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Characteristics and Functions of Loudspeakers

Jun 17, 2008
Loudspeaker is an electro mechanical transducer that converts an electrical signal into sound. The term loudspeaker can be applied to any of the individual devices or drivers or the complete system consisting of an enclosure incorporating one or more drivers.

A Loudspeaker consists of a number of drivers to reproduce a wide range of frequencies for high sound pressure level or high fidelity applications. These drivers comprise of the subwoofers for very low frequencies, woofers for low frequencies, squawkers for middle frequencies, tweeters for high frequencies and super tweeters for very high frequencies.

Most loudspeakers consist of drivers built up in an enclosure or a cabinet with a back opening for connection of the wires and to make any adjustments. They generally use two wiring points to connect to the main source, say, to the audio amplifier or receiver. This is done by using the binding post or the spring clips at the back of the enclosure.

If both positive and negative connections and the amplifier of each drivers are not connected in phase with each other, the loudspeaker will produce a destructive sound wave and interference will occur when a common signal is sent to each speaker. This is generally termed as out of phase. These errors in connection will not damage the speakers but can positively tamper the sound waves that partially cancel those from nearby speakers.

The simplest way to check wiring phase problems with your loudspeaker system is to temporarily adjust the bass tone control up and the treble control down, then move the balance control so that sound is alternately heard from both left and right speakers separately. If the music has the bass tones mixed to mono the bass should be loudest with the control centered. If the bass is louder with only one channel playing, you should know that there may be a wiring error or the music signal is not mono in the low bass.

Now let us look at some brief points on the characteristics of loudspeakers which are suitable for live-like sound reproduction. When the sound of any instrument or voice reaches us but the source is blocked from our view, we will be able to determine whether it is coming from the loudspeaker or live. This is due to the power response, the radiation in all directions that is often different between a speaker and a live source.

Most loudspeakers have a power response that drops 10dB to 20 dB from low to high frequencies. Or it could be through the slow decay of transients due to energy storage in resonant mechanical and acoustical structures of the speaker which we recognize as typical for a loudspeaker and missing in the corresponding live event.

To obtain an outstanding performance from the loudspeaker system you own, there are a set of properties for loudspeaker design that must be followed to obtain an outstanding product. While getting a speaker you should keep in mind that you get drivers with a low-linear distortion. These drivers can move sufficient amount of air linearly in all parts of the frequency range especially at a low end.

Loudspeakers should have a minimal excitation of room resonances, particularly at low frequencies. For this purpose you will need low directional speakers like dipoles. It should have a low amount of stored energy in drivers, cabinet or enclosure, air cavities and filters for fast transient decay.

These loudspeakers should reproduce a smooth, extended frequency response from 20 Hz on up and without exaggerated high frequencies, both on-axis and off-axis. In others it should have a minimal roll-off power response.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for music gear, speakers, and microphones. You can find the best marketplace for music gear, speakers, and microphones at these 3 sites: music gear, DJ equipment, recording equipment , loudspeakers,, and microphones.
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