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How do Speakers Work?

A speaker is a piece of equipment that converts electrical signals into sound. The most common type of speaker is the loudspeaker, which is used in everything from phones to megawatt stadium systems. In this article, we’ll take a look at how loudspeakers work and what goes into making them.

The Physics of Sound

In order to understand how speakers work, we must first understand how sound works. Sound is a type of energy that travels through the air, or any other medium, in the form of vibrations. These vibrations are created when an object, such as a tuning fork, vibrates at a certain frequency. The faster the object vibrates, the higher the pitch of the sound it creates.

When these vibrations reach your ear, they cause your eardrum to vibrate. These vibrations are then transmitted through three tiny bones in your middle ear, which amplify the sound and send them to your cochlea. The cochlea is filled with fluid and lined with tiny hair cells. As the fluid moves, it bends these hair cells, which triggers nerve impulses that travel to your brain. Your brain then decodes these impulses into recognizable sounds.

How Loudspeakers Work

Loudspeakers work by converting electrical energy into sound energy. The vast majority of loudspeakers are what’s known as “dynamic” or “moving coil” speakers. They consist of a permanent magnet, a voice coil, and a cone-shaped diaphragm.

When an audio signal is applied to the voice coil, it creates a magnetic field that interacts with the permanent magnet. This interaction causes the voice coil and attached diaphragm to move back and forth, creating soundwaves in the process. The size and shape of the diaphragm, as well as the strength of the magnets, determine the frequency range that a particular speaker can reproduce. 

The Importance of Cone Shape

One important factor in speaker design is the shape of the cone. The cone needs to be rigid so that it can move quickly and accurately in response to the audio signal. However, if the cone is too rigid, it will tend to vibrate at high frequencies, causing distortion. Likewise, if the cone is too flexible, it will be slow to respond to changes in the audio signal, resulting in muddy-sounding bass response. Designing a speaker cone that strikes the right balance between rigidity and flexibility is one of the most important aspects of speaker design.

Go Forth, Rebel Artist.

Speakers are essential for anyone who wants to listen to music electronically. Without speakers, we would only be able to hear music through headphones, which can be quite limiting. By understanding how sound works and how speakers work, we can better appreciate the technology that allows us to enjoy our favorite tunes.