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What are component car speakers?
And why do they sound so much better?
Component speaker systems (also called "separates") feature separate woofers, tweeters, and crossovers. Components deliver realistic sound with outstanding imaging in the car, making them the choice of serious audio enthusiasts.
The JL Audio C2650 component speaker system features 6-3/4" woofers and seperate 3/4" silk-dome tweeters.
Separate woofers and tweeters
Most factory-installed and brand-name car speakers contain two elements, combining a woofer and tweeter into one speaker (also called a "coaxial speaker"). It's a convenient way to get great sound from a single speaker opening, but the design of the woofer and tweeter are both compromised in this arrangement. Also, a tweeter mounted on top of the woofer cone will always, to some degree, interfere with the sound waves produced by the woofer.
With a component speaker system, the woofers and tweeters are mounted independently — each component can operate to its full potential, eliminating the problem of the tweeter impeding woofer performance. More important, independent tweeters can be positioned for optimum imaging and soundstaging.
Manufacturers will often use better materials in separate components than in their 2- or 3-way counterparts. When properly powered, component speakers deliver exceptional dynamics and detail.
A component system usually includes externally-mounted passive crossover networks, designed to complement the woofers and tweeters in the system. These networks of filters direct specific frequency ranges to the woofer and tweeter, so they don't strain to reproduce notes out of their intended range. High-quality crossovers allow you to adjust the relative volume of the tweeter, so the system produces natural, realistic sound.
If you're interested in adding a great-sounding component speaker system to your car or truck, check out our thoughts on what to look for in a system and use our vehicle selector tool to find out which ones fit your vehicle.