Pro Auto Talk is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to you).

2 Way vs 4 Way Speakers: Will Your Car Speakers Sound Nicer?

Last Updated on: October 6, 2022

Upgrades to your car’s stereo system will require you to choose speakers according to several factors. You will hear sounds outside your vehicle that can hinder you from enjoying the music.

With that in mind…

Choosing the right car speakers is imperative to enhance your overall driving experience. You’ve probably heard a lot about 2 way vs 4 way speakers, but you’re uncertain about how these two compare from each other.

Please read on and learn more about these two speaker types and help you decide on a well-suited replacement for your factory speakers.

2 Way Vs 4 Way Speakers Standoff

The main differences between 2 way and 4 way speakers are:

  • A 2 way speaker has two audio drivers, whereas a 4 way speaker has four drivers.
  • A 2 way speaker has one built-in crossover point, whereas a 4 way speaker has more than one.
  • A 2 way speaker produces a low to high-frequency range, whereas a 4 way speaker has a broader range of frequencies.

Different Types Of Car Speaker Systems

What could be the difference between 2 way and 4 way speakers? It might be a typical question among newbies trying to have a better sound system for their vehicles. If you are unfamiliar with the different speakers on the market, purchasing a speaker for your car can be challenging.

But to better understand that, it is crucial to know what the different speakers are and how each function to meet our needs. Here are two of the main speaker types you must consider:

Component Speakers

An automotive component speaker set, like a bookshelf speaker, consists of units that emit sound from different directions or specific frequencies.

Component Speakers

A component speaker has multiple drivers, which you can install in various spots in your car, enabling optimal audio quality. As such, the sound from component speakers has significant depth and clarity.

These drivers have three basic types, including a woofer, mid-range, and tweeter, and are ideal for customization, but they are harder to set up. Professional assistance might be necessary to have distinct speakers to manage the bass, mid-range, and high-frequency.

Low-pitched notes, for instance, are examples of low-frequency sound that a woofer can produce. You likely hear a subwoofer if you notice the bass notes pounding in your chest and vibrating your surroundings.

The tweeter handles the higher frequency range, like the sound of whistles, bells, and cymbals. It likewise gives more definition to voices and instruments. On the other hand, a midrange driver is responsible for the sound between the lower frequency and high-frequency range.

Each of these drivers in component speakers functions independently to provide superior audio quality. Therefore, it’s best to consider a component to achieve the best sound with highly customizable drivers. But component speakers are expensive and require a separate amplifier.

Coaxial Speakers

A coaxial or full-range speaker has multiple drivers that project sounds from the same axis. These full-range systems come as a single assembly of a tweeter, woofer, and a simple crossover.

Coaxial Speakers

Such a speaker system is today’s standard for most car manufacturers, which explains if you feel like a coaxial speaker seems familiar to you.

The speaker delivers a full range of sound in a single unit composed of different-sized woofers. It has a speaker design that includes a tweeter installed at the top of the woofer’s voice coil or on the pole.

Otherwise, it could generally be a tweeter and a woofer with 2 way, 3 way, or 4 way configurations. Coaxial speakers are less customizable than the component but offer a much more effortless installation process than the latter. 

Installing it doesn’t require any interior modifications and could save so much of your time. However, since each driver is on top of the other, it sometimes compromises the audio quality since the sound comes from only a single point source.

Pro Auto Thought: Most car speakers already come pre-installed. What if you decide to upgrade your sound system and provide your new cones with brand-new housing? Read our article and find out how to DIY this project — How Much Airspace Do 6×9 Speakers Need? We Take Scores!

Key Components Of A Speaker

A speaker driver is a simple device, but it converts audio signals into sound motion, providing us the opportunity to enjoy listening to our favorite music. It effectively reproduces a sound to an audible range suitable for human hearing. Another component worth mentioning is car speaker sizes. Many believe that the bigger the cone, the fuller and crisper the sound.

These drivers have varying sizes and power; here are the most basic types of a driver:

Woofer

15-inch Woofer

The woofer is the most sizable driver meant for generating low-frequency sounds. It can handle 20 Hz to 500 Hz audio frequency. The wavelengths of lower-frequency sounds are longer, explaining the woofer’s size.

It is typical for coaxial speakers to include a woofer with a tweeter on top of it. 

Such a speaker is the one you most likely see in a car’s door, while the tweeter is generally at the dash or the corner pillar. Woofers are responsible for most of the frequencies you hear in your daily life, from human voices, sound effects, and musical instruments.

Mid Range Speaker

6.5-inch Mid-Range Speaker

Midrange speakers offer adequate coverage for the sound spectrum’s middle part between tweeters and woofers. Such speakers can handle 500 Hz to 4,000 Hz frequencies. Although they look similar, these speakers are smaller than the woofers.

The middle range of the sound spectrum is the most essential since human ears are more vulnerable to this frequency, and it sounds natural and audible.

Various mid-range drivers have diverse frequency responses; likewise, different speaker crossovers send drivers diverse frequency bands. Most speaker systems with woofers and tweeters generally utilize mid-range drivers.

Tweeter

3-inch Tweeters

Tweeters are smaller units than woofers; they have a specific design to create the highest frequencies. A tweeter can handle frequencies ranging from 2,000 Hz to 20,000 Hz. 

Like cymbals and voices in music, these delicate sounds exemplify what tweeters produce.

These drivers are the tiniest car sound system; hence, you can expect reduced and more directional sound waves due to their high frequency. As such, it would help to ensure that you install a tweeter near your woofer or where your listeners are.

Such driver types like the tweeters generate sound airwaves beyond a certain threshold, including sounds the human ear can sense but are not audible.

Super Tweeter

Horn Super Tweeter

Some speakers, particularly the tri-axials, interchange the midrange speaker for a super tweeter. You get better sound with more definition when you substitute midrange drivers for super tweeters that work well in extending the high frequencies.

A super tweeter performs well in generating the upper-most limit of high frequencies ranging from 10,000 Hz and above. 

Nevertheless, this component is rare in comparison to the first three drivers. It’s smaller than the tweeter and is ideal for those enjoying the high notes.

Understanding The Variation Of 4 Way Vs 2 Way Speakers

Adding new speakers to your car is one of the most practical and fastest ways to boost your car’s sound system. To further achieve that, you must opt for a high-quality speaker that allows you to enjoy your music more. You also have to discern mid bass vs midrange speakers since they play a big part in enhancing your audio environment.

Such is the importance in making the right choice between a 2 way speaker vs 4 way to even produce a louder speaker without an amplifier a challenge since this requires careful scrutiny. It can spell a lot of differences in performance, overall feel, and fullness in audio. A high-quality speaker can reproduce audio better, accentuate sounds with much clarity, and enhance the highs and lows to bring out the best in your chosen speaker style.

Check each of these speakers’ distinctions and find out which between 2 way speaker vs 4 way is more well-suited for your needs. Consider also bass blocker vs crossover because they affect how your music will sound.

2 Way Speaker

There is only one crossover point on a 2 way speaker; it consists of a woofer and a tweeter, making it a less complex speaker system. It also has a mid-range driver that generates the mid-range frequency. 

The sizable woofer produces low frequency, and the built-in tweeter handles high-frequency sound. However, it would also help to consider some limitations with the composition of 2 way, 3 way, or 4-way speakers.

Such distinction in the audio frequency allows you to hear an excellent low-pitched sound and more precise sounds at higher frequencies.

There are instances where several speakers utilize super tweeters instead of mid-range to push the high-frequency range to its limit and achieve a more dynamic sound. You can adjust 2-way or 3 way car speakers, but it will not affect the mode of operation.

The woofer can generate sound waves about 500 Hz and the tweeter between 500 to 19000 Hz according to size and amplitude. Furthermore, such a speaker offers a less costly means of achieving a quick music quality upgrade.

4 Way Speaker

A 4 way speaker is almost similar to a 3 way car speaker with an extra tweeter, providing a broader range with more clarity. In contrast to popular belief, speakers with multiple drivers do not necessarily deliver better sound.

Among the factors affecting the quality of a speaker system are the crossover configuration, the components’ quality, and design and how well it matches your vehicle.

A four-way speaker, also well-known as the quad-axial, includes bass, a mid-range speaker, and two tweeters. Thanks to the additional tweeter, such a speaker offers a more expansive range of high frequencies.

However, if you’re not the type who always listens to high-frequency music, the benefit you’d get from the extra tweeter won’t be as noticeable. This speaker produces a sound similar to that of 2 or 3-way speakers. Thus, you’d least likely get additional value from a 4 way speaker.

While you can’t expect much from the additional component if you’re not enthusiastic about music with higher frequencies, the speaker can enhance the pitch and volume. However, this might be a costly investment for something you find unnecessary – for now.

The final verdict rests entirely on your sound preferences and finances because you have to account for how much does it cost to have a sound system installed in your car. Going cheap won’t give you stellar audio results; likewise, choosing expensive setups might be an overkill. Tread on wisely: listen with your ears but be always in tune with practicality.

Pro Auto Thought: So you made a decision to look into installing either a 2 way or 4 way speaker. Fantastic! Have you given enough thought to what particular car speaker type to purchase, though? Not yet? Don’t fret! Read our article on these two popular speaker types and then choose — Component Vs Coaxial Speakers.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does a 4-way speaker offer better performance than a 2 way speaker?

No. As most experts like Audio Shack in El Cajon recommend, it’s best not to choose speakers based on the number of drivers. Some 2 way speakers are well-known for outperforming 4-way speakers, and the same is true vice versa.

Besides offering a broader range of frequencies, outstanding models also have a nearly flat sound frequency response. Design details and quality are more crucial when deciding what speaker to buy for your car.

Is it possible to mix a 2 way and 3 way speaker?

You can combine the simplicity of a two-way speaker with the remarkable bass of a 3 way speaker to achieve the car audio you like. It requires a less complex setup than you probably imagine.

You only need a bass woofer with a distinct crossover and 2 way coaxials to mix 2 way and 3 way systems. That means one driver manages the high frequency, and another handles the mid-range frequency.

Can you expect a 4-way speaker to have excellent bass?

Yes. While a 4-way speaker’s additional tweeter doesn’t make much difference to the overall audio quality, its woofer can do wonders in producing excellent bass. The woofer also contributes to how such a speaker can produce a louder sound.

Choosing the best speakers for low-pitched sounds relies on how big a car you drive and how many speakers it can accommodate. If you use the right coaxial, you get to experience some bass kick even from your pick-up truck with a 2 way speaker.

Is an amp necessary for 3 way speakers?

3 way speakers come with integrated crossovers; therefore, you won’t get added value even if you connect them to a car audio amplifier. While you may opt to amplify your 3 way speakers to boost music quality, it is pretty unnecessary.

With the crossover in place, one amplified input is good enough. Besides, if you’re not an expert at setting up crossovers, you might even risk messing up the frequencies. Consequently, the worst that could happen is ending up with poor quality sound than improving it in the first place.


Conclusion

Speakers with more drivers do not necessarily mean exceptional performance. The sound quality of a 2 way speaker with quality drivers can be better than that of a 4-way speaker with poorly made drivers.

If you’re uncertain which speaker to choose, comparing 2 way speakers vs 4 way speakers would be an excellent way to start. But you also need to understand each driver a speaker has and how it affects the overall sound quality when looking for the best car speakers.

Aside from the varying number of drivers, every speaker system has unique elements playing vital roles in producing sound. The right choice depends on your budget, vehicle, and personal preference.

Leave a Comment

© 2022 Pro Auto Talk - All Rights Reserved

ProAutoTalk.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.