A History Of Speakers

Speakers nowadays are able to produce high quality sound, and don’t end up taking up half the size of the room due to the development of technology over the years. Speakers have gone from having massive horns which produce low quality sound, to being a thin sheet of carbon fibre, producing sound of up to 48W each. Find the Vetr audio speakers here.


An 1800s horn – Developed by Thomas Edison
PANL1 – Developed by VETR Audio

Horns were the earliest form of amplification. Horns do not use electricity. Thomas Edison, Magnavox, and Victrola all developed advanced and well-performing horns from 1880 to the 1920’s. The problem with horns is that they could not amplify the sound very much. With the use of electrical amplification in the future loud sound could be generated to fill large public spaces. Horns remain a novelty for collectors today.

Horn uses: Audio recording for entertainment and record keeping, later on for voice radio

The electrodynamic loudspeaker today comes in several types in order to produce a quality sound for a given frequency range:

Tweeter – 2kHz – 20kHz. used to produce all high end frequencies. There are many ways to construct a tweeter today. Most are electrodynamic (magnetic) speakers however there are piezo-electric, electrostatic and plasma tweeters.

Mid-range Speaker – 300 – 5kHz. This speaker covers most human voice along with most instruments.

Woofer – 40 – 1 kHz. low frequencies. The woofer goes back to work done in the 1930s at Bell Labs.

Subwoofer – 20 – 200 Hz. very low frequencies. The human ear can only hear down to 20Hz. low frequency sound is unidirectional. This means that it can be placed anywhere in a room and be heard from any point with the same sound quality. Sub-woofers also produce sound waves that penetrate walls easily. Noise from this type of speaker is even known to penetrate vertically through 5+ floors of concrete apartment buildings. Needless to say it is easy to get in trouble with local noise ordinances. If you plan your next loud event you may want to think about frequencies and the ability of objects to absorb/stop or reflect sound. Sub-woofers were developed in the 1960s.



There are several kinds of flat panel speakers, engineers have been working on flat speakers for many decades as to decrease the size of speaker boxes. The standard flat panel speaker has a exciter attached to a square panel. The flat panel acts as a diaphragm. Below are some examples of different designs. Different materials can be used as a diaphragm, from vinyl to styrofoam.


The standard flat panel electrodynamic loudspeaker has been difficult to make because it is difficult to vibrate the entire flat surface evenly while creating good frequency response. Thus other speaker types have evolved to try to make a speaker in a flat form.

The electrostatic flat panel speaker uses two metal grids with a diaphragm made of a plastic sheet. The sheet is coated with graphite which is electrically conductive. The diaphragm has a constant charge, high voltage audio signal is created by the grids which are really electrodes.


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