Speakers – Sound
If you’ve been using speakers for a while, you will agree with us when we say some speakers sound better than others.
Surprisingly enough, the sound quality of speakers is a result of many elements including material, design, and execution. Every detail matters.
When it comes to good sound, you don’t want something that is scratchy or echoey.
In this post, we will go over:
- How do speakers work?
- Quality of material
- Tuning of the speaker
- How can speakers improve?
So, without further ado, let’s get on with the article.
How Do Speakers Work?
In order to find the best speakers, it’s important that you are able to grasp the difference between speakers and how they work.
No matter the size or shape, every speaker has three fundamental parts:
- A cone
- An electromagnet coil
- A permanent magnet
The coil is located at the front of the permanent magnet.
So, when the electrical signals from your phone or television pass through it, it forms a magnetic field. This changes the direction of the current, which results in vibrations.
This is when the cone amplifies the vibrations and drives the sound waves to your room.
What’s interesting is that every song or music track is made up of different frequencies.
So, when testing out different speakers, we found that better quality speakers have different cone sizes dedicated to different frequencies.
This way they were able to get the most accurate representation of the track.
So, what type of speaker should you get according to the frequency?
Tweeters handle high frequencies, while woofers are responsible for the bass. Ideally, you need a speaker system that makes use of both these speakers.
But, you can also mix and match. For example, if a smaller speaker has weak bass so you can add a subwoofer for fuller and richer sound.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your personal listening taste.
Quality of Material
The cones are made from different materials in different types of speakers, such as aluminum, polypropylene, and ceramic.
As we mentioned before, they’re responsible for getting the vibration to the room. But, sometimes they flex at certain frequencies.
You want this to happen as little as possible because it distorts the sound.
Why do different companies use different materials?
This is because each company has a different idea about minimizing flexing. But that’s not all you need for good audio.
The way you wire your speakers, design, and the quality of the build also have an impact. A $500 speaker will have more thought into the material used in them than a $50 dollar one.
How is speaker design important?
If the speaker is too wide for its inner components, the sound will not vibrate properly resulting in weak audio. Similarly, if the drivers aren’t secure, you’ll hear rattling.
Companies also have to make sure they minimize the vibration of the speaker itself. This is mostly done by adding rubber feet at the bottom.
Most importantly, good material doesn’t always mean good sound quality.
Therefore, it’s important to do your research before you spend your money. Some of the best speakers are made from common materials.
Tuning of the Speaker
Just like different materials, different companies also use different methods to tune their products through digital signal processing.
For example, all songs you listen to on Beats will produce deep bass regardless of the track. This is because they’re tuned according to the market they aim at.
Similarly, companies tune their speakers according to their customer base. This varies from company to company and even country to country.
So, how important is tuning?
Tuning is important in many ways since it helps you differentiate a good-sounding speaker from a bad one. But, again this depends on how you prefer to listen to your music.
How Can Speakers Improve?
We’ve noticed that many speakers fall short since they have limited frequency responses. For example, if you try listening to the bass of your laptop speakers, you’ll notice no kick.
Similarly, speakers also have low power output. You won’t be able to play music on your phone at a party.
Moreover, speakers also produce unwanted frequency or produce distortion. This can be quite frustrating.
So, how can you improve speaker sound?
Well, this depends on the speaker itself. For instance, larger speakers are better at handling frequency response and distortion than smaller ones.
So, you need to make sure you get the right size. The size should be according to what you’ll be using the speaker for as well as the size of the room.
In addition, speakers are designed to work best when they are at ear level. So, you need to position them accordingly.
We also recommend you leave space between the speaker and the wall to improve bass.
Placing them on speaker stands will do wonders for the sound. Even if you don’t have stands, you can place them on pieces of foam to isolate the sound from the floor vibrations.
The type of wire you use can also improve the audio quality.
We recommend you use a thick wire if you need to run a long cable to minimize resistance. 1.6 to 2.6 mm thickness should work best.
However, if you have to run a short cable, you can save money and get a thinner cable of 1.3mm or less.
It’s important to note that the wire you use is as crucial as the position of the speaker. Therefore, try not to compromise.
How Can You Fix Speaker Distortion?
When it comes to distorted speakers, the easiest way to fix it is by turning down the volume.
If the original audio has internal distortion, then you can’t really do anything about it besides changing the song or lowering the volume.
However, if the distortion is due to your speaker being damaged, you’ll need to get it fixed.
Most of the time, the distortions are caused by damage to the cone, speaker or surround.
Apart from this, other things, such as an amplifier and third-party cabling, might also be why some speakers sound better than others.
However, you are not guaranteed a good-sounding speaker just because you paid more.
You also need to pay attention to the design, material, position, and other components of the speaker.