We’ve all seen those massive towers for speakers that dorn the stage wherever there is a performer and an audience. Surely those things must weigh so much, given the size and dimensions. But why are speakers so heavy? Does the size influence the quality and loudness of the speaker? Let’s dig deep into this topic and find out.
Why are speakers so heavy though?
Speakers are generally heavy due to the weight of the materials used in the driver construction – metals and magnets, the weight of the material used in their box enclosure and any additional power supply electronics they contain. Traditional speakers with wooden cabinets are quite heavy.
Here below are some more reasons why speakers are big and heavy
Big speakers that generate big sound come with big drivers. This is not too hard to see. The front of these speakers is almost completely taken by the circular face of the driver. The driver also extends way back and needs to be accommodated in its enclosure.
Their dense material and Resonance
Building a speaker, especially a big one with big drivers is not just an esthetic task, it is a scientific one as well. The frequency and resonance generated by the drivers when sound is being produced have to be calculated when considering the size of the enclosure will have to be.
The bigger the box, based on the size of the speaker driver, the more “dead” it is and the less resonance there’ll be.
Speakers have to be stable
These enormous sound-producing devices have to be stable and not move out of their positions. Imagine being at a concert near the stage, you can feel the power of the sound coming from the speakers. That is enough power to vibrate the stage. Speakers have to be able to contain this power and not move. Their size and weight help keep them down.
The same goes for smaller but still heavy speakers that come with HiFi systems or those speakers that go on your desk. The more premium and powerful ones usually feel denser and heavier for this same reason.
The build materials
What are speaker boxes or enclosures usually made of?
Traditional speakers come with wooden boxes or cabinets. MDF is quite popular in the production of these boxes due to its cost, lightweight and relative density. It is great at acoustic sound dampening. There is also sound dampening material in those boxes to help contain the sound vibrations and keep the resonance down.
The speakers themselves come with a lot of metal and big magnets. This also contributes to the size and weight of the drivers themselves. More modern speakers compensate by using lighter metal alloys to try and reduce the weight.
Are bigger, heavier speakers better than smaller ones?
Now on to the next most asked question after why are speakers big and heavy.
On the surface, bigger is supposed to be better and louder right? Well due to laws of physics, yes, right.
The bigger the speaker and its driver, the louder and more powerful sound you’ll get from it. It’s a simple matter of having more heft to deal with more power. Bigger speakers are able to usually have bigger drivers that can increase the output of low-frequency sound. This makes them great for Bass output.
However, the quality of the sound the speaker produces and how much better it is compared to another speaker is subjective. This lies entirely with the listener and which range of sounds they are biased towards.
More modern speakers that are smaller also have some tricks up their sleeves. Most come with a subwoofer and this small but powerful device is able to pump out more bass to compensate for the overall size of the speaker.
Depending on the use case, and the space where these speakers will be installed, it’s best to actually try them out at a store. You may actually find a smaller sized speaker that will get the job done, especially if you plan to use it indoors.
For concerts, stages and other larger locations, big speakers will remain as they are unbeatable in the amount of sound they can push out.
Frequently asked questions
Are bigger speakers louder?
There are many factors to consider when determining if bigger speakers will be louder. Generally, bigger speakers, especially the ones that come with bigger drivers can push/displace more air and generate more sound. The power needed, box enclosure and frequency the driver operates at also contributes to the overall loudness the speaker can generate.
Do speakers sound better in a box?
Yes, speakers do better in an enclosure and this is why they usually come in one. A speaker box that is well calculated based on the frequency and resonance generated by a driver will maximise its sound output.
That’s all folks!
That concludes our article on the size and weight of speakers. Thanks for reading this far down. We hope this article shed some light on the size and weight of speakers, why they can be so heavy and if the heavier they are the better and bigger sound you can get from them.
All the best.