The Million Dollar Question Coaxial or Component

For as long as car audio Miami has been popular there has been one question the has hunted audio enthusiast not only through the South Florida area but throughout the world. That is what to choose coaxial speaks or component speakers. For starters, anyone that says that one is better than the other is not only full of you know what but also has little, or no understanding of the laws of physics the govern not only car audio bt sound reproduction in general.

So, what is the big deal? Well, first let’s take a look at what are component speakers and what are coaxial speakers.

Coaxial Speakers: This normally generalizes a type of speaker where the tweeter and or high frequency and the midrange or lower frequency driver are both mounted in the same frame. Not to be confused with full-range speakers. Even though both driver as mounted in the same frame each driver has its own independent coil, and for all intended purposes they are two separate drive working together to cover a wider frequency range then one driver can do on its own. Coaxial speakers come in many configurations. Some of the most popular ones are tweeter and super tweeter, midrange and tweeter, but the most common is a woofer with a tweeter. It is important to point out that you will also find these with a tweeter, a mid, and a woofer in a three-way configuration. However, the proper label for this type of speaker is tri-axial.

There are also several chassis configurations. In the pro audio world, it is not rare to find the tweeter or high-frequency drive mounted behind the backplate of the woofer. In fact, it is not rare to find it screw right on to the vented pole piece. In the high-end home audio and studio monitor world, it is more common to find the tweeter embedded at the center of the woofer’s voice coil, where the dust cap would normally be. By aligning the two coils phase and time aligning at the crossover point a lot easier but at the same time complex. If done right as companies like KEF and Tannoy are know for doing. This type of setup or chassis is called concentric and although not very popular in the car audio world there are available and besides the pint who says that studio monitor speakers can’t be used in car applications? However, the most common coaxial found at a car stereo store in Miami are those with the tweeter mounted in a pole extension right in the middle of the woofer. Although good sound can be achieved and even bi-application getting the timing and phase correct without DSP is very difficult.

Component Speakers: As the name denotes are speaker sets or kits that have been pre-match to work together as one. These are available in an infinite variety of chassis and mounting styles as segments of frequencies including 2-way, 3-way, 4-way, and even 5-ways. However, the two and three-way variety should not only the most common but should also suffice. If component speakers are known for anything, it has to be flexibility. That is why so many professional car audio installers used them in competition. When trying to achieve the ideal “stage” the ability to be able to place and angle the mid driver from the tweeter is key. This task is normally achieved by building kick panels at the footwell of the passenger and driver that allow the drivers to point up towards the roof of the vehicle somewhere in the middle between the driver and passenger.

What’s better component speakers or coaxial?

To be honest this is better answered by your vehicle, your budget, and the other components in your car audio system. A speaker is a speaker; the only reason that component speakers are generally considered better is that they are usually of better quality. However, know that there are coaxial speakers out there as if not more expensive than components. The cost is driven by the type of material the speaker is made out of, how much human interaction is there in the process, and the level of quality control the manufacturer has in place. For example companies like Pioneer Electronics may check one out of one thousand speakers made.

On the other hand high-end speakers manufacturers like Vifa, Dynaudio, and Focal will test one speaker out of every ten manufacturers, if not every speaker that come out of the line! In the hierarchy of pricing and quality, coaxials seem to be at the bottom of the barrel but know that this is not always the case but if you are looking for a quick replacement and or cheap upgrade to t a factory OEM speaker a coaxial is the speaker for you. On the other hand if your hearings is a little more sophisticated and you plan to have a multi-amp auto sound system component may be more adequate.