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What Is A 5-Way Speaker? 5 Things You Need To Know (2023)

What Is A 5-Way Speaker

“I want the best speaker.”

So you search the web for it.

And yet you find yourself lost about 2-ways, 3-ways, and 5-ways speakers.

Now, it’s easy to assume that more is better.

But before you add a 5-way speaker to your cart…

Keep reading to learn:

  • What a 5-way speaker is.
  • 5 interesting facts you need to know about 5-way speakers.
  • Whether 5-way speakers are better than 2-way and 4-way ones.
  • And a whole lot more…

What is a 5-way speaker?

A 5-way speaker is a loudspeaker that houses 5 drivers. These drivers help in producing clearer and more precise sounds. Moreover, this type of speaker has the capacity to play different frequencies.

5-way speakers – 5 things you need to know

#1: Not commonly used

I’m not surprised if this is the first time you’ve heard it.

After all…

2-way and 3-way speakers are the most common. That’s because they’re the top 2 of the most used and known speakers in the market.

Also, for speakers, more doesn’t mean better.

So, most people are yet to know 5-way speakers today…

Especially in a world dominated by 2 or 3-way speakers.

But even if that’s the case…

5-way speakers are already used for car stereos, even if they’re not a trend.

The 5-way car speakers that people mostly use are:

And I vouch for these brands because of their high-quality materials. I’m talking about:

  • Gold-plated screws.
  • Baltic Birch Plywood.
  • Treated paper for speaker cones.
  • Speaker cone materials made of Aramid fiber.
  • Using gold for circuit boards to provide long-term non-oxidizing connections.

Now, check out this video about why materials matter on speakers:

Moreover, 5-way speakers make the listening experience in cars richer.

Plus, it also makes the sound more detailed. That’s thanks to its drivers that work together to produce a better sound.

Read next: Can A Car Radio Drain Your Battery?

#2: 5 drivers with functions

Fun fact: You’ll know the number of drivers a speaker has by what it’s called.

For example, a 2-way speaker has 2 drivers. Consequently, 3-way speakers have 3 drivers, and 4-way speakers have 4.

With that in mind…

Here are the drivers and their functions:

Super tweeter

This provides airiness to create a more realistic, exciting, and ambient listening experience.

Sound range20,000 Hz
Size3.19 x 1.34 inches (81mm x 34mm).

It makes the highest sound frequencies and provides quality sounds like cymbals and voices.

Sound range2000-20,000 Hz
Size0.5 in. – 1.5 in.

It creates the main detail of sound and clarity.

Sound range 250-2,000 Hz
Size3.5 in. – 6.5 in.
Mid woofer

This produces the best qualities from 500 Hz to 2kHz but starts to deteriorate at the end of either range.

Sound range 200-5 kHz
Size10 in – 12 in.

The bassy sound it produces comes from its lower frequency.

Sound range 20-20,000 Hz
Size4 in. – 15 in.

And as I said before, the different drivers make the sound richer and more real.

#3: They have crossovers

Crossovers act as a sound filter.

They remove unwanted sound frequencies from transmitting into speakers.

Also, they make sure that the 5-way speakers produce only the most accurate and balanced sound. 

But, the problem with having more drive is that crossovers must work harder.

So, you need the best quality crossovers for more drivers. That’s if you want a fuller sound…

Now, I recommend you get the most used and accessible crossovers.

And these are the materials to check for a high-quality crossover:

  • Foil inductors.
  • Film capacitors.
  • Foil coils or ribbon coils.

They improve the sound quality on 5-way speakers or even 2-way or 3-way speakers.

And to save you time, these are the crossovers you can check out.

Even if uncommon, Taramp Five-way Electronic Car Audio Crossover is used for cars.

As for 2-way speakers, there are:

Now, you know that crossovers and 5-way speakers are a match made in heaven.

But how about other things you can use with 5-way speakers?

#4: You can use them with a 4-way speaker

4-way, and 5-ways speakers are almost similar, and you can use them together.

“How so?”

4-way speakers contain:

  • Bass driver.
  • Mid-range driver.
  • 2 tweeter drivers.

That said, 5-ways speakers have:

  • 2 tweeter drivers.
  • 2 mid-range drivers.
  • Bass or woofer driver.

You see, the drivers inside 4-way speakers are equivalent to a 5-way speaker.

And that makes the two of them work together.

With that, there’ll be little to no difference when you use both.

#5: A 5-way speaker is a coaxial speaker

A 5-Way Speaker Is A Coaxial Speaker

A coaxial speaker is a loudspeaker with different drivers. 

From its word co and axis, it means 2 or more things exist together.

And these things that exist together are the drivers.

As mentioned, drivers enable speakers to play different frequencies.

What are frequencies?

These are the signals that are transmitted and are measured in Hertz (Hz).

Also, there’s audio frequency responses.

And it’s the range of frequencies that the human ear can interpret in the audio frequency spectrum.

Moreover, it acts as the indicator of how audios are appropriate for the human hearing range.

Remember, there’s only a limit to our hearing. 

With that, we need to know the range where it’s still acceptable for our ears.

Warning: These are the harmful frequencies that are damaging to human hearing:

  • Low frequencies (under 20 Hz).
  • High frequencies (above 20,000 Hz).

It’s best to be aware of them to prevent hearing damage.

On the other hand, the number of drivers differs for each speaker.

But, like 2 or 3-way speakers, 5-way speakers are also coaxial speakers.

These drivers work hand-in-hand to produce a better sound.

Are 5-way speakers better than 2 and 4-way speakers?

5-way speakers are good, but not better than 2 and 4-way speakers.

You see…

2-way and 4-way speakers can produce better sound quality if their quality is great.

Similarly, more drivers on a 5-way speaker don’t mean better sound. Especially if it’s designed poorly. 

That means the speaker includes:

  • Iron inductors.
  • Speaker cones made of plastic.
  • Oxidizing wires for circuit boards.

That said, the material, interior design, and quality are things to consider.

Plus, there’ll be cons to each speaker, regardless of the drivers it has.

And looking at the number of drivers isn’t the ultimate way to determine the best.