Why Broadband speakers/Full-range speakers work so well

There are close to no manufacturers who mass-produce broadband speakers. That is a fact.

They might have their reasons to not enter the broadband market. Why would you, then, show an interest in this seemingly obscure niche technology? The truth is: manufacturers are making it easier for themselves. Multiple driver speakers sound good on first listen, convince customers very quickly and if you pick the right metrics, even sound analysis on them can look like they produce higher quality sound.

Multiple driver speakers

Pop in an critically-acclaimed audio CD, overmodulated frequencies, use adagios with exposed notes and amateur listeners will be suitably impressed. But they are fooled into believing they are hearing every detail and no sound is omitted.

This is what happens in every mainstream audio store, where salesmen present two-way, three-way or multiple-way speakers. And most listeners are led to believe the easy truth that multiple speakers for multiple ranges of frequency must be superior to a single speaker handling all frequencies.

Under laboratory conditions, multiple driver speakers do get better results. If visualized, sound patterns cover a large range of frequencies while appearing smooth and therefore “better” than the test result broadband speakers yield.

multipledriverprinciple_optimized

 

While those results are not wrong, they are produced without the usual context in which music is consumed.

Of course it is not bad to accurately reproduce frequencies. But it is just one side of the coin. Many people have always listen to multiple driver speakers and doing so has become their preference.

A regular 3-way speaker system consists of three chassis working together to produce a complex sound. A crossover network splits up that sound into different frequencies. High frequencies are delegated to the tweeter, midrange driver take care of medium frequencies and subwoofers reproduce low frequencies. A very complex sound is being split up multiple ways. What you get is not only a single sound split up for three different drivers which consist of different materials and are built in different ways. On top of that, overlapping areas of the frequency spectrum are reproduced by two or all three components of the multiple driver speaker at the same time. So with multiple drivers it can happen that one sound of even one frequency is reproduced at three different times by three different speakers made up of three different materials.

By splitting up the sound, manufacturers of multiple driver speakers accept sounds that are ever so slightly distorted because instead of originating from a single source, they travel for different amounts of time to different parts of the speaker, which are spacially apart. That’s why Hifi-experts call sounds produced this way spacially distorted. Also, many manufacturers of conventional speakers often use casings whose materials, shapes and sizes resonate and deflect sounds, further distorting them.

Why broadband speakers are different

Broadband speakers can reproduce a very large range of frequencies. Usually, all sounds are created by one broadband speaker in one casing, so all relevant frequencies are reproduced at exactly the same volume. Depending on its size, shape and the quality of its casing, a broadband speaker is able to imitate a punctual source to a high degree of perfection. Because all sound waves originate from that punctual source, all frequencies are hitting the listener’s ear at exactly the same time.

fullrangeprinciple_optimized

Diffusions and deflections off of walls and objects while the sound travels are also much more uniform if a single source of sound is used. Homogeneity of sound is also achieved because there is only a single driver or chassis made up of only one material. A broadband speaker needs no crossover network and other mechanisms that correct frequencies, which is another factor creating a much cleaner and more homogeneous sound, because the speaker can be run on less electric circuits. Broadband speakers don’t overmodulate sounds, so they produce more homogeneous frequencies and normally don’t use the highest and the lowest octaves of the traditional frequency spectrum that most standard home Hi-Fis systems utilize. If you want to have an even more clean and homogeneous sound experience, new developments in digital frequency adjustment are opening up new ways to refine frequency fidelity – for broadband and multiple drivers.

You might still think that these are very minor issues that won’t even be noticeable. This is arguably not the case. The best example is TV speakers. Voices on TV sets are made to be easily understood. The reason for this is a limitation of the frequency as well as the use of broadband speakers.

Broadband speakers are built to reproduce sounds and music as they really are. Multiple driver speakers are always distorting sounds because of the way they are built.

Tweeters are normally detailed sources of sound which cover large areas and are easily located by the listener, but they also reproduce sounds ahead of midrange drivers and subwoofers and are immediately deflected because they have no insulation.

Subwoofers, on the other hand, are often located away from the tweeters and midrange drivers listeners can locate. They often are build into large cases, causing feedback effects on frequency levels that are not part of their assigned frequency spectrum. Subwoofers create diffusivity of sounds varying widely from accurate, clean sounds. This is why the are not easily located by listeners.

Listening to broadband speakers, on the other hand, you get a realistic impression of what a recording should sound like. Just compare listening to someone speak in real life and hearing a recorded voice. The difference is tremendous. The reason is the imperfect speaker systems we use most of the time.

If you are trying to accurately recreate a space or a stage in sound, you need to be using a broadband speaker. Broadband speakers give you the ability to construct your imaginary stages in 3D. Our speakers only use electronic parts that don’t distort, because they don’t add anything to the sound and electronic alternations aren’t reproduced under conditions that are not identical. They only differences in your sound will be the ones that are intended to be there because of the way a piece of music was originally recorded by a certain set up of the musicians. The reproduced sound appears almost plastic and lifelike without being overmodulated or influenced by crossover splitting. You can earn back the feeling of knowing how a piece of music was recorded, where the musicians were when they played, even how the room they were in reflected their performance right then and there without mixing that up with distortion and interference that originate because of the way your speaker was built.

These are the characteristics that really count when choosing a speaker. Broadband speakers sound warm, exciting and inspiring. At some point, words fail to describe what is so easily experienced by listening.

Get up close and personal at one of our “sound meets”

This is why we want to invite you to test out our great speakers. Join us on an audiophile’s adventure! We would be more than happy to showcase some of our custom-build speakers to you in the relaxed atmosphere of the event space Weinwirtschaft Grün in Magdeburg. You can listen to our speaker creations with no obligation to buy and quiz us on how we could make your dream project become a reality.


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