The car audio world can be quite daunting when you get started first, and one of the most common mistakes we see made by new car audio enthusiasts is buying / installing a midrange speaker and expecting it to perform better than their stock car speaker, which is a coaxial speaker.
This mistake generally leads to a disappointing sound, and eventually to a blown speaker, which means more money out of your pocket. Let us take a look at the difference between full range and midrange speakers, and which style is the right choice for you.
Coaxial speakers, also known as full-range speakers, are built to play the full spectrum of frequencies that are being moved from your antenna to your headphones.
Most cars come with coaxial speakers from the manufacturer because they are cheaper, simpler to mount, and do not need extra amplifiers or external crossovers to guide the signal.
There are generally three different types of coaxial speakers.
Two-way speakers are the most common types of speakers for cars. They feature a main woofer that handles lower frequencies and a small tweeter in the center that handles high frequencies.
Three-way speakers are much like two-way speakers, only that there is an additional mid-range driver to add more flexibility and clarification in the middle frequencies.
Four-way speakers take the three-way speaker and add the so-called “super tweeter” next to the standard tweeter to handle ultra-high frequencies. (This is the type of speaker that we have shown in our video at the end of this article)
The main advantage for coaxial speakers is that they are generally cheaper than installing a full-component system, and since most cars already come with coaxial speakers installed, they are about as close to plug and play as you can with your car’s radio.
Coaxial speakers are a fantastic option for people looking for a simple way to upgrade the sound of the car’s audio system. Just you need to know about full range speakers’ vs midrange speakers.
Midrange speakers are built to do just as their names mean, with middle frequencies that are usually between 150Hz and 5,000Hz (this ranges between midrange speakers). They do not sound all that impressive on their own midrange speakers.
They are probably going to sound worse than your standard car speakers, because you are only hearing a small portion of the song’s frequencies.
And if you try to push the whole range of frequencies to a midrange speaker, it will cause the speaker to distort, overheat, and eventually blow. This can happen in as fast as a couple of minutes.