2-Way vs 4-Way Speakers for Vehicle: Details Explanation and Guide

The difference between 2-way and 4-way speakers lies in the speaker components. The 4-way speaker has 4 drivers and 2-way has 2. However, more is not always better. Simply because it has 4 drivers, doesn’t mean it produces better sound than 2-way.

Now, if you are wondering, what’s better, 2 way or 4 way speakers? This doesn’t depend on the number of drivers, rather it depends on factors like driver quality, driver material, power handling capability, etc. In many cases, the RMS power is more in 4-way speakers. So, if a 2-way speaker have high-quality drivers, it will sound better than the 4-way and vice versa.

Comparing 2-way vs 4-ways speakers for vehicle, experts often think increasing the number of drivers in car speakers is just a wow factor. However, whether you choose the 2-way or 4-way speakers, it will definitely be a significant upgrade over your built-in car speakers. Also, these speakers are quite affordable.

2-Way vs 4-Way Speakers for Vehicle: Detailed Explanation

If you are thinking, 2-way, 3-way or 4-way speakers are your options, you are wrong. There is another one called component speaker which is often said to be for audiophiles. But at first let us compare 2-way vs 3-way vs 4-way speakers.

2-way Speakers:

these type of car speakers has a tweeter and a woofer together to create a speaker system. The tweeter focuses on 30Hz-160Hz and woofer works on 3Hz-20kHz in the frequency range. They lack the mid-range driver but still produces impressive audio quality.

3-Way Speakers:

These tri-axial speakers include a mid-range driver along with tweeter and woofer. Mid-range drivers are usually available up to 8” in size. Since each driver focuses on a certain frequency range, they are said to produce clearer sound. Rockford Fosgate R165X3 is a good 3-way speaker.

4-Way Speaker:

These quad-axial speakers consist of 4 drivers. 1 tweeter, 1 super tweeter, 1 mid-range and 1 woofer. The additional tweeter expands the range of sound and works on high frequencies. Since this speaker incorporates several drivers, they receiver extra attention because ‘the more the better’.

5-Way Speaker:

Comparing 4-way vs 5-way speaker, the 5-way has all the drivers of 4-way along with additional tweeter. You can look into Pioneer TS-A6990F 6x9 which you can get under $100.

Component Speaker:

Comparing the 4-way speaker vs component speaker, the 4-way speaker coaxial speakers have all drivers in one speaker. But, in component speaker, the woofer, tweeter is separate. The coaxial speakers have a built-in cross-over but, in component speaker you have external cross over which you need to tweak.

Coaxial vs component speakers, which is better? If you want easy, simple and budget-friendly upgrade to OEM, then coaxial speakers are the best. However, if you think they are too simple and you want high audio quality, then component speakers will suit you.

You should know that, component speakers are costly, needs time and effort to use them.

What to Consider When You Pick 2-Way or 4-Way Speakers for Car:

Here are some best hand pick 2-way and 4-way speakers. Before dive deep, I explain to you what I consider to pick different speakers.

Speaker Sensitivity:

For most speakers, a sensitivity of 90dB or above is considered better. Low powered factory speakers work fine with sensitivity of 90dB as well. The sensitivity rating indicates how well the speaker take in the power to output it as volume. The higher the sensitivity, the louder the speakers.

Power Handling of a Speaker:

Power handling refers to the amount of continuous power the speaker can handle. If you have low-powered system a speaker with 50W RMS will be better. Also, make sure to always look for RMS power rather than Peak or Max power.

Using aftermarket stereo for power, you should seek a system that has power RMS of 75W or less but not more.

Speaker Material:

The sound quality depends vastly on the type of drivers used in a car speaker. Different drivers use different types of materials.

Cone:

Generally, a speaker cone should be lighter and should be able to move or respond quickly. A good speaker cone should also have good rigidity so that it remains stable with use.

  • Paper/Treated Paper Cones:paper cones have amazing sound production however in a car system, there is severe weather condition which includes moisture and temperature. While paper material is great for cones, they will lose its quality over time.
  • Polypropylene Cones:these type of cone are stable, have good rigitdity and can withstand moisture.
  • Kevlar Cones: these cones are very light, stable and strong. They have control over unwanted vibrations.
  • Others: these 2 materials are not your only choice. You can look into fiberglass, aluminum, flax fiber or others as your car speakers.

Speaker Basket:

An ideal speaker basket should be able to deal with ‘back wave’ so that unwanted coloration doesn’t affect the sound.Steel baskets are common but aluminium or magnesium works better. Polymer composite is another great invention to use in speaker baskets.

Tweeters:

Tweeters can be made from silk, poly or others. Users who like bright sound may also choose metal or graphite made tweeters. While installing speakers in the lower side of the car door, you can choose pivoting tweeters. This will help to direct audio to the listener’s ears.

Side by Side Comparison of 2-Way vs 4-Way Speakers:

In this section, we have chosen some of the best car speakers and compared them side by side.

JVC CS Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speakers vs BOSS Audio Systems NX 4-Way Car Speakers:

Features at a glance:

 JVC CS-J620Boss NX654
Power300W peak/ 30W RMS400W Max/200W RMS
Tweeter1” , Poly-Ether Imide0.75”, 0.75”
Woofer6.5” , mica cone6.5”
MidrangeNone1.25”
Frequency response35-22000Hz65-20000Hz
SPL92 dB/W.m90 dB
Mounting depth1.69”2.25”

Product uniqueness:

Each and every material of these car speakers are designed to achieve optimum performance. Both these models are budget-friendly and can be considered as entry-level car speakers.

Quality and performance analysis:

The major difference between 2-way and 4-way speakers is the number of drivers and types of drivers. 2-way speakers have a tweeter and woofer. 4-way speakers are a complete package with two tweeters, one mid-range and a woofer.

The JVC CS-J620 speaker uses neodymium magnet in its tweeter which is well-known for improving the precision of high- and mid-frequency sound. The lightweight Mica cone and combination of rubber and cloth is used in the surround. These are attached to a steel stamped frame. The woofer uses ferrite material in their magnet.

This 2-way speaker can get down to as low as 35Hz compared to 65Hz of the 4-way Boss speaker. These are definitely an improvement over OEM (original equipment manufacturer) speakers.  The sound is detailed and well-represented but average. The bass is decent and not ‘glass-shattering’.

You will find all details for installing in the 2-way speaker user manual. T the Bose Audio NX654 is available in various sizes: 4”, 5”, 5.25” and the 6.25”. this gives you the flexibility to choose based on your specific car model and speaker size.

The Boss 4-way speaker can handle higher RMS power than the 2-way speaker. The woofer is made from polyurethane cone which is durable and produces great sound. The basket uses die-cast frame. It is protected against corrosion and works efficiently.

Comparing the 2-way vs 4-way speakers, this JVC 2-way speaker has higher RMS power and higher sensitivity. The voice coil is designed so that it can play easily hours after hours and work at high temperature. This full-range speaker uses rubber material as surround.

The surround material of a woofer is crucial because the woofer need to move easily. So, they should be able to work in critical temperature and humidity. Since it is made of rubber, it will have better performance and lifetime.

It can remain stable and intact under extreme condition and can withstand wear and tear. Comparing dome vs semi-dome shaped tweeter, the 6.5” 4-way speaker has a dome tweeter. The Mylar Dome is known to have wider dispersion and precise sweet sport needed for high-frequency range.

With a decent factory amplifier, you can drive these speakers to achieve crisp and loud sound without any distortion. The 2-way vs 4-way, which one sounds better? This 4-way speaker has crystal-clear audio, punchier bass and decent mids.

The overall sound quality is satisfying but the low-end isn’t designed for bass heads. Both these 2-way and 4-way speakers have 4 ohms which means they can work with wide range of amplifiers.

Kicker D-Series 6.75″  2-Way  Car Audio Coaxial Speakers vs Pioneer TS 6″ x 9″ 4-Way Coaxial Speaker System

 

Features at a glance:

 Kicker 43DSC6704Pioneer TS-A692F
Power60 watts RMS
240 watts peak
90 W RMS
450 W Peak
Tweeter0.5”0.71” tweeter
0.43” super tweeter
Woofer6.75”6 x 9"
MidrangeNone2.25”
Frequency response40-20,000 Hz35 Hz to 24 kHz
SPL90 dB89 dB (+- 1.5dB)
Mounting height0.209”Top-mount Depth: 2 7/8"
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Product uniqueness:

Both these 2-way and 4-ways speakers are versatile in terms of fitting wide range of vehicles. They also have very easy installation. The audio quality of these models are satisfying in most cases.

Quality and performance:

While shopping for 2-way or 4-way speakers, you will realize that you are quite confused by the car speaker sizes. The most common question is whether the chosen speaker will fit your specific car model. To check your vehicle compatibility for 2 way vs 4 way speakers, you can use the vehicle compatibility checker or the vehicle selector

Moving to speaker material, the Kicker 2-way speakers have balanced semi-dome tweeters and is made of PEI (polyether imide). Similar to the previous one it uses neodymium magnet. These are used because they are lightweight and have better efficiency.

The woofer is made from polypropylene and is surrounded by polyester foam. This polypropylene is widely used in car speakers, they are rigid and have good internal damping. The UV-treated foam allows higher bass and SPL.

They can also withstand severe weather condition. The ‘zero protrusion’ tweeter means the tweeter doesn’t stick out much and it produces sound with utmost clarity. You can pair this speaker with DX amplifier rated at 60W. it is designed to fit almost any vehicle doors. How does this 2-way speaker sound?

The sound can get loud, it is crystal clear and will work even better with a JBL subwoofer. The highs are crisp, the mids are clean and it has got impressive dynamics. It is one of the best sounding car speakers you can get at this price range.

Comparing the 2-way vs 4-way speakers for vehicle, the 4-way coaxial speakers can handle up to 90W of power which is higher than the 2-way. It also has wider frequency range compared to Kicker speakers. The Pioneer 4-way speaker uses Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) dome tweeter and ferrite magnet in woofer.

The 6×9 4-way speakers use Carbon and mica reinforced IMPP in moonstone gray in woofer cone and Elastic polymer in the surround. It also has a cellulose fiber cone for midrange driver. The Pioneer uses ‘open and smooth’ concept where the driver and its’ material are designed intentionally for smooth transition, better dynamic and to achieve smooth sound.

The multi-fit included installation accessories make this speaker installation easy as breeze and versatile to fit most car doors. It has multi-fit 6”x9” adapter, tweeter mounts, etc. it aims to produce off-axis frequency response which means the tweeters and speakers will face each other.

Pioneer also offers Pioneer’s CarSoundFit app which will allow you to hear the differences between the factory speakers and the upgraded car speakers. The speakers produce deep bass, clear and loud sound. The sound is balanced and natural as well. The price vs performance is satisfying.

JBL Club Series 2-Way Coaxial Car Speaker vs Pyle 6”x 9” 4-Way Speakers:

 

Features at a glance:

 JBL CLUB6520Pyle PL6984BL
Power50 watts RMS
150 watts peak
200 W RMS
400 W Peak
SizeSpeaker size: 6.5”
Tweeter: PEI Balanced dome
0.75” and 1” tweeters
1.5” mid-range
6”x9” speaker size
Frequency response55-20,000 Hz50 Hz to 20 kHz
Impedance3 ohms4
SPL92 dB92dB
Mounting sizeTop-mount:1.8125”
Height:0.453”
Height: 3.65”
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Product uniqueness:

The 2-way and 4-way speakers have high sensitivity and decent power handling that can run without an amp. However, music lovers looking for more juice is seen to include an amplifier.

Quality and performance:

The JBL woofers have UV-resistant polypropylene woofer cone. They are acoustically damped and can produce resonance-free bass at heated environments. It uses Harman patented Plus One cone. This means the it has bigger cone area and this is done to achieve better performance, sensitivity and overall acoustics.

Comparing the 2-way vs 4-way speakers, this JBL 2-way speakers has less RMS power than 4-way Pyle speakers. The Pyle 6×9 speakers 4-way speakers can also get much lower in the low-frequency range. While they both have same amount of sensitivity, the JBL has 3 ohms of impedance.

The 6.5” 2-way speaker produces decent sound which is clear and crisp. The bass is tight but you can use an amplifier to boost the sound quality along with a subwoofer for getting more than average sound. The installation is quite easy but if you are a newbie, it might take some time to figure out everything. You should use the foam included while setting up the speaker.

Pyle uses Film Dome and Piezo tweeter. It also has a Film Dome mid-range along with a Butyl rubber surround. The cone has stiffness to withstand high temperature. If you are bored with black car speakers, the Pyle speakers with Blue aesthetics will be something colorful to use.

The mid-range and upper mid-range are well-represented. The bass is adequate for most user unless you want glass-shaking low-end. The speakers are designed to produce well-balanced, distortion-free audio. The build quality is average.

Parting words:

You will often be confused while shopping for car speakers. Comparing coaxial vs component speakers, coaxial speakers offer easy, time-efficient and budget-friendly solutions. The result is clear sound with decent bass. The setup is easy in most cases with the help of user manuals.

If you don’t like it, you can improve the sound quality further with the addition of an amp and a subwoofer. Component speakers can be expensive, external crossover handling can be tiresome and overall it is time-consuming.

Now that you are clear about this, next step is to choose from 2-way vs 4-way speakers for vehicle. While this entirely depends on how well it is designed, make sure it matches with your requirements in terms of power, sensitivity, impedance, etc.

Use our recommended tools to search the perfect speaker list for your car model, make sure the drivers can withstand the heat and humidity inside the car. The drivers should also be long-lasting. Finally, understand that these car speakers are a decent and satisfying upgrade over OEM and you will get exactly what you pay for.

FAQ: Car Speakers

What you may want to know about different car speakers.

How to install car speakers?

Installing car speakers might be difficult for some, but it is doable. You need the following list to begin:

  • Different types of screwdrivers
  • Allen wrenches
  • Electrical tape
  • knife
  • Soldering iron
  • Socket wrench set
  • Wire cutter/stripper
  • Crimping tool and connector
  • Drill

Then follow these steps:

  • Make sure to take out car batter, then take out panel, grills or covers
  • Take out the original speaker, write down the wiring connection
  • Insert the new speaker, make sure to connect the correct wire to the correct terminal.
  • Before securing it with all screws, make sure to connect the battery to check the sound.
  • Then again take out batteries and attach it with screws.

Is there any benefit of using component speakers?

Choosing a good quality component speaker can improve the car sound dramatically. The sound will have better dynamics and imaging. It can display sound with more details than standard speakers. The separate tweeter and woofer will be able to produce optimum sound quality.