ought to produce better-quality sound than two-way speakers. This is especially true when both speaker frameworks are made using the same materials. Given that the sound signal is separated and directed to drivers that best produce the different ranges, three-way speakers maintain a larger amount of purity.
Naturally, the design of coaxial speakers makes it difficult to distinguish between two-way and three-way speaker frameworks. However, three-way speakers tend to outshine their counterparts and this is due to the isolating drivers that keep tweeters at a higher level near our ears than the mid-range and woofer.
The bass sound produced in three-way speakers is more pronounced and of better quality than in 2-way speakers. You can credit this to the fact that the woofer is strictly committed to the lower frequency whereas the mid-range handles the mid-range sound. Bass is an essential element of good music that adds mood and drive to the overall sound quality.
Another benefit of separating the bass from the mid-range in a three-way framework is that it enables the speaker system to handle substantially greater power without damage, compared to a two-way framework.
Three-way speakers will typically cost more than two-way speakers, both in the segment and coaxial versions. This is because of the additional materials used in the third mid-range driver, as well as the improved crossover circuit.
Three-way speaker frameworks also require a well-assembled crossover, unlike two-way speakers, which can function comfortably with low-grade crossovers. When you consider that the advantage of 3-way speakers over 2-way speakers is merely only better sound quality ; most music lovers who are not audiophiles may not be able to notice it.
2-way Vs. 3-way Speakers: The Difference
The two-way speaker framework consists of two drivers; a twitter to control the high frequencies and the woofer to control the mid-range and low frequencies. On the other hand, the three-way speaker frameworks constitute three drivers. A mid-range driver has been included in this case to handle the mid-range frequency and leave the woofer to only handle the low-frequency sounds.
This results in better sound contrast compared to two-way speaker frameworks. Furthermore, there are various components that impact the quality of sound. These different variables include things like the method for crossover setting, cabinet structure, and speaker arrangement.
Ultimately, it’s always wise to consider both the two-way and three-way options when shopping for a speaker system to avoid second thoughts once it has been installed in your car. Hence, it is recommended to consider speaker testing in your vehicle first before you decide to buy it. This will allow you to compare the sound quality, as well as other variables, to make an informed decision.
2-way VS 3-way Speakers: Which is Better?
Now that you know the difference between 2-way and 3-way speakers, you might have to choose between the two speaker designs. All things considered; this is not a clear-cut answer since all comes down to the preference of the buyer. However, most people will end up opting for three-way speakers; guess our brains are generally conditioned to assume that more is better, which isn’t always true!
It goes without saying that having a designated driver for the high, mid-range and low frequencies, enhances the overall sound quality. However, this may not be as simple as it sounds given that there are more aspects that ought to be considered.
For instance, the construction material of the speaker, your general speaker arrangement, your listening condition, as well as the genre of music you’re playing will all come into play. In full-extended speaker setups, you will barely notice the difference between 2-way and 3-way frameworks, assuming that both are made using similar materials.
If you are an audiophile who cares more about sound fidelity, then three-way speakers are the better choice. But for ordinary music listeners who may not be able to notice the difference, two-way speakers will do! This will also be true for buyers who are on a budget and cannot afford the additional components in 3-way frameworks.
You’d also like to know that you will find 4 and even 5-way speaker frameworks in the market. The thing is, adding the number of drivers doesn’t necessarily improve the quality of audio; but it will definitely raise the cost of the speaker.
What are the Best 3-way and 2-way Car Speakers?
Our recommended choice for the best 3-way car speaker is the Rockford Fosgate 3-Way Full-Range Coaxial Speaker.
The 4-Ohm 3-way speakers feature an integrated tweeter crossover that can handle up to 130 Watts RMS. They also come with polypropylene cones, grilles, and mounting hardware.
Overall, these speakers deliver clear and clean audio with great bass.
For the best 2-way car speaker, we recommend the JVC CS-J620 300W 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers.
These come as a pair and feature Black ABS composite grills for protection. The 4-Ohm 2-way speaker can handle sound frequencies ranging between 35 and 22,000Hz and have a sensitivity of 92dB.
These speakers are quite cheap but will sound great in your car.
A speaker system is among the first things that most vehicle enthusiasts look at before they decide to buy a car. This shows the amount of importance attached to the quality of sound that the music system in a car produces and how it increases the value of the car.
When it comes to choosing between a two-way and a three-way speaker, various factors will come into play, including your budget and the level of sound quality you expect. At the end of the day, the choice will mainly be influenced by your own preferences. This article ensures that you’ll make an informed decision when considering 2-way Vs, 3-way car speakers.
About the author:
I grew up to be a self-proclaimed stuck-up audiophile, and I – partially – blame Pinnacle Speakers for it.
The whole point of me starting this website was to keep the tradition going. Although the means have changed, the mission remains the same: Bringing „sterling sound“ as they once put it into home theaters and sound systems worldwide!