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What dynamic loudspeakers are

What they are

The traditional design is a semi-rigid paper fiber cone and a coil of fine wire (usually copper), called the voice coil attached to the apex of the cone. A "gap" is a small circular hole, slot or groove which allows the voice coil and cone to move back and forth. The coil is oriented coaxially inside the gap made with a permanent magnet. The gap is also where the magnetic field is concentrated. One magnetic pole is outside the coil, whilst the other is inside the voice coil. In addition to the magnet, voice coil, and cone, dynamic speakers usually also include a suspension system to provide lateral stability and make the speaker components return to a neutral point after moving. A typical suspension system includes the 'spider', which is at the apex of the cone, often of 'concertina' form; and the 'surround', which is at the base of the cone. The parts are held together by a chassis or basket.

When an electrical signal is applied, a magnetic field is induced by the electric current in the coil which becomes an electromagnet. The coil and the permanent magnet interact with magnetic force which causes the coil and a semi-rigid cone (diaphragm) to vibrate and reproduce sound at the frequency of the applied electrical signal. When a multi-frequency signal is applied, the complex vibration results in reproduction of the applied signal as an audio signal.

Driver cones may be constructed of a variety of materials, including paper, metal, various polypropylenes, and kevlar. Baskets must be designed in order to preserve rigidity and are typically cast or stamped metal, although injection-molded plastic baskets are becoming much more common in recent years. The size and type of magnets can also differ. Generally, larger and more powerful magnets are associated with higher quality speakers. Tweeters are subject to a unique set of variables and parameters; their design and construction is extremely variable.

Despite marketing claims, lighter and more rigid cones do not always sound better. The weight and damping of the cone in a dynamic speaker should be appropriate for the characteristics of the rest of the driver and enclosure in order to produce accurate sound.