GLOSSARY OF AUDIO TECHNICAL TERMS
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ImpedanceThe opposition of a circuit or speaker to ac current; the combined effect of a speaker's resistance, inductance, and capacitance that opposes the current fed to it. It is measured in ohms and varies with the frequency of the signal.
Infinite BaffleA flat surface that completely isolates the back wave of a driver from the front.
Kilohertz (kHz)one thousand hertz.
Low-Pass FilterAn electric circuit designed to pass only low frequencies. See Band-pass and High-pass filters.
LobingThe tendency of a speaker system that consists of more than one driver to produce a lobed frequency response in space with in-phase reinforcement (lobes) from the various drivers occurring at some elevations and out-of-phase opposition (nulls) at points between the lobes.
MidbassMid level bass, usually frequencies just above the sub-bass range, from around 100-400Hz or so.
Midrange (mids)The frequency range above bass but below treble that carries most of the identifying tones of music or speech. It is usually from 300-400Hz to 3kHz or so.
NoiseAny undesirable sound reproduced in an audio system.
OctaveA range of tones where the highest tone occurs at twice the frequency of the lowest tone.
OhmA unit of electrical resistance or impedance.
Ohm's LawA basic law of electric circuits. It states that: the current [I] in amperes in a circuit is equal to the voltage [E] in volts divided by the resistance [R] in ohms; thus, I = E/R.
Out of PhaseWhen your speakers are mounted in reverse polarity, i.e., one speaker is wired +/+ and -/- from the amp and the other is wired +/- and -/+. Bass response will be very thin due to cancellation.
Passive CrossoverUses inductors (coils) and capacitors to direct proper frequencies to appropriate drivers.
PhaseRefers to the timing relationship of two or more signals or soundwaves. It's especially important to be sure that your stereo speakers are playing "in phase." This means that the drivers (cones and domes) of your right and left speakers are moving in and out at the same time. If your speakers are out of phase you'll hear significantly less bass, and instead of producing a strong center image, the sound tends to stay localized at the speakers.
Phase CoherenceThe relationship and timing of sounds that come from different drivers.
Phase DistortionA type of audible distortion caused by time delay between various parts of the signal; can be caused by equalizers.
PolarityThe orientation of magnetic or electric fields. The polarity of the incoming audio signal determines the direction of movement of the speaker cone. Must be observed when wiring speakers, so that they are "in phase". See Out of Phase.
Ported EnclosureA type of speaker enclosure that uses a duct or port to improve efficiency at low frequencies. Excellent design for lower power systems, as the port often adds up to +3dB to low frequency efficiency.
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