Horn speakers have several advantages over cone driver speakers:
- The compression drivers in horn speakers have MUCH higher efficiency than cone drivers. Higher efficiency is a key advantage because this allows using low power tube single ended amplifiers.
- Compression drivers' diaphragms are significantly lighter than the cones of cone drivers. Since music signals fluctuate constantly, very light diaphragms mean they can move (generate sound) much more closely with the music signal, resulting in a much more faithful reproduction of the music signal.
- The sound exiting horns is more focused than the sound exiting cone drivers. This results in better imaging and sound localization.
Horn speakers also have several disadvantages:
- High quality compression drivers and horns are very expensive to manufacture.
- 4-way systems require big bulky horns. This is especially true for 5-way systems.
- 4-way and especially 5-way systems are very difficult to implement. Many brand name and DIY 4-way and 5-way systems are poorly implemented.