Coaxial vs Component Speakers: What Are the Differences

Car speaker makers supply the market with different models of speakers, intending to cater to different listening tastes and different user preferences. As such, getting the ideal speakers for your vehicle will depend on how precisely you can determine your expectations as a listener and match them to the car speaker you’re considering.

One of the major dilemmas that many car owners face while buying car speakers is the choice between coaxial speakers and component speakers. This is a decision that requires a great background in each of these speaker models to get it right. 

So, what are the differences between coaxial and component speakers?

Coaxial Speakers

Coaxial or full-range speakers simply refer to a 2-way speaker system that is built into a single unit. These usually comprise a woofer, tweeter, and a simple crossover assembled into one piece. Coaxial speakers are a perfect upgrade on older and lower-quality speakers and are designed to fit in the same hole for faster and easier installation. 

Generally, they deliver better sound quality compared to single cone speakers and offer more price options. You can think of them as a compromise between low-quality single cone speakers and more advanced component speaker systems. 

Coaxial Speakers

Component Speakers

Component speakers are a more advanced system with separately mounted speakers. They employ an advanced crossover and are engineered to offer the highest sound quality. Component speakers are the next level of speakers above coaxial and generally offer a better sound performance. 

One good reason behind this is that they use better woofer and dome tweeter materials, as well as a superior speaker crossover. You may also find features like options for tweeter volume reduction, extra wiring configurations, and tweeter fusing to guard against overload on offer. 


Coaxial vs Component Speakers: What Are the Differences?

Now that you have a little background of what coaxial speakers and component speakers entail, let us look at the major differences between the two based on various parameters:

Crossover Differences

Component speakers feature more advanced crossovers compared to coaxial speakers. They employ two stages of sound filtering as opposed to the single used in coaxial. The implication is that you get more effective filtering of low frequency and mid-range sounds from the tweeter while the high-range sound is kept away from the woofer. 

On the other hand, coaxial speakers use a cheap capacitor, which is connected to the tweeter but nothing for the woofer. They use a low-quality crossover design, which relies on the assumption that most woofers stop producing high-frequency sounds naturally. 

While this may get the job done, the eventual sound quality is compromised to an extent. Overall, component speakers use an external crossover that is built for the specific speaker used and are constructed using higher-quality capacitors and inductors. 

That is why they excel at preventing undesirable sound frequencies from reaching drivers that are not suited for them. The result here is that you get better stereo clarity and lower distortion, which allows you to listen to the music just as it was meant to be heard! 

Sound Quality

Component speakers are preferred by many users for their better sound reproduction, which is a credit to the separate driver configuration. This allows them to separate different sound frequencies accurately across the spectrum. As a result, you get to enjoy a more powerful and precise bass from the woofer while the tweeter produces great high-frequencies for superior sound imaging. 

Meanwhile, coaxial speakers are not the best when it comes to stereo imaging, which can be explained by the single unit configuration. As much as they can handle all the sound frequencies in the spectrum, there is a degree of frequency interference. This is because the woofer is placed too close to the tweeter. 

Customization Capabilities

Typically, component speakers are made up of 2 tweeters, 2 woofers, and 2 crossovers. However, you may get some models with extra drivers such as subwoofers while more advanced designs of component speakers will even incorporate super-tweeters for the best sound reproduction. 

Thanks to all these drivers, you can achieve off-axis and on-axis response. For on-axis response, all you have to do is position the speakers to the face the listener to get better high-frequency sounds. For those who prefer more bass in their music, speakers are set to face away from the listener for a more off-axis sound response. 

When it comes to coaxial speakers, you don’t have much wriggle room as far as determining how your stereo looks and performs after installation. While these will fit effortlessly in many car models, all you get is a good sound upgrade and nothing more! 

2 tweeters, 2 woofers, and 2 crossovers

Ease of Installation

If you want to make the most of the benefits offered by component speakers, then you need to possess great technical skills for proper installation. Otherwise, be ready to spend a few bucks on a professional to carry out the installation for you. You may come across component speakers that enable you to mount the tweeter at the center of the woofer, which generally simplifies the installation process. 


But if you intend to mount the different drivers at different areas inside your car, then a greater deal of installation skills will be needed. This might force you to contract a professional technician and incur some extra expenses. 

The great thing about coaxial speakers is that installing them is a simple and straightforward process. Practically anybody with basic skills can mount them in a matter of minutes when all the right tools are available. There is only one input connection to deal with, as opposed to the three connections involved in component speakers. 


Coaxial speakers are typically less expensive than their component counterparts. If your budget is relatively limited, two good reasons make coaxial speakers the better option for you. Firstly, these speakers are designed to save on time, space, and even costs.

Their configuration combines everything into a single unit, which greatly reduces the cost, and this also applies when it comes to the quality of materials used. Aside from spending less when buying, you also get to limit your budget during installation since you don’t require professional experience. 

On the other hand, component speakers come with a more advanced design that requires more time and better materials. This extra cost involved is passed down to the buyer, hence the higher price tag of component speakers. 

The other reason is that coaxial speakers will work just okay without amplifiers, which is not true for component speakers. If you want to get the most out of component speakers, then you need to throw an amplifier into the mix to complete the sound upgrade. 

Vehicle Fit

Generally, coaxial speakers are designed to replace the outgoing factory speakers in a car. They fit almost perfectly in the spaces left behind and this is why you see more coaxial speakers in vehicles than component speakers. 


Due to space and installation needs, component speakers might prove to be a difficult fit in some vehicles. You have to conduct a great deal of due diligence beforehand to be sure that the component speakers you want to buy will fit your car. 

Component Vs Coaxial Speakers: Which is Better?

The shortest answer to this is that component speakers will be more suitable if you’re looking for the best sound quality, higher power handling, better woofer and tweeter technology options, as well as installation creativity. 

Meanwhile, coaxial speakers are the better option for those who simply want a sound upgrade without caring about super-crisp stereo, especially when working with a limited budget.


So, if you were wondering which one between coaxial and component speakers to install inside your car, we hope the article above lays bare the differences between the two and the unique pros and cons that each one of them offers. 

The market has speakers for just about anyone, but finding what best suits you comes down to finding the ideal audio reproduction for your kind of listening pleasure!

Barry Allen

About the author:

Barry Allen

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! 

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