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What is a Speaker?

What is a Speaker

Speakers are used to connect to a computer to generate sound, which are one of the most common output devices. Some speakers are designed to connect with any kind of sound system, while some can be hooked up only with computers. With the computer speaker, the computer's sound card creates a signal that is used to produce sound. The primary objective of speakers is to offer audio output for the listener. The electromagnetic waves are converted into sound waves through the speaker as they are transducers. The devices, like an audio receiver or computer, give audio input to speakers, which may be in the form of analog or digital. The function of the analog speaker is simply to magnify the analog electromagnetic waves into sound waves.

The sound waves are produced in analog form, but first, the digital input is converted into an analog signal by digital speakers then the sound waves are generated. The amplitude and frequency define the sound produced by speakers. The frequency determines the pitch of the sound of how high or low it is. For case, a bass guitar or kick drum generates low sounds waves, while a soprano singer's voice produces sounds in the high-frequency range. The sound quality, how clear it will be, depends upon the speaker system's ability; if it is able to accurately reproduce sound frequencies, it can be the best indicator to determine audio quality.

There are numerous speakers that consist of different speaker cones, which make them capable of offering more accurate sounds for different ranges. The three-way speakers generally contain a subwoofer, mid-range speaker, and a tweeter, whereas the two-way speakers have a mid-range speaker and a tweeter. The air pressure created by the speakers' sound waves determines the loudness or amplitude.

Like a sound card of computer and some other audio sources produce the signal low, which may need to be augmented by the speakers. This is the reason, to amplify the signal, most of the external computer speakers use electricity; hence, they are amplified. Speakers that have the ability to increase the sound input are commonly known as active speakers. If a speaker can be plugged into an electrical outlet or consists of volume control, you can easily determine if the speaker is active. The passive speakers are those that do not have any internal amplification; these speakers need a high level of audio input as they do not increase the audio signal.

Usually, speakers come in pairs that led to producing stereo sound. It means, on two separate channels, the left and right speakers produce audio. Music sounds much more natural when you use two speakers, as in this condition, our ears hear sounds from the left and right at one time, which makes sounds much more natural. Furthermore, surround systems can produce more realistic sound as they may include four to seven speakers, including a subwoofer.

Rating a speaker

Speakers are rated in distortion, watts, frequency response, and total harmonic.

  • Frequency response: It is produced by speakers, which is the rate of the lows and highs of the sound.
  • Watts: For the speakers, it is the amount of amplification.
  • Total harmonic distortion (THD): It is the amount of distortion created with the help of amplifying the signal.

Need of computer speakers

There are many tasks or events that can be completed through speakers. They are used to produce sound to hear by the listener, create surround sound, add more bass with a subwoofer. External speakers are also available in the market that needs to attach to the computer or another device to produce the sound. The external speakers are not needed if you do not need louder sounds, louder sounds, more bass, or you have a smartphone, laptop, or other devices that have internal speakers.

How do speakers work?

The housing, a cone, a magnet, iron is used to make speakers; they work with the help of converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. The mechanical energy functions for compressing air and converting the motion into sound pressure level or sound energy. When a device gives electrical input to the speakers, an electric current is sent through a coil of wire, which produces an electric field. And it interacts with the magnetic field that is attached to the speakers. When the speaker receives electrical input from a device, the voice coil is attached to move back and forth. The back and forth motion vibrates the outer cone that we perceive as sound.

Categorization of speaker types

Speakers are classified on the basis of the drives that they have and other components that made them unique from others. There are numerous types of speakers available in the market, which are given below with their more technical terms. However, it can be more difficult to define the actual types of speakers directly; therefore, below is given a brief overview of the categorization of speaker types first.

  • Dynamic: These types come under the passive speakers, which have one or more woofer drivers. This one is the most common type that contains one or more tweeter drivers and is also well-known for producing low-frequency sound.
  • Subwoofer: This type is responsible for producing low-frequency sound as it includes a bass port. They have a large woofer driver. Without necessarily compromising the quality of sound, they have the potential to improve base from other supplementary speakers.
  • Horn: These are much similar to dynamic speakers, which includes the way of arranging the drivers in a wave guide structure. As compared to high degree of sensitivity and transmission of sound in large areas, these speakers are with the horn that offers users the benefit to get more enjoy.
  • Electrostatic: If you are looking for crisp and detailed sound, it can be the best choice for you. These contain a fine membrane and one drive placed over two conductive panels. These diaphragm speakers, in most cases, are used for high frequencies and always plugged in an outside power outlet. Also, if you are looking for low-frequency speaker types, they are not ideal for this purpose.
  • Planar-magnetic: Planar-magnetic speakers have a thin metal ribbon rather than the diaphragms. It is different from electrostatic as there is no requirement for an outside power source to operate them. Furthermore, these speakers can last for a long time and provide high utility value.

Different types of speakers

First, it is most important to determine exactly which speaker types will suit your needs best and how you are going to use them. Below, there are discussed a different kind of speakers that may help you out to what type of speaker you should buy accordingly.


A type of speaker, the subwoofer is ideal for very low-frequency sound. It is an omnidirectional speaker containing a range from 20 to about 200Hz, and its main feature is booming bass. This means you can place it anywhere because the human feels that the ear doesn't really hear sound waves at 20 to 200Hz. In modern times, some sort of subwoofer is included with desktop speaker systems. Usually, these speakers can be found in some car audio systems; however, they are much ideal in-home theater arena. If you watch a movie by combining a quality full surround system, it will really change the experience of watching a movie. Subwoofers are also available with powered and unpowered variants similar to studio monitors.

Computer Speakers

The tiny little speakers were attached to the motherboard when the computers had speakers inside them for the first time. Soon, they were beginning to plug in the small desktop speakers or your headphones as they graduated from sounding cards. Usually, the present generation of computer speakers contains two loudspeakers and a subwoofer, which come in 2.1 style, which is suitable for the casual listener. And, there are 5.1 or 7.1 style surround systems presented for the gaming enthusiast. These are generally external speakers that need to connect to the computer via a USB.


Since the beginning of radio, the loudspeakers have been a staple of family life; these are some of the most common household speakers. These speakers were used to get sound from your television or stereo for older generations. In modern times, they also come in small sizes to produce a quality sound; even they can fit into your pocket. Also, you may go with a portable PA system. These speakers are mainly used for karaoke or stage performances. Furthermore, they can be set up outdoors, mounted on the wall, or in the ceiling.

Studio Monitors

These types of speakers are ideal for the professional audiophile, which are really good enhanced for casual listening. They have the potential to offer clearly reproduce both vocals and music. Two kinds of monitors, powered and unpowered, are available. Powered monitors do have a tendency to add buzz to the speakers and are internally powered; they are just plug in the wall and play. As compared to powered speakers, they do not require an outlet nearby to place them and do not have as much buzz as powered speakers. Make sure when purchasing studio monitors, they always come separately. However, some speakers come as a set.

Floor Standing Speakers

The floor-standing speaker is more suitable for a home studio type of setup or home theater system for your listening pleasure. In the room, they will be completely visible as they have about 4 feet tall. They come with a wide range of sounds on the basis of the configuration you are looking for. They contain a tweeter, mid-range, and a woofer like the loudspeakers. To mix for a full range of sound, some styles include a subwoofer. Furthermore, these types of speakers require an amplifier or receiver, and most floor standings are unpowered.

Bookshelf Speakers

These are medium-sized speakers for an in-a-home theater setup. They can be placed on the behind or the side of the television as surround speakers, and in order to get the full experience, they must face you as these speakers are directional speakers. Typically, they have one mid-range and one tweeter (2 speakers) and are about 5 inches tall, commonly referred to as a 2-way speaker. Additionally, they need a receiver or amplifier to run like the floor standing speakers.

In-Wall/Ceiling Speakers

These types of speakers are not exactly budget-friendly and can be a bit difficult to install. But they are really something to behold when having your music follow you around while walking from room to room in your house. It can be said that where floor space is at a premium, the in-wall/ceiling speaker is much ideal for the home. These kinds of speakers need professional installation as fitting the wires down the wall, through the ceiling, and the firewall is not for the faint of heart. They have different-different sizes on the basis of the containing speakers, as they can have 2-way speakers to 10 or more. When they are placed at seating level, they provide quality sound and most come with a cover to hide the speaker flush in the wall.

Satellite Speakers

Comparing with most floor standing or bookshelf speakers, these types of speakers are usually smaller in size. They need to be powered, and they are wired as part of the system. Typically, this kind of speaker includes a mid-bass speaker with a tweeter, as it already contains a subwoofer. The subwoofer plays an important role for the satellite speakers as it is a power source for them. There are many configurations available; therefore, it depends upon you which one you will decide for better sound quality.

Bluetooth Speakers

Bluetooth speakers provide you portability to put them anywhere as they do not have wires and connect with the Bluetooth feature. These speakers produce high-quality sound and can connect to your phone or stereo receiver. Although these speakers are wireless, they may have a disadvantage in that they may need to charge up, and most speakers need to be plugged into an outlet.

Outdoor Speakers

These types of speakers are designed in order to hide in your yard as rocks and to be weatherproof. On the basis of what you want outside, you can purchase them as a single or a system speaker. To cover the entire yard and patio, some of the systems come in numerous midranges, a subwoofer, and tweeters. In the outdoor speaker, wires are plugged into a weather-resistant enclosure.

Evolution of the computer speaker

In the older times, the computers had onboard speakers built into the chassis when they were initially released. These speakers were able to generate a series of different beeps and tones. In 1981, IBM released the first internal computer speaker, which produced basic low-quality sound.

Gradually, as the technology improved, onboard speakers acquired the ability to produce music, voice, and other sound effects, and they moved from the chassis in to the computer monitor. Commonly, monitor speakers on the front of the monitor were placed on the bottom-left and bottom-right. However, in some monitors, speakers were located on the left and right sides.

When the computer became popular in the field of gaming, digital music, and other media, external speakers were started produce by manufacturers. These external speakers were able to produce high bass and higher quality sounds. In 1991, Abinawan Puracchidas released the first external computer speaker, which is still the dominant kind of speaker for computers.

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