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Are Component Car Speakers Good for Car Audio?

While many think factory-installed speakers are good enough, upgrading to component speakers can significantly improve overall sound quality. 

But are the component car speakers suitable for car audio installations? Let’s find out.

Component car speakers are the best sound quality option for car audio systems. They are designed to produce the best sound possible, and they can reproduce a wide range of frequencies in the realistic live stage effect.

Tip: If you are searching for an even better solution than standard component systems, check out the three-way systems with an additional mid-range speaker.

Those sets, like Focal PS165F3 or hand-made Focal ES 165 KX3 K2 (if you have a high budget), will put your sound experience to a different level (links to Amazon).

In this article, I’ll look at what component car speakers are and explain why they offer the best possible sound quality for your car audio system.

What Are Component Car Speakers?

Component speakers are car speakers matched by woofers and tweeters to create optimal sound quality.

In most installations, a pair of tweeters and woofers are matched with the crossovers to reduce the frequency range each speaker must accurately reproduce.

This results in less strain on the speakers, leading to cleaner, more accurate sound.

Advantages of Component Car Speakers

Component speakers are generally considered the best option for car audio, as they offer several advantages over coaxial speakers.

#1. For starters, they produce better sound quality. This is because each component speaker is designed to reproduce a specific range of frequencies, which results in less strain on the speaker and cleaner, more accurate sound.

#2. Component speakers are generally more durable than coaxial or full-range speakers because they are built to withstand the standards of car audio systems, which can often be quite loud.

Disadvantages of Component Car Speakers

#1. The main disadvantage of component car speakers is that they are typically more expensive than other speakers. 

#2. Another disadvantage is their more complicated installation that requires separate wiring of the drivers and crossovers. In some cars, it is also necessary to drill holes in the interior to correctly place the tweeters.

The Design of Component Car Speakers.

There are two types of component speakers used in car audio, 2-way and 3-way.

Two-way component car speakers consist of a woofer and a tweeter, and 3-way speakers have an additional mid-range speaker that covers sounds like vocals, guitar etc., offloading those frequencies from the woofer.

The woofer is responsible for reproducing the low frequencies, while the tweeter reproduces the high frequencies.

An important part of any component system is the crossover, responsible for dividing the signal between the woofer and the tweeter.

Crossover ensures that each speaker only receives the frequencies it is designed to reproduce, resulting in cleaner, more accurate sound.

In most cars using the component speakers, the woofer and the tweeter are mounted separately.

This allows for more installation flexibility, as the speakers can be positioned in different locations in the car.

Benefits of Separate Speakers’ Design

#1. One of the benefits of this design is that it reduces the strain on the speakers, which can lead to cleaner, more accurate sound.

#2. Another benefit of this design is that it allows for more flexibility when positioning the speakers within the cabin.

This can help ensure that the speakers can reproduce the sound accurately regardless of their location in the car.

#3. The component design allows speakers to be less loaded and do not have overlapping frequencies.

Having frequencies separated between different drivers improves the output quality, the speaker’s performance and lifetime.

Focal ES 165 KX3 K2 Power 6-1/2" 3-Way Component Speakers

The downside of this design is that it generally results in more expensive speakers. This is because the design is more complex and requires more parts than other types of speakers.

Component Car Speakers vs Coaxial Speakers.

Component car speakers are generally considered to be the best option when it comes to car audio.

This is because they offer several advantages over coaxial speakers, including better sound quality and its direction, especially for the high tones and also more durability.

Coaxial speakers are a type of speaker that contains a woofer and a tweeter in one unit.

The main and I think the only advantage of coaxial speakers is that they are less expensive than component speakers and are easier to install in the car.

Where in the Car Should Component Car Speakers Be Installed?

Component car speakers should be installed in the front of the car, near the dash.

This position guarantees optimal audio experience because they are designed to reproduce the sound stage in the best possible way.

Installing component speakers in the back of the car is also standard practice, and it creates a fantastic experience for passengers, but for most car audio installations, coaxial speakers are used in the rear doors.

How to Install Component Car Speakers in the Car.

Component car speakers can be installed in the car, and the process is straightforward unless you have to make customized speaker locations.

The most important thing is to ensure that the speakers are mounted securely, so they do not vibrate excessively.

In most cases, the best way to install component car speakers is to use the factory mounts with foam gaskets around the magnets. This ensures that the speakers are correctly positioned and are less likely to vibrate.

#1. If installing the speakers yourself, you will need to disassemble the door panels to access the factory mounts. This can be time-consuming, so it is best to have someone help you if possible.

#2. Once the door panels are removed, you must remove the old speakers and disconnect the wiring.

#3. Then, you can connect the new speakers to the existing speaker wires and test them to ensure they are working correctly.

#4. If the speakers are working fine, place them into the permanent locations ensuring a solid fit.

#5. With the new speakers in place, reattach the door panels and test the sound system again.

The Tools Needed to Install Component Car Speakers.

In most cases, the only tool you will need to install component car speakers is a screwdriver and the panel removal tools to not damage the car’s interior.

However, if you install the component speakers for the first time and you need to drill the holes for tweeters, you also need the drill.

Do Component Car Speakers Need an Amplifier?

For any speakers with RMS higher than 20 Watts RMS, I recommend using an amplifier if you want the speakers to play at the optimal performance without distorting sounds at the higher volumes.

When looking at the specification of many speakers, an amplifier may not be necessary, and they will play when powered by the stereo but will not reach their potential.

Even the smallest amplifier is more powerful than any car stereo, so if you are looking for the best car audio experience, especially from the component speakers, an amplifier is a must.

Do Component Car Speakers Need Crossovers?

Most component speakers use passive crossovers the differentiate low and high sounds.

The crossovers are generally included with the speakers, but their usage depends on how you connect the component speakers to the amplifier.

#1. If you connect a pair of component speakers to the stereo amp passively, the signal must be sent first to the crossover and then to the speakers.

In this configuration, both speakers receive the same signal from the stereo, but each speaker plays a different range of frequencies because of the crossover.

#2. On the other hand, if you want to make a passive connection, you need a four-channel amplifier for the same pair of speakers or a six-channel if you install 3-way speakers.

In the active connection, you do not use the crossovers; instead, you connect each speaker to a separate channel.

For example, tweeters to the front channels 1 and 2, woofers to the rear channels 3 and 4, and mid-range speakers to channels 5 and 6.

This way, you can steer the gain and volume independently for each speaker, utilizing the filters built-in in the amplifier.

AudioControl LC-6.1200 High-Power Multi-Channel Amplifier with Accubass

An example of an excellent amplifier to power component speakers actively is the Audio Control D-6.1200 with the built-in digital processor (link to Amazon).

You do not need the crossovers for the active connection, even if they are included in the component speakers set.

Choosing the Right Component Car Speakers for Car Audio.

Choosing the right speakers is the most challenging part because when they do not match the car’s dynamic, the effect may be disappointing.

#1. The RMS (Root Mean Square) value is the most important thing to consider when choosing car speakers.

This number represents the power a speaker can continually handle without being damaged. But be sure to check the RMS (root mean square) rather than the peak power.

#2. The next thing to look at is the impedance. The lower the impedance, the more power speakers need from the amplifier. So, for example, 100W 2 ohm speakers will require twice as much amplifier’s output power as 100W 4 ohm speakers.

#3. Another factor to consider is the sensitivity, or how much sound the speaker produces for a given amount of power.

A high sensitivity rating means the speaker doesn’t require as much power to produce a loud, clear sound.

Higher sensitivity is important for speakers mounted in locations from which the sound waves may have difficulty reaching the listeners, such as in the lower part of the doors or for speakers installed in convertibles.

Remember, the car speakers are designed to play in a small closed area, so if you put them in an open car, they need to be able to handle the wind and road noise.

#4. The last crucial factor is the frequency response. Regarding frequency response, look for a speaker that can reproduce low frequencies (bass) without distortion and good quality speakers to make dynamic mid-bass should start at 40Hz or less.

An excellent frequency response range for the component speakers is 30Hz to over 20kHz, although most car speakers produce a mid-bass starting at 40-50Hz.

Conclusion

Of all the car speaker types, component speakers are the best choice for the car audio system if you want quality sound.

They are designed to produce a well-balanced sound, with crisp highs and deep lows, and by connecting them actively to the amplifier, you can fine-tune them to match the acoustics of your car.

Component speakers are more expensive than coaxial speakers, but they are definitely worth the investment.

If you are not an experienced installer, it is best to leave the installation of component speakers to the professionals. But if you are determined to do it yourself, follow the manual instructions carefully and take your time.