Frequency Response: Speaker’s high and low bass capabilities

Among the speaker speaker specifications, there is a very important item: Frequency Response. Simply put, this frequency response is the range of sound frequencies that the speaker can reproduce to an appropriate volume when playing music or producing sound. Assuming that the frequency range of an audio speaker is marked as 50Hz-20KHz, it means that the lowest frequency sound that the speaker can produce is 50 Hz, and the highest frequency sound is 20 kHz. Frequency response is also reflected in other audio equipment, such as turntables, recorders and power amplifiers, which all use frequency range markings to show the ability of audio equipment to process audio. For example: The frequency response of the Audio Research LS1 amplifier is marked as 1Hz-100KHz. According to the frequency response, we can know that this type of amplifier can smoothly process and output sound effects ranging from 1 Hz to 100 kHz.

Take this for an example, assume that the marked frequency range of a KTV audio speaker is 60Hz ~ 20KHz ± 2.5dB. 60Hz represents the extension value of the audio speaker in the low frequency direction. The lower the number, the better the low-frequency response of the speaker; 20KHz represents the high-frequency extension value that the speaker can achieve. The higher the number, the better the audio characteristics. ±2.5dB represents the degree of distortion in the above frequency range. The smaller the distortion, the flatter the frequency response curve will be.

In addition, audio speakers can actually output audio outside the frequency response. The audio range outside the output frequency response is called frequency range (FREQ RANGE), which usually refers to the frequency at which the sound pressure attenuates to within -6dB. For example, floor-standing speakers. Because it has a relatively large driver, its bass can usually dive deeper, and the low frequency may start at 20Hz or lower; however, the bookshelf speakers we know every day usually start at 50Hz, 60Hz, etc. Among the audio that the speaker can reproduce, the output sound pressure of ultra-low frequency and ultra-high frequency will be relatively attenuated. It is not calculated into the frequency response range, but is calculated into the frequency range (Frequency Range). Therefore, when we look at the high and low bass capabilities of an audio speaker, we cannot only look at the frequency response of the speaker, but also the frequency range of the speaker.


Sensitivity: determin the speaker loudness

Many people often judge the sound pressure a speaker can emit by its carrying power. In fact, it is incorrect to judge the volume of a speaker by its power. We should first look at the sensitivity of the speaker. The sensitivity of the speaker refers to the volume that the speaker speaker can emit after inputting a certain power signal. The higher the sensitivity of the speaker, the louder the volume will be with the output of the same power amplifier. Simply put: with different sensitivities, under the same power, the higher the sensitivity, the louder the volume.

Today’s active speakers generally use db/w/m as the unit of speaker sensitivity. In the speaker system in the active speaker, input a power of 1W and test the sound pressure 1m directly in front of it. Some measure it by outputting 1,000Hz audio, while others measure it by outputting an average of 300Hz to 3kHz. Most speakers will measure 80dB to 90dB sound pressure under these conditions. Above 88dB is considered high sensitivity, around 85dB is considered medium sensitivity, and below 82dB is considered low sensitivity.

Sensitivity is the most important indicator of a speaker. It determines to a large extent what kind of power amplifier the speaker should be equipped with and how much power is needed to push it. The sensitivity of most monitor-grade home speakers is between 86-92dB. For the same power amplifier, the higher the sensitivity at the same volume, which means the louder the sound, the lower the power requirements of the speaker for the power amplifier. The sensitivity of many professional speakers used in karaoke and dance floors exceeds 100dB, which makes people feel that the sound is very clear when singing karaoke, and a large volume can be achieved effortlessly.

High-sensitivity speakers have many benefits. In addition to only needing to be paired with a small-wattage amplifier, they can also have more details and wider dynamics. Compared with low-efficiency speakers, high-sensitivity speakers can still maintain full-frequency details at low volumes. A low-efficiency speaker may only have mid-range sound. To obtain the full range of sound, the volume must be turned up to a certain sound pressure to obtain better analysis. Therefore, for today’s popular home theater systems, which place special emphasis on high dynamic and high-resolution sound quality, choosing speakers with higher sensitivity is the best choice.

It is worth noting that higher sensitivity is not always better. When the speaker unit sensitivity exceeds 92dB, the speaker’s vibrating cone is usually a relatively thin metal cone or PP cone. Cones designed with such materials can easily lead to loss of control over the speaker, and ultimately lead to thinner sound quality. , too bright, too exaggerated, too tough, lacking a lot of details and charm of music, so it is not suitable for HI-FI listening.

Impedance and carrying power

The concept of impedance  of an audio speaker is similar to that of resistance, which is the resistance, capacitance, inductance, etc. of the speaker circuit to alternating current (AC). Our more common speaker impedance values are 4Ω, 6Ω, and 8Ω. The lower the impedance of the speaker, the greater the demand for current at the same power. In addition to being a burden on the power amplifier, it will also affect the sound quality of the speaker.

Power Handling is expressed in watts and is an important reference when selecting a power amplifier. This indicator does not indicate the quality of the speaker. For example, the carrying power of a pair of speakers is marked as 10 to 200W, which means that the power amplifier required to drive the speakers must have an output power of at least 10W, but an amplifier greater than 200W cannot be used for full power output, otherwise the speaker may be damaged. Burn.

The speaker produces sound through the output of the amplifier, which is the power that drives the speaker. The first thing to pay attention to between the speaker and amplifier is the impedance matching, and then there is the issue of carrying power: whether the wattage is sufficient. If the output power of the amplifier is lower than the speaker’s carrying power, the amplifier will not be able to push the speaker and the sound will be distorted. However, if the amplifier’s impedance is greater than the speaker’s impedance, it may be damaged. Therefore, when purchasing speakers, you should pay attention to the specifications of the amplifier to confirm whether the speakers are suitable.


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