Have you ever thought about what makes nonpareil speakers that can satisfy the needs of the most demanding customer? Some may note that the sound amplification technology itself is no brain surgery. They are electromagnets, electricity pulses, and cones that create and then pump sound waves towards a listener’s ear. There are some wires and other details that hold all the essential parts of your speakers together, of course. Nothing special, isn’t it? Indeed, it may seem so at the first sight. Nonetheless, no one would deny the fact that different speakers sound differently, which means that speaker technology is much more complicated. The quality of this or that speaker isn’t the matter of physics alone. The sound quality depends on materials, audio drivers installed on your PC, such as famous Realtek HD Audio Driver, design of a particular model, and other elements we’re going to further discuss in our article.
What Factors to Consider when Selecting Speakers?
It goes without saying that the best speakers are capable of recreating sound without changing it. They allow you to enjoy the beat, melody, whispers, birds’ singing, and waterfall sounds without distracting you with some artificial, unnecessary noises interfering with what was supposed to be conveyed. Good speakers won’t disrupt the mellifluousness. Neither will they remind you of the unauthentic nature of sounds delivered to your ear.
Of course, it would be unwise for look for perfect speakers completely devoid of any limitations. But trying to get the best of its kind would be darn wise. In fact, it’s possible to find out how faithfully your device can reproduce sounds. You know that our ear can perceive a wide range of frequencies. So, the first thing you need to pay your attention to is your speakers’ frequency response, which is the ability to reproduce a considerable amount of frequencies. The more, the better. Furthermore, such a factor as the amount of variation in loudness your speakers produce between frequencies should be taken into account. In other words, there should be smooth transitions between frequencies undetectable, and changes in loudness shouldn’t be easily detectable by human ear.
As you may have guessed, we’re going to discuss the quality of materials from which most speakers are made.
Let’s take a closer look at a cone, also called a diaphragm, the essential part of any speaker which ensures properly pumping the sound out into the air. If you check out different speakers’ specs, you’ll find out that cones can be made from polypropylene, carbon fiber, ceramic-like materials, hexacone, neoglass, wood, and paper. So, what material is the best?
As soon as you hook up your speakers to a PC or any other device, the electricity starts flowing back and forth, thus moving the coil and, consequently, the cone, which produced sound. If materials are not rigid enough, the cone may flex when dealing with certain frequencies. Needless to say, if a manufacturer opts for some flimsy material, the sound quality will suffer inevitably. At the present time, there is no perfect woofer material yet. Still, manufacturers and designers of speakers continue sifting through different options to come up with the best possible solution. Some rely on clay impregnated cones, while others opt for metal, Kevlar, or polypropylene materials that are reasonably rigid. Still, the majority of experts agree that polypropylene woofers remain the optimal choice. Polypropylene cones may sound not as brisk as their paper or ceramic counterparts, but definitely excel in combination with mid-range drivers.
The materials aren’t the only factor worth considering when choosing speakers. What also contributes substantially to the sound quality is the way speakers are designed and assembled. Let’s take a loudspeaker cabinet that houses all those drivers, circuits, power amplifiers, and other essential components. It’s hard to overestimate the role of an enclosure in ensuring proper operation of all components and the quality of sound output, in particular. Of course, DIY boxes will inevitable pale in comparison with computer-designed hi-fi enclosures that won’t create any obstacles for sound and let it flow smoothly. Top-notch speaker often come in narrow enclosures that won’t let sound reverberate inside and thus won’t produce any extraneous noises.
Another component you definitely should pay attention to is the crossover circuit. That’s the component that, so to speak, assigns responsibilities to various drivers. In other words, crossover circuits “determine which frequencies are produces by which driver.” So, a good speaker design will undoubtedly factor in and provide for organic combination of crossovers with appropriate drivers to maximize the sound quality.
Now that you know so much about what elements should be considered when selecting truly superb speakers, you may want to start scouring Amazon right away. Still, there’s something more you need to know before making a final decision. The truth is our ear is too unique and sensitive a tool to comply with its predilections. (We’re using a trite metaphor here. By ear we mean “brain,” of course.) There’s such a thing as sound imaging, which can be good and bad. Sometimes, even well-designed speakers prove to be unable to cater to every listener’s individual needs. Our brain can merely misinterpret the audio produced by speakers, which may make a listener go unsatisfied with this or that model. So, the surest way is to try… Listen to the speakers carefully before making a final decision. And don’t forget to tweak settings to get the most out of your speakers.