Speakers are like our electronic ears; they are the source of sound for our music, movies, and games. Without them, we would not enjoy entertainment as easily and as much. Even our headphones are basically miniature speakers placed into an enclosure for our heads or ears. There are those who prefer very personalized audio that is achievable through the use of headphones, but there are also those who prefer to share their music or have a more comfortable listening experience.
Unlike headphones, speakers are much louder and provides sound to a larger are, but the effectiveness of the sound is also ultimately reliant on the acoustics of the room which the speakers are placed in.
Before knowing the several different sets of speakers, the two main parts that give out sound should be recognized and understood first. Most speakers are categorized as a 2.0 or a 2.1 set of speakers. The 2 usually refers to the pair of main speakers which projects the majority of the sound you hear – usually the higher pitched sounds come through; whereas the .2 in 2.1 refers to the subwoofer. The subwoofer is a box that is usually placed on the floor – these provide the rich and powerful low-end bass in any sound. Though some main speakers do have sub-woofers built in as well.
- 2.0 speakers: These are usually speakers sets with only a pair of main speakers. They are usually without a subwoofer, although some of these speaker sets can have built-in subwoofers in each of the main speakers, providing enough bass. Most monitor speakers which are used to monitor the pure recorded sound are also in 2.0.
- 2.1 speakers: One of the most common speaker sets found everywhere. It consists of two main speakers and a single subwoofer for the low end frequencies. 2.1 speaker systems provide richer and stronger bass, although not necessarily better than a 2.0 system.
- 5.1 speakers: 5.1 speaker systems are also known as surround sound speakers. These provide sound that literally surrounds the listener and is a common format found with most modern-day movies and films. The extra speakers include a centre channel and left and right channels to provide a more immersive experience when watching a movie or playing a game.
- 7.1 speakers: Additional two speakers are placed on the back left and back right, splitting up sound even more to provide superior sound separation and increase immersion. You will feel like as if you are right in the middle of the action with the use of a complete 7.1 speaker setup.
For people who are interested in surround sound speakers, they should take care to be sure if their media supports surround sound beforehand as utilizing a surround sound speaker setup on a media that only outputs stereo is ineffective and a waste of money.
These few basic words will help you understand more about speakers and audio systems as you search for one that matches your needs perfectly.
- Driver: The membrane cone or circular part of a speaker that is vibrated to produce sound.
- Tweeter: A small drive that is often only an inch in diameter; it produces high frequency tones – or treble, as musicians and audio enthusiasts will know.
- Cabinet: Also known as the enclousure, where the speaker components are placed. The material used also affects the many different sound
- Satellite: A small speaker that includes a larger main driver and also tweeter to provide a complete sound.
Before you purchase a set of speakers, make sure you check out the types of media that you will be consuming as well as the space of your room. Larger surround sound setups will require more room space.