2 way vs 3 way speakers

If you're looking to upgrade your car's stereo system, you'll need to make a number of decisions about the type of speakers you want. Not all speakers are the same, and it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each different aspect of a car speaker system. One of those things to consider is whether you want a 2-way or 3-way car speaker system.

What are 2-way and 3-way speakers?

A two-way speaker has two speakers, each designed to provide a separate selection of frequencies, usually high and low. On the other hand, if the conversation is about a three-way loudspeaker, it contains three loudspeakers, with each loudspeaker providing separate frequency ranges; high, medium and low. This gives you a basic idea of ​​the audio spectrum each category offers.

2 way vs 3 way speakers: which is better?

A 2-way speaker has two types of drivers known as woofers and tweeters. The woofer is a speaker built exclusively for low-frequency sounds, while the tweeter is designed for high-frequency sounds. A 3-way speaker produces sound from three individual devices called the midrange, woofer, and tweeter. Each of them has its specific efficiency in a wide range of sound frequencies. Due to the ability to be optimized to operate in a specific range, this type of speaker is able to produce a much clearer, fuller and more accurate sound than ever before! Get a little hint as to what suits your needs? 

You must consider:

  • How well is the crossover set up? (Note: To divide the audible frequency range between different speakers, crossovers are used. The optimal crossover configuration has a great influence on the overall sound quality)
  • What is the quality of the components that are involved?
  • What is the housing design and how do the speakers fit together?

There have been times when a high-quality 2-way system has completely surpassed the average 3-way system. This is one of the main reasons we would like you to consider an application where you will be using them.

2 way speakers

A 2-way enclosure is split in two different ways, while a 3-way enclosure is split in three different ways. This simple distinction is the main difference between a 2-way and a 3-way speaker. A 2-way speaker is split between the subwoofer and the tweeter, while a 3-way speaker has an additional part called a "midrange driver".

The main benefit of a 2-way speaker is that it has a passive crossover inside the speaker box, allowing the speaker to operate at maximum efficiency. If a signal is only split into high and low frequencies, the sound quality can often be better. This makes a 2-way speaker the best choice for most car speakers, especially as 2-way speakers are more affordable and relatively simple to install, especially when compared to 3-way speakers.

A two-way speaker is a loudspeaker that has only 2 types of drivers, which are a woofer and a tweeter. The woofer covers all frequencies lower than the tweeter.

3 way speakers

A 3-way speaker only makes sense if you're using high quality components. If you're willing to invest a lot of money in a top-of-the-line speaker, the mid-range component will deliver better, more immersive sound quality. However, if you have a cheap and poorly made 3-way speaker, then all these benefits are gone.

A three-way speaker has an additional type of driver that covers the low frequencies, or low frequency range, called a subwoofer. The advantage of this setup is that you can set these speakers for different types of music and they will sound good for all styles, no matter what song might be playing.

Having so many advantages, only one question remains: why are 3-component speaker systems not used everywhere in cars, and although there are a number of reasons for this: a three-ruble note is usually much more expensive, since we need at least 2 extra amplification channels more, since Our system is professional, competent, and all the speakers are stronger per channel.

Moreover, you will need some kind of head unit or audio processor that will allow you to drive a 3-way speaker system, and many of the processors can only drive a 2-way speaker system. And these limitations often play an important role in choosing which system will be located in the car - 2 or 3 component.

Well, the undoubted minus is the moment that 3-component acoustics has more difficulties in installing in a car.

Many refuse from 3-component acoustics, since the presence of a mid-range speaker at the top of the torpedo cannot always be installed beautifully or in such a way that the mid-range speaker does not interfere with the view.

What is a speaker crossover?

A loudspeaker crossover is an electrical device that takes a single input signal and splits it to drive multiple loudspeakers in different frequency ranges. For 2-way speakers, the signal is split between the woofer and the tweeter. For a three-way loudspeaker, it is divided between the low frequency loudspeaker (subwoofer) and the mid/high frequency loudspeakers (tweeter).
A good quality crossover is important because it should provide an even signal to the speakers and not cause distortion. A cheap 3-way speaker system with a poor quality crossover may underperform a 2-way speaker with a good crossover.

2-way vs 3-way speakers - Which is better for a car audio system?

A two-way speaker system is the most common in a car audio system because it is easier to install and less expensive. A three-way speaker can be installed but requires more speaker space, which can interfere with other components inside your trunk or engine bay.

2-way vs 3-way speakers - which setup is better for a home theater?

A three-way speaker system has more bass and can sound much fuller when watching movies or TV shows. Some people prefer to use an equalizer, bass boost or subwoofer on their receiver which will improve the signal coming from the TV which would also be perfect.

Which setting is best for an audiophile?

An audiophile is someone who loves high quality sound, primarily for music. A three-way speaker system is best suited for home environments to provide maximum detail and clarity in your listening experience, especially if you play classical or jazz albums that require good frequency response in all speaker ranges from bass to treble.

2-Way vs 3-Way Speakers - Conclusions

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter what setup you have, whether it's 2-way or 3-way, unless you're an audiophile, because either way will produce decent results with their pros and cons. However, many people like to use two ways, mainly due to its affordability, as well as the smaller footprint when placed in small spaces such as cars where space can be limited; however, some prefer the 3-way setting as it provides more options and better sound quality.

For many, however, they are content to use only their built-in TV speakers or popular soundbars, but a good 2- or 3-way speaker system really makes them jump out of the water. There is no comparison.

For a better understanding, I would like to turn to some examples and talk about some pluses and minuses of a certain 3-component system with different types of installation. Therefore, let's first talk about in which cases 2-component acoustics would be a priority, and in which cases 3-component acoustics would be a priority

Let's assume that we have a certain car, where we have a large mid-bass installed in the doors - 6x9 inch speakers, which are installed very often in modern cars or 20 cm speakers, for example.

The more mid-bass, the more difficult it is for him to reproduce the upper and middle range of those same mid-range frequencies. Therefore, with such dynamics, we load Twitter very heavily and it already begins to distort at a good volume. In these systems, the presence of a midrange band, which will help unload the tweeter and midbass, is more relevant.

Suppose one more thing - we have a certain car, where the midbass is located low in relation to the driver's head. Let's say a certain type of SUVs or jeeps, with the so-called stool landing. In such cases, in such cars, the midabss is very low, and it is very difficult and in some cases completely impossible to bring it up to the dashboard using the settings.