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Whats the difference between 2-way, 3-way, 4-way and component speakers?

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2-way, 3-way, 4-way etc.. are called coaxial speakers. They are all mounted on the same frame and the number indicates the number of speakers on that frame. All coaxial speakers have only one woofer (the large cone), and the others are an array of mid range and tweeters. Component speakers are seperated. You have a midbass speaker and a tweeter mounted in seperate locations. Putting the midbass and the tweeter in different locations 'spreads' the music out and fills the area. Instead of having all music come from the same source, it broadens the listening area or the sound stage. Component speakers also have a seperate box called a crossover or crossover network; sometimes called x-over. This seperates the signal into high and low frequencies and sends only the frequencies each speaker can handle to the speakers. Coaxial speakers do not have crossovers, instead they have little capacitors mounted under the tweeters to filter out lows. Components are normally about twice as much as ... more
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