Perhaps you might have come across the term 2-way and 3-way systems being displayed in big stereo shops if you have recently shopped for good musical equipment to purchase for your band, studio monitors or public address loudspeakers.
Or as a great lover of quality music while you drive, you recently acquired a fairly new auto whose speaker systems are scraps which can’t really satisfy your urge than to make a quick change of the entire system.
You may wonder what to choose, thinking 2 way vs 3 way speakers, what do they even stand for? The two terms imply the number of speakers featured in the monitor.
A 2 way Speaker is a cheaper option with great sound quality. They are easy to install and feature a passive crossover that enables maximum sound quality notwithstanding price, size, and material quality. A 2-way speaker filters both high and low frequencies to their maximum to ensure good sound reproduction. However, with the higher price of a 3-way speaker, you’ll experience superior sound quality, and greater bass from the additional woofer installed inside the speaker. A 3-way speaker produces clearer sound across the major frequencies. Motorists can also enjoy high and low frequencies, without either of them overlapping. This is beneficial for motorists using quality sound equipment as the speaker ensures clear and high-fidelity sound output. Both 2-way and 3-way speakers are great options to have in your vehicle but, depending on your preference, you’ll come to discover that one of both is superior.
If you are an audio-thrilled regular guy who enjoys listening to quality sound while you cruise around or a musician, top on your budget priority will probably be a decent set of speakers in your car irrespective of what others around you feel.
You then begin to ponder on how to start. Which set of speakers should I buy? 2-way speakers or 3-way? What’s the difference between the two? Which one produces better sound? And hosts of questions will filter through your spines.
Below, we intend to simplify your quests by proffering some points that may guide your decision considering what actually these systems are and how to make the best choice that you would enjoy.
What is 2-way speaker
Are you at loss concerning what a 2-way Speaker is? we care to share with you the surest way which is through their components and functions they perform. A 2-Way speaker has two drivers, the tweeter and the woofer.
While the tweeter controls the higher frequencies the woofer handles the low and mid-ranges of frequency.
What is 3-way speaker
Just as we have outlined above concerning a 2-way speaker, it will interest you to know that a 3-way speaker has three drivers dividing sound frequencies evenly or proportionately among themselves.
We can safely say that a 3-way car speaker (also known as tri-axial speakers), consists of the woofer, the tweeter, and an extra driver called the mid-range sometimes called a super-tweeter which resembles a woofer but in a smaller size.
Due to its size, the mid-range driver regulates sound frequencies midway between the lows (of the woofer) and the highs (of the tweeter). The mid-range driver if its well-built balances the frequency slope by boosting the frequencies naturally to the human ear.
The tweeting speaker which is relatively smaller handles the high-end frequencies which require faster air movement.
While the woofers, usually larger and harder handles bass frequencies which requires large movement of air to produce heavy echoed sound.
Are two ways speaker good for bass?
You can depend on a 2-way speaker to give you an appreciable bass level since it has a woofer that produces bass frequencies which requires a large movement of air.
Getting your desired bass from a 2-way speaker will depend on the speaker size and the casing construction, as it carries just two speakers.
To enjoy required bass levels in 2-way speaker just ensure that your woofer is bigger than the tweeter. Nevertheless, your passion for music and sound pitch level will determine your choice.
Are three ways speaker good for bass?
No one can doubt this clear fact that a 3-way speaker constructed with two woofers will automatically produce heavier bass pitch than the 2-way type.
The reason behind our above assertion is of course because we have tested both for you and seen their competence.
While the tweeter does its job efficiently, the combination of the two woofers boosts bass production thus strengthening the sound audition and waves better than what is produced by just two speakers as in the case with a 2-way system.
Which is a better choice between the two?
Now that you know the difference between 2-way and 3-way speakers, you need to know which one of these designs is better for you. This may not be an easy question to answer.
Most people would opt for three-way speakers because our brains are wired to always think that more is better which is not always the case.
To some, it would seem that having a distinct component for each sound frequency (woofer for the lows, tweeter for the highs and the mid range for the mediums) would increase sound accuracy and enhance audibility.
But it’s not as simple as that because there are so many other factors that should be taken into consideration.
In full-range setups, you can barely notice any difference between both speakers assuming both of them are built with the same materials.
However, when it comes to component setups in which each speaker is mounted separately, it’s safe to say that three-way speakers can smoke the competition.
This doesn’t mean by any means that a cheaply made 3-way speakers will outperform well-made 2-way speakers.
The major difference between a 2-way and 3-way speakers is just that the latter consist of three drivers while the former consists of just the woofer and the tweeter.
The two systems have their various benefits and making a choice of one depends on the user. One cannot just close up his mind in making a better choice between the two.
You might need to consider a lot of factors before arriving at your choicest system as reviewers’ opinion can only guide to an extent because the type of music or audio they listen to and location of their set-up will greatly reflect in their choice.
But your personal preference and practical testing with your own ears and set up will stand out as the better parameter.
You may ordinarily want to opine that splitting up the job between three instead of two speakers should naturally provide better sound giving preference to a 3-way speaker system over 2-way speaker system but in reality it does not follow.
One will have to take into consideration several other factors. Some of those factors may include your personal desire and passion for music.
Such as; the system design, speakers’ built material, your listening environment, your overall stereo setup, the type of music you enjoy, the pitch-level at which you enjoy your music, your budget, your type of car and even government environmental legislation.
In a 3-way system, a speaker that handles the mid-range is added. This mid-range speaker is smaller than the woofer but larger than a tweeter.
While there are monitors out there that use a single speaker, you will get much better results by using a 3-way above a 2-way system with each speaker focusing on reproducing its own range.
In this sense, although it may be on personal note, we believe it is safe to conclude that a 3-way speaker system will sound better than two-way car speaker system if well-built.
Things to consider when choosing your car speaker
When making a choice to buy a particular type or brand of speakers from the factory or ordering for a customized design, how would you know the best to choose within various types available in the market place?
Considering some salient factors will help you in avoiding disappointments that might come with choosing the wrong type leading to eventual waste of resources.
Discussed below are some important factors that car owners must consider before installing new car speakers.
- Coaxial speaker : Always look out for coaxial speaker type which come with full range of the components such as tweeters, super tweeters and woofers all set up in a single basket. Major reason for preferring this type is its simple and easier installation procedures. You will simply be required to remove your old factory speakers and replace them with the coaxial speakers and you are done.
- Component speakers: on the other hand are ideal for those who need the best listening experience. This is because the components are separately detached as the tweeter, crossover and woofer are differently positioned thus delivering a better feel of your lovely music to you. With component speakers, you can be sure that you will have a better listening experience, good build quality and better value for your money.
- Power handling: The speakers RMS value should be known as you will be required to know the amount of power that will be needed to operate them. One of the ways of ensuring that the speaker is compatible with the amplifier is by using RMS power to determine if they are compatible or not. Your car battery amps for example like 60, 70 or 75amps will greatly determine the power required by your car speaker system.
- Sensitivity: How sensitive the speakers are which basically refers to how much power the speakers will need to output at a given volume level. You therefore need to ascertain the exact amount of power your external amplifiers or head unit put out in comparison with your car battery voltage. It is necessary for you to understand that speakers having a low level of sensitivity normally work great with external amplifiers using high power. Speakers having a high level of sensitivity on the other hand work perfectly with low powered external amplifiers.
- Compatibility: Nothing could be more frustrating than having to buy a speaker system that isn’t compatible with your car system as this will greatly hamper on the speaker performance and quality of the sound output.
- Durability: The process of fixing a new speaker system fully operational in your car is not an easy one as it involves the hassle of buying, installing and then adjusting the speaker hoping that it will last for a long period of time without you making a premature yet costly changes. This requires you to consider durability as an important feature before making a final choice. You will consider this an all-important point when costing the time and money value involved if you have to change your speakers going through the same process over and over again simply because you made a wrong choice of poor quality speakers.
- Price: The price of the speakers you want to get for your car matters a lot. While cheap speakers will most likely be poor quality, expensive speakers do not necessarily have to be the best. You are not to strain your budget extra-ordinarily to be able to buy car speakers and become financially unstable afterwards. It is good to get speaker that balance between price and quality. You can get some averagely priced speakers that offer the best services beyond people’s expectations. It is always good to consider the various speakers on the market to see their prices to assist you in making an informed decision to buy a particular type.
- Size: Sizes of the speakers do matter too. Some people may think that size is not that important when it comes to choosing car speakers. You can imagine the psychological embarrassment you’ll create for yourself if you acquire an over-size car speaker for your car which will require having to alter the car stereo panel to fit in. Always have a rough idea of the speaker space in your cars so that it matches the size of the speakers being sold on the market. This will help you in making sure that you don’t have to keep returning your speakers to the store where you bought them simply because they cannot fit in well.
We have taken a good journey into the car speaker world together and we hope it has worth it’s while. By now, you would have adequately been informed of the differences between a 2-way and 3-way car speaker systems and how one is not always inherently better that the other.
After understanding the major differences between 2 way Vs 3 way speakers, you should now be in better position to appropriately make a decision regarding which one to buy and install in your car based on what suits you.
We hope you found our article helpful and enlightening enough. If you have a comment or question, drop it in the box below, we will be glad to hear from you.