Speaker Driver Market Insights 2023: Introducing How All Types Of Speaker Driver Work

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Choosing the right speaker system is crucial if you want to enjoy the best sound quality and gain the most enjoyment from listening to music. But, to enjoy the benefits of a superior quality speaker system, you need to ensure that it has the best speaker drivers. The speaker drivers are arguably the most crucial component to research when buying speaker equipment. This is because they have such a strong influence on the over all sound quality of your speakers.
In this article, we are going to take an in-depth look at speaker drivers. We will explore what they are, how they work, and what they are used for, as well as the different types of speaker drivers that are available to buy. This article will also examine the new speaker driver technology and explain the recent increase in demand for speaker drivers. Crucially, we will also explain what to look out for when shopping for a speaker driver and how to choose the right one for your needs. By the end of this article, you will know everything you need to know about speaker drivers so that you can make an informed choice when shopping or building your own speaker system.
Read on to discover more about speaker drivers:

What are speaker drivers?

Speaker drivers are round, usually conical shapes that are positioned on a speaker unit. You may also sometimes see speaker drivers that are an inverted dome shape.
If you remove the grille on the front of a speaker, you will see the round shape of the speaker drivers. On some speakers, the speaker driver is constantly exposed. The speaker drivers perform an essential function, as, without them, the speaker unit would not produce any sound.

How does the speaker driver work?

Understanding how speaker drivers work is crucial. Having speaker driver insight and understanding how they function before you start looking around for the best speaker driver is an excellent way to make informed purchase decisions. So, now that we know what speaker drivers look like and where they are positioned, it is time to explain how they work.
The speaker driver is located within an enclosure, that is collectively known as a speaker. In basic terms, a speaker driver can be defined as a device that receives an electric audio signal and then converts the signals into sound waves. How this process works is a little more complicated. First, it is helpful to understand the key components of a speaker driver to understand how it works.

Key components of a speaker driver

Speaker drivers contain the following components:

  • A cone or dome which can be made from paper, metal, or plastic.
  • A voice coil, which is a wire coil, is located at the base of the cone or dome.
  • An amplifier, which you will find built-in to the receiver.

How the components work

You may sometimes hear speaker drivers described as electrodynamic speaker drivers.
This is because the key components of the speaker driver work together to create an electromagnetic process that delivers sound.
Electrical impulses from the amplifier trigger the voice coil to interact with a magnet located on the cone.
When the speaker driver receives the electrical signal, it moves back and forth, which creates sound waves, which you hear as music.
In summary, the speaker driver is a transducer that receives an audio signal and then reacts to produce sound waves.

Technical and Working Principles of Speaker Drivers

Speaker drivers operate based on the principles of electromagnetism. Here’s a deeper insight into their working principles:

Diaphragm Movement:

The heart of the speaker driver is the diaphragm, which moves back and forth to create sound waves. The movement is created by the electromagnetic force generated in the voice coil.

Voice Coil and Magnet Interaction:

The voice coil is an essential component that interacts with the magnet. When an electrical current (audio signal) passes through the voice coil, it creates a magnetic field that interacts with the magnetic field of the permanent magnet, causing the coil (and thus the diaphragm) to move.

Frequency Response:

Different drivers are designed to reproduce different ranges of frequencies. The material and shape of the diaphragm, along with other factors, influence the frequency response of the driver.

Efficiency and Sensitivity:

 The efficiency of a driver refers to its ability to convert electrical power into sound. Sensitivity, on the other hand, indicates how loud the driver can get for a given amount of electrical power.

Impedance:

This is a measure of the resistance offered by the driver to the flow of electrical current. It is an essential parameter as it affects the power handling capacity and compatibility with amplifiers.

Magnetic Systems in Speaker Drivers

Speaker drivers operate based on electromagnetic principles, where the magnetic system plays a pivotal role. There are two primary types of magnetic circuits:

Open Magnetic Circuits:

These circuits are constructed based on Fleming’s left-hand rule and are often used in electrodynamic types of drivers. They usually use ferrite magnets and are characterized by a certain level of magnetic flux leakage, which can cause distortion in nearby video monitors.

Closed Magnetic Circuits:

This type of circuit is constructed with a permanent magnet inserted in a pot-shaped yoke, often utilizing alnico magnets, which produce stronger magnetic fields compared to ferrite magnets. These circuits prevent magnetic flux leakage, making them suitable for audio/visual systems. However, they are more expensive due to the use of rare metals like cobalt in alnico magnets.

Materials Used in Speaker Drivers

Paper Pulp

Traditionally used in cone drivers, it is lightweight and offers a warm sound profile. However, it might not be as durable as other materials.

Polypropylene (PP)

A popular material for cone drivers, it is known for its durability and resistance to moisture, offering a balanced sound profile.

Carbon Fiber

A modern material offering high rigidity and low weight, which helps in reproducing sound with high accuracy and detail.

Silk, Cotton, or Polyester Film

Commonly used in soft dome drivers, these materials offer a smooth and natural sound reproduction.

Aluminum or Titanium

Used in hard dome drivers, these materials are known for their rigidity and ability to reproduce high-frequency sounds with clarity and detail.

Different Types of Speaker Drivers

Cone Type Drivers

These are the most commonly used type of drivers, characterized by their conically shaped diaphragms. They are versatile and can be used in a variety of audio systems, capable of reproducing a wide range of frequencies, including low (bass), mid-range, and high frequencies (tweeters).

Dome Type Drivers

Dome drivers have a dome-shaped diaphragm and are known for their excellent directionality. They are primarily used for mid and high-frequency sound reproduction. The materials used in these drivers can influence the quality of sound, with soft dome drivers offering a smoother sound profile compared to hard dome drivers.

Horn Type Drivers

These drivers feature a horn attached in front of the diaphragm, enhancing efficiency and transiency, especially in the mid and high-frequency ranges. They are known for their high level of efficiency and good transient response, making them suitable for systems where high sound pressure levels are required.

The scope of application for speaker drivers

Here at Jazz Hipster, we sell a vast range of speaker drivers. Our products vary from the 2-inch Kevlar Full Range Speaker Driver up to the 8-inch Woofer Neodymium Speaker Driver. This extensive range of speaker drivers enables us to ensure that our speaker drivers are suitable for a wide range of applications. Here are some of the applications that our speaker drivers can be used for:

  • Vehicle speakers
  • Wall-mounted speakers
  • TV speakers
  • Home HiFi speakers
  • Consumer speakers
  • Ceiling speakers
  • Computer speakers
  • PA speakers

You can check out our range of speaker drivers here to help you find the right choice for your application.

Most common types of speaker drivers

There are three main types of speaker drivers that are in regular use. Each of these speaker drivers has its own merits and benefits of use. With this in mind, it is crucial to consider the application of the speaker driver in its end use. Taking this approach may be more effective than simply trying to determine which speaker driver type is the best. Here are the three main types of speaker drivers:

Horn speaker drivers

You may recognize horn speaker drivers as the large, old-fashioned speakers with their distinctive design. In the past, you would see horn speakers on gramophones. But, while the appearance of horn speaker drivers may seem very outdated, they can be very effective.

Cone speaker drivers

Cone speaker drivers are currently the most commonly used. Cone drivers are often made from paper. These speaker drivers are often used in a single speaker unit to cover the full audio spectrum. This means that they can be used to produce everything from the bass of woofers to the high-pitched sound of tweeters and, of course, mid-range sounds in between.

Dome speaker drivers

Dome speaker drivers are less commonly used than cone speaker drivers. Dome speaker drivers are often used as tweeters in two-way system setups. This is because they are effective at delivering high to mid-range frequencies.

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What are subwoofers, woofers, tweeters, and other drivers?

You may have heard the terms woofers and subwoofers spoken about in the past but be a bit unsure about exactly what they mean. Below we dive deeper into explaining what the three main types of driver sizes are, along with some information regarding the other driver types that
are available:

Subwoofers

Subwoofers produce sound frequencies between 20 Hz to 200 Hz. Specifically, subwoofers produce sounds at a frequency below 80 Hz. Subwoofers deliver the bass frequency in your speaker setup and produce the low-frequency sounds that you can feel vibrating when you hear music that is heavy on the bass. When playing music, you need a subwoofer to get the best sound quality from the drums and bass guitars featured on the track. For your home theater system, the subwoofer in your speaker setup provides sounds such as the atmospheric booms and explosions that you hear in action movies.

Woofers

Woofers and subwoofers are terms that are often used interchangeably. Both woofers and subwoofers deal with lower-frequency sounds and produce bass. However, subwoofers deal with the lowest ranges of frequency in the spectrum, usually sticking below the 30 Hz level. In contrast, woofers produce sound at a level of 100 Hz to 2,000 Hz.

Tweeters

While woofers and subwoofers are all about the bass, tweeters deliver treble. Tweeters provide the highest level of frequency to a speaker system. These high-band speaker driver types handle frequency ranges above 2,000 Hz.

Mid-Range

Between the low frequency of the subwoofer and woofer and the high frequency of the tweeter is the mid-range type of speaker driver. Mid-range delivers frequencies between 200 Hz and 2,000 Hz.

Other drivers

The speaker driver types mentioned above are the most commonly used. However, it is also possible to get super tweeters. Super tweeters deliver the highest range of frequency, producing a treble sound up to ranges that the human ear cannot detect.

The new technology and increase in demand for speaker drivers

With new technologies developing all the time, the need for high-quality speaker drivers is more significant than ever before. Right now, technology is evolving at a fast rate, with new devices and innovations being released all the time. The integration of technologies such as smart homes that use the internet of things (IoT) has been an area of significant advancement in recent years. The adoption of this technology by the public has been swift, further driving the demand for components, such as speaker drivers, that are at the heart of these devices.
Research published by the Global Market Estimates Research & Consultants shows that the market for speaker drivers is expected to increase by 2.5% in the period from 2020 to 2026. This increase is predicted to be driven by the arrival of 5G networks, the increased use of audio streaming services, and the overall rise in people using modern technologies.
With the rise in people using voice-based virtual assistant technology, such as Alexa, and the rise in popularity of audio broadcasting, such as podcasts, it is easy to understand why speaker drivers are set to be in even greater demand in the coming years.

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How to pick a speaker driver?

Taking on a speaker-building project is exciting. Being able to control every variable to create your own perfect speaker system is a great way to get a finished result that meets your exact requirements. However, there are many factors to consider when picking a speaker driver. But, it is crucial to make the right choice. Otherwise, your finished speaker build will not live up to your expectations. After putting hard work into your speaker build, you don’t want to end up disappointed by the end result.
Carefully considering every stage of the speaker design and thinking about how it will impact the finished speaker is vital. But, of all the components, it is the speaker driver that will have the most significant effect on the finished result and the quality of sound that it delivers. So, how do you pick a speaker driver for your speaker-building project? Here are the key factors that you will need to think about when trying to find the perfect speaker driver:

What application will your speaker be used for?

Deciding on how and where your speaker will be used is the first and most crucial step to take. So, considering the end application and how you plan to use the speaker is your first decision when considering the speaker driver that you will need. This will significantly impact the size of the speaker that you are building. If you are planning to build speakers for your vehicle, your speaker driver requirements will be very different from those needed if you were building a speaker for a PA system.

What is your ultimate priority for your speaker?

It is vital to think about your ultimate aim for your self-build speaker system and what you want it to achieve. As there are so many variables that go into choosing a speaker driver, it is essential to consider your top priorities and then make the rest of your decisions based on these priorities. Are you working with a tight budget for your build? If so, choosing a speaker system that works within your budget is crucial. Alternatively, your priority may be to achieve a specific level of sound quality, in which case, how much you spend on speaker drivers may not be your primary concern. Either way, deciding on your main priority is a crucial step to take when building your own speaker.

What crossover type do you need for your speakers?

Choosing the right type of crossover for your speaker drivers is essential. Crossovers perform a vital function, and your choice will influence the end quality of the sound that your speakers produce. The crossover does as its name implies. A crossover prevents the different frequencies from traveling to the wrong speaker driver. So, the crossover ensures that only low frequencies travel to the subwoofer and only high frequencies travel to the tweeter. This process ensures that each driver only receives the frequencies that it is designed to deliver. So, your crossover helps to improve the sound quality that your drivers deliver by ensuring that they only produce the sounds for which they are designed. So, taking your time to choose the best type of crossover for your speaker drivers is worth the effort, and your research should pay off with improved sound quality and increased clarity.

Have you covered every frequency?

Gaps in the frequency of your speakers will severely impact the sound quality that they deliver, so this is a really crucial factor to consider. To deliver the best sound quality, your speaker drivers will need to cover the entire audio spectrum. Any gaps in the spectrum will be really noticeable and affect the over all quality of your entire project. Spending some time on this step in the build is a great idea to ensure that you perfect it and that you are not disappointed with the sound your speaker system produces.
It is crucial to remember that buying just one speaker driver will not cover the full range of frequencies. Therefore, multiple speaker drivers will always be required. This means you will need to select a tweeter driver, mid-range driver carefully, and woofer to ensure that all frequencies are covered from 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz.

Have you matched your DB levels?

This is another essential step to take when choosing your speaker drivers and incorporating them into your speaker build. Perfecting the sensitivity of your driver volumes is vital. Consistency is key to achieving the optimum volume, and you will need to ensure that every driver you use in your speakers will deliver sound at the same volume. Checking the DB levels for each individual driver and matching its sensitivity will help you to achieve this. It is helpful to look at the datasheets for each speaker driver you are planning to purchase to check the DB levels and determine whether they will be a good sensitivity match for your project.

5 best choose of speaker drivers

  • Dynamic Drivers: The most common type due to their versatility and cost-effectiveness. Excellent for a wide range of frequencies, dynamic drivers use a magnetic field to produce sound, making them ideal for both low and high-volume listening.
  • Balanced Armature Drivers: Perfect for in-ear monitors, these drivers offer superior sound clarity and detail at higher frequencies. They are more compact and efficient, but usually require multiple units to cover the full audio spectrum.
  • Planar Magnetic Drivers: Known for their ability to handle high levels of detail and dynamics without distortion. These drivers use a thin membrane and a magnetic field to achieve a flat sound profile, ideal for audiophiles and professional studios.
  • Electrostatic Drivers: Provide exceptionally crisp and accurate sound reproduction. These drivers require special amplifiers but are renowned for their transparency and micro-detail, particularly in mid and high frequencies.
  • Ribbon Drivers: Similar to planar magnetic drivers but use a thin ribbon to create sound. Ribbon drivers are highly sensitive and responsive, offering pristine sound clarity and natural response, especially in the treble frequencies.

As you can see, there are many different factors at play when choosing speaker drivers for your self-build speaker project. Carrying out plenty of research at each stage of your selection process is an excellent way to ensure that you get the very best speaker drivers and ensure that they perfectly match your needs.
Along with ensuring that your speaker drivers deliver on all of the above points, it is also crucial to check that they are of the highest quality. There is no substitute for speaker drivers that are made to the highest standards and offer the best quality. As you have dedicated your time and attention to constructing your speakers, you need speaker drivers that match.
Here at Jazz Hipster Co., each and every one of our speaker drivers is built to the highest standards using our advanced automated production lines to deliver superior quality and precision. Take a look at this video to see our advanced automated production lines in action:

Are you looking for high-quality speaker drivers? Whether you are a business that is looking for speaker drivers for your products or you are an individual planning to build their own speaker, we can help. If you would like further information about any of our products or have a query, please email us, and we will be happy to help you.

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