The audio equipment are in full swing. Today’s technology allows us to enjoy in excellent condition the sound of our computer, facing, in addition, a very reasonable outlay
The laws that govern the behavior of the technology market are unforgiving. And, even so, they often surprise us with results difficult to predict since not they feed only the rational needs of human beings, but also of passions with a high emotional content.
Many sound enthusiasts have defended for years with part of reason and some degree of vehemence that would lead to the popularization of the audio compressed with loss of quality, that MP3 is its maximum stronghold, to the level of demand from younger users, who have not known the vinyl records and have hardly listened to CDs. It falls well below the minimum desirable.
But it has not happened. Or, at least, not quite. Fortunately, this equation has not returned us a negative result in qualitative terms due to the decisive influence of a variable with which some audiophiles did not: the technological development.
Currently, users can buy excellent quality domestic sound equipment facing a disbursement which is nothing more than a fraction of that it should be less than a decade ago. In addition, the enormous popularity of smart phones (smartphones) and thePMPs (portable media players) is representing a huge shock for the audio market, leading to most of the users to acquire some new headphones or speakers to get the most out of your multimedia device.
This market has developed in proportion to the demand, so for many enthusiasts is difficult to know which product best suited to your needs. But hitting is not difficult if you know what are the really important parameters to determine the quality of a set of speakers.
Strengthening The Foundations
The terms speaker and speaker are not equivalent, although they are often used as synonyms. If we are to be thorough we must call speaker full device to be held responsible for the restitution of the sound, and speaker to each of the elements specialized in the transformation of the electric power in acoustics.
This conversion responds to the physical principle of conservation of energy, and reveals its true nature as elements transducers, as a speaker is really an electroacoustic transducer that converts the electrical energy that is coming from the amplifier module in acoustics.
The latter manifests itself through pressure changes in the air which our ears and our brains interpret as sound. For this reason, a speaker usually does not incorporate a single speaker, but several, so that each of them is specialised in the restitution of a different frequency spectrum.
A speaker, regardless of their type and application scenario, consists of an enclosure, a filter crossover and speakers (usually two or more). The enclosure is the chassis that acts as a physical support of the other components of the speaker.Materials that tend to be used more frequently in their manufacture are wood (specifically, boards of medium density known as DM or MDF for its acronym in English) and plastic (characteristic proposals for low range).
However, some manufacturers boxes high-end acoustic employ more sophisticated materials, such as the Marlan, used by Bowers & Wilkins Nautilusheads, or composite X developed by Wilson Audio, which combines cellulose and phenolic resin. In any case, the best venues are those whose design geometric internal allows them to effectively combat the standing waves and whose resonance frequency does not conflict nor impairs the always complex and sensitive musical information.
The second element of the speakers that we are going to pay attention is the filter crossover, a component that significantly affects the quality of the sound. Its objective is to decompose the received signal from the amplifier module to provide a signal collecting only the frequency spectrum that is capable of restoring to each speaker.
Some manufacturers of high quality speakers defend the need to reduce as much as possible the complexity of this circuit to give priority to the mechanical filtration performed by own transducers, but the truth is that some of the more musical filters are complex.
And, finally, we must not forget the components that largely define the sound personality of a speaker: speaker. They are responsible for receive the electric signal coming from thecrossover filter and transform it into mechanical energy first, and acoustic later.
Its structure is quite complex, in fact, the electrodynamic are formed by a moving coil, a magnet, a gap and the diaphragm, among other elements. The material used in the manufacture of cone largely determines the sound personality of each speaker, reason by which each manufacturer has their own «recipes».
Types Of Speakers
The best-known transducers and those who most frequently found in stores are the electrodynamic, in which the electrical signal spreads on the moving coil and generates a magnetic field that interacts with the one created by the magnet. The coil is attached to the diaphragm, which causes the latter to move according to the variations of the magnetic field intensity and, thus, induces constant pressure changes that we perceive as sound in the air.
However, there are other types of speakers that are governed by different principles of operation. Of all the most popular, after the electrodynamic are electrostatic. They incorporate a fixed plate and a mobile diaphragm of considerable size that responds to the variation of energy caused by the musical signal.
The main peculiarity of these speakers is that they are able to accurately restore virtually the entire spectrum of frequencies audible (which ranges from 20 Hz to 20 KHz), but its sound quality is very sensitive to the position of the person who listens and reinstated the lower frequencies with less forcefulness to the electrodynamic.
Tape devices, piezoelectric and speakers, are also interesting although they are less frequent. The latter are very appreciated by enthusiasts of the sound of high-performance teams, since they provide sound pressure levels high with moderate power amp sections.
The material used in the manufacture of diaphragm and size determine the character and the range of frequencies that a speaker is able to restore. The tweeters, for example, materialize the higher frequencies of the spectrum (usually over 2-4 KHz), and typically have a diameter that ranges around the 25 mm.They can be aluminium, silk, titanium, diamond, beryllium, etc.
On the other hand, the diameter of the speaker means, which are responsible for the return of the frequencies ranging from 400-800 Hz to 2-4 KHz, is usually between 40-60 mm of the proposals for desktop PCs, to 150-200 mm of the large speakers. Your diaphragm may be of wood, paper, plastic, kevlar, aluminium, etc.
And, finally, bass and subwoofer speakers are those who have larger diaphragms, precisely, to cause the displacement of a greater amount of air and, thus, provide a greater impact. Its size is usually between 200 and 300 mm, and they are able to restore the frequencies below 400-800 Hz. The best subwoofers can materialize, even, frequencies below 20 Hz, which we perceive as vibrations of high intensity. The diaphragm of these speakers is usually fiber paper, wood, Rohacell, etc.