GLOSSARY OF AUDIO TECHNICAL TERMS
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Resonancethe tendency of an object to vibrate most at a particular frequency.
Resonance Frequencythe frequency at which the speaker tends to vibrate most at a certain frequency.
Resistance (Re)in electrical or electronic circuits, a characteristic of a material that opposes the flow of electrons. Speakers have resistance that opposes current.
Roll-off (cut-off)the attenuation that occurs at the lower or upper frequency range of a driver, network, or system. The roll-off frequency is usually defined as the frequency where response is reduced by -3dB.
Sealed enclosureair tight enclosure that completely isolates the back wave of the driver from the front.
Signalthe desired portion of electrical information.
Signal-to-noise (S/N)the ratio, expressed in dB, between the signal and noise.
Sinewavethe waveform of a pure alternating current or voltage. It deviates equally above a zero point to a positive value and an equal negative value. Audio signals are sinewaves or combinations of sinewaves.
Sound Pressure Level (SPL)the loudness of an acoustic wave stated in dB that is proportional to the logarithm of its intensity.
Standing wavea buildup of sound level at a particular frequency that occurs when any dimension of the room is equal to any multiple of the wavelength. You would hear it as a peak in the frequency response of the room.
Subwoofera loudspeaker designed to reproduce only bass frequencies.
Timbrethe quality of a sound related to its harmonic structure. Timbre is what gives a voice or instrument its sonic signature & why a trumpet and a saxophone sound different when they play the same note.
Three-waya type of speaker system composed of three ranges of speakers, specifically a woofer, midrange, and tweeter.
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)the percentage, in relation to a pure input signal, of harmonically derived frequencies introduced in the sound reproducing circuitry and hi-fi equipment (including speakers).
Transient Responsethe ability of a speaker to respond to any sudden change in the signal without blurring (smearing) the sound. A speaker that can react quickly to rapid changes in sound has "good transient response".
Treble (highs)the upper end of the audio spectrum reproduced by tweeters, usually 3-4kHz and up.
Tweetera speaker designed to reproduce the high or treble range of the sound spectrum.
Two-waya type of speaker system composed of two ranges of speakers, usually a woofer and tweeter.
Voice coilthe wire wound around the speaker former. The former is mechanically connected to the speaker cone and causes the cone to vibrate in response to the audio current in the voice coil.
Volt (E)a unit of measurement used to measure how much "pressure" is used to force electricity through a circuit.
Watta unit of electrical power. A watt of electrical power is the use of one joule of energy per second. Watts of electrical power equals volts times amperes.
Wavelengththe length of a sound wave in air. It can be found for any frequency by dividing the speed of sound in air (1120 feet per second) by the frequency of the sound, or: WL = 1120 / Freq.
Woofera bass loudspeaker designed to reproduce low-frequency sound only. A woofer and subwoofer are usually the similar type of loudspeaker, but their application (crossover frequency) differentiates them.
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