GLOSSARY OF AUDIO TECHNICAL TERMS
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Acoustic suspensionA sealed or closed box speaker enclosure. Also called a sealed enclosure, or infinite baffle.
Audio frequencyThe acoustic spectrum of human hearing, generally regarded to be between 20 Hz and 20 kHz.
BaffleA board or other plane surface used to mount a loudspeaker.
BandwidthThe range of frequencies covered by a driver or a network (crossover).
Band-Pass filterAn electric circuit designed to pass only a certain range of frequencies. See also High-pass and Low-pass filters.
BasketThe metal frame of a speaker.
Bass ReflexSee ported enclosure.
BoomyThe smearing of transients that makes bass reproduction sound muddled.
ChannelThe path an audio signal travels through a circuit during playback.
CircuitA complete path that allows electrical current from one terminal of a voltage source to the other terminal.
Clipping(1) A distortion caused by cutting off the peaks of audio signals. Clipping usually occurs in the amplifier when its input signal is too high or when the volume control is turned too high and the amplifier tries to put out too much current and it sends out direct current to the speakers. (2) when playing at loud volumes, and the cone of the driver "bottoms out" - it cannot move as far as the signal requires it to, it can produce a noise. If an amplifier or speaker is left operating in this condition, serious damage may occur.
Crossover Network (Filter)An electric circuit or network that splits the audio frequencies into different bands for application to individual speakers. See Electronic and Passive Crossover.
DampingThe reduction of movement of a speaker cone, due either to the electromechanical characteristics of the speaker driver and suspension, the effects of frictional losses inside a speaker enclosure, and/or by electrical means.
Decibel (dB)(1) A logarithmic scale used to denote a change in the relative strength of an electric signal or acoustic wave. It is a standard unit for expressing the ratio between power and power level. An increase of +3dB is a doubling of electrical (or signal) power; an increase of +10dB is a doubling of perceived loudness. The decibel is not an absolute measurement, but indicates the relationship or ratio between two signal levels. (2) SPL (sound pressure level) can be measured in dB.
DiaphragmThe part of a dynamic loudspeaker attached to the voice coil that moves and produces the sound. It usually has the shape of a cone or dome.
DispersionThe spreading of sound waves as it leaves a speaker.
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