Powering What We Hear: Magnets and Their Use In Speakers
Why are magnets used in speakers? How do speaker magnets work? Let’s explore more common applications of magnetics.
A world without speakers used to amplify sound would be, well, rather quiet. Computers, cars, smart devices and even kitchen appliances all contain speakers of various sizes and sound amplification capabilities. While sound can be boiled down into vibrational frequencies and its subsequent wavelength, the ways in which we can modulate and manipulate any types of sound are seemingly endless.
Did you know…that speakers utilize magnets? Indeed, not unlike microphones and headphones, speakers also rely on electromagnetism to produce or amplify sound. Whether this information is new to you or you are simply wondering why magnets are used in speakers, we’d like to shed a little more light on yet another common application of our favorite subject: magnetics!
If you have any questions about our services, capabilities or even the specific magnet types we’ll touch on (including Neodymium Speaker Magnets, Alnico Speaker Magnets and Ceramic Speaker Magnets), don’t hesitate to contact Viona Magnetics directly.
Speakers and Permanent Magnetics: How, Why and More- Speakers 101
To understand the “why” and “how” of common magnets utilized in speaker technology, it’s good to have a solid high-level understanding of how speakers work in general.
On a conceptual level, speakers simply take audio signals and convert this electrical energy into mechanical wave energy, meaning sound waves that we’re able to hear. Though speakers come in plenty of shapes and sizes with specific and purpose-built designs (indoor vs outdoor, integrated into a product, etc.) the basic principles behind their function remain all the same.
Many, but not all speakers, employ the use of magnetics as electromagnetism. This magnetic force takes the AC voltage from the audio signal and turns it into “diaphragm movement,” which gives us audible sound. This process is done through a magnetic field.
Loudspeakers and Magnets: A Critical Match
Because many loudspeaker designs require an electromagnetic field to convert an audio signal into actual sound (transduction), the appropriate permanent magnet(s) are essential. You’ll commonly find these magnets placed in the “driver,” i.e. the area of the speaker that’s actually responsible for producing the sound.
It is worth mentioning that not all loudspeaker designs require magnets, as they do not utilize an electromagnetic field to convert electrical energy into sound. Two common non-electromagnetic loudspeaker drivers include electrostatic and piezoelectric designs.
Permanent Magnets for Speakers
As we mentioned above, not all speakers are created equal. While a high-quality (and very expensive) sound system may be designed to fill an entire concert venue with balanced sound, other speakers are comparably tiny.
Most of the high-quality speakers typically utilize Neodymium magnets. These rare earth permanent magnets are expensive, but also provide unparalleled strength compared to other more cost-effective permanent magnets. To further reinforce their strength, durability and overall longevity, these Neodymium magnets are coated with nickel or strong plastic.
Though you won’t typically see these magnets in high-end loudspeakers or sound systems, Alnico and Ceramic magnets certainly have their place, especially in the headphone market. Alnico’s mix of iron, aluminum, nickel and cobalt and Ceramic’s combination of iron oxide and strontium carbonate alloys offer suitable performance when creating an electromagnetic field to convert electrical energy and drive sound.
Quality Permanent Magnetics Backed By Industry Expertise
Seeking a more granular discussion when it comes to magnetics solutions? Viona Magnetics proudly works across numerous industries and consumer disciplines. From custom assemblies and machined parts to bulk magnets at the right price, we’re here to help. Feel free to reference our news section for more information, get to know our company or get in touch with us directly by visiting here.
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