How Does Horn Loaded Loudspeaker Technology Work

How Do Klipsch Horn-Loaded Speakers Work?


You hear Klipsch talk about our unique horn-loaded speakers that create louder sound with less distortion, but do you know how Klipsch horn-loaded technology works? Don’t worry! You do not need to be an audiophile to learn this stuff. Let’s start with the basics.

Horn-Loaded Speakers 101

The larger the radiating diaphragm of a speaker (that’s the circular portion of a speaker that moves back and forth to push air), the more air will be moved and the greater the sound energy. However, large diaphragms are inconvenient and heavy. By using a flared transmission channel (a horn) the effective radiating area of the source of sound can be increased to that of the mouth, thus creating greater air coupling (louder sound).

Because of the gradual change of the diameter of a horn, the source of sound at the throat engages all the air in a horn. We can think of a horn as having an imaginary, massless diaphragm at the mouth. This “virtual” diaphragm is no less effective for being imaginary – the molecules of air are vibrating back and forth as if a diaphragm the size of the horn’s mouth were actually there.

How Do Horn Loaded Loudspeakers Work? Notice the size of the horn throat where the sound originates versus the size of the horn mouth where the sound leaves the horn and is amplified.

There may appear to be an unreal quality about the action of a horn in that it seems to get something for nothing, making a soft sound into a loud one. A horn is purely a passive device, and does not inject additional energy into the system. But the reason that a horn is able to increase the radiation of sound from a given source so dramatically (by factors of 10 or more) is that most sources of sound have only a very poor bite on the surrounding air, and do not succeed in changing much of the mechanical energy into acoustical energy.

The horn allows the mechanical power capabilities of the source to be tapped much more efficiently. In the case of a horn-loaded speakers, neither the electromechanical efficiency nor the power capability of the speaker itself is changed, but the transfer of mechanical to acoustical energy is greatly increased. This is why our speakers can produce louder sound efficiently, thus pissing off your neighbors.

Hopefully that sums it up. Got any questions? Want to know more about Klipsch horn-loaded speakers? Ask us in the comments section below.

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