Car Audio Two-way Three-way Speaker Which Is Better

- Aug 13, 2020-

Before talking about three points and two points, I have to mention full-range speakers (referred to as full-range speakers)

Ideally, it is the easiest and most direct way to replay all frequencies with one speaker

But if you want to restore all the sounds between 20-20Khz, it is very difficult to achieve good results with only one speaker.

For example, common mobile phone TV speakers are full-range speakers, but most of them can only send out signals in the middle frequency range, and there is severe attenuation in the low and high frequency ranges.

(This kind of horn does not require a crossover and has many advantages, but there are no high-quality units in the car except for the original horn)

A set of hifi car audio should have the following points:

First, sufficient and undistorted loudness

Second playback frequency bandwidth, smooth frequency characteristics

Third, the distortion is small

Fourth, accurate sound positioning

The ideal state of the horn diaphragm is to be rigid, good in internal resistance, and light enough

Replaying low-frequency signals needs to push enough air-large amplitude and large caliber

To restore high-frequency signals, a sufficiently fast amplitude is required-the amplitude is small, and the lighter the better while ensuring rigidity

A single unit is difficult to meet the requirements, and the sound system was born.

Two-way design

Most after-installed package speaker design, also known as two-way frequency

(Because of the crossover capacitors, coaxial speakers are mostly two-way crossovers)


Most of the two-way frequency is a 6.5-inch cone speaker for mid-low frequency signals, and a 1-1.5 inch dome speaker for high-frequency units

The frequency divider supplies the corresponding frequency signals

Two-way frequency is widely used in cars and has many advantages in cars;

1. When there are high and low signal input, the intermodulation distortion is small-the sound is clean

2. The general two-way frequency divider can adjust the high-frequency loudness according to the installation position in the car or the characteristics of the host (there are also some frequency dividers that can adjust the slope and crossover point)

3. The mid-bass in the car is mostly in the door position, and the treble is placed in the dashboard position, which can raise the entire sound field and have a good listening experience

4. It can be installed without damage in situ

Of course, there are some shortcomings, and many shortcomings can be solved/alleviated in three-way

1. Conventional set speakers The crossover point is between 2k-4k, and the installation distance between the treble and mid-bass in the car is relatively long, and the frequency distribution and directional phase are somewhat confused

2. The fundamental frequency of the human voice is emitted by the bass in the door. Due to the directional problem of the horn, the frequency response on both sides of the human voice is not consistent.

3. The mid-bass is responsible for the human voice and other frequency bands. Generally, the bass cannot be adjusted too strong, otherwise the product will be distorted by intermodulation (adjusting the power amplifier will generally cut off some low-frequency signals)

PS: The two-way frequency is caused by the treble resonance frequency. The mid-bass is mostly 6.5 inches. For the three-way models of some manufacturers, the mid-bass can be 7-8 inches, which can get better low frequencies.

Since the two-way frequency is the intermediate frequency part with the most information, the sound has a lot of negotiations. If an independent unit is used to reproduce the intermediate frequency signal, the problem of sound interference can almost be solved.

Three-way design

Compared with the two-way frequency division, there are more midrange units, and the frequency divider has one more band-pass frequency division.

Generally speaking, three-way bass is better than two-way bass, but this reason is not very important in the car. Generally, it is recommended to use a subwoofer to upgrade the audio system, and most rear-mounted two-way bass units are still 6.5 inches , Many manufacturers and the two-way three-way frequency is only the difference between the crossover and the presence or absence of midrange.

Three-way frequency is more important in the car. I think it has these advantages:

1. The problem of intermodulation distortion, each speaker is responsible for a narrower frequency band and can work in a smoother response range

2. Most of the human voice frequency band is emitted by the intermediate frequency unit, which means less distortion

3. Low, mid and high pitches can be adjusted independently

4. Most models can be installed in reverse mold, with higher sound point and good sound phase effect


1. Passive systems require large power amplifiers, while active systems require more power amplifiers

.2. The general cost is much higher than the two-way frequency

3. Most need to mold

4. The speakers of various frequency bands are combined together, and the adjustment of frequency characteristics and impedance is complicated.

Generally speaking, three-way frequency has better resolution and lower distortion than two-way frequency, but the premise is that it is established after the equipment is installed and adjusted.

It is not an easy task to combine the individual sound frequencies of different speakers. Even in an ideal state, the phase difference still exists, and the passive design of the three-way divider is more complicated than the two-way design. The reactance between mid-bass and mid-to-treble will affect each other. If the installation/debugging or matching is not good, it is also common that the effect is worse than the two-way frequency.

PS: The timbre of the sound is determined by the single speaker

Large quantity ≠ good effect

After recognizing the quality of its speaker unit, the two-way frequency cannot achieve the desired effect or the icing on the cake is better than the two-way frequency. You can use the three-way frequency.

If its quality is not recognized, the midrange unit can not save the failed system.

And for the same budget, you can choose a better quality unit for the two-way frequency, and it is also a good choice to upgrade the power amplifier with extra budget.

If you are sure you want to install a three-way frequency, then you have to consider the problem of frequency division. Many high-end equipment do not contain frequency dividers...