Glossary of Audio Terms

3.0 Channel Surround Sound

Three different speakers for full range sound


3.1 Channel Surround Sound

Three different speakers for full range sound and one subwoofer speaker for low frequency effects


5.0 Channel Configuration

Five different speakers for full range sound


5.1 Channel Surround Sound

Five different speakers for full range sound and one subwoofer speaker for low frequency effects


6.0 Channel Surround Sound

Six different speakers for full range sound


6.1 Channel Surround Sound

Six different speakers for full range sound and one subwoofer speaker for low frequency effects


7.0 Channel Surround Sound

Seven different speakers for full range sound


7.1 Channel Surround Sound

Seven different speakers for full range sound and one subwoofer speaker for low frequency effects


A/V Receiver

Device that transfers audio and video signals to another device; contains inputs for all the audio and video sources and outputs to one or more sets of speakers and one or more monitors


Acoustic

The properties or characteristics of a room that determine sound will be transmitted


Acoustic Suspension

Speaker enclosure that reduces bass distortion and creates accurate bass response


Acoustics

The production, control, transmission, reception and effects of sound in any environment.


Ambience

The portion of sound that is created from reverberations from the surrounding area


Amplifier

A device that increases the power of a signal by use of an external energy source


Analog

A signal that contains information using non-quantized variances in frequency and amplitude


Baffle

a deflector plate in a loudspeaker used to eliminate the out-of-phase sound waves from the rear of the loudspeaker


Banana Plug

A single-wire electrical connector used for joining wires to equipment


Bandpass

A device that passes frequencies within a certain range, rejecting any frequency outside of that range


Bass Reflex Cabinet

A speaker enclosure that uses the sound from the rear side of the diaphragm to increase the efficiency of the system at low frequencies


Bi-Amp

Using two amplifier channels to power a loudspeaker with multiple drivers


Binding Post

A connector used to attach a single wire


Bipolar

The design of bipolar speakers is made to have two or more drivers producing sound in multiple directions, making the surround sound field wider so the sound location cannot be identified.


Bipole

Surround speakers that have two or more speakers that output sound from both sides of the cabinet


Bi-Wire

A single cable with two conductors connects an amplifier to a loudspeaker


Bookshelf Speaker

A compact loudspeaker intended to be placed on a raised surface


Cabinet

The enclosure that houses the speaker coponents and drivers


Center Channel

The speaker mounted in front of the TV or projector and designed for midrange frequencies


Channel

The path an audio signal travels to a speaker during playback. The number of channels varies depending on the audio source. Mono signals found in older TV programs have one channel of sound. Stereo signals have two channels, one path for left and one path for right. Surround sound signals include 5+ channels with paths for each front, center and rear speaker.


Channel

Each "channel" is a discrete audio amp on its own, capable of taking a small line signal input and amplifying it sufficiently to be heard on an appropriate speaker; the number of channels varies based on the number of audio sources (e.g. 5.0 Channel Surround means 5 sound sources)


Cone

Diaphragm used in woofers.


Crossover

A circuit that divides electrical audio signals into lower and higher frequencies and sends them to the appropriate loudspeaker drive units (i.e., high frequencies to tweeters, low frequencies to woofers).


Crossover

An electronic filter that splits the audio frequencies and sends them to the appropriate driver


Digital

A method of representing and storing audio information with 0s and 1s


Dipole

A speaker design that uses two sets of?drivers?to generate equal amounts of sound both forward and backward, or side to side


Direct Sound

Sound that travels directly from the source to the listener's ear without reflection


Dispersion

The extent to which a speaker yields acoustic radiation over an area


Distortion

Unwanted changes in the sound from the sound system


Dolby Digital

Digital soundtrack system for motion picture playback using Dolby patented AC-3 digtial compression


Dolby Pro Logic

A surround sound processing technology developed by Dolby Laboratories, designed to decode soundtracks encounded with Dolby Surround


Dome

Efficient, low distortion and wide dispersion tweeters, often made of metal or silk


Double Banana Plug

Two single-wire connectors used for joining wires to equipment


Driver

An individual speaker within a system.


Driver

Alternate term for speaker. Converts electrical energy into sound waves


Dts

Trade name for a digital audio format whose standard format is 5.1-channel surround sound


Dts-Es

Variant of DTS, providing between 5.1 to 6.1 discrete channels


Dvd-Audio

A digital format for delivering high-fidelity audio content on a DVD; commonly known as DVD-A


Dynamic Range

The ratio between the loudest signal and the quietest signal in a speaker system, expressed in decibels (db)


Efficiency

The ability of an audio system to convert electrical energy (watts) into mechanical energy (Decibels of acoustical energy)


EQ (Equalizer)

Equipment that balances the frequency components with an electronic signal


Fidelity

A characteristic that refers to the measurement of sound reproduction quality


Floor Standing Speakers

Large, high-efficiency speakers, also known as tower speakers, that stand freely on the floor and reproduce a wide range of frequencies


Frequency

The number of cycles a sound wave occurs per second,


Frequency Response

The frequency range between the lowest frequency and the highest frequency that a speaker will reproduce.


Frequency Response

The frequency range between the lowest frequency and the highest frequency that a speaker will reproduce.


Front Speaker

The primary speakers in a home theater system, positioned to the left and right of a center channel speaker, that are responsible for reproducing realistic sound effects and music


Full Range

A speaker that reproduces all or almost all audible frequencies.


Full Range

reproduces as much of the audible frequency range as possible


Gain

Increase in audio signal strength measured in decibels


Hertz (Hz)

Measurement of frequency equaling 1 cycle per second


High Frequency

Higher audio frequencies usually above 2,000Hz


High-Pass Filter

An electronic filter that passes high-frequency signals but reduces the amplitude of signals with frequencies lower than the cut-off frequency


Home Theater

The entertainment system set up at home often includes a television, surround sound stereo speakers, DVD/Blu-ray player, and audio amplifier


Htib

Home Theater in a Box


Imaging

A speaker's ability to enable a listener to hear different voices, instruments and sounds in relation to one another


Impedance

Resistance to the electrical current indicating the number of ohms a speaker is capable of delivering to an amplifier


Khz

Kilohertz: measurement of frequency equaling 1,000Hz


Lfe

Low Frequency Effects: the deep bass effects that represent the .1 in a channel surround sound


Line-Level

The specified strength of an audio signal used to transmit analog sound between audio components


Loudspeaker

Converts an electrical signal from an amplifier into sound waves.


Low Frequency

Frequency range between 30Hz and 300Hz


Matrix Surround

Processor used by many surround sound formats that provide surround sound signals


Mdf

MDF stands for “medium-density fibreboard,” which is an engineered wood product that is the formation of wood fibres glued together under high heat and pressure creating a flexible material.


Midrange

Driver responsible for reproducing midrange frequencies most easily recognized by the human ear, typically from 300 to 6,000Hz


Monopole

Speaker designed to generate sound that projects forward


Multichannel Audio

Sound recordings that contain more than two channels of audio


Neodymium

Neodymium magnets are the strongest type of natural magnet in the world, and can pack an extraordinary amount of magnetic energy into a very small package.


Neodymium

Neodymium magnets are the strongest type of natural magnet in the world, and can pack an extraordinary amount of magnetic energy into a very small package.


Ohm

Measurement of electrical resistance


One-Way Speaker

A single driver speaker


Power Handling

Measurement of the amount of watts a speaker can handle from an amplifier without receiving damage


Powered Subwoofer

A subwoofer with a built-in amplifier


Pre-Amp

Pre-amplifier; an electronic amplifier that prepares a small electrical signal for further amplification


Rear Speaker

Speaker that works to help surround the listener with sound effects or music; works with the front speaker, placed to the back left and right of the listener


Receiver

A device for converting signals into audio or visual form with a tuner and amplifier and/or speaker


Resonance

The vibration of speaker enclosures or components that increase at certain frequencies


Sacd

Super Audio Compact Disc: a high resolution, read-only optical disc for audio storage


Satellite Speaker

A small speaker with limited bass response.


Sensitivity

The ability of an audio system to convert electrical energy (watts) into mechanical energy (Decibels of acoustical energy)


Silk Dome Tweeters

Dome tweeters in which the dome is composed of a treated soft silk like material.


Simulated Surround

An audio system which attempts to create the perception that there are more sound sources than are actually present


Solid State Amp

An amplifier that uses a transistor as its main device for boosting an audio signal


Speaker Enclosure

A cabinet in which speaker drivers and other electronic hardware are mounted


Spl

Sound Pressure Level: Volume measured in decibels


Stereo Sound

Two-channel sound recording that is reproduced by more than one speaker simultaneously


Stereo Speaker

A two-channel sound reproduction system


Subwoofer

A speaker designed to reproduce only low frequencies or bass


Surround Sound

Sound reproduction that uses three or more channels to enhance the listening experience


Surround Speaker

Speaker that works to help surround the listener with sound effects or music; works with the front speaker, placed to the left and right of the listener


Terminal

A device connecting electrical circuits together


Thd

Total Harmonic Distortion: the measurement of the signal's distortion in an amplifier


Three-Way Speaker

A loudspeaker that is comprised of a tweeter, midrange and subwoofer


Thx

The trade name of a high-fidelity audio/visual product standard for sound productions


Timbre

The quality of a musical note, sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production


Toslink

A standardized optical fiber connection system


Tower Speaker

Large, high-efficiency speakers, also known as floor standing speaker, that stand freely on the floor and reproduce a wide range of frequencies


Transducer

A device that converts one form of energy to another (mechanical to electrical, electrical to mechanical)


Transient

A high amplitude, short-duration sound at the beginning of a waveform that occurs in musical sounds, noises or speech


Tuner

A broadcast signal converter that converts audio and video signals onto televisions or speakers


Tweeter

Driver responsible for reproducing high frequencies, typically from 2,000Hz to 20,000Hz


Two-Way Speaker

A loudspeaker system that consists of a woofer and tweeter


Ultra-Wide Band

A receiver that can reproduce frequencies above 25,000kHz to play back frequencies from SACDs and DVD-Audio that are above the human hearing range


Voice Coil

The coil of wire attached to the highest point of a loudspeaker cone


Voice Matching

The matching of tone qualities of different speakers in a system to produce more sound


Watt

Unit of electrical power


Woofer

Driver responsible for reproducing the low frequencies, typically from 40Hz to 1kHz