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Speakers are created for the purpose of creating and amplifying (i.e.increasing the volume or loudness of) sound. They are connected to a sound system or computer which transmits signals to the speakers to produce sound.

How do speakers work?

Sound is produced when object shakes and pushes air to create sound waves. Speakers work in the same way and produce sound by shaking or vibrating. Speakers’ surface (also called the cone) is made of plastic, paper or other material and produces sound when it vibrates. The center inner surface is attached to a magnet or controlling device which pulls and releases the surface to create a backward and forward movement to push the air and generate sound similar to a drum vibrating. Speakers usually come in a pair to create a more realistic sound which we called the surround sound.  See next paragraph to understand how surround sound works?

What is surround sound?

When there are 2 or more speakers transmitting sound, it produces more realistic sound as our ears are used to hearing sounds from both left and right side at the same time. This is also known as stereo sound.

What affects the quality of speakers?

Sound quality is affected by many factors.  However, the main factors (and in simple terms) which affects the quality of sound produces by speakers can be listed as follows:
1. The quality of materials;
2. The assembly of materials; and
3. The design of the speakers.
To determine the quality of speakers, you need a good pair of human ears to listen and determine. It is not quite possible to determine the quality of speakers based on the specifications listed by the manufacturers.  You should play sounds from both musics as well as video.  The sound must be crisps and clear.  Compare the sounds produce by different sets of speakers and you would find the difference and be able to tell the better ones from the inferior ones.  Another piece of advice – good things don’t come cheap and cheap things are usually not that good.

How to position the speakers for best performance?

The positioning of the speakers is important to achieve the best sound quality from your speakers. If you have a pair of speakers, they should be placed in a triangular shape with the speakers facing the listener (see diagram below). If there are 4 pairs of speakers, the second pair of speakers should place on the left and right side behind the listener. Sound-absorbing items like sofa and curtains should be placed away from the speakers so that the sound waves can travel without interference. Sound-absorbing items can be placed behind the listener as they would reduce the echo.

speakers positon

If there are more than two pairs of speakers, you may need to follow the instructions which come with the speakers you bought.

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