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    Audio term glossary

    Audio term glossary

    Audio/video terms can be downright confusing, so we've put together a little "cheat sheet" for customers who want to learn more.
    Don't worry, there won't be a quiz.

    5.1 System: A designation describing a sound system incorporating 5 channels of sound/ speakers and one subwoofer.
    Amp: The unit of measure used with an electric current.
    Amplifier: An electronic component or device that takes low-level signals and recreates the signal with more power.
    Attenuators: A device that reduces an amplified signal without distortion.
    Baffle: A box-like structure that a speaker is placed into to enhance the bass sound of the speaker.
    Bass: The lowest existing frequency range usually below 200 Hz.
    Bookshelf Speaker: A small speaker which is designed to sit on a bookshelf or shelf.
    Center Channel: A third front audio channel that is usually used to enhance the clarity of dialog being heard within a sound system.
    Coaxial Speaker: A type of speaker driver where the high frequency driver (the tweeter) is located inside a low or mid-frequency driver (the woofer).
    Crossover: An electronic component that splits up the frequency depending on ranges and directs them to certain drivers.
    Current: The flow of electricity through a circuit as measured in amps.
    dB Decibel: A logarithmic scale measuring the intensity of the sound pressure level of a noise.
    Dolby Digital Surround Sound Describes an audio compression technology developed by Dolby Laboratories to provide digital sound in cinemas and home theaters.
    Driver: The cone-like component of a speaker that pushes back and forth to sound waves.
    Dual Voice Coil: A speaker that accepts both right and left channels into one speaker providing full range sound in a smaller space than two speakers.
    Floor Standing Speaker: A specific type of speaker enclosure with an acceptable level of sound height that stands directly on the floor.
    Frequency: The number of repeating sound cycles in a given period, measured in hertz or kilohertz. Human hearing is usually 20Hz to 20KHz with the lower frequencies representing the bass and higher representing the treble.
    Grille: An aesthetic front plate covering for speakers.
    Horn: An element used to increase sound efficiency by placing the driver at the end of a megaphone-like structure.
    Hz (Hertz):  Number of cycles per second of sound waves used to measure frequency.
    Impedance: The resistance to the flow of an electrical current as measured in Ohms. kHz (Kilohertz): One thousand sound cycles per second.
    Magnet: A component of a speaker that uses electromagnets to create movement of the driver reproducing sound.
    Midrange: The middle band of audio frequencies between 150/200 Hz to between 1,000/2,000 Hz.
    Ohm: A measure of resistance in a circuit to an electric current.
    Outdoor Speaker: A speaker that is weatherproofed.
    Power Rating: The maximum amount of power in watts that an amplifier can put out or a speaker can be driven with.
    RMS (Root Mean Square): The average continuous power output an amplifier is capable of producing or a speaker is capable of receiving.
    Subwoofer: A type of speaker used to reproduce the lowest portion of the frequency spectrum, usually 80Hz and below.
    Sensitivity or SPL: A measure of the sound pressure level measured from a distance of one meter from a speaker when the speaker receives a 2.83-volt signal - -1 watt at 8 ohm.
    Shielded: A term relating to specific speakers having their magnetic fields contained as to not harm video displays.
    Three-Way Speaker: A speaker system containing three individual drivers covering three frequency bands.
    Transformer: An important component of the power supply that pulls electricity from a source and then transforms it into power that can be used in electronic devices.
    Tweeter: A speaker driver designed for receiving high frequencies usually above 2,000 Hz.
    Two-Way Speaker: A speaker system with two individual drivers covering two frequency bands.
    Voice Coil: A tightly wrapped coil of wire attached to a speaker driver's diaphragm and located near the stationary magnet.
    Watt: A measurement of power obtained by multiplying current by voltage.