How to Select Speakers Image Credit: Digi-Key Corporation Speakers use a vibrating membrane or diaphragm to produce sound in response to an electric, digital, or wireless signal. They include an integral or external amplifier, drivers, and a crossover circuit that divides an audio signal into specific bands.   Types of Speakers There are three basic types of speaker drivers: woofers, tweeters, and midrange devices. Woofers, the largest drivers, are designed to produce...
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Q & A on Speakers

We asked our users for their input on Speakers. Here are the results of 107 users familiar with Speakers.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing speaker design?
16 answers
Answers:
Not sure but I reckon digital recordings as in CD, DVD, and computers as they tend to result in sonic purity that was not possible with vinyl records and magnetic tapes.
~Research & Development, Gaborone, Botswana, Botswana
Materials for cones (diaphragms) and magnetic materials. Digital correction and directional steering in SR systems.
~Bill M, Owner, Newton, MA
Home theater systems, the wattage are being reduced down due to the small sizes of the speakers.
~Santhosh B, Purchaser, Bengaluru, India
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative speakers?
15 answers
Answers:
The more elegant system for me is the oscar heil system amt1 for the high frequency nothing is magic for the low frequency may be the old altec lansing like 515
~Pratali Alain, Engineering Consultant, Marseille, France
Real innovation: several companies are working on new methods for extremely flat speakers, I do not remember names. My personal interest is in a different area.
~Eddie V, Faculty/Staff, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Eminence is using light weight magnets on woofers to lower the weight of PA and guitar speakers.
~Joe S, Design Engineer, Barrie, Canada
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used speakers for?
24 answers
Answers:
Our application of speaker in live program like live musical events. General purpose in big area big concerts. Speaker size 12"/15"18"hf in three way system.
~Prakash K, Propritor and opretor, Rajkot, India
Applications in sound reinforcement, recording studio control rooms, and for the audiophile market.
~Bill M, Owner, Newton, MA
Applications for Supravox. April music oracle audio and for my own application.
~Pratali Alain, Engineering Consultant, Marseille, France
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that speakers have been used for.
10 answers
Answers:
For many, the speaker cabinets are furniture. (Empire speakers used to be marble-topped end tables, with down-firing woofers...)
~Facilities Manager, College Park, MD
We once used a very powerful speaker for a long-term test of ceramics and ceramic bondings (a stroke of 1 cm at 1 kHz).
~Eddie V, Faculty/Staff, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Raw speaker drivers have been wired as microphones rum through the mixing desk to record bass drum performances.
~Bill M, Owner, Newton, MA
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of speakers?
8 answers
Answers:
Disastrous? No. Long term hearing damage, and broken leases, yes. Damage to speakers by playing electronic instruments through them - yes.
~Facilities Manager, College Park, MD
Too low an impedance total for an array; amplifier blown; fire started; venue evacuated.
~Bill M, Owner, Newton, MA
The amplifier must be the heart of the speaker, it is like a marriage.
~Pratali Alain, Engineering Consultant, Marseille, France
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
14 answers
Answers:
We must develop a new linear speaker for the frequency between 100 and 15000 or 18000 and a push pull driver for the low frequency. With the new magnet, the new flexible board, and the new computer possibility I think that it is possible to explore new ways.
~Pratali Alain, Engineering Consultant, Marseille, France
My 'wish list' is a full range dipole system in a room with fully adapted acoustics.
~Eddie V, Faculty/Staff, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Simple square design, strong mesh, ease of connection with standardized connectors.
~ROGER W, Design Engineer, ALFRETON, UK
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using speakers?
11 answers
Answers:
All designs made by a company are good as per company's standard but when used with any amplifier & mike, the speaker may not work well because the speaker doesn't match with the other equipment so it doesn't give good out put.
~Prakash K, Propritor and opretor, Rajkot, India
Get a good amp with good headroom and match with a speaker of lower rating to get the best of the speaker design. Also, the amp would operate outside its clipping zone and output transistors would not overload & damage easily.
~Research & Development, Gaborone, Botswana, Botswana
Listen to what your friends have, for a long time each. Listen to acoustic music, or spoken word; you want it to sound as natural as possible. Who knows what electronic music us supposed to sound like?
~Facilities Manager, College Park, MD
There is much good spec sheets and application notes from manufacturers and much nonsense and 'wive's tales' out there as well.
~Bill M, Owner, Newton, MA
Listen, listen and listen. Do not let the price of the speakers determine quality of said speaker.
~James B, Research & Development, Oceanside, CA
Go to Goodwill, they don't know when they receive quality speakers; Optimus -$7.99 a pair.
~Richard M, Engineer, Sarasota, FL
When it comes to car audio, you must measure the car first before buying your drivers.
~Joe S, Design Engineer, Barrie, Canada
Look for the frequency, wattage and performance of the speakers.
~Santhosh B, Purchaser, Bengaluru, India
The sensibility and sound before the specs.
~Pratali Alain, Engineering Consultant, Marseille, France
Choose the right one for your application
~Research & Development, Nakornpathom, Thailand
Listen as if you are in a concert hall.
~Eddie V, Faculty/Staff, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of speakers?
9 answers
Answers:
Know what you want to use the speakers for - if you want sound reinforcement, you probably don't care as much about fidelity. If you care about fidelity, don't worry about using the speakers as special effects add-ons to home theater.
~Facilities Manager, College Park, MD
First correct connection will help, matching amplifier for used speaker out put & control.
~Prakash K, Propritor and opretor, Rajkot, India
See 8 above. get a best combination for mid/high output and get a good sub as well.
~Research & Development, Gaborone, Botswana, Botswana
The wattage mentioned does not match the performance and the frequencies too.
~Santhosh B, Purchaser, Bengaluru, India
Weight is important, not just the magnet, but also construction.
~Richard M, Engineer, Sarasota, FL
Do your research. The most expensive is usually not the best pick.
~Joe S, Design Engineer, Barrie, Canada
Make sure you choose the speaker for the right application.
~Research & Development, Nakornpathom, Thailand
Compare 'apples to apples' when comparing products' spec.
~Bill M, Owner, Newton, MA
Matching ohms
~Other, Lafayette, CA


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