Difference Between 2 Way Vs. 3 Way Car Speaker Systems

Brandon Trenton

Difference Between 2 Way Vs. 3 Way Car Speaker Systems

If you do not have a lot of knowledge about cars and their speaker systems, you might find yourself at a disadvantage when considering an update. The topic may be alien for you but becomes straight forward as you get your head around it.

There are different speaker systems in the market, but rather than viewing the wide range as overwhelming and confusing, see the variety of choices you have from which you can select the perfect one according to your needs and suitability.

One issue you will face is that of hearing the debate about if you should go for a 2-way or a 3-way speaker system. But what do the two even mean?

Getting Down To The Basics

Let’s go over some basics to boost your understanding. Components called ‘drivers’ are found inside a speaker box, which will be referred to in the upcoming paragraphs. These are the parts vibrating as the sound comes through them.

Purpose of Drivers

There are many high, low, and moderate frequencies of different sounds. To deal with these varying frequencies, different drivers are made. A single driver does not have the ability to handle all frequencies which can be heard by the human ear, so speakers usually have two or more of these drivers to handle the range of frequencies present in the sound.

Main Kinds of Drivers

Woofers, tweeter, and mid-range drivers are the main kinds of drivers used commonly.


Low-frequency sounds are handled by woofers


Tweeters are better at handling high-frequency sounds.

Mid-range Drivers

Mid-range drivers do just what their name suggests – handle all frequencies in the middle. The sounds are then split using crossover, which splits the sound into two or three unique signals, transmitting the different frequencies to their specific driver.

Difference Between 2 Way Vs. 3 Way Speaker System

We will now be using non-technical terms to explain the 2 or 3 way speaker systems.2 way or 3 way is used just to differentiate between the different car speaker systems available depending on the number of drivers present in it.

If there is more than one driver in a speaker system, the sound signals from the input are split into multiple frequencies, wherein the high-frequency signal goes in the tweeter and low-frequency ones go to the woofer. Hence, the sound signals are split in two distinguished ways in a two-way speaker, while in a three-way speaker it is split into three different ways. This is a very easy and simple method to classify various speaker designs.

2 Way Vs. 3 Way in Coaxials

There will be a small tweeter and a large woofer present inside a basic 2-way coaxial car speaker, while sometimes there might be a single woofer with some small tweeters as well. Coaxial systems have such a system mostly, where both the tweeter and woofer and placed in the same box.

There can be three drivers in one sometimes, but a 3-way coaxial system usually has an extra component called the mid-range driver, which is also known as a super tweeter sometimes, on the woofer.

The con for this system is that a passive crossover is used in the box which does its job the best only when it is split into two frequencies: high and low ones. If a super tweeter or mid-range driver is then added to this mix, the crossover does not work as well as it should. For this reason, it is recommended to stick by the 2-way system in a coaxial to achieve the best sound quality.

2 Way Vs. 3 Way in Components System

There will be some difference with a 2-way component car audio system, wherein there will be a set of woofers and tweeters but in two distinct boxes. Regardless of the number of tweeters and woofers, the system is still a 2-way one.

If external crossovers are added to the audio system, the quality of components will be improved when working together, and in terms of a 3-way system, this addition benefits it. There will be greater accuracy with the mid-range here which will provide greater ability to create an improved audio experience.

Hence, a 3-way system is classified as a better system than a 2-way system, when high-quality components are being used, in terms of the overall sound quality provided by the component systems. Here it is worth mentioning that as expected, they are more complicated to fit and also cost more money. It depends on your preference and what you are looking for, which will decide what is the best one for you. If you need better sound quality or want to spend as little as you can while compromising a little on the sound quality.

Which Is Better?

If you are really concerned about the audio quality, it is offered the best by component systems, and 3-way systems are accepted as the best one when talking about component systems. Nevertheless, if audio use is not as regular for you, there are very less chances that you will even notice a difference in the sound quality between the 2-way and 3-way systems, so it is better you spend less and stick by the 2-way system.

If you are going for a coaxial system, the component systems may just be out of your budget, so it is again preferred to go with a 2-way system only. If you opt for a 3-way coaxial system, its performance will be worse than a 2-way one, so it just isn’t worth spending all the hefty sum of money on.

You may come across come 4 or 5-way speakers as well when searching for 2 and 3-way ones. Nevertheless, just piling up more and more drivers does no good to the audio output and hence it isn’t worth spending so much money on those. To get the best audio output possible, just go with a 3-way component system as 4 and 5-way ones are not specifically beneficial in any way.