Speakers convert electrical signals into sound waves. They come in different types and sizes, including bookshelf, floor-standing, soundbars, and portable speakers.
What Is A Speaker?
A speaker is a device that passes an electric current through it, converting this electric audio signal into a sound.
It is made up of multiple parts, the most important being the voice coil that lies at the center of the speaker. An electric current forces the voice coil to move forwards and backwards, creating soundwaves that are then interpreted by the listener as sound, or music.
High-quality speakers can last quite a long time - therefore, it's important to treat your speakers right or they could blow, meaning you'll have to fix them or refoam them.
Types Of Speakers
Speakers come in a range of different forms and sizes, as their physical makeup is closely linked to the type of sound that they can produce.
Small speakers are often responsible for producing higher frequencies, while larger speakers are typically associated with lower frequencies.
Speakers that produce sound at lower frequencies are called subwoofers, typically producing low frequency sound called bass or sub-bass that sounds like a deep, drum-like sound.
Mid-range speakers are responsible for producing middle frequencies, which sound like regular, middle-pitched sound that you are used to hearing in everyday music.
Tweeters are smaller speakers, responsible for producing high-frequency sounds that form part of the audio composition. Their sound is noticeable and essential, but sounds less deep than other types of speakers.
For a small breakdown on 2 Way Vs. 3 Way speakers, take a look at this guide.
How Does A Speaker Work?
A speaker is responsible for transforming energy from one form into another.
This entails changing amplified eletrical waves from a device into perceptible sound waves that travel through the air and are detected by your ears.
At it's core, a speaker is simple, electromagnetic motor that passes current through two terminals that are connected to an electric wire. The wire is suspended between the poles of a magnet and moves when current is passed through it, in accordance with Faraday's law.
On one end, the center of the speaker is fixed and moved relative to the electrical current that is passed through it. Because this is placed in an airtight arrangement, it pushes and pulls the air and creates pressure waves. In turn, these are converted by your ears into what you hear as music, or sound.
Speakers also have polarity, because they pass an electric current through them - learn more about speaker polarity here.
Why Do Speakers Come in Boxes?
Speakers come in boxes, also known as casing or housing.
These are essential to speakers and how they work, because of the physics behind how speakers function. As the coil moves back and forth between the poles of the magnets, it needs to have an airtight environment for the sound waves to be produced effectively.
When the speaker moves towards you, it creates what is called positive pressure. At the same time, it pulls the air from behind it and causes what is called negative pressure. Without getting into the strict science behind this, if the soundwaves that are created cancel each other out then the sound will be nullified.
Having secure housing prevents this, thus making speaker casing essential for sound to be clear, crisp and noticeable. In order for a speaker to function optimally, the housing needs to prevent the waves created from positive pressure from cancelling out those created from the negative pressure.
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