Most high-end speakers have 3-ways to account for low, mid and high range sounds. Yet, there are also 2-way or 4-way speakers. How many "ways" a speaker has can make a difference for the performance and look of a speaker.
Speaker Sets and Axial Speakers
A co-, tri-, or quad-axial speaker is a single speaker with two, three or four built in components. A component speaker set contains individual units that each provide either a specific direction or frequency of sound. For example, a tweeter, mid-range speaker and sub-woofer would all be separate in a component set and in the same box in a tri-axial or 3-way set.
A speaker that is 2-way or co-axial contains a mid-range cone in addition to a tweeter cone for high-frequency sound.
A speaker that is 3-way or tri-axial contains a bass and mid-range cone in addition to a tweeter cone. These speakers are often high quality units that provide extremely clear sound through all ranges.
A speaker that is 4-way or quad-axial contains a bass and mid-range cone as well as two tweeters. The extra tweeter gives these speaker better high-range sound, but generally adds little to the overall quality.
Speaker component sets start at 2.1 (standing for two directional speakers and a sub-woofer) and go up from there. These sets often produce the highest quality sound, allowing the user to add individual units and ensure acoustic accuracy.