Need-to-Know Speaker Terms


Mono refers to a recording that is played back through a single audio channel. Unlike stereo audio, everything from a mono source sound like it’s coming from one position. 


Stereo audio is played back through two audio channels—left and right. Stereo sound allows sounds to be panned to separate speaker channels, which creates a more immersive listening experience. To hear stereo sound, you must have two speakers such as the Get Together XL 


Speakers that are described as “active” have an internal amplifier. Active speakers, like the House of Marley Get Together Duo are great because they don’t require any additional equipment—just plug and play. 


Passive speakers don’t have any internal power sources. To listen through passive speakers, you need an external amplifier. When shopping for a speaker amplifier, you have to be mindful of the speaker’s power handling and impedance. Ideally, the amplifier should output at least 50% more than the speaker’s continuous power, or RMS, for adequate performance. This is more common in high-end audio than standard consumer-grade audio, but it’s something to be aware of.


Bass is the deep, thunderous aspect of sound that makes the windows in your car rattle. It’s the deep bassline you feel in your chest. Specifically, bass is a word that describes frequencies below 250 Hz. Sounds from bass guitars, 808 subs and kick drums sit in this range. 


Mid, or mid-range, frequencies make up a broad piece of the frequency range—anywhere from 250 Hz to 4 kHz. This part of the spectrum is divided even further into low-mid and high-mid frequencies. Because this range is so wide, several instruments and sources are a part of it, from crunchy electric guitars to mellow keys. 


Treble frequencies are high on the frequency spectrum and sit between 4 kHz and 20 kHz. Instruments such as cymbals, strings and flutes are the most prominent in this range. This area also includes the “presence” range where vocals shine through. 

Some speakers or audio devices specify a frequency response that extends beyond 20 kHz, which is the limit of human hearing. You might not be able to distinguish sounds in that 20 kHz area, but you’ll definitely notice a lack of detail in the sound recording when it’s missing. 

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