The Art & Science of Audio & Video

2-Way vs. 3-Way

What is the difference between 2-way and 3-way speakers? Is there an advantage to one over the other?

A 2-way system consists of a high frequency driver and a low frequency driver only. Otherwise know as a tweeter and a woofer. A 3-way system adds a third driver specifically for midrange. The midrange drive in typically smaller than the woofer ranging anywhere from 3” up to 12” or larger depending on the size of the entire speaker. The advantages and disadvantages are that a 3-way speaker narrows down the range of frequencies each particular driver has to reproduce. Meaning the woofer for instance instead of having to play up to 3,000Hz could be crossed over at 500Hz and the midrange would cover 500Hz to 5kHz. The tweeter would then handle everything above 5kHz. The drawback to 3-way systems is the increased complexity in the crossover design. Every crossover point you introduce into a design complicates phasing and time alignment issues amongst other things.


February 27, 2008 - Posted by | FAQ's | , , , , , , , , ,

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