Coaxial Speakers vs Component Speakers

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Updated July 26, 2022

Finding the best speakers for your car isn’t the easiest thing to do. But a great set of speakers can revolutionize your driving experience, so it’s essential to understand your options. One crucial step in choosing speakers is understanding the difference between coaxial speakers vs component speakers.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Coaxial car speakers incorporate tweeters, midrange, and woofer sound ranges into one compact unit.
  • A component speaker system consists of separate tweeter and mid-range/woofer speakers.
  • The common type of factory speakers that come standard in cars is coax speakers because they save space and are cheaper to produce.

If you still aren’t sure what you’re looking for, check out our guide on the best 6.5 speakers for other options.

Insider Tip

Component audio speakers typically come with higher quality materials, like a better woofer cone and dome tweeters.

Differences Between Coaxial vs Component Speakers

Coaxial speakers are far more common in cars than component speakers. The reason for this is because they are full-rage speakers, meaning that within them, they have both a mid-range speaker, woofer, and tweeter packed into one unit.

Component speakers, on the other hand, aren’t precisely speakers. They are, instead, systems of speakers. A component speaker system comes with individual mid-range speakers, tweeters, and woofers.

So the debate boils down to which is better: installing an entire system of separate speakers or a combo that provides each component of the individual speakers. And if you’ve thought about your options and want to leave wires out of the picture, you can check out our article on the best wireless speakers.

Overall Sound

General wisdom states that coaxial speakers, while still capable of producing a decent quality, are not good for creating a full clear sound. So it makes sense that component systems produce a superior sound by separating each type of speaker.

However, there are quality coax speakers capable of excellent sound. It’s just always more likely a component system will produce better results. Also, if you’ve recently tried to listen to your favorite songs on your phone only to find there’s no sound, read up on why your iPhone sound isn’t working.

Space Requirements

Component speakers will always require more space, which can be an issue for smaller cars. Although component speakers often have a superior sound, many cars don’t come with the space in the doors to hold the various types of speakers. Because of this constraint, you might have to create holes or mounts for the extra component speakers.

Coaxial speakers are what most cars come with and are built to save space. So if you have a car with a limited area for speakers, coaxials will likely be the best option.

Installation

Because most stock speakers are coaxial, installing coax speakers is ordinarily easy. All you need to do is detach the wries from the old speaker terminals and reattach them to the new one. However, you must install the new external crossover system for component speakers. For more info on speaker setup, read our article on 4-way vs 2-way speakers.

Warning

Component speakers require more space, making them difficult to install.

Affordability

Pricing is another big difference between coaxial and component speakers. You can find decent coaxial speakers starting at around $20, while pricing for component speakers starts at about $100.

STAT: The average car has four speakers, two in the front and two in the back. (source)

Coaxial Speakers vs Component FAQs

Is it possible to mix component and coaxial speakers?

You can run the coaxial speakers off the factory amp and the component speakers on the external crossover.

How much should I spend on car speakers?

If you plan on keeping your car and want to prioritize a great sound system, it's usually not a bad idea to invest in a higher-quality set of speakers.

What size speakers should I buy?

To confirm what size you need, you can check the car manual. However, you can open the door paneling yourself to check if there is extra room to play with. If that's the case, you might consider purchasing a size up.
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