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A question of terminology: Speakers and Drivers

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi there
 
I need help to clear up a possible misunderstanding I have. (I have used headphones since the 1970s but has never been concerned about the terminology - until now...)
 
I know that a loudspeaker often contains several drivers.
 
What about headphones:
 
1. What is it really that is referred to as the Speaker in headphones?
2. And what is it really that is referred to as the Driver - also in headphones?
 
Can both terms really be used to describe the same thing?
 
Thanks in Advance smily_headphones1.gif
post #2 of 4

Most headphones (not electrostatic) contain a single full-range dynamic driver exactly like a driver you'd find in a loudspeaker. The basic construction of magnet and coil and cone etc is the same, except it's optimized for the small size inside headphones.

 

--Ethan

post #3 of 4

The terms are generally interchangeable for dynamic headphones - BUT the use of the word "speaker" can be confusing when dealing with headphones, since some people use the term speaker to refer to the entire earcup+driver assembly, and others use it to mean just the driver itself. And even more confusingly, some headphones are referred to as earspeakers (for various reasons, some better than others). 

 

I usually prefer to use the term driver, and avoid the term speaker (preferring "earcup assembly",  or other more precise term if I mean more than the driver alone). 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liamstrain View Post

The terms are generally interchangeable for dynamic headphones - BUT the use of the word "speaker" can be confusing when dealing with headphones, since some people use the term speaker to refer to the entire earcup+driver assembly, and others use it to mean just the driver itself. And even more confusingly, some headphones are referred to as earspeakers (for various reasons, some better than others). 

 

I usually prefer to use the term driver, and avoid the term speaker (preferring "earcup assembly",  or other more precise term if I mean more than the driver alone). 

 

 

Yes, I have noticed that the terms are interchangeable.
 
Thanks for a clarifying answer :)
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