How Speakers Work
Speakers are responsible for the production of sound!
You are already aware of this, but do you understand how they operate?
You will be guided through a conceptual overview of how speakers turn electrical signals into sound in this article.
No matter what you are told, no matter how beautiful they appear, and no matter how sophisticated the language used, speakers simply produce sound.
Although the explanation of what they do is straightforward, understanding how speakers function and how to make them function properly can be exceedingly difficult.
Acquiring a better understanding of how speakers work will assist you in better understanding how a speaker functions as well as assisting you in being a more informed customer when purchasing audio equipment.
How is sound made?
In most cases, the term “sound” refers to frequencies that the human ear is capable of hearing (20Hz -20,000Hz).
The fluctuation of air pressure induced by the movement and/or vibration of a specific object results in the production of audio waves.
Any time an object moves or vibrates, it transmits the kinetic energy it has generated to the air particles in its immediate vicinity.
The most typical example for this is to think of waves on the surface of water.
The term “frequency” refers to the length of a single wave in terms of frequency.
The frequency of a sound is affected by the speed with which the sound-producing object vibrates.
Lower-frequency noises are associated with slower vibrations.
Higher-frequency noises are produced by faster vibrations.
As previously established, the human ear is capable of hearing frequencies ranging from 20Hz to 20,000Hz (20kHZ).
When the frequency of a sound is at the lower end of our hearing scale (down towards 20hz), we hear deep/low notes/sounds, which are referred to as Bass in popular culture.
When the frequency is near 20kHz, we hear high-pitched noises, which are referred to as Treble in the industry.
The frequencies in the center of the spectrum are referred to as Midrange.
Individuals that have the ability to hear most of these frequencies understand that they are always surrounded by sounds; the world is an extremely noisy place.
Humans are capable of producing a wide variety of sounds in various settings.
The majority of us are capable of producing sound using our vocal cords.
Some of us have the ability to make instruments emit sounds by using our hands or our lung power.
Speakers! Babies cry out for their parents, youngsters bang on dishes, and adolescents yell at their parents, and some of us use our scientific expertise to design and build equipment that can generate sound; speakers!
In a variety of ways, we are all strongly tied to sound.
A thorough understanding of how we make sound and incorporate it into our daily lives will enable you to detect occurrences that you were previously unaware of.
How do Speakers make sound?
The function of a speaker is quite straightforward.
A speaker is a device that turns electrical signals into acoustical energy, which is heard as sound.
When the speaker moves back and forth, it increases and reduces the air pressure in front of it, resulting in the creation of sound waves.
A basic diagram of a speaker is shown below.
As you can see, there aren’t many pieces to this puzzle.
However, even minor differences in each component can have a significant impact on the speaker’s ability to communicate.
These are the essentials: a conical suspension, a permanent magnet, a voice coil, and a frame.
The cone is the main moving mass of the speaker and is responsible for its sound.
The greater the size of the cone, the greater the amount of mass and surface area a speaker will have.
The greater the surface area of a speaker, the greater the amount of air it can move.
In a word, the greater the amount of air that can be moved, the louder the speaker can be.
It is important to note that for accurate, high frequency reproduction, smaller specialist drivers (tweeters) are required.
When the speaker is in motion, the suspension and the spider work together to maintain the voice coil aligned and to act as a spring.
With each movement, the suspension pulls the cone back to its center point, allowing it to remain stable.
A lack of suspension would mean that there would be nothing to hold the voice coil and cone in their respective positions.
The rigidity, composition, and design of the suspension can all have a significant impact on the performance of a speaker.
The diagram below illustrates the operation of a speaker’s suspension.
The magnet structure is responsible for the generation of the standing magnetic field.
The voice coil’s generated field has something to push off of because of the presence of this standing magnetic field.
The possibility for cone motion is increased when there is a significant standing magnetic field.
The greater the strength of this field, the greater the distance it spans, allowing the voice coil’s field to push off of it more effectively.
In many ways, the motion is comparable to the concept underlying a solenoid.
The link between the voice coil and the standing magnet field is illustrated in the diagram below.
The cone moves as a result of the interaction between the voice coil and the standing magnetic field.
In the presence of an alternating magnetic field, a speaker’s voice coil generates an alternating electrical current/signal when an electrical current/signal from an audio amplifier (alternating at the same frequency as the sound that generated it) is applied to it.
The alternating polarity of the voice coil enables it to be attracted to and repelled from the standing magnetic field, depending on its position in the field.
It is because of this action of alternating attracting and repelling that the cone (connected to the voice coil) moves around!
When the cone oscillates between 20Hz and 20 KHz, the speaker produces audible sound!
The frame is responsible for holding all of the above components together.
To attach the voice coil and cone, which are connected to the frame by means of a support system and a spider, click here.
The frame is responsible for holding the magnet construction in place.
In order to keep the entire family together when things get hectic, the frame must be extremely sturdy and durable.
Neither the speaker nor any of these essential components would exist without the others.
What is a driver?
Drivers are highly trained professionals.
A driver is a speaker who is responsible for voicing a specific frequency range and who has a specific job to do.
Woofers, midrange drivers, and tweeters are the three types of drivers that are traditionally used.
Woofers are the largest of the drivers and are specialized in the production of low frequencies.
Intermediate drivers are designed to produce frequencies in the midrange range.
Those who use tweeters are those who specialize in producing high frequencies.
Sub-woofers, which you may have heard of before, are specialized drivers that are designed to reproduce extremely low frequencies, many of which we are unable to detect.
The objective of this driver is to enhance the listening experience by adding shake, rumble, and roll.
It is possible to get a home theater system to sound and feel more like a movie theater sound system with the use of subwoofers, which enhances your whole home cinema experience.
Sub-woofers can also make listening to music feel more like a real concert experience.
Music experiences at live concerts are often had at higher volumes so that you can feel the bass and impact of the instruments.
While subwoofers reproduce this experience, they do it without the other frequencies being played at a high volume, which might be painful to your ear.
Speakers, despite the fact that they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, simply produce sound.
Knowing how they produce sound can enhance the listening experience by providing a new perspective.
Understanding a little bit about how a car works may cause you to change your driving habits, and knowing a little something about speakers may enable you to use them more effectively.
We hope that this post has helped you gain a better understanding of speakers and that it has given you a bit more confidence when it comes time to purchase them.