Loudspeakers: quick review
In our century it is difficult to imagine a person who would be content to listen to music only with the help of primitive players, radios or smartphones. Most prefer to use speakers, forming with an amplifier and a signal source a complete system. With the help of different types of systems (and speakers, including) you can get a completely different sound output.
What is a speaker system (speakers)?
First, consider what the columns themselves are. Each of us sees them almost every day. In fact, this is a normal case (if you wish, a box) in which the speakers are mounted.
It goes without saying that there may be several speakers, called diffusers among professionals. It all depends on the system in which they are used. For example, the simplest radio or CD player can contain one or two speakers (in the mono version). When playing stereo sound, there may be one or two on each side.
Domestic loudspeakers, or loudspeakers that make up a DVD or Blue-ray system, usually have three or more speakers. In fact, this is the usual division by reproducible frequencies (high, medium and low). In this case, each speaker is responsible for a certain range of reproducible frequencies.
From here it is easy to conclude that the speakers can be divided among themselves not only by the number of diffusers, but also by sound characteristics. In principle, home systems reproduce sound in the range from 20 Hz to 18-20 kHz. For high-quality sound in this case more is not needed.
Another thing - concert systems where you want to get the highest quality loud sound without distortion. We will dwell on this later.
Main types of columns
Of course, the division into types given above is very conditional. Suffice it to say that by and large almost all the most common column models can be classified as passive and active systems.
On the other hand, today there is an extended specification of acoustic systems in which these types of speakers are distinguished: active, passive, horn, electrostatic, planar,floor standing, shelf, center channel systems, frontal, rear, low-frequency (subwoofers), bipolar, bass reflex or passive emitter speakers, models with an acoustic maze, open or closed speakers, isobaric systems and counter-aperture modifications.
It is clear that the average user does not need the technical characteristics and operation principles of each type of columns. Therefore, we will dwell on what will be clear to every man in the street.
Until recently, the most common were passive speakers. Regardless of how many speakers are present in them, they are necessarily connected to the amplifier. Without this, sound reproduction is simply impossible.
If anyone remembers the Soviet times, almost all systems were passive, even such powerful models as, say, the Radiotehnika S series. For their type, they gave a fairly good sound. If then I wanted to buy such speakers, the price was simply too expensive for many. By the way, and now they are not inferior to their foreign counterparts.
But times change, and active ones have replaced passive acoustics. The main difference between such speakers is that they have built-in pre-amplifiers and are powered from the mains.
As is already clear, the plus is that there is no need for additional purchase of the amplifier. Actually, today even systems connected to computers belong to the type of active acoustics, not to mention DVD or Blu-ray systems with 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 sound.
Studio monitors occupy a separate niche. The fact is that they must provide the maximum sound quality, say, to the sound engineer or musician.
Here it is not even the power that is of paramount importance, but the range of reproducible frequencies and their separation with the help of built-in or separately used crossovers. What is most interesting, monitors must be, so to speak, universal, so that after mixing musical material, the sound on the other acoustics does not differ from the original.
Probably, each of us at least once visited some concert and noticed the whole acoustic portals built on the stage.It is believed that Marshall and JBL are leaders in concert speaker systems.
Such loudspeakers are made up of many separate units interconnected. In the end, all of them are connected to the corresponding sound-amplifying systems, and modern mixer consoles are used to adjust the operating mode, the overall volume or the sound of the instruments, without taking into account amplifiers. This eliminates the need for the sound engineer to run and twist the knobs on each amplifier or stage monitor.
As is already clear, such systems are very powerful. So, for example, in 1992 at the concert “Monsters of Rock in Moscow”, held at the airfield in Tushino, the sound power was as much as 600 kW. But what to say, for 3 km from the airfield, even in the subway, it was heard as if standing nearby!
Now it is worth noting separately one general rule, regardless of exactly what speakers are used in a particular case. The volume level for obtaining crystal-clear sound without any distortion, as a rule, should correspond to half of the total power of the entire system.If it is exceeded, unnecessary distortion and locking will begin, and, in fact, the dynamics may not withstand such a load. At best, diffusers will burst. As it is already clear, the repair of acoustic speakers, especially if they are professional, expensive models, will be expensive.
Although, according to the examples given, it can be said that the cheapest are home acoustics or computer speakers, a bit more expensive than the 5.1 and 7.1 systems, professional monitors are even more expensive for studios, etc. You can find the usual household loudspeakers, which will be more expensive than the 5.1 system, exceeding its technical characteristics.
Moreover, the price directly depends on many factors: the type of speakers and speakers used, the frequency range, power, resistance, body material, year of manufacture, and finally, the make of the manufacturer. In addition, now, if you read the ads on the Internet, you can buy used equipment at a price that is obviously lower.
Well, concert systems are not taken into account at all, since their cost can reach tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, some prices still result.For example, the simplest miniature speakers such as Dialog AC-02UP can be bought for only 240 rubles. Dual system type Defender OnAir S4 or ColorWay Music Ball CW-005 Black costs about 280 rubles.
The acoustics are more serious, say, Edifier R2000DB or Genius SP-HF2020 Wood costs about 10-13 thousand rubles.
With regard to systems 5.1. or 7.1 (for example, Sven HT-200 for computer systems) costs about 5,500 rubles, while a similar Focal-JMLab Pack Dome 5.1 system for both computer and home theater will cost almost 140 thousand rubles. Systems 7.1 and more expensive.
As for the prices for studio monitors of a semi-professional and professional type, for example, Mackie CR4 or PreSonus Eris E4.5, here prices start at the level of 14-15 thousand rubles. for a couple. More serious models (Genelec M040AM, Yamaha MSP7Studio, Mackie HR624 MKII) will cost about 50-60 thousand rubles. a piece.
As you can see, the price analysis is quite serious. So here you need to decide in what perspective to use a particular type of speaker system.
What to prefer?
The question of choice, of course, is decided by everyone, based on their needs. However, today we can safely say that for home conditions the best acquisition will still be an active speaker system. With the connection of passive speakers, there may be problems in the sense that the speakers themselves and the amplifiers used may not have the same power, resistance, etc.Thus, it will be possible, as they say, to ruin either the speakers, or the amplifier, or all at once. But in active systems, the manufacturer completely excludes the occurrence of such situations, since they themselves are already designed with all the associated parameters taken into account.