The Art & Science of Audio & Video

Why Do Speaker Prices Vary So Much?

Why is there such a huge price range in speakers?

Explaining the gross price differences in speakers in similar to that of today’s automobiles. Some of the price variation is due to the difference is raw materials. The quality of wood, drivers, wiring, crossover components and front baffle materials. Sometimes it’s relative to the craftsmanship invested in the cabinetry itself. A poorly designed or poorly assembled cabinet will resonate coloring the music among other things like causing poor bass response. This is why you see some speakers with exotic front baffles made of marble, concrete or multiple layers of hardwood. A lot of it has to do with the amount of research and development that goes into the design of the speaker, primarily the crossover network. Inferior crossovers can cause difference in the arrival times from one driver to another. It can cause poor phase relationship amongst drivers as well as affect the individual performance characteristics of each driver. An improperly design crossover network could be forcing a driver to reproduce frequencies outside of it’s intended range. Some speakers do a great job of playing extremely loud but do a poor job of accurately reproducing the true essence of a recording. Others can reproduce a performance with breathtaking detail bringing to light every little nuance of a recording. I think a good analogy is if you were to compare a Z28 Camaro to a Ferrari. They are both sports cars. They will both get you from point A to point B. Depending on the model of Ferrari the Z28 may even be just as fast! But let’s face it a Z28 is no Ferrari!!!


February 27, 2008 - Posted by | FAQ's | , , ,

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