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12 Different Types Of Speakers – A Complete Guide

Hello, music aficionados! We know how important it is to own a speaker with superior sound quality. And we can even envision the agony of finding the right fit amidst multiple available options. Anyways, these days speakers come in many models, brands, features, and technologies. Having an idea of these things will be beneficial in picking the best speaker that fits your needs.

 That is why we have developed this article to assist music enthusiasts who are on the hunt for speakers. This article will walk you through the many types of speakers and explain their functioning, the components they include, and their features as well. Firstly, let’s go along with their classification and understand every speaker in depth.

Classification of Speakers

sonos Smart SpeakerSpeakers are broadly classified into multiple categories based on their physical characteristics such as size and weight, connectivity type, frequency range, function, and location. 

Speakers by size and location
Tower Speakers The woofers drivers within these speakers produce more deeper and impactful bass to reproduce the full range of sound with quality, clarity, and smoothness 
Bookshelf Speakers These speakers are specifically designed to maximize sound in small to medium-sized spaces (or) rooms
Built-in Speakers They act as transducers, converting audio from the computer into audible sound waves
Soundbars Speakers It is a small speaker system that delivers an immersive audio experience and next-level sound in your living space
In-wall and In-celling Speakers These speaker systems provide decent performance and fill your room with a wider sound stage
Portable Bluetooth Speakers Listen to your favorite music (or) podcasts almost everywhere you go by connecting wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet (or) other devices
Electrostatic loudspeaker The speakers disperse sound over a wide angle, creating a spacious and realistic soundstage
Speakers by frequency range
Bass Speakers They are devised to reproduce low-pitched frequencies 
Tweeters They are designed to reproduce high-pitched sounds you hear in the music
Squawker It reproduces all the mid-range sound frequencies ranging from 250 to 2000Hz
Speakers by connectivity
Wireless Speakers They provide mobility and convenience without sacrificing sound quality
Wired Speakers They offer better and richer sound along with greater control over the finer aspects of the sound

12 Types of Speakers You Should Know About

Here are the 12 important types of speakers you should be aware of. 

Firstly, Let’s get started with the primary category, which is the size and location.

1. Tower Speakers

Tower speakers are often referred to as floor-standing speakers. They are tall and can be placed on the ground (or) wall-mounted as well. These speakers are commonly used in home theater systems and sound systems too. You can also purchase them as a pair for two-channel stereo applications if there is no space in your TV area for bookshelf speakers.

How Do Tower Speakers Work?

A tower speaker comprises two channels: left and right. Each channel has 2-3 drivers that reproduce different frequencies. Each channel in the tower speaker has at least 3 drivers namely a subwoofer for low frequency, a speaker for mid-frequency range, and a tweeter for high-frequency range. These drivers ensure that each spectrum of sound is accurately reproduced. The speakers receive audio signals from the built-in amplifiers and convert them into vibrations that produce sound waves.

What are the Benefits of  Tower Speakers?

  • They occupy less space in your room
  • Ideal for use in home theaters
  • Delivers decent soundstage and wide frequency response
  • Cheaper than professional setups
  • Immersive sound reproduction and powerful bass

2. Bookshelf Speakers

Bookshelf speakers are compact speakers that can be placed on a shelf (or) a stand. These speakers are often seen in home audio systems. They can be easily placed near the TV (or) a stereo system to fill your room with powerful sound. Moreover, they are perfect for people who do not want to deal with the inconvenience of getting multiple (or) evident floor-standing speakers.

How Do Bookshelf Speakers Work?

Bookshelf speakers include multiple drivers, including woofers for bass, midrange drivers for full-range sound, and tweeters for high-frequency sound reproduction. It also has a built-in amplifier that takes audio signals and converts them to sound waves. However, its design focuses on offering balanced and precise sound reproduction across the frequency range, though they may not produce the same level of bass as larger speakers. 

What are the Benefits of Bookshelf Speakers?

  • Can be placed on bookshelves, tabletops (or) stands, etc
  • Supplies a wide range of sound
  • Rich bass with mid and high frequencies
  • Easily incorporated into another sound setup

3. Built-In Speakers

Built-in speakers are lightweight and are found in audio systems, televisions, laptop computers, and other electronic gadgets. They are, in fact, feeble and incapable of producing immense sound with deep bass. Some speakers, however, can create adequate but not extraordinary sound. Although these speakers are not as excellent as tower (or) bookshelf speakers, they can be a good option for listening to movies and music in a small room.

How Do Built-In Speakers Work?

Most electronic devices such as televisions, computers, monitors, laptops, smartphones, and so on are incorporated with built-in speakers. As they are integrated internally, they receive the audio signals directly from the device (or) amplifier. Then the speakers convert the audio signals into sound waves with better sound quality.

What are the Benefits of Built-In Speakers?

  • Eliminates the need for external speaker systems
  • Can be integrated with any electronic device seamlessly
  • Carried conveniently wherever you go
  • Ideal for everyday usage like watching movies, listening to music, and attending calls

4. Soundbar Speakers

Soundbars are long bar speakers that usually sit on top of (or) below the TV to blend in with their surroundings. Its primary objective is to improve your TV’s audio quality by adding depth and clarity. However, soundbars may not be as excellent as stereo speakers, but they are easy to install and offer good sound while consuming less room. Therefore, they are suitable for smaller flatscreen TVs that do not have enough space for full-size tower speakers.

How Do Soundbar Speakers Work?

Soundbars are furnished with many built-in speakers, including woofers, tweeters, and dedicated center channels. They use modern audio processing technology to replicate surround sound and generate a wider soundstage. Moreover, some soundbars have wireless subwoofers for improved bass reproduction. 

What are the Benefits of Soundbar Speakers?

  • Can be easily installed within 10mins
  • Delivers outstanding sound quality for movies and music
  • Immersive sound experience with Dolby Atoms 
  • Ideal for gaming and occupies less footprint
  • Budget-friendly and can be afforded by most people

5. In-Wall and In-Celling Speakers

In-ceiling and in-wall speakers are usually mounted in a frame and fixed into the wall. They look great because of their distinct design and appearance, which you can’t see from the outside. These speakers deliver adequate performance with a wide sound dispersion. 

How Do In-Wall and In-Celling Speakers Work?

When it comes to functioning, in-wall, and in-ceiling speakers are identical to traditional speakers. They feature a compact and sleek and are designed for flush mounting. They can be installed effortlessly into a wall (or) ceiling via a slit. These speakers are linked to an audio source via wire hidden within the walls (or) ceiling. They emit sound straight from the surface, filling your space with a dispersed and immersive audio experience.

What are the Benefits of In-Celling and In-Wall Speakers?

  • Offers great sound quality with placement flexibility
  • A good option for rear surround sound speakers
  • Less maintenance saves space and no clusters
  • Looks neat and blends in with your home
  • Fills your room with an ultra-sound stage

6. Portable Bluetooth Speakers

Portable Bluetooth speakers are much smaller than regular speakers and can be easily carried. You can take them on camping, trips, parties, and even to the beach as well. They come with some advanced features like rechargeable batteries, a built-in microphone, and so on for hands-free phone communication and easy pairing via Bluetooth. 

How Do Portable Bluetooth Speakers Work?

Portable Bluetooth speakers use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly without the use of extra cables (or) wires. These speakers include amplifiers, drivers, and rechargeable batteries. Devices like smartphones, laptops, audio systems, etc can be paired with the speaker via Bluetooth. Finally, you can effortlessly stream audio files and listen to your favorite music after establishing a stable connection. 

What are the Benefits of Portable Bluetooth Speakers?

  • Listen to music on the go, whenever and wherever you decide on
  • Perfect for outdoor use as they need cables and adapters
  • Offers powerful sound quality
  • Consumes incredibly less power
  • No installation required

7. Electrostatic Loud Speakers

Electrostatic Loudspeakers (ESL) are also known as flat-panel loudspeakers (or) diaphragm speakers. These speakers are usually powered by an electrical outlet. They feature one motor and a thin membrane spread across two conductive, stationary panels. And the sound is generated by applying force to an electrostatically charged membrane.

How Do Electrostatic Loud Speakers Work?

The basic principle involved in the functioning of ESL is electrostatic attraction and repulsion. These loudspeakers employ a huge, thin metal panel sandwiched between two parallel screens. The screens are impressed with an amplified audio signal, which polarizes the metal sheet. And the resulting electrostatic force causes the sheet to move, generating a sound wave. 

What are the Benefits of Electrostatic Loud Speakers?

  • Offers lower distortion levels for cleaner and more accurate sound reproduction
  • Fills your room with immersive and accurate audio
  • Acoustic energy is dispersed in all directions from narrow beams
  • Internal reflections and vibrations are completely minimized

Now, let’s look at the different sorts of speakers based on their frequency ranges.

8. Bass Speakers

Bass speakers, often known as Subwoofers, are designed to handle deep bass frequencies ranging from 80 to 1000Hz. A subwoofer offers lower tones that give track depth to a high-quality sound setup. They are suitable for music genres such as rock, pop (or) jazz when you need accurate guitar tones from a subwoofer speaker. Having bass speakers in your living room allows you to feel the vibrations of exceptional sound. 

How Do Bass Speakers Work?

Bass speakers are furnished with large drivers, known as woofers to handle low-frequency sounds. They are typically housed in a sturdy casing that minimizes vibrations and resonances. These speakers receive low-frequency audio signals from an amplifier and convert them into vibrations with deep bass tones. 

What are the Benefits of Bass Speakers?

  • Provides a richer sound and better bass for movies and music
  • More accurate stereo imaging
  • Wider soundstage and compelling dynamics
  • Plays as loud as you want without distortions
  • Blends seamlessly with full-range speakers

9. Tweeters

Tweeters are devised to handle high-frequency sounds up to 20KHz. They are often combined with mid-range drivers to support them since they have a limited range of frequencies. These speakers give you a multi-dimensional listening experience, as though several artists were performing live music in your home.

How Do Tweeters Work?

Tweeters are mostly used to reproduce high-frequency audio spectrum frequencies. They use diaphragms that vibrate quickly in response to electrical impulses, such as domes (or) ribbons. This quick movement produces high-frequency sound waves, which provide fine details and subtleties in the music.

What are the Benefits of  Tweeters?

  • Generates loud and full-range sound stage with rich dynamics
  • Right stereo imaging to your audio system
  • Creates crisp and sharp sounds 
  • Reproduces high-frequency ranges with detailed vocals
  • Produce high-pitched instruments like chimes, guitar notes, drum effects, and more

10. Squawkers

Squawkers, commonly referred to as midbass (or) mid-range drivers, are designed to reproduce mid-range frequencies spanning from 200 to 7KHz. They are incorporated with tweeters and subwoofers for mid-range frequencies. These speakers not only reproduce vocals but also hard-hitting drum rhythms and string instruments with great force. Having a good quality mid-range speaker delivers all of the intricacies and subtleties that make each piece of music unique and different from others. 

How Do Squawkers Work?

Squawker speakers handle mid-range frequencies between the woofer and the tweeter. They usually have cone-shaped diaphragms composed of paper, polypropylene, or metal alloys. These diaphragms shake in response to electrical inputs, providing precise and detailed mid-range sound waves.

What are the Benefits of Squawkers?

  • Mid-frequency vocals and instruments are reproduced accurately
  • Smooth transition between bass and treble frequencies 
  • Gives a well-balanced acoustic experience
  • Improves overall audio clarity 
  • Provides enhanced natural sound reproduction

Here are the Types of Speakers Based on their Connection

11. Wireless Speakers

Wireless speakers are the handiest speakers that can be wirelessly connected to any audio source via Bluetooth, RF (or) WiFi. Also, they can be managed and controlled through an app (or) dedicated buttons on the speaker. They feature multi-room support technology and offer tremendous convenience without adding extra wires to your TV (or) audio system. 

How Do Wireless Speakers Work?

Wireless speakers receive audio signals using either Radio Frequency (RF) waves (or) Bluetooth (or) WiFi. Most speakers have in-built amplifiers and drivers that convert the audio signals into sound waves. Whereas some speakers make use of the external amplifiers (or) amplifiers in the audio device to generate sound waves. 

What are the Benefits of Wireless Speakers?

  • Incredibly easy to set up and versatile
  • Can be integrated with your existing wireless network in seconds
  • Doesn’t eat up much space and can be placed in any of the corners
  • Compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled electronic devices

12. Wired Speaker

Wired speakers are the most common type of speakers that use cables to connect to audio sources such as an amplifier, mixer board (or) soundboard. Most of the time, there is lots of wiring associated with the overall set up which gives the room a more cluttered look. They are usually associated with standard stereo speaker sets because most people don’t have surround systems in their living rooms.

How Do Wired Speakers Work?

Unlike wireless speakers, wired speakers do not have a built-in amplifier. So, they require an additional amplifier to receive audio signals. These audio signals are then sent to the speakers through cables such as RCA cables (or) speaker wires (or) XLR wires. Finally, the speakers’ drivers transform the audio signals into sound waves that you hear. 

What are the Benefits of Wired Speakers?

  • Do not require an extra power source
  • More reliable and delivers the best audio quality
  • Less expensive and the perfect choice for home theaters
  • Compatible with all audio devices, amplifiers, and multimedia devices

12 Different Types Of Speakers – FAQs

1. What are the main parts of a speaker?

Ans: Basically, a speaker consists of three parts: casing the outer box, passive crossovers, and drivers.

2. What is surround sound? 

Ans: Surround sound is a technology that uses additional audio channels to improve the quality of audio reproduction for listeners. Surround sound technology, unlike screen channels, produces sound from a 360° radius.

3. Are speakers classified based on application?

Ans: Yes, surround speakers, center channel speakers, and studio monitor speakers are the types of speakers by application.
*Surround speakers: They surround you with true sound effects while watching movies
*Center channel speakers: Their main purpose is to reproduce vocals and dialogues that occur right in the center of a movie scene
*Studio monitor speakers: They are often used in recording studios to reproduce music accurately 

4. How can I choose the best speaker for my needs?

Ans: Here are a few options for you.
*If you’re looking for convenience and connectivity, invest in a wireless speaker system with multi-room compatibility and Bluetooth for good sound quality.
*If you’re an audiophile, invest in a pair of high-end stereo speakers with superior sound quality. 
*If you want to keep things simple, get a smart speaker, a standard wireless speaker, and a built-in digital assistant.

Final Thoughts

Finally, this is all the types of speakers that are available in the market. We hope this article acts as a comprehensive companion in understanding the speaker types, their functioning, and their unique features. Anyways having basic knowledge of them is very much important while purchasing a speaker. 

However, choosing an ideal one would be pretty challenging as well. So, just consider some of the important parameters like sound quality, sound disposition, frequency ranges, compatibility, built materials, reliability, etc before purchasing them. Moreover, just have a glance at the reviews as well since the other user feedback may help you out in finding out the best one. 

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