Coaxial VS Component

Coaxial vs Component – Speaker Comparison

While shopping for speakers, you have more than likely been confronted with the terms 'coaxial' and 'component'.  So whats the difference between the two types, and which should you be choosing?  The following guide helps to give you and overview and explain the key differences between each speaker type.

Coaxial

These are your more common set. Also known as ‘full-range’, these feature the woofer and tweeter mounted on the same chassis, minimizing the space required for installation.  They are capable of handling the full range of audio frequencies, but due to the closeness of the two components, there can be some sound distortion at very high volumes.

On the other hand, these speakers are cheaper, and typically much easier to install than their component counterparts, and installation can be done relatively easily without damaging / modifying the interior of the car, and can provide great sound with little preparation.

Good quality coaxial speakers will be sufficient for most people, but should you be an audiophile, your budget permits, and you don’t mind making permanent modifications to the interior of your car, then you might wish to consider a component set up.

Pros

  • Typically easy to install
  • No modification required to car interior in most cases
  • Cheaper than component speakers, but still providing a quality of sound that will satisfy most listeners

Cons

  • No separation of woofer and tweeter in chassis, resulting in some distortion at very high volumes
  • No ability to customize positioning of tweeter relative to the subwoofer

Component

These speakers are designed to direct audio frequencies to separate speakers – typically the tweeter is separate from the woofer allowing you to mount them in different locations.  Tweeters tend to sound better / more detailed when mounted at ear level and/or aimed at the listeners ears.

The advantage of having separate woofers, tweeters and crossovers is that it allows each piece to be made with higher quality and ensures the components will not interfere with each other at higher volumes.  But naturally, as these tend to be of a higher quality, they are more expensive than their coaxial counterparts.

They are also typically a lot more difficult to install, and may even require modifications to the vehicle interior in order to accommodate the speakers. As such, typically, installation is best performed by a professional. Note also that they also typically require more power and as such, require an amplifier.

The number of speakers included can vary - a standard setup has tweeters and woofers, with the frequency split between highs and lows. In more elaborate setups, there may be a mid-range speaker included.

Pros

  • Generally made of better quality materials than coaxial speaker sets
  • Separation of woofer and tweeter, ultimately providing a higher clarity and separation of range and quality of sound

Cons

  • More expensive than Coaxial speakers
  • More difficult to install - in most cases professional installation is recommended.
  • May require permanent modifications made to vehicle interior, potentially affecting car resale value in future.

To finish off, here is a great video which also helps highlight the differences between the two speaker types:

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