Speakers Components

What Are Speakers?

Speakers are audio output devices used for computer systems, televisions, stereos, and other electronic devices and sound systems. The purpose of the speakers is to generate and amplify sound, or audio, that a listener can then hear. Speakers will often come in pairs so they can reproduce the sound in stereo. However, that’s not always the case. Some types of speakers, such as hanging speakers, may have only a single unit, or they may be many units connected throughout a large building or complex.


How Does a Speaker Work? What Are the Various Parts of a Speaker and What Is Each Part’s Function?

Speakers work by taking electrical signals and then converting those signals into sound waves that people are able to hear. Speakers have several different parts to them – the driver, crossover network, and the box or enclosure. Each of these components plays a critical role and each has individual parts within them.

The drivers are the elements of the speaker that will create the sound waves by converting the audio signals. The crossover network will divide the audio signal between the drivers in the speaker unit. However, not all speakers will have a passive crossover network. The box, or enclosure, is the unit that houses all of the other components of the speaker.

Often, a speaker will have to use more than one size driver since it can be so difficult for a single driver to produce sound waves for the entire human hearing range. They generally utilize two drivers, a tweeter and a woofer. The crossover network will divide the electrical signal into high and low frequencies and split them as a means to send them to the correct drivers. This allows each of these drivers to take their respective signals and then output them as sound waves that work together. Another name for the crossover network is a dividing network.

Some speakers will also have drivers for the mid-frequency range. The crossover network would then have to divide the signal into three separate audio signals before sending them to the appropriate drivers.

The box, or enclosure, is the place where the user will mount and house the speakers. The enclosures are available in many different types and styles based on the size of the drivers and the purpose of the speaker.


What Types of Speakers Exist?

A host of different types of speakers exists today and they serve a range of different purposes. From the office, home, cars, computer, and more, speakers are everywhere, and you can find many specialized types of speakers ideally suited for different purposes. The following are some of the most common speaker types and applications.


What Are Cabinet Speakers? How Do They Work and What Are They Used For?

Cabinet speakers, or in-cabinet speakers, are often used with dedicated home theaters in order to have quality sound. They sometimes have an unfinished appearance, as they can mount into the wall or into another surface. While some of the cabinet speakers are for use with home theater systems, they have plenty of other uses. They are often in offices and public areas, schools, hotels, and hospitals for announcements. They can mount into the wall or onto another surface, and are generally used for voice and sound. For example, an office building might utilize these types of speakers to play music, as well as for announcements.


What Are Ceiling Speakers? How Do They Work and What Are They Used For?

Ceiling speakers are round and go right into the ceiling, and they have a special beveled design that ensures the sound goes downward. The design, which is typical for most of the units available today, allows a large amount of sound even though the profile of the unit is still quite small. Because they lay nearly flush to the ceiling, they are not generally noticeable. Some of the available speakers even have paintable gutters, which users can pain to match the ceiling. This helps to reduce their appearance even more.

The speakers are available in different sizes, from two inches, to four inches, six inches, and more. Regardless of the application or the amount of sound needed for the area, finding ceiling speakers should be relatively easy to do.


What Are “In Wall” Speakers? How Do They Work and What Are They Used For?

In-wall speakers work the same way that all other speakers work. However, like ceiling speakers, they are not attached to a cabinet. Instead, they will mount to a frame and connect to the wall. They are typically flush with the wall so they do not stand out. It is possible to find the speaker mounts with different colors, and it is possible to paint them so they can better match the walls of the office where you plan to use them. One of the interesting advantages of these types of speakers is that they can utilize the internal cavity of the wall as a cabinet, which can provide richer bass sounds.

In an office setting, these are useful for piping in music, as well as voice announcements via a PA system, into different rooms. In-wall speakers can be rectangular or circular.


What Are Hanging Speakers? How Do They Work and What Are They Used For?

Hanging speakers utilize suspended installation from the ceiling, and are useful for areas where the rooms or corridors are simply too large for the other types of speakers to be effective. These speakers will hang from the ceiling so they are closer to the ground where people can hear the music or voice coming through them. They are very common in high corridors, shopping centers with high ceilings, sports complexes, and some large gyms.

The hanging speakers come in different sizes and shapes, including round and rectangular. They are available in different sizes, and have different power ratings from which buyers can choose based on their wattage and frequency response needs.


What Are Horn Speakers? How Do They Work and What Are They Used For?

A horn speaker, or loudspeaker, utilizes a shape of a horn at the end where the audio leaves the device, thus allowing for more efficiency from the driver. It is able to send out the sounds into a much larger area since it acts akin to an acoustic transformer and increases the coupling efficiency between the air and the driver.

The narrow part of the horn is the throat, and the larger part, the part that is the furthest from the driver, is the mouth. These types of speakers are generally very efficient, and they can provide approximately ten times the sound power than a typical speaker. These types of speakers are quite common today as a means of public address systems, in concerts, in large theaters, sporting venues, and even some office buildings.


What Are Portable Speakers? How Do They Work and What Are They Used For?

Portable speakers are able to move with the user from different areas of the office, home, or business as needed. They work the same as other types of speakers do, transforming electrical signals into sound waves, and they are available at different frequencies and work with different power wattages. They are useful for reproducing both music and speech, and the best quality speakers can produce great sound. They are helpful for providing more sound to stages, large rooms, and more when there is not a traditional PA system.


What types of Accessories exist for Speakers?

Many different types of speaker accessories are available today, which can change the use or power of a speaker, or that simply serve as replacement parts when other elements of the speaker wear down.


What Are Speaker Drivers?

Many different types of drivers are available for speakers, but they all serve the same purpose. They create the sound waves. Moving coil electrodynamic piston drivers are the most common type of drivers. They feature diaphragms that work like a piston to pump air. This movement creates the sound waves that people hear.

Drivers are available in countless different sizes, styles, and configurations. Since humans can hear between 20 Hz and 20 KHz, these different sized diaphragms are necessary. Drivers that have large diaphragms can produce sounds at low frequencies, and smaller diaphragms can produce sounds at higher frequencies. A single driver and diaphragm cannot replicate the entire audio spectrum, so there are multi-way speakers that feature a woofer for the lowers sounds and tweeters for the higher frequencies. Tweeters will usually have a sealed back, and the woofers will often have an open back. It will depend on the type of speaker and the usage.


What Are Speaker Enclosures?

The speaker enclosures will serve as the mount and housing for the actual driver. Since there are so many different types of speakers available, including traditional round and rectangular speakers, and in-wall, in-ceiling, and cabinet speakers, there are naturally different enclosure requirements. When choosing an enclosure for a speaker, it is important to consider the speaker’s use and to make sure it works well with the mount and enclosure. Even a high quality speaker in a high quality enclosure can sound terrible if they are not meant to go together because of the size, or if there is not a good connection.


What Is Speaker Foam?

Speaker foam is for replacing the original surround, or foam, on woofers or tweeters. The foam helps to support the speaker cone when it moves. It can help to create a better quality sound, and can remove a number of inconsistencies and crackling from audio. When the foam starts to dry out or rot, it needs replacement. Without it, the crackling sounds and buzzing can affect the sound coming out of the speakers. Replacing the foam is relatively easy to do, and it is possible to find some quality foam available online specifically for the job. It is generally made from polyester.


What Are Speaker Grills?

A speaker grill is found on the front part of most consumer, commercial, and industrial speakers. The grill can be either hard or soft, and it will mount directly over the speaker driver. The grill’s purpose is to protect the driver from external elements that could damage it.

Soft grills are generally made from cloth, fabric upholstery, or foam, as well as other similar types of materials. One of the benefits of soft grills is that they will not interfere with the movement of the speaker driver at all. They also tend to rattle less than the harder grills. However, they do not provide much protection except from small objects.

For many speakers, hard grills are a better solution. They can be made of metal, plastic, or wood. Some will have material woven together or that overlaps one another with gaps for the sound. Other grills will have hold drilled into them so the sound can pass through them. Grills with more holes or larger holes can allow more sound to pass through them. However, they also allow the possibility of more objects getting into the speaker and damaging it. On the other hand, if there are too few holes in the grill, it will often cause the sound to distort as the volume goes up. Rattling sounds are often the result. This can also increase the pressure in the speaker and damage it.


What Are Speaker Stands?

Speaker stands are units on which you can place speakers. Many different types of stands are available, and they have many uses today. They could be as simple as a shelf, or a tripod that can stand on the floor and hold a loudspeaker connected to a PA system. The best of the speaker stands have adjustable height to accommodate different rooms and different needs. Different types of speaker stands will generally only work with certain types of speakers, so it is important for buyers to make sure the stand they choose will work with the speakers they already own. These are useful for large conference rooms, halls, small concerts, and more.