2-Way Vs. 3-Way Car Speakers: Basics and Drivers

When it comes to car audio, speakers are some of the single most important components involved. You have numerous modern speaker options available to you today and a few important decisions to make within these options, and one of the questions that may come up in your research is whether to purchase a two-way or three-way speaker system.

At Laketown Speed and Sound, we’re happy to offer a wide variety of car audio installations and services, including comprehensive expertise and knowledge on the best speakers on the market and which will be ideal for your setup. Have you heard about two-way and three-way speaker systems and wondered what this term really refers to, plus how each type will impact your sound quality? This two-part blog series will dig into several areas to be aware of when making this choice, plus help inform you on some of the internal components in your speakers and how they work.

2-way 3-way car speakers

Inside Your Speakers

As we dig into the differences between two-way and three-way speaker systems, it’s important to understand how speakers work to begin with. Specifically, you need to know about drivers, which refer to one or two parts found in the speaker box that are meant to vibrate as sound comes through them.

The primary purpose of these drivers is to deal with varying frequency ranges. Sounds have a whole range of different frequencies, from high to low, but no single driver can handle all of them at once – this is why most speakers tend to have two or more drivers, so they can handle the different frequencies of sound your system may be producing.

You’ve likely heard of some of these driver types, such as woofers (for low frequency), tweeters (for high frequency) or mid-range drivers (for frequencies in-between). In addition, an element known as a crossover may be used to split original sounds into multiple signals and send the frequencies to the proper driver.

2-Way Vs. 3-Way System

And when it comes to a two-way or three-way speaker system, it’s these drivers that define the decision. Speaker systems that have more than one driver will require at least a two-way split of sound signals, but there are also some frequency ranges where splitting into three separate directions is much more prudent. A two-way system will usually include a woofer and a tweeter, while a three-way system will typically feature both those same elements plus an additional mid-range driver. From a simple classification standpoint, this is the most straightforward way to define speaker systems and their splits.

For more on any of our car audio, window tinting or other services, speak to the staff at Laketown Speed and Sound today.