Last Updated on November 11, 2022 by Rifthy

A 2-way speaker consists of two kinds of drivers- The woofer and the tweeter. A 3-way speaker consists of three drivers: the woofer, tweeter, and mid-range.

So a woofer would give a low-frequency sound while the tweeter gives a high-frequency sound, and the mid-range gives a middle or balanced-frequency sound. Each one is suitable for a different reason.

What Is A 2-Way Speaker?

2 way speaker

A 2-way speaker has two kinds of drivers. One is known as the woofer, and the other is known as the tweeter. The woofer is a driver, made only for low-frequency sounds, while the tweeter is made only for high-frequency sounds.

The speaker is made with a ‘crossover’ inside. The crossover separates the frequencies from the microphone, laptop, etc., and sends them to the necessary driver(s).

Sometimes when two ranges split, there will be some sounds that have frequencies that fall across the point. The 2-way speaker also has a driver that simultaneously works the bass and mid-range.

It is also said that a 2-way speaker sounds better when it is put into a box, where the sound is then contained in a smaller area rather than exposed to a bigger space. T

he best way to test the speaker is to quietly send a signal through it, listen, and then see if it produces sound.

3-Way Speaker

Kicker 3-way

A 3-way speaker has three kinds of drivers. They are the woofer, the tweeter, and the mid-range.

In this case, the woofer produces the bass, the tweeter produces the treble and super treble, while the mid-range produces the middle or mid-high-frequency sounds.

It also has got a subwoofer that handles only low frequencies. A 3-way speaker will have better voice clarity, and if the cross over network is good, there won’t be distortion.

Speaker Crossovers

What is a good crossover frequency?

A crossover is an electric circuit that blocks unwanted frequencies in speakers such as the full-range coaxial speaker. A good crossover frequency is 80Hz, and it is the most common.

150-200Hz is good for small satellite speakers and on-wall speakers, 100-120Hz is good for small center speakers, 80-120Hz is good for surround sound and bookshelf speakers, 80-100Hz is good for Mid-size center speakers, 3.5kHz(high pass or high/low pass) is good for 2-way speakers, and 1-3.5kHz(low pass) is good for mid-range and woofers.

What is an active crossover?

A crossover can cover an entire audio range, of frequencies from low to high with reasonable relative volume and absence of distortion, in the incapable drivers of 2 way and 3  way speakers.

An active crossover will split up an audio signal before the power amplification stage, so it can be sent to two or more amplifiers, each of which is connected to a separate speaker driver.

A digital active crossover includes extra signal processing such as equalization, delay, and limiting.

There are both digital and analog active crossovers.

Is A 2-Way Or 3-Way Better For A Home Theatre?

The 3-way speaker consists of the woofer, subwoofer, tweeter, and mid-range drivers.

When listening to music, the home theatre system(audio) uses a crossover that divides the low-frequency signal from the woofer, which will be sent to a subwoofer and then to the mid and high range drivers in the five speakers placed around the listener(s).

This setup can also be used to watch movies and TV shows because it can sound much fuller, with more bass output. Another way, would be to have a receiver and use a bass boost, sub woofer or equalizer on it.

On the other hand the built-in TV speakers and the popular sound bars are considered satisfactory too. Whereas the 2-way speaker is more suited for a compact area such as a car(or any vehicle). Therefore a 3-way is better than a 2-way speaker for a home theatre system.

Is a 2-Way Or 3-Way Better For A Car Sound System?

The car is like a box or an enclosed area where the sound is better if the signals are split only into high frequencies or low frequencies. The 2-way speaker consists of a tweeter for the high frequencies and a woofer for the low frequencies.

The two drivers come in a convenient speaker basket and sometimes use a crossover to block some of the frequencies from each speaker so they sound good together.

The 3-way is more suited for an open area with no limits or boundaries. Therefore, the 2-way speaker is better than a 3-way for a car sound system if you prefer different volume levels. It is affordable and easier to install too.

Can You Combine 2-way And 3-Way Speakers?

So far we have mentioned that it is the 3-way speaker that has the subwoofer. But if the 2-way had a subwoofer and tweeter, while the 3-way had a mid-range, tweeter, and super tweeter combination, then yes, a 2-way and 3-way speaker can be combined.  But that’s as far as it goes.

Which Setup Is Better For An Audiophile?

An audiophile is an intense sound(audio) listener. That means, the person likes to listen to every sound, not only in music but also in the equipment and devices emanating that music.

The 3-way setup does just that. Its output is precise and distinct- giving clarity and detail right throughout the frequencies from low to high. A good frequency response is needed when listening to classical or jazz music.

An audiophile would have that in a home setting of 3-way speakers. Whereas a 2-way doesn’t have all those specifications. It’s only basic. Therefore a 3-way setup is better for an audiophile.

2-way vs 3-way speakers which is better

Difference between two-way speaker and three-way speaker
Credit hifireport.com

The 2-way speaker came before the 3-way, so it is more basic and parts maybe easier to replace, once broken or damaged. The 3-way is more complicated, parts are difficult to find and replace if the speaker gets damaged.

The quality of the 2-way is low while the 3-way quality is high.

It’s named the 2-way speaker because it has 2 drivers-the woofers and the tweeter while the 3-way has a woofer, tweeter, and mid-range.

The 2-way driver works the bass and mid-range simultaneously while the 3-way has a subwoofer.

The 2-way sounds better in a box or an enclosed area while the 3-way is better in an open area.

Both the 2-way and 3-way have standard speakers as well as car speakers.

The 2-way is good for people on a budget while the 3-way is expensive.

Both are forms of speaker enclosures or cabinets, in the shape of rectangular boxes made of wood, metal or plastic.

Is A 2-Way Or 3-Way Better For Kids’ Toys?

There are many toys with speakers. The girls’ cooker sets, the girls’ singing dolls, the boys’ remote control cars, train sets, robots, walkie-talkies, and even the infants’ mobiles that hang above their cradles or cots.

Kids even have their very own versions of cell phones and laptops. So do they have the 2-way or 3-way speakers? The other toys are not mentioned, but the walkie-talkies have them both.

The 2-way is split into a set of two walkie-talkies, while the 3-way is split into a set of three walkie-talkies.

Best 3-way speakers

1. Kicker 3-way car audio coaxial speakers

Kicker 3-way

It is a 6×9″ speaker from Kicker, with a RMS rating of 90w and the peak power rating of 360w. It is thin, can easily fit into a standard car speaker space, and the tweeter has zero to minimal protrusion.

Though the power is less, it comes with a clear and much better quality of sound which is not distorted. It even has a very clear mid-frequency for amazing voice reproduction.

The only thing missing is the bass but still the best on the market.

2. Rockford Fosgate full range 3 way coaxial speaker

Rockford Fosgate full range 3 way coaxial speaker

This is value for money. It comes with front grills and mounting hardware while the diameter is 6.5″ and the mounting depth is 2.15″.The RMS rating is 45w while the peak power rating is 90w.

Also the fact that it has polypropylene cones, silk-dome piezo tweeters and integrated high-pass crossovers is impressive. It has a clear and effective mid-range response.

With a bit of tweaking the bass can turn out great.

3. JBL GT0939 3 way black coaxial audio speakers

JBL GT0939

4. Sony XSFB1330 3-way car audio speakers

Sony XSFB1330

5. JBL stage 9603 3-way coaxial car audio speakers

JBL stage 9603

Best 2-way speakers

  • Bose

It is famous for high quality audio and affordability but best known for it’s noise canceling headphones, home theatre systems, portable wireless, smart technology, computer, automobile, and public address systems.

  • JBL-JBL caters to 2 divisions

a) JBL consumer which focuses on the layman’s or the consumer’s home audio equipment.

b) JBL professional, which focuses on the professional’s audio equipment. JBL has a wide variety of speakers, including home, car, marine, portable Bluetooth, smart, cinema, public address, installed, recording, and live sound speakers, earning them the name of the Top manufacturer of loudspeakers across the board.

  • Klipsch.
  • KEF
  • Definitive Technology

Final thoughts

we cannot say that one is better than the other-that the 2-way is better than the 3-way speaker. Both are important for different reasons and depending on your requirement(s) either will be necessary. Choose well and good luck!

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