Have trouble understanding the different components of your music system? This article will clarify your doubts about what is Hf and Lf on speakers and how they work.
Do you get confused by the abbreviations used for the different types of speakers?
Speakers are the heart of any music system, but speakers are complicated enough to confuse the new users.
One of the primary things is the different types of speakers and their roles in a music system. This article will explain the meaning of abbreviations like Hf and Lf written on your speaker but first, let’s cover briefly how a speaker works.
How Does A Speaker Work?
Speakers simply transform the alternating current signals into mechanical energy (sound waves), which is just moving air.
The movement within the speaker creates sound waves. The speaker features a coil attached to an electrical connection making it an electromagnet. A permanent magnet creates a fixed magnetic field around the electromagnet.
Due to the signal of the electromagnetic coil being an AC signal, the negative and positive poles constantly change. Thanks to the law of electromagnetic induction, the coil moves inside the fixed magnetic field while the speaker cone moves in to and fro motion and creates sound waves.
When a perfect sine wave sound goes into the speaker, it will create a humming sound, while the sound’s tone depends on the sine wave frequency. A higher frequency would produce a higher tone. The hum volume is affected by the sine wave’s amplitude or how high the sine wave’s voltage is.
But you need to consider that sound is commonly way more complex than a simple sine wave. For instance, in an orchestra, you will find multiple volume levels and frequencies played simultaneously.
Every instrument also bends the sound wave according to its characteristics, creating a more recognizable sound. All these things prove how the same type of speaker may have difficulty playing the different sounds simultaneously.
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What Is Hf And Lf On Speakers
The Hf in the speaker means high frequency, while the Lf stands for low frequency. The Hf and Lf are known as tweeter and woofer, respectively. The tweeter and woofer both have different roles in a music system and have their characteristics.
I have explained both below:
Even a beginner can see the first difference between Lf and Hf is that woofers (Lf) are bigger than the tweeters (Hf). A decent woofer can have a diameter of around twelve inches or even more.
There are mainly two reasons for it:
- The woofer speaker needs to move slowly while the speaker cone (diaphragm) moves away, creating the sound wave.
- The speaker needs to create a more powerful sound, as the low-frequency sound waves are weaker than high-frequency ones and won’t travel as much. Besides, there are high chances of the low-frequency sound waves being absorbed and dissipated by different surfaces.
The speaker enclosure is typically explicitly designed to match the woofer as they frequently interact with each other. The speaker enclosure can have multiple designs, but the standard ones are ported and sealed enclosures.
The sealed enclosures are designed to confine the sound coming from the speaker’s backside. It offers the most reliable and crispest bass sound. The major downside is that the volume of the sound is low.
On the other hand, ported speakers do not confine the sound and let it escape; as a result, increasing the volume. But, the sound arising from the speaker’s back is 180 degrees out of phase from the sound coming from the speaker’s front. The phase difference has a high chance of causing the sound waves to cancel out each other.
Yet, the additional distance traveled by the sound waves while coming from the speaker’s back prevents the canceling of sound. Rather, the sound becomes “muddy” and less distinct because of the phase shift in the two sound waves.
In some speaker enclosures, manufacturers use tuned ports. These ports are made according to a specified size. They need to make the sound reach the front area of the speaker precisely one cycle after the sound comes from the speaker’s front. You will still find some distortion, but it will be less than the one caused by an unturned port.
Note: The frequency range of woofers (also called base speakers) can be between 50 Hz to 1000 Hz.
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Tweeters do not have anything to do with the cabinet; you can use them often without a cabinet. The design of tweeters is pretty similar to the general electromagnetic speaker as they typically feature a diaphragm shaped like a dome instead of a speaker cone. They are also known as “dome tweeters.”
This diaphragm of tweeters is usually made of aluminum, titanium, plastic, plastic impregnated silk. All the different types of materials will create a unique sound of their own.
Now you need to remember that the tweeters or Gf are pretty tiny compared to the woofer, and therefore they won’t generate a high volume. A lot of tweeters have a horn attached to them to counter this issue.
The horn will vibrate and resonate along with the tweeter and, as a result, will mechanically increase the sound that it creates. This process is similar to how any brass instrument like a trumpet amplifies the buzzing coming from the musician’s lips.
Note: The tweeters (Hf) frequency range is between 2 kHz to 20 kHz, and some of the more advanced ones can reach 100 kHz.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are plus and minus on speakers?
The plus & minus signs on the speaker terminals indicate where to connect the negative and positive cables. Generally, the negative is white or black, and the positive is red. While hooking a speaker to the amplifier, you need to put the cables in the right place, so the speaker pushes ahead when receiving a signal and not backward.
The same signs are also found in the amplifier’s back or any other equipment to drive the speakers). It is usually indicated as a plus/minus sign or color.
What is a plus and minus speaker wire?
The positive wire or plus speaker wire joins the amplifier’s positive output terminal to the speaker’s positive input terminal. On the contrary, the negative wire or minus speaker wore joins the amplifier’s negative output terminal to the speaker’s negative input terminal.
What is a 4 wire speaker?
4 wire speakers are called bi-amping and bi-wiring speakers. They have four wires connections, unlike standard speakers with only two. Two are positive and negative, each like standard speakers, and two for the lows and highs, or some frequency ranges.
So Now You Know All About Tweeters and Woofers!
This article covered the basics of what you need to learn about Hf (tweeter) and Lf (woofer) in your music system. Instruments such as soprano, violin, or flute require Hf, especially during the treble and climatic part of the song.
On the contrary, Lf caters to instruments such as bassoon, bass, bass drum, or baritone for the parts of the song where high bass is required.
I hope this article was able to clarify all your doubts. Do share it with others who are looking for answers to this question.