Sound plays a significant role in our everyday lives. It is vital in sharing information with other people. It increases one’s productivity and evokes emotional responses, which help us determine and understand one’s feelings. It is not only for humans that sound is essential. Even animals or the sound produced by our things are significant as well. It portrays several things that aid in our daily lives’ survival. But do you ever wonder how the sound coming from your speakers is produced? Read further to understand more about audio production and how it aids in our daily work.
What is Sound and What Can It Do?
Imagine yourself holding a rubber band tightly between your fingers, and then you plucked it. You were able to feel the vibrations of the rubber hand and the twang sound that it was able to produce, right? The same principle applies when you are standing next to a speaker. You can feel the vibrations of sound. Sometimes it can even move things because of these vibrations! Sound is the product of vibration. The sound vibrations travel in a wave pattern. Hence we term them as sound waves. As these sound waves move and vibrate one object, everything else that surrounds that object will carry the sound all along and start to vibrate. A sound can move through air, solids, water, and so on as long as there are particles where it can bounce off. If there aren’t particles to bounce off, then it cannot move. Did you even know that there is no sound in space because there is nothing to vibrate the sound?
Movement of Sound
The sound moves because of the pressure in the waves. The air particles are compressed and pressured fast enough that a sound can produce. Once there is a fast change in the air pressure, we can have a higher sound frequency. Before we get deeper into the topic, let us define these essential terms first:
A human ear will be able to pick up a sound at specific frequencies and vibrations. Additionally, for you to hear a sound, vibrations must reach a certain speed. For instance, we can listen to slow vibrations by waving our hands in the air. Humans can hear twenty vibrations a second, which is the lowest vibration sound human ears can hear. The fastest sound vibration that humans can listen to is 20,000 vibrations per second, a very high-pitched sound.
Pitch is somehow related to frequency. These two terms are sometimes interchanged mistakenly. Frequency is the measurement that we use for pitch. To obtain a pitch of a sound, we use the mass of the vibrating object. An object that contains a greater mass will tend to vibrate slower and have a lower sound pitch. But pitch can be altered if you will change the tension or the object’s rigidity. Hearsay, on an instrument, we have a heavy G string. To make the sound higher, we can tighten the tuning pegs to create more tension on the string and will most likely sound higher.
A vibrating sound produces sound waves. The particles from the medium through which the sound waves create vibrations move in a back and forth motion at a particular frequency. Sound wave frequency is the measurement of how often the particles of the medium creating the sound vibrates whenever a wave passes through it. Its value is measured as a number of complete back-and-forth vibrations of the particle (of the medium) per unit of time. The unit that we use for frequency is Hertz (Hz), wherein 1 Hz is equal to 1 vibration per second.
Parts of a Speaker
A Speaker is a device that can convert an electrical signal into an acoustic signal. Its sound quality is dependent on its build and performance. For a speaker to create a sound, the audio power has electronic signals that will pass through electromagnetic or electrostatic effects and cause the cones or diaphragm to vibrate, allowing the surrounding air to produce sound. To understand how the parts of a speaker works, let us discuss them in bits.
The driving coil of a speaker is what we call Voice Coil. A voice usually comes with a bobbin. This bobbin is a round tube placed at the bottom of the cone. The long and tight coil will create a magnetic field as electricity flows from the musical signal of an amplifier.
Dual voice coil speakers often have a second voice coil that winds in the same speaker and the same voice bobbin assembly. For speakers who have this component, it allows some features that other speakers might not have. They are more flexible and have better compatibility with amplifiers and stereo receivers. You may also power them using more wiring configurations and allow two channels from amplifiers to create more power.
Speaker Cone and Dust Cap
A speaker cone or diaphragm is conical-shaped material moved by the magnet and voice, allowing sound production. It comes with a thin dust cap covering the central opening and protecting the speaker from dust and dirt. Speaker cones act as the speaker’s primary component in creating sound waves every time it rapidly moves air back and forth. Typically they are made of lightweight materials such as plastics, carbon fiber, or thin metal. The cone and dust cap are supported at the bottom by a stiff, flexible material called the spider.
A speaker cone and dust’s design usually depend on the speaker. Larger speakers that produce large bass sound waves need to have a thicker and more rigid structure.
A speaker basket is the cast metal part or the metal frame component where the other speaker parts are attached. It keeps the proper alignment of the parts and provides a way to allow mounting of speaker assembly to a box.
Speaker Terminals are metal tabs that allow the speaker wire to be connected to the speaker. It often comes with a braided wire. This braided wire is connected to the voice coil and moves with the cone.
A loudspeaker’s magnet is usually permanent. It is made from a ceramic or neodymium magnetic material with a thin circular gap where the voice coil is located. It provides stability in the magnetic field area to allow attraction or repel of the voice coil.
A surround is a flexible yet durable circular material. Usually, it is made out of rubber, or sometimes it can be made from some foam. It is attached to the top edge of the cone to the basket.
How Speakers Work
Loudspeakers use electric and mechanical energy to convert the electrical signal from a television, electrical music instrument, radio, and the like. To produce a sound, the signals from the mentioned medium must be connected to an electronic amplifier. Loudspeakers have specific designs as well.
Some loudspeakers are designed for lower-pitched sounds. An example of this type of speaker is a woofer loudspeaker or a sub footer. This type of speaker is heavy and big. It can produce low frequencies of 20 to 200 Hz. Low-frequency speakers can destroy small speakers since they are not explicitly designed to create more significant movements. Typically, humans cannot hear frequencies that are already below 20 Hz. In some cases, the listener will not be able to hear the sound but will feel it. Such a fantastic work of vibration, right?
Other loudspeakers can produce such high-pitched sounds as a sound of a whistle or a bird singing. An example of this type is a tweeter loudspeaker. It is a type of small loudspeaker that can have a sound frequency beyond 20,000 Hz. Humans cannot hear such high frequencies beyond 20,000 Hz.
Loudspeakers are made using a circular magnet, a thin copper wire coil, and a stiff paper cone. These three are mounted in a rectangle-shaped wood cabinet. The thin coil of copper wire
It starts to move back and forth every time an electrical signal pass through it. Together, the coil of copper wire and the magnet will cause the paper cone to vibrate. Thus, reproducing sounds.
Did you know that the first audible loudspeaker was invented in 1876? Alexander Graham Bell created it. He invented the loudspeaker because he needed a device that could amplify sound for the telephone. What a fantastic work of science!
Wrapping It Up
In any audiovisual presentation, the sound is significant. It adds thrill to what the audience is viewing, but it also allows them to convey better the message that comes with it. Before purchasing any speaker, it is best to do research first and know how it works to ensure a quality speaker.