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The Mathematics of Speaker Shopping

2.1 Speaker System (Silver)

2.1 Speaker System (Silver)

Not all computer speakers have the same characteristics. With all the choices out there, it may be hard to gauge what is best. There are certain quantities that are used to rate speakers in terms of performance and quality. If you want to be sure that the sound effects and music that you will be hearing are up to your standards, you have to know what these quantities are.

There are four values to consider. These are Frequency Response, Total Harmonic Distortion, and Watts.

Frequency response is a measure of how any system reacts to an input signals with changing frequencies. It is expressed using two quantities: the response magnitude, which is measured in decibels, and the response phase, which is measured in radians. These measurements are taken with respect to the signal frequency.

Frequency response can be measured in a number of ways. All of them involve the application of test signals. One method is sweeping a pure tone with a constant altitude through a specific bandwidth, and then gauging the level of the output and how much the phase shifted with respect to the input. Another way is to present the system with a very short input signal, or an impulse, and then quantifying its response.

These measurements can be used to judge how well the system performs.

Another quantity that needs to be taken into account is the Total Harmonic Distortion, or THD. It denotes the relationship of the total powers of all the harmonic components to the power of the fundamental tone (also called the fundamental frequency). When the value of the THD is low, it means that the speaker can produce a more accurate sound reproduction. This is because the harmonics that are added by electronic media and electronics are reduced.

The final measurement you need to consider is Watts. It rates how much amplification a speaker can handle. Speakers have a specific Watt rating, but this rating can be stated in a number of ways, specifically Continuous Power, Peak Watts, and RMS. Continuous Power states how much power a speaker can withstand over long periods of time without being damaged. Peak Watts, on the other hand, is the highest quantity of amplification power that can be received by the speaker before it gets destroyed. Last, RMS means Root Mean Squared. It is the industry standard. It specifies the average power that the speaker should be operated at.