Coaxial Vs Component Speakers: Which One Should You Choose?

Having high-quality speakers in your car or home can increase your enjoyment of music. More often than not the decision comes down to needs, wants, and cost. There is a common debate about which speaker is best. Should you choose coaxial or component speakers?

Before answering that question, you need to know the difference between coaxial and component speakers and why it matters.

Differences are not the only thing but also:

  • Coaxial vs. Component
  • What are coaxial speakers
  • What are component speakers
  • What are the differences between the coaxial speaker and component speaker
  • Which are better, coaxial or component speakers?
  • Do component speakers sound better?
  • Can you mix component and coaxial speakers?

This guide will cover the difference between the types of speaker systems and which fit your needs best.

component vs coaxial speakers

Coaxial vs. Component Speakers

Speakers come in many forms. Whether you are picking speakers for your computer or home theater, it’s important to understand what makes each type of speaker unique and how you can select the right one. While audiophiles will often opt for component speakers, most consumers just want to upgrade their speakers without having to spend a lot of money.

A component speaker will provide more quality sound, but coaxial speakers are easier to install and cheaper. Hence, you have to choose which speakers are best for your car.

The component speakers are worth the money if you are confident you can install them. Therefore, if you want a complete car stereo system with four speakers, a subwoofer or two. a good powerful amplifier, why not put some component speakers in the front and some coaxial in the rear doors for the most immersive sound?

What are coaxial speakers?

Coaxial car speakers
Coaxial car speakers.

A coaxial car speaker is a 2-way speaker system that comprises a crossover, a tweeter, and a woofer built into a single speaker assembly. For easy installation, they fit in the same hole as older, lower-quality speakers. These speakers are more versatile, better sounding, and easier to install than single cone speakers.

Two-way coaxial speakers are the most common type of speaker. They have a mid-woofer that occupies most of its circumference and a tweeter that emerges from the middle. The speaker has a single input terminal, which connects the speaker to the power source, and a built-in woofer and tweeter system, which directs the sound.

Coaxial speakers use a simple crossover made of a single capacitor to connect the tweeter, but not the woofer since its design cannot produce high frequencies. This limits the performance and clarity of the coaxial speaker. In summary, coaxial speakers deliver good sound quality and good coverage of the entire range, and they are far superior to single-cone speakers found on factory cars.

There are also 3-way coaxial speakers, but they are not as common as 2-way ones. Three-way coaxial speakers, also called triaxial speakers, are equipped with piezo tweeters that provide high-frequency sound.

The additional speaker in a 3-way coaxial system does not guarantee a better sound quality than a 2-way. In certain models with passive crossovers, it makes more sense to split the frequency into two rather than three.

The major disadvantage of coaxial speakers is that the different frequencies can sometimes interfere, especially in 3-way speakers.

With cheaper brands, this is more apparent and can be annoying if you expect crystal clear sound. Coaxial speakers are a significant improvement over factory speakers, provided you buy high-quality speakers.

Pros

  • An upgrade is easy since they are drop-in replacements for old factory speakers.
  • They deliver full-range sound with no effort.
  • The best coaxial audio speakers are in the same league as the best component audio speakers.
  • Low price point: Coaxial speakers can be purchased for about $50.

Cons

  • Limited sound quality compared to component speakers
  • Inbuilt speakers

What are component speakers?

High-frequency component speaker
High-frequency component speaker.

A component speaker is a speaker system with separate speakers and an advanced crossover designed to deliver advanced sound quality. It is a bit more technically sophisticated than a coaxial speaker, and it offers more sound options.

Unlike a coaxial speaker, whose components are all put together, the component speaker’s mid-range woofer, tweeter, and crossover are all independent components. They are separate parts that must be installed separately, so you can either buy them as a speaker set or individually.

With component speakers, you get better dome-woofer and tweeter materials, as well as better crossovers. These features will help you create the perfect sound by allowing you to reduce the volume on your tweeters. By connecting the tweeters, you will also prevent overloads on your system. These features are unavailable with coaxial speakers.

Speaker crossovers in component speaker sets feature higher-quality inductors and capacitors than those found in coaxial sets. Compared to coaxial, they use two stages of filtering, which filters bass and midrange more efficiently while blocking highs from the woofer.

A direct connection between different frequencies and the intended components results in a better sound and a more comprehensive frequency range than coaxial speakers. If you want to create surround sound, you can place specific tweeters at different angles or places.

Expert Tip: As component speakers have separate components, their installation is more complicated, but you should be able to replace an older component speaker with the same tweeter as long as their sizes are the same.

It is necessary to relocate the tweeters when you first install components speakers. You can create realistic three-dimensional soundscapes using A-panels and a dashboard since they are slightly apart from the door speakers. It is recommended that the tweeter and woofer are placed within 12 inches of each other, so the different frequencies do not overlap too much.

close up image of electronic component speaker
Close up image of parts of an electronic component speaker.

Unlike coaxial speakers, component speakers allow you to place the tweeter on the woofer. This makes them much easier to install. You might think you might as well just get coaxial speakers, but you should keep in mind the crossover on component speakers is better and delivers a better sound. This will depend on your installation and your preferred sound.

Having said that, you must realize the installation may be more challenging than coaxial speakers, and custom tweeter mounts may be necessary for installation. For easier installation, component speakers can be assembled to appear like coaxial speakers.

Component speakers, unlike coaxial speakers, offer:

  • Enhanced frequency response and high sound quality general – even entry-level component speaker sets come with great sound quality!
  • A more rigid, high-performance tweeter usually comprises ceramic, silk, aluminum, or other unique dome material.
  • A higher RMS power rating typically 75W or 100W or more
  • A crossover slope of -12dB per octave (or greater) instead of the standard -6dB per octave used on coaxial tweeters
  • Improved overall crossover component quality
  • Enhanced installation accessories and speaker connector terminals
  • It allows you to position the tweeters, so they are direct line-of-sight and provide a more detailed stereo image during music playback Pros
  • A higher-quality sound system
  • A higher RMS power handling capacity
  • A higher-quality crossover component
  • Ability to mount tweeters separately from woofers for improved imaging and stage separation
  • Made with better components and materials

Cons

  • Installation is more complex
  • More expensive

What is the difference between coaxial and component speakers?

Red coaxial speakers for car
Red coaxial speakers for car.

The following differences exist between component and coaxial speakers:

  • Integrated 2-way speaker systems often consist of coaxial speaker assemblies. Most component speaker designs (except a few rare ones) require each part to be mounted separately.
  • As a result of keeping costs down and fitting into a small space, coaxial speakers have some compromises. It is generally recommended to use tweeters with a crossover of -6dB/octave. but most manufacturers use a lower-cost tweeter material. Component speakers, in contrast possess better crossovers (-12dB/octave minimum, usually) and tweeters made of silk, aluminum, or other materials.
  • Component speakers tend to have higher power ratings than coaxial speakers.
  • Coaxial typically ranges from 35W to 65W RMS. while components usually are available in 65W to 100W RMS or higher.
  • The installation of coaxial speakers is simple, whereas component speakers require more time and effort.
  • Due to their design, component speakers provide better sound clarity and quality than coaxial speakers. The quality of coaxial is good, despite the majority of them being average (but still better than single cone speakers).

You’re more likely to find coaxial speakers when you shop than you are to find component speakers. Since coaxial speakers are more popular, many stores stock them. There are probably some in the car audio section of your local department store, auto parts store, and “mom and pop” electronics store.

Which are better, coaxial or component speakers?

Obviously, both have pros and cons, but a component speaker will deliver louder, distortion-free music with a wider range of frequencies. Though several excellent coaxial speakers are on the market, they do not compare to the best component speakers. A coaxial speaker has a full range, and the tweeter is built-in. so you cannot change it for better imaging, while the crossover is less effective.

Expert Tip: In contrast, the component speaker has separate components, each playing a specific sound, which results in better sound quality. A quality crossover allows for a cleaner separation of frequencies.

This prevents the tweeter and woofer from sharing sound, as they do with coaxial speakers. In essence, each driver component will receive only the appropriate frequencies, ensuring the music is much more detailed. The sound that you’ll get from component speakers is much better and clearer. Also, component speakers are more flexible and louder than coaxial speakers.

Component vs coaxial speakers.

Why Are Coaxial Speakers More Popular?

The component speakers are better, so why even debate coaxial vs. component speakers? There are a few reasons coaxial speakers are more popular than component speakers. First, they produce excellent full-range sound, and they are a vast improvement over your car’s factory speakers.

The cost and ease of installation of coaxial speakers make them a good choice. It is not necessary to run cables between components, drill holes for your tweeters, or even remove panels from doors, as you would with components.

The replacement of coaxial speakers is pretty simple. Just pull them out screw them in tightly, and you are done. Its simplicity makes it appealing to those who simply want a better soundscape.

Do component speakers sound better?

Yes. By comparison, component speakers incorporate an external crossover with a design tailored to the specific speakers and are built with better quality capacitors and inductors. Unwanted sound frequencies cannot reach speakers that are not meant to receive them.

By doing so. you get much better clarity and lower distortion so that you can hear the music the way it was intended. Better yet. some component speaker crossovers allow you to adjust the volume of the tweeter.

You can use this if you feel the tweeter is too harsh. Some models include a tweeter overload protection circuit during high-powered delivery to prevent them from getting burnt out.

Can you mix component and coaxial speakers?

Yes. You can run the tweeters off of the crossover and then the coaxial speakers off of the amplifier.

Best speaker system for customization

Sundown audio component speaker
Sundown audio component speaker.

Component speakers are a better choice for custom car audio systems. With their advanced design, you can install different sound drivers anywhere you want and get optimal sound quality.

There are two woofers, two tweeters, and two crossovers in a typical car speaker system. Some models have extra drivers, such as subwoofers, which are also known as midrange drivers. Added super-tweeters will improve sound quality even more. It is possible to achieve both on- and off-axis responses with these drivers.

Expert Tip: When the speakers face the listener, the high frequencies are more accurate on-axis. Listen to the off-axis response if you are a bass lover.

Coaxial speakers allow you little control over how your new stereo system will perform and look. There are many cars where you can put them, and you will get a good audible upgrade, but that is all.

Components beat coaxial hands down when it comes to customization. However, what is the price of all this freedom?

Conclusion

Coaxial speakers have a lot going for them. With more focus on the overall audio quality, coaxial speakers tend to be enjoyable during long­term listening. Comparatively, component speakers tend to be more focused on the specific sounds they produce, offering superior sound in some situations.

Ultimately, the best speaker system will depend on the customer’s want. need, and budget, but both speaker types have their strengths and weaknesses.

What is your preference? Are you in favor of component speakers or coaxial speakers? Please let us know what you think and comment below if you have questions.

About Jayden Buckley

Hi, my name is Jayden and I am author/editor for PlayTheTunes. I remember the first time I hopped on the drums, I was hooked. Music has played an enormous part of my life, and I'm honored I get to share my experiences with you!