The world of music had witnessed a massive revolution of speakers, and the sound systems associated with it. And in 2018, we’ve got a handful of speaker options to chose from. So we are here to inform you about all types of speakers.
However, if you’re a music enthusiast, and are planning to get a new speaker or a vintage speaker, it’s a must to have a firm knowledge of all the available types in the market.
Keeping that essence in mind, we’ve come up with a complete list of most common speakers types. Hopefully, the thorough discussion below will be helpful enough to get the right speaker in your hand.
So, let’s get going-
What Are Loudspeakers?
Let’s start with the basic definition.
Speakers are electric devices that can convert electronic signals that are sourced from the microphone and amplified by amplifiers. The output that speakers give is air vibration that is audible by the human ear.
Types of Speakers You Will Find in Market
Based on what viewpoint you are at, the classification of speakers can be done in several ways. The list includes-
- 1. Based on where the signal is amplified.
- 2. Based on frequencies that speakers are able to play.
- 3. Based on functions or area of application.
Based on Where the Signal is Amplified
As you know, speakers require electric sound signals to be amplified by an amplifier. Based on the place of amplification, they can be of two types-
1. Passive Speakers
Speakers that require a separate amplifier are called passive speakers. These are basic models that have only the basic functionality in themselves. Hence, an additional amplifier is a must to purchase with this speakers.
2. Powered Speakers
Some speakers, namely the ‘Active Speakers’ are likely to contain the amplifier in themselves and they don’t need to be connected with any additional amplifiers.
They can directly be connected with the mixers. So, the number of cable connection that the system may require, comes down to a minimum.
Some advanced models like Yamaha DBR or DXR series even come with a microphone jack with them. So, the basic mixing functions are all available in the speaker themselves.
Based on Frequencies that Speakers are Able to Play
In the modern age, specified speakers are produced by companies that can play a certain range of sound frequencies. Using a number of such speakers turns any sound system into a much better one.
Based on that capability, here is the classification of speakers-
1. Main Speakers/Tweeters
In a sound system, main speakers deliver most of the audio waves to the audience. They can be multiple in number, various size, and various qualities. But the range of frequencies that they are able to play is almost all the same.
The usual frequency range that the tweeters are responsible for us 2000 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
These types of speakers are specialized to play low-frequency waves. That produces the bass of the music, which is an un-ignorable part of any track. Woofers are of many qualities and specs, but all of them need to be attached to the main speaker to function properly.
The usual frequency range that the woofers are responsible for us 40 Hz to 1000 Hz.
For low-frequency sound wave playing, another specialized type of speaker is the sub-woofers. They play the same role of woofers but within a smaller range of frequencies. The usual frequency range that the sub-woofers are responsible for us 20 Hz to 200 Hz.
4. Monitor Speakers
Monitor speakers are not specified by any particular frequency range, but it plays an important role while anyone’s performing on stage. It helps to hear the soundtrack back that they’re performing.
Monitor speakers or monitors are various in size and quality.
Based on Functions or Area of Application
Now, this is the most diverse types of classification that we’ve entered. The reason for calling it a diverse range is, there is no rules or thumb of a generalized viewpoint to defines speakers that are listed under this category.
Here, we’ve listed them up with basic definition and functionalities-
Horn speakers are almost similar to dynamic speakers because the driver type is almost the same. The structure is a cone-type small structure and out of all such speakers, the horn is the most common one. The driver of a horn speaker is connected to a wave guide structure.
The level of frequencies that these speakers produce is pretty high. Also, the sensibility and the efficiency of such speakers are pretty much diverse.
2. Electrostatic Speakers
Electrostatic or Electrostatic speakers are flat-type speakers or diaphragm speakers. The structure consists of two stationary panels/membranes and a singular driver. These speakers are usually powered from an external source and the sound that comes through the speakers are detailed and crisp.
In the case of high frequencies, these are used mostly. And certainly, these are not ideal for home uses.
3. Planar-Magnetic Speakers
Now, this is the special kind of models that feature a narrow and thin metal ribbon in replacement of wide diaphragms that we can find in electrostatic speakers.
One specialty of such speakers is, these don’t require to be connected to an electrical system to operate. They are rather, kind of autonomous in operation.
Types of Speaker System
The next topic that comes in the discussion of different types of speakers is the types of the speaker system. The system that you chose is depended on the types of sound you’re about to play, and the area of application.
Here are the key points of all of the available speaker system design-
- Ceiling Sound System
- Standing Sound System
- Surface mount sound system
- Column speaker system
Each of these systems defines the type of speakers it may need. You as a user, have to with this requirement.