Coaxial or Component Speakers: Which is Best For Your Setup?

Car Audio coaxial speaker with orange cone

When we talk about car audio, speakers are often the first things people think about. These vital components serve as the beating heart of your audio system, playing the pivotal role of delivering sound directly to your ears. From your favorite rock anthem to the soft notes of a classical piece, speakers make sure you hear every beat, every note, and every word. They truly are the vocal cords of your car’s audio system.

Car speakers aren’t a one-size-fits-all commodity. They come in different shapes, sizes, and configurations. At a high level, they’re generally classified into two categories: coaxial and components.


Coaxial (Full-range) Speakers:

Coaxial speakers, sometimes referred to as full-range speakers, are the most common type found in vehicles, especially in stock audio setups. They are called ‘coaxial’ because they house multiple speaker elements, such as tweeters (for high frequencies) and woofers (for low frequencies), into a single cohesive unit. This compact design ensures you get a full spectrum of sound from one source.


  • Simplicity: Being a singular unit, they’re notably easy to install, making them a favorite for many beginners.
  • Cost: If you’re watching your pennies, coaxials usually come in at a more budget-friendly price point compared to component systems.
  • Space-saving: With everything in one unit, they’re an excellent fit for smaller cars or for those who prefer a less intricate setup.

However, there’s a trade-off. Given the nature of their design, coaxial speakers may not always deliver that crystal-clear differentiation in sound that a more discerning ear might crave.


Component Speakers:

Component speakers take a more segmented approach. Component speakers feel a bit like opening a sophisticated Lego set. Each piece, or in this case, speaker element, is distinct. You’ve got your tweeters, woofers, and sometimes mid-range speakers, each designed to handle its segment of sound frequencies without interference from the others.


  • Sound Quality: The division of labor, so to speak, ensures that each element does its job without any interference. This results in clearer and more dynamic sound.
  • Customization: This setup grants you the freedom to place each element wherever it sounds best. 
  • Superior Crossover: One underrated hero in the component system is the external crossover. It ensures each speaker element receives only the frequencies it’s designed for, further enhancing sound quality.

The flip side? Your wallet might feel a bit lighter. Component speakers, with all their sophistication, usually come with a heftier price tag. Additionally, their installation can be a tad more complex, often requiring professional assistance.


Size and Placement Matter

Choosing the right size of speaker is vital. You might think bigger speakers equate to better sound, but that’s not always the case. Bigger isn’t inherently better. The ideal speaker size largely depends on where they’re being installed and the space available. Always cross-check the specifications and dimensions before making a purchase.

Placement, on the other hand, affects how you experience the sound. For instance, tweeters from component systems are often best placed at ear level so that the high frequencies can be heard more directly. Woofers, responsible for lower frequencies, can be placed lower in the door panels. Remember, it’s not just about making the sound louder, but making it richer, clearer, and more immersive.



The journey to upgrade or understand your car’s audio system is exciting. Speakers, being central to this expedition, require careful consideration. From deciding between the compact convenience of coaxials to the tailored experience of component systems, there’s much to ponder. However, with a clear understanding of your budget, desired sound quality, and installation capabilities, you’re well on your way to an enriched auditory experience. Remember, the goal isn’t just volume – it’s clarity, depth, and immersion.

Just starting out? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Car Audio: Setup, Components, & Tips!

Coaxial Speakers (9)

Component Sets (25)

Speaker Separates (28)

Leave a Reply