Home Audio

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Today's Home Audio Tips from Ross MacIver


The Basics of Home Audio Speakers

There are great many home audio speakers on the market today ranging in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Buying a set of speakers can be a confusing endeavor, but with a little bit of knowledge you should be able to make a wise choice.

Most home audio speakers are made up of several components in one enclosure. The simplest speaker is simply one speaker driver housed in a box with no other electronics involved. These speakers will not sound very good because the single speaker driver is not capable of reproducing the entire frequency range. To provide better sound over a wider frequency range, several speaker components are combined together to make home audio speakers. The low frequencies are reproduced by the woofer and the high frequencies are reproduced by the tweeter. There is a crossover housed in the speaker enclosure which divides the audio frequency into highs and lows and sends it to the appropriate driver.

Some home audio speakers may have a third or even fourth speaker driver installed in the enclosure. The most common of these is for reproducing midrange frequencies, and is used in the so-called three-way speaker. The size of the enclosure affects the overall sound of home audio speakers. Speaker drivers are designed to be housed in a particular volume of space, so that they can reproduce sound accurately. Generally speaking, bigger speaker enclosures will give better sounding bass notes, although the enclosure may be ported to provide large volume in a small enclosure.

When you are buying home audio speakers, try to compare several sets at the same time. Most professional audio stores will have an audio room where you can make A/B comparisons between various speaker systems. Bringing your own CD and listen to familiar music so you can hear more accurately the differences between the assorted speaker systems. You can read all kinds of specifications and data sheets, but ultimately, the choice is yours. Let your ears decide which home audio speakers sound the best. By comparing a few speakers in the same price range, you can make an informed decision about which ones are most suitable for you.

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