What is the difference between component and coaxial speakers?


Car manufactures make different speaker models which aim to satisfy the individual preferences of every user. When looking for aftermarket speakers, you will typically get asked whether you are after component or coaxial speakers however, do you know the difference between them?

Coaxial Speakers

You have more than likely experienced the feel from coaxial speakers as most factory car audio systems are built up of these and they are the more common speaker type out of the two. Coaxial speakers are speakers in which all the components are combined in one structure typically being the woofer and a tweeter attached as well as a simple built-in crossover in most coaxial speakers. Coaxial speakers tend to be the most popular speaker type due to a number of reasons the mains ones typically being good sound quality but do not cost as much as components and an easy sound upgrade. As most vehicles are fitted with coaxial speakers, anyone looking to get aftermarket speakers tend to go for coaxial speakers as they’re usually a drop-in replacement for older factory installed speakers. Please see the In Phase XTC17.2C Coaxial speakers below, as you can see the tweeters are located in the centre of the speaker.

Component Speakers

Although not as popular as coaxial speakers yet, component speakers are the second type of speakers found in vehicles and are recommended if you’re building a custom audio system due to providing better sound reproduction thanks to the separate drivers. A component car speaker system usually consists of 2 woofers, 2 separate tweeters and 2 crossovers. Component speakers are able to accurately separate the different frequencies as you get more powerful and precise bass from the woofer and the higher frequencies like the treble and vocals from the tweeter. These are usually located near ear level like the A Pillars in the vehicle or in the dash. Out of the two speaker types you will generally get higher quality sound and a better performance overall from component speakers. Please see the In Phase XTC5CX Component speakers below, on here you can easily identify the separate speakers, tweeters and crossovers.

What are crossovers and why do i need them?

Crossovers are located in both coaxial and component speakers, in coaxial speakers they are built in to the speakers and in component speakers they are separate. Crossovers are needed for speakers as they divide the input signal into two or more outputs of different ranges of frequencies so the tweeters and speakers will only get the range of frequencies they were designed to play. If these frequencies aren’t directed properly, they will begin to try and play frequencies they were not designed to play and could potentially lead to some frequencies completely disappearing and others claiming their place.

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