Are Round Speakers Better Than Oval?

For most audiophiles, enjoying a ride in a car has a lot to do with the quality of the audio system. A good stereo system makes your everyday mundane routes bearable and your long holiday drives even more memorable and entertaining.

When you decide on improving your car entertainment system, you’ll find out that it involves more than simply replacing the existing one with the most expensive audio systems.

While researching, hundreds of questions will go through your mind like: Are round speakers better than oval? If so, then why? Finding out the answers to all of these might seem daunting at first but this guide has been designed specifically to give you all the answers you’d need selecting the right speakers for you.

Why are speakers round?

Round speakers are the ones where all the components of a speaker like the tweeters, bass, and mid-range are available separately. All of these components will have to be connected to each other through crossover devices while installing them in your car.

Round speakers are designed in that way so that each component gets the exact amount of frequency required to produce the sound they are supposed to.

The tweeters, bass drivers, mid-range speakers and others produce sounds of different frequencies: the tweeters handle the high ones, the bass drivers handle the low-end and the mid-range speakers produce the medium frequencies.

As such, all of them require different frequency signals from the amplifier to do the job they are required to do.

black round component speaker on a yellow background
Component (round) speakers are simpler to allocate to a range but more difficult to install properly.

So, having a speaker system where each component is separate and not enclosed in a single unit makes it a lot easier to manage each one individually.  

Why are 6×9 speakers oval?

6×9 speakers – also known as coaxial speakers- are designed in an oval shape to make maximum use of the limited space in vehicles from the factory. Back in the day, there wasn’t much space allocated in cars to fit speakers properly.

So, to get the best possible sound quality out of the limited space available, 6×9 speakers were designed in oval shapes. The oval shape provides better sound in a narrower space for 6×9’’ speakers.

That is because it allowed the speaker manufacturers to take advantage of the longer width from side to side than the shorter back-to-front panel measurements. Also, 6×9 speakers in narrow spaces provide more surface area than round speakers which means more air can move in motion resulting in more volume and more bass.

Are round speakers better than oval?

If you are looking purely from the sound quality point of view, then yes, round speakers are better than oval speakers. But it’s not that straightforward. Each design has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Round speakers, because of their separate components, are able to provide superior sound quality than oval speakers. You get clean highs from the tweeters and very clean lows from the bass while the mid-range speakers take care of the medium frequencies.

Since each round speaker only has to deal with a specific audio frequency, you get minimum distortion.

Round speakers main disadvantages are high costs and complex installation processes. All of the components have to be fitted and tuned separately inside the car which makes the installation process more complex. Installing component (round) speakers are also generally more expensive than oval speakers.

When it comes to oval speakers, on the other hand, the sound quality can be inferior compared to round speakers. But that always comes down to audio preferences.

If you are satisfied with decent sound quality, then oval speakers will work just fine for you. And since all of the components are built in a single unit, installing oval speakers is more convenient than round speakers and cheaper too.    

Which gives the best sound quality?

Since round component speakers are designed to provide separate frequencies for each range, they are able to provide a more accurate sound quality than oval coaxial speakers.  A sound system using component (round) speakers, can provide much clearer audio than a simple coaxial 6×9 speaker can.

But in cars where space is at a premium for extra components, installing upgraded oval coaxial speakers will provide better sound quality than factory-fitted speakers.

Which gives the best bass?

When it comes to bass, generally, component (round) speakers will give you clearer and better bass than coaxial (oval) speakers.

But if your car doesn’t have enough space to fit a big, chunky bass driver in it, then the bass provided by an upgraded 6×9 speaker is much better than from your factory fitted speakers.

It is a bad idea to fit only a bass component speaker without upgrading the tweeters and mid-range speakers also. What will happen is the bass will overpower the other sound elements and all you’ll hear from your audio system are constant bass beats without the high and the mid-range sounds.

What is a good example of both?

Now, let’s look at some good round (component) and oval (coaxial) speakers –

Good Component (Round) speakers:

CT Sounds Meso 6.5 inch: These speakers are among the best in the market for component speakers. They have a frequency range of 40Hz to 6kHz. The speakers have a rating of 120w RMS and 240W peak power in each pair with each speaker having a rating of 60W RMS and 120W peak power. The 2 ABS crossovers are awesome for directing the correct frequency to the correct speakers.

Good 6″x9″ Coaxial (Oval) speakers:

JBL GT0930 Premium: These 6’’x9″ speakers are perfect for delivering high, mid-range, and bass frequencies in one unit. They have a peak power of 600W and an RMS value of 200W for the pair. The build quality of the speakers is extremely high which means they’ll able to withstand high volume levels without distortion. Great speakers.

Conclusion

As we have seen so far, round component speakers are undisputedly a better option for sound quality. But when you bring in other factors like budget, installation complexities, and space in the car for installation, sometimes oval coaxial speakers are a much better choice.

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