High-End Audio: 5 Characteristics to Look For in a Premium Speaker
Exploring the Science Behind High-Performance Sound
There can be a discernible divide in the audiophile world between those enthralled by the art of high-end audio and those that immerse themselves in the science of it. Some people want to know all about the process that goes into a speaker. What materials were chosen? How were the drivers placed within the enclosure? Others focus on listening to various models to see which sounds best. Ultimately the goal is the same: powerful, clean sound. In this blog, we explore the details that go into a high-performance speaker. If you’d rather hear it to believe it, contact us to schedule a test drive of our top loudspeakers.
Using the Right Material
One of the biggest variations between speakers has to do with the materials being used to reduce the amount of flexing allowed by cones within the drivers. The more flexing, the more distortion, so manufacturers look to use lightweight, but rigid materials. This same kind of mentality goes into designing speaker tweeters. Some manufacturers use glass or clay while high-end ones have even gone as far as using Kevlar, diamond, or beryllium in their speakers.
Designing the Right Enclosure
Another thing that can directly affect sound quality is the amount of reverberations within a speaker cabinet, which can result in external noise that colors the sound. Two things go into designing your enclosure, giving it the right shape and having the right layout within it. The enclosure needs to be tight enough to brace the driver without being too tight for sound waves to make it through. Drivers need to be expertly placed to allow for clear, unobstructed communication.
Balancing Out Your Components
High-performance speakers are designed to produce great sound at all frequencies. This is done through a combination of crossover circuits and multiple drivers. Your crossover circuit is the traffic cop within the speaker: it determines which components will take care of the signal. It tells the tweeters to take care of the treble (high-frequency sound), the woofer to take care of the bass (low-frequency sound), and the mid-range driver to take care of the rest.
Go Big or Go Home
While many manufacturers offer smaller high-quality options for in-wall, in-ceiling and wireless speakers, the bigger loudspeakers will always provide better sound. This is for a variety of reasons. For one, the larger the surface area, the stronger the sound. To get better range and clarity, you're also going to want larger tweeters and woofers. As we mentioned earlier, most high-end speakers include an intricate mix of multiple drivers to produce quality sound at all frequencies.
Make Sure it Sounds Good
Ultimately the best way to decide if a speaker is the right fit is to listen to it. It can have all the best materials, design and components and still not feel right. For this reason, high-end audio manufacturers work with local dealers to let potential buyers listen to speakers before making a purchase. Since speakers will perform differently depending on where they are, some dealers will even let you take them home to see how they sound.
Finding the right high-end speaker is about combining the physics of audio reproduction with the subjective nature of music. Depending on your preferences, we can give you a choice of speakers to test drive to find one that would fit perfectly into your high-end audio system. To learn more, call us at 847 868 9200 or fill out our contact form.