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6 Common Types of Speakers and Sound Systems

6 Common Types of Speakers and Sound Systems

If you want a great listening experience, you need to invest in great speakers. It doesn’t matter if you have a cinema-quality smart TV or a high-tech record player; without the right speakers, you won’t be able to maximize the features of these appliances or gadgets.

Before you make a purchase, however, it may be a good idea to get to know the most common types of speakers and sound systems in the market. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what you should buy to match your requirements. Here are some of the options you have:

Loudspeakers


Most Filipinos probably associate the word “speaker” with a loudspeaker. It’s the most traditional among the various types of audio reproduction equipment, usually coming in pairs and in either floor-standing or bookshelf style.

A loudspeaker is also often considered as basic, in the sense that it fulfills a pretty straightforward role: to amplify sounds coming from a source (e.g., a TV or a radio). However, there are loudspeakers nowadays that are designed to deliver higher-quality audio. In addition, many modern surround-sound speaker systems are, in fact, optimized versions of the classic loudspeaker.

Soundbars


For those who want a simple home theater set up, you can buy TV speakers online or in-store for a more dynamic audio experience. You can also purchase soundbars for easy installation, plus a sleek look that can complement the clean lines of your TV.

What’s great about soundbars is that they’re composed of multiple speakers in one casing. Each speaker is strategically positioned so that the sound waves can bounce off the walls. Depending on the room and the placement of the soundbar, the resulting sound can mimic the audio output of 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound systems.

Woofers and Subwoofers


Woofers and subwoofers transform your listening experience by producing low-frequency sounds, which is why they’re often called bass and sub-bass speakers. Woofers are a kind of specialized subwoofers, which can produce frequencies of between 20 Hz and 40 Hz up to 2 kHz. Meanwhile, subwoofers stay below 200 Hz (or 100 Hz, if you’re using studio- or professional-grade products). These types of speakers have larger magnets and diaphragms to be able to produce the frequencies needed. They’re typically larger than the standard loudspeakers, but do note that woofers are smaller than subwoofers. Most portable sound systems—such as those found in your car—use woofers; home theaters as well as other surround-sound systems, on the other hand, use subwoofers for more detailed, realistic sounds.

Built-In Speakers


If you’re a little particular about your home’s aesthetics, you may want to invest in built-in speakers. They work like regular speakers, but they’re mounted in a frame that can be set into your walls or ceilings. This way, you can still experience high-quality audio without boxy accessories getting in the way of the d├ęcor.

Home Stereo Systems


Home stereo systems are like all-in-one sets. Aside from two or more loudspeakers, they may also come with subwoofers, built-in amplifiers, and even tweeters to reproduce high-quality trebles. Most of the time, home stereo systems are sold with Blu-ray, DVD, or CD players; some may even have pre-loaded songs for karaoke!

This type of sound system is great for families and individuals who love both watching movies and listening to music. However, do note that home stereo systems can be quite large. Treat it like a full piece of furniture and allocate enough space for it; a good idea is to place it beside or below the TV so all the components of your home theater are all within reach of each other.

Portable Speakers


Finally, if you’re looking for some high-quality audio while you’re away from your home system, you can invest in portable speakers. Most of the time, you’ll want to go for Bluetooth speakers that can be paired with your MP3 player, smartphone, or laptop. Fortunately, there are many models you can choose from. You can also find Bluetooth speakers in various colors and shapes, if you’re looking for something that fits your personality. As a bonus, more high-end models are dust and waterproof.

There are also wired portable speakers. The sound quality is often superior not because of the speakers themselves but because they don’t suffer from signal loss issues, unlike Bluetooth or WiFi speakers. Thus, if you’re quite particular about the consistency of the sounds, you may be better off with wired models.  

Two other kinds of speakers you should know about are mid-range speakers or squawkers and the aforementioned high-frequency speakers or tweeters. Mid-range speakers have frequencies between 200 Hz and 300 Hz and 5 to 7 kHz; their primary role is to evenly distribute sounds, particularly dialogues. Tweeters, meanwhile, are designed to handle high-frequency sounds without the tones “breaking.”

Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the most suitable speakers or sound systems for your needs. Happy listening!

 


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