Glossary of Audio Terms

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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.


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.


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


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


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

Amplifier Power

The electrical power transferred from an audio amplifier to a loudspeaker, measured in watts.


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


A feature on a turntable that prevents a tonearm from 'skating' across a record. This is often a spring or magnetic mechanism. During playback there is a force that pulls your tonearm toward the center of the platter, adjusting the anti-skate applies an opposing force to the tonearm to prevent the skating from occuring or from pushing the stylus too hard against one side of the record groove.


A turntable feature that automatically stops the record at the end of its rotation. The amount of rotations that occur before the record stops varys from record to record.



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.


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.

Belt Drive

A type of turntable drive system that uses an elastic belt attached to a motor via a pulley to rotate the platter.


Using two amplifier channels to power a loudspeaker with multiple drivers.

Binding Post

A connector used to attach a single wire.


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.


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


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.



The enclosure that houses the speaker coponents and drivers.


The tube/rod that transfers the movement of the stylus to the cartridge magnet and coils.


Sometimes called a phono cartridge, this (typically plastic) component is mounted to the tonearm and contains the stylus, magnet and coils that read groove modulations from a spinning record and transfers that into an electrical signal that can be amplified to hear through speakers.

Cartridge Height

The distance from the tip of the stylus to the top of the cartridge.

Cartridge Weight

The total weight of the cartridge including the stylus and mounting hardware.

Center Channel

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


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 Balance

The ability of the cartridge to reproduce left and right channels at the same level of output.

Channel Separation

A measure of how effectively one stereo channel prevents the other stereo channel from bleeding into it. Channel separation is not the same over the entire frequency range and it is typically measured at a fixed value such as 1 Khz.


The "springiness" of the cartridge's cantilever, high compliance cartridges allow for more movement, while low compliance cartridges are stiffer. Higher weight cartridges require a stiffer cantilever to avoid unwanted resonance, while lower weight cartridges can have more bounce to them.


Diaphragm used in woofers.

Continous Average Power (RMS)

The amount of power a speaker can handle for extended periods of time frequently expressed in Root Means Square (RMS). Continous power is frequently 25-50% of the peak power.


An adjustable weight used to balance the tonearm to provide the appropriate tracking force as specified by the cartridge used.


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 Frequency

The frequency at which an audio signal starts the cutoff point for crossover filters. The speaker crossover supplies each driver with the signal range it will produce.


Signal leakage from one channel to another.

Cueing Lever

Allows you to raise and lower your tonearm onto your records with more precision preventing unwanted wear or damage to your records.



Absorbing or weakening vibrations.


Physically separating mechanisms that can interfere with each other.

Decibels (dB)

The unit of measurement for sound to express the power ratio of two signals. The higher the decibel level, the louder the sound.


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


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

Direct Drive

A type of turntable drive system where the platter sits directly on the motor.

Direct Sound

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


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


Unwanted changes in the sound from the sound system.

Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology developed by Dolby Laboratories. It expands on existing surround sound systems by adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects.

Dolby Digital

A digital-based surround format that uses a programmed soundtrack system for motion picture playback using Dolby patented AC-3 digital compression. It can be used with most speaker setups.

Dolby Pro Logic

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


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.

Drive System

The mechanism used to spin a turntable's platter. Most turntables utilze either a belt-drive or direct drive design.


An individual speaker within a system.


Alternate term for speaker. Converts electrical energy into sound waves.


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


Variant of DTS, providing between 5.1 to 6.1 discrete channels.


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).


Effective Tonearm Length

The distance from the turntable's pivot bearing to the stylus.

Effective Tonearm Mass

The inertia of the mass of the entire arm and cartridge that would be present if the inertia of all the moving parts was condensed at the tip of the stylus.


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.



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.


The number of cycles a sound wave occurs per second.

Frequency Range

The range of frequencies or musical tones a component can reproduce, the first number represents the low frequency (bass) end of the spectrum while the second number represents the high frequency (treble). Some specifications include a plus/minus deviation (ie ±3 dB) to indicate the sound deviation from a flat response.

Frequency Response

Frequency range versus amplitude.

Frequency Response Graph

A visual graph plotting the volume in decibals where each frequency was reproduced.

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.



Increase in audio signal strength measured in decibels.

Ground Terminal

A metal post allowing you to connect a grounding wire to your amplifier to prevent undesirable noise/humming caused by static electricity or ground loops.


H-4 Bayonet Mount

A type of mount for removable headshells. It can be considered a universal mount type as it should fit all S shape tonearms. They have a standard barrel size with an 8mm diameter and 12mm length. They feature a four pin connection with color coded headshell lead wires.

Headshell Mount

A connection to allow a headshell to be mounted to a tonearm.

Headshell Weight

The total weight of the headshell with no cartridge mounted to it.

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.


Home Theater in a Box



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


Resistance to the electrical current indicating the number of ohms a speaker is capable of delivering to an amplifier. Lowering impedance allows more electrical flow to the speaker, resulting in increased speaker volume. Impedance levels between your receiver and speaker should be equal.

Internal DAC

A Digital to Analog converter transforms a digital signal into an analog audio signal.



Kilohertz: measurement of frequency equaling 1,000Hz.



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


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


Converts an electrical signal from an amplifier into sound waves.

Low Frequency

Frequency range between 30Hz and 300Hz.



A protective surface to isolate your records from platter vibrations while also protecting your records from scratching. Can be made of various materials each with unique properties and benefits to playback.

Matrix Surround

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


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.


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


Speaker designed to generate sound that projects forward.

Moving Magnet (MM)

A type of turntable cartridge that generates an electrical signal by connecting the vibrating cantilever to a pair of coiled wires that vibrate in proximty to a fixed magnet.

Moving Coil (MC)

A type of turntable cartridge that generates an electrical signal by connecting the vibrating cantilever to a pair of magnets that vibrate in proximty to coiled wires.

Multichannel Audio

Sound recordings that contain more than two channels of audio.



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.



A unit of measurement (Ω) used to show speaker impedance or resistance. Speakers generally have an impedance rating of 4Ω, 8Ω or 16Ω.

One-Way Speaker

A single driver speaker.

Output Voltage

The output voltage refers to the strength of the electric signal produced by the phono cartridge. It is generally measured in mV and can range between 0.1mV to 5mV depending on the cartridge type, make, and model.


The amount that the stylus tip overhangs the spindle when the tonearm is directly above the spindle.


Peak Power

The maximum power a voice coil can handle in short burts measured in watts.

Phase Adjustment

A control to add an electrical delay to the audio signal to assist in integrating a subwoofer with speakers in an audio system.

Phono Bypass

A feature on turntables with a built in phono preamplifier which allows the user to bypass the preamp electrical circuit. Bypassing the preamp circuit allows an uninterrupted path from the stylus tip to the RCA outputs.

Phono Input Sensitivity

The minimum input voltage required to pair with your amplifer for proper audio output.


The surface where you place your record and is spun by the motor in order for the stylus/needle to track the record groove.


A solid base that other turntable components are mounted to.

Power Handling

Maximum electric power a speaker is capable of handling from an amplifier before it begins to sustain damage.

Powered Subwoofer

A subwoofer with a built-in amplifier


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.


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


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

RIAA Equalization

The specification for the recording and playback of vinyl records, established by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) that allows for deep bass and extended high frequencies to be cut into record grooves.

RIAA Equalization Accuracy (deviation)

The degree to which a preampilfer's sound reproduction deviates from the established RIAA equalization curve.


Root Means Square is the effective working voltage.


Speed at which the platter rotates represented in revolutions per minute. The most common speeds for modern records are 33 1/3 and 45 RPM.



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

Satellite Speaker

A small speaker with limited bass response.


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

Servo Motor

A speed control motor that uses comparator circuit to maintain and correct turntable speed. Different turntables may use different technologies/methods to accomplish consistent speed.

Signal/Noise (S/N) Ratio

The ratio of desirable to undisirable sounds in an audio signal.

Signal-To-Noise Ratio (Unweighted)

A measurement to represent the ratio of desired sound to undsired noise in a signal typically expressed in decibels (dB). An unweighted measurement takes into account the entire frequency range, even beyond what a human ear can hear.

Signal-To-Noise Ratio (Weighted)

A measurement to represent the ratio of desired sound to undsired noise in a signal typically expressed in decibels (dB). A weighted measurement takes into account what the human ear is capable of hearing and filters out frequencies the human ear cannot hear.

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.

Speaker Sensitivity

The ability to convert power into sound, measured in decibels (dB). A speaker sensitivity rating tells you how much volume you'll get with a given amount of power.


Sound Pressure Level: Volume measured in decibels.

Speed Variation

A turntable is designed to spin at a precise speed. The actual measured speed of a turntable can differ from the designed speed. This is referred to as speed variation and only refers to a constant speed that is different from the intended speed. For changing fluctuatations in speed refer to Wow and Flutter for more information.

Stereo Imaging

The degree to which sound can be reproduced with perceived spatial locations.

Stereo Sound

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

Stereo Speaker

A two-channel sound reproduction system.


Often referred to as a "needle" this is the part of the cartridge that tracks the grooves of your record. It can be constructed of a variety of materials and comes in various shapes which can impact how it tracks the record grooves and ultimately what kind of sound output it will have.


A tonearm with an s-shaped curve. S-type tonearms are typically heavier mass than straight tonearms, however they have equal mass to either side of the pivot point preventing tracking distortion.


A speaker designed to reproduce only low frequencies or bass.

Supported Cartridge Weight

Every Fluance turntable features a counterweight to help balance the tonearm. The weight has a set mass and this determines the cartridge weight that it can counter-balance. The supported cartridge weight refers to the upper and lower weight limits that the tonearm design and counterweight can support.

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.



A device connecting electrical circuits together.


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.


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


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


A pivoting arm that supports the cartridge and allows it to hang over the record and track the record groove as it spins toward the center of the record.


A standardized optical fiber connection system.

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)

A measurement of how much of the distortion of a voltage or current is due to harmonics in the signal.

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.

Tracking Force

Determines the amount of weight your cartridge sits on the record. Setting your tracking force properly allows your stylus to track your record grooves accurately without causing access wear to your record.


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


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


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


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.


Vertical Tracking Angle (VTA)

The angle in which the tonearm and stylus meet the record being played and should match the angle of the cutting head used to cut the record.

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.



Unit of electrical power.


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

Wow and Flutter

A measurement of a turntable's ability to sustain an accurate speed and avoid distortion. Variations in the high frequencies are referred to as flutter and the low freqencies are referred to as wow.