Component vs Coaxial Speakers- A Comprehensive Guide

The music or sound quality inside your car can make a big difference in how enjoyable the ride is. Fortunately, there are a bunch of speakers out there that can make your audio setup sound even better. These speakers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to meet different audio needs. That way, you can pick the ones that match your setup and personal preferences the best.

For anyone looking to build their own car audio system, the first step is to decide between component and coaxial speakers. This decision sets the mood for how your whole sound system is going to be. So, if you’re serious about getting the best sound possible, it’s worth to take time to learn about component vs coaxial speakers and why the choice between them is important.

What is a Component Speaker?

A component speaker is a type of speaker system that separates different sound-producing components into individual units. Unlike coaxial speakers, which integrate various elements into a single unit, component speakers break down the audio spectrum and assign specific tasks to different speakers.

The typical parts of a component speaker system include a woofer for low frequencies, a tweeter for high frequencies, and a crossover to manage the distribution of frequencies between the woofer and tweeter. Each of these components is mounted separately to allow for more precise control over the sound profile.

The idea behind component speakers is to improve sound quality and provide a customizable audio experience. These speakers are often favored by audio enthusiasts who seek a higher level of detail and clarity in their sound reproduction. However, they may require more complex installation and tuning to maximize their potential.


A woofer is a type of speaker designed to reproduce low-frequency sounds, commonly known as bass. It is responsible for handling the lower end of the audio spectrum, typically ranging from around 20 to a few hundred Hz. Woofers are primarily paired with other speakers to create a full-range sound.


A tweeter is a speaker designed to reproduce high-frequency sounds, particularly the treble range. Treble encompasses the higher end of the audio spectrum, typically ranging from around 2,000 Hz to 20,000 Hz. The name ‘tweeter’ is derived from its ability to produce high-pitched ‘tweets’ or sounds in this frequency range.

Midrange Speakers

The midrange speakers, simply called the midrange, typically cover the frequency range between 300Hz and 5,000Hz. This range is crucial because it encompasses the majority of audio content found in various forms of media, including music, movies, and TV shows.


A crossover is a device that manages the distribution of audio frequencies among different speaker components. A typical component speaker setup includes a crossover to ensure that the woofer receives the lower frequencies, and the tweeter handles the higher frequencies.

This separation helps to prevent speakers from trying to reproduce sounds outside their optimal range. The crossover is independent of the other components, which provides you the flexibility to select the mounting location according to your preference.

What is a Coaxial Speaker?

A coaxial speaker, also known as a full-range speaker, is a type of speaker that integrates multiple speaker drivers into a single unit. Coaxial speakers earn the title ‘full-range’ speakers due to their ability to reproduce a broader spectrum of audio frequencies from a single, compact unit. This design consolidates the same types of drivers found in component speakers into one cohesive system.

The standard configuration of coaxial speakers typically includes a woofer and a tweeter. The woofer is responsible for handling low-frequency sounds, such as bass and midrange tones, while the tweeter manages the higher frequencies.

Apart from the typical 2-way coaxial setup featuring a woofer and tweeter, there are also 3-way coaxial speakers. This is a sophisticated configuration that incorporates a woofer, mid-range driver, and tweeter. The addition of a mid-range driver enhances the precision of sound reproduction, which encompasses a broader spectrum of frequencies.

Coaxial speakers are primarily used as factory replacements due to their user-friendly nature. They provide a near plug-and-play solution for vehicle audio systems, plus they are designed to fit seamlessly into existing setups. Furthermore, you can run coaxial speakers directly from your stock head unit without the need for external amplification.

Component vs Coaxial Speakers

Component vs Non-Component- Which is Best for Audio?

Choosing between component and coaxial speakers basically entails weighing the advantages and disadvantages that each option brings to the table. Ideally, there is no universally superior choice, as each speaker type caters to different needs and circumstances.

Coaxial speakers are often designed to fit seamlessly into existing factory locations. This can be an added advantage for those who want to upgrade their car without altering the interior or dealing with complex modifications.

In addition, coaxial speakers integrate all components into a single unit, eliminating the need for external crossovers. This streamlined design contributes to the ease of installation and reduces the risk of making mistakes.

What’s more, full-range coaxial speakers are generally more budget-friendly than component speakers. This makes them a practical choice for individuals who want an audio upgrade without a significant financial investment.

Most vehicles come pre-installed with coaxial speakers due to their simplicity and compatibility with factory systems. Upgrading to coaxial speakers in such cases can be a straightforward process without the need for extensive modifications.

On the other hand, a component speaker system allows for more precise tuning of each component, resulting in better sound quality, clarity, and a more immersive listening experience. Component systems are often favored by audio enthusiasts and those who prioritize high-fidelity audio.

Component speakers also provide greater flexibility in terms of positioning. With individual components, you can place the speakers strategically to optimize the soundstage and tailor the audio experience to your preferences. However, this requires more careful consideration of the vehicle’s interior space and layout.

Overall, if cost and ease of installation are critical factors, full-range coaxial speakers may be the more practical choice. These speakers offer a decent audio upgrade without requiring intricate adjustments. On the other hand, if you’re seeking top-notch sound quality and the ability to customize the audio setup, component speakers are the ideal solution. The investment in terms of both budget and installation time may be higher, but the payoff in sound fidelity is worthwhile.

The Bottom Line

The best way to choose between component and non-component speakers is to determine what resonates with you better. After all, when it comes to what you enjoy, your personal taste is paramount. Always trust your judgment to lead you to choose the setup that aligns best with your preferences and deliver the in-car sound experience you truly enjoy.

Avatar for Jamie K. Martin

Jamie K. Martin holds a degree in Audio engineering from Husson University, Bangor. Martin spends most of his time testing and trying the technology he writes about to ensure that he provides first-hand information to our customers from all walks of life.

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