If you love music, I’m sure you’ve heard of speakers that produce “Bass” and “Treble” sounds. But is that all there is to sound reproduction? Well, of course this is certainly not the case. If you are wondering what is the other crucial component that bears a heavy weight in sound systems, then ask yourself this – What is a Mid Range Speaker?
The subject that we are touching on for today, is something that audiophiles and sound engineers are familiar with. But in my opinion, the average consumer is often left in the dark about the importance of this vital sound system component. Hence, in this article, we’ll look into its design principle and find out how it impacts our listening!
Mid Range Speaker – Is it Needed?
Simply put, a loudspeaker driver that reproduces sound within the frequency range of 250 to 2000 Hz, is a mid-range speaker. Most of them are cone types, but there are some dome types and horn types as well. A cone mid-range unit has a voice coil (attached to the neck of the cone) which is suspended in a magnetic field via a suspension (also known as “spider”).
This design is actually the same as woofer drivers, except that woofers are bigger in size. The mid-range drivers that you can often find in live concerts are typically compression drivers coupled to horns. Mid-ranges are rarely designed as electrostatic drivers or ribbon drivers. A high quality mid-range driver should be capable of low-distortion sound reproduction.
A mid-range driver is responsible in reproducing the most vital part of the frequency spectrum, where most fundamentals emitted by musical instruments, together with the human voice, can be found. In other words, the human ear is very familiar with the sounds contained within this region. Any discrepancies in sound fidelity can also be easily observed here.
Appliances such as television sets, often use just a single mid-range driver, or two for stereo sound. This works fine as consumers are generally more concerned with speech on television. The ear is also most sensitive to mid-range frequencies, hence, both the driver and amplifier can be low powered, while still delivering decent sound fidelity in terms of volume and intelligibility.
Speaker System Limitations
Mid-range drivers are often utilised in 3-way loudspeaker systems. Therefore, there are factors that needs to be considered when installing the mid-range driver on an enclosure that also houses the woofer and tweeter drivers. The natural characteristics of all the three different drivers will ultimately affect the selection of crossover frequency and slope.
The output of the mid-range driver is affected by its placement on the speaker baffle. The material surrounding the driver can also produce or inhibit sound reflections from the baffle face, or other items, further influencing the output. Furthermore, speaker grilles (notably those with structural frames) will also add to the alteration of the overall output of the whole speaker.
When you see a mid-range speaker that is mounted on the same loudspeaker enclosure as a woofer, that mid-range driver will usually have its own small sub-enclosure (or a sealed back) to prevent the woofer’s backwave radiation (into the box) from destructively affecting the mid-range’s cone or dome motion.
Mid-range cones are often made of paper, that may be impregnated and/or surface-treated with polymers or resins in order to improve vibrational damping. There are also other materials used such as plastics (polypropylene, Cobex, Bextrene), woven Kevlar, fiberglass, carbon fiber, or light metal alloys based on aluminium, magnesium, titanium, or other alloys.
That’s all the information I have for today folks. There is much more that can be discussed about a loudspeaker’s design, and I hope to cover them in the future. So stay tuned!
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