What are the 4 Types of Speakers
A speaker also known as a transducer is an electronic device that converts audio signals (electromagnetic waves) into sound waves. Audio signal transmissions are inaudible to the human ear, so they need to be converted to audible sound waves (e.g. speech, music). This is how a speaker works but we have seen many types of speakers in our shops, homes, studios, theatres and entertainment venues which necessitates the need to classify them accordingly. They can be classified according to the frequency range, use, physical shape and size, environmental requirements, home or commercial quality, method of connection, installation, control and quality of output. We can delve deep into these 11 methods of classification, but you would be much better served if we grouped speakers into 4 groups.
The 4 main groups of speakers are: (Home, Commercial, High Quality and Low Quality Sound)
These are made for your home environment, optimized for indoor listening experience and entertainment. This type of speaker is suited for your living room, bedroom, TV room or entertainment area. Volume outputs are low to moderate levels, although there are systems which can produce high quality sound at high volumes. If you are living in multi-family residential units (e.g. apartments, condos, terraced houses, duplexes and triplexes), you would want to keep your volume levels down as this may upset neighbours and the local municipality codes and ordinances against noise pollution. In this case, low and moderate levels are tolerable whereas loud systems are not welcome.
High volume systems are suitable for sparsely populated low-density areas, for example, if you live in the countryside and other remote areas, single-family homes and lots are far apart from each other, so there is no risk of annoying neighbours with your loud systems.
A lot of speakers fall under the home category, and these include home theatre systems (sound bars, towers, satellites), ceiling, wall, Bluetooth, wireless, smart-speakers, tweeters, squawkers, subwoofers, woofers and computer speakers. Bookshelf-speakers are another common choice of home indoor systems.
These are specialized sound systems which are way more expensive than home entertainment systems. They are commercial quality, often made for recording studios, clubs, bars, stadiums, theatres, cinemas and other public entertainment venues. Other models are made for public announcement systems, for example the speakers you hear in airports, banks, parliament, conferences, sports venues, public transportation and terminals. Broadcasting stations for TV and radio have their own systems as well. Commercial speakers you might be interested in if you are in the music production industry are monitor speakers. Party and event organizers might be interested in hiring DJ equipment which includes a PA sound system, the same with a church which might want a PA system for sermons. Video conferencing is another field which makes use of sound systems.
Sound is also used to entertain customers in a shop or patients in the waiting room section of a hospital or medical centre. As you can see, there is a wide application of sound systems in the commercial sector.
High Quality Sound
Most speaker reviews out there are misleading. If you read through these reviews, you will find that the writer is pushing a product just to make an affiliate sale on Amazon. What bugs the mind is that the blogger has listed Bluetooth speakers as their top 5 or 10 speakers with the highest quality sound. If you are familiar with sound systems, you should know that wireless/Bluetooth speakers will not give you the best quality. If you want to get the best/most powerful sound from any system, get a wired speaker which makes use of a cable connection. Bluetooth speakers tend to lag and lose audio quality during transmission.
With that said, the best sound you can get from any system is HIFI quality which is delivered in lossless uncompressed quality. FLAC is a type of HIFI audio format which delivers high quality, but MASTER QUALITY AUDIO (MQA) is the highest quality with near-studio flawlessness.
Generally, commercial speakers have higher sound quality than home speakers. This is due to the fact that they are optimized to deliver a clear lossless audio quality at high volume levels. Have you ever tuned your standalone computer speaker to maximum volume? There is a threshold at which it can deliver clear audio quality. If this threshold is passed, you will notice an increase in weird static noise which interferes with the audio quality.
Low Quality Sound
Compressed audio formats like MP3 and AAC have the lowest quality due to the loss of quality during compression. Although they are not comparable to commercial systems, home sound systems are perfectly fine and comfortable for our ears in the home environment as they are made for a low-key situation in a confined space. You do not need a disco machine in your living room to enjoy your music.
A club/cinema sound system is more powerful than your home theatre, Bluetooth, Smart or Bookshelf speaker. Within your home, Towers will prove to be much more powerful than others, although there are Bookshelf models which are equally powerful.