What are Loudspeakers?
For the purpose of sound reinforcement, loudspeakers are the end of the audio signal’s path. The sound wave that was transduced into electrical energy in the microphone is transduced back into a sound wave by the loudspeaker.
Most speakers have similar components- a driver and an enclosure.
The audio spectrum has wavelengths and frequencies that vary dramatically. No single loudspeaker driver can reproduce the entire range accurately. This is why, in professional audio, there are usually several drivers in one enclosure. A speaker enclosure containing more than one driver is referred to by the number of drivers it contains.
A loudspeaker can be defined by the number of drivers it contains.
Loudspeakers with more than one driver have a circuit called a crossover. When loudspeakers reproduce sound, specific drivers are dedicated to reproducing sound within a certain range of frequencies. Crossovers determine which frequencies are sent to which drivers.
The crossover circuit filters the signal, dividing it into frequency ranges. Loudspeakers come in different shapes and sizes, making each loudspeaker suited to reproduce a specific range of frequencies. For example, loudspeakers with larger diameters can produce lower sounds.
- Tweeters: high frequencies (Typically 2,000 Hz – 20,000 Hz)
- Horns: mid to high frequencies (Typically 300 Hz – 8,000 Hz)
- Cone or Midrange: midrange frequencies (Typically 200 Hz – 8,000 Hz)
- Woofers: low frequencies (Typically 80 Hz – 2500 Hz)
- Subwoofers: lower frequencies (Typically 50 Hz – 250 Hz)
The speaker enclosure helps determine frequency response and directionality.