Dynamic Receiver: How does it compare with an active loudspeaker driver?

A dynamic receiver is an acoustic transducer and while it shares many of the same electroacoustic parameters and subcomponents as the loudspeaker driver there are also some differences. But first let’s mention some of the similarities.

By way of construction, both the dynamic receiver and the loudspeaker driver have a motor structure comprising of a magnet system and voice coil. They also both have a diaphragm to move air. Mechanically, dynamic receivers and loudspeaker drivers can be similar in shape (round, rectangular or oval) or size (height or diameter). As far as electro-acoustic parameters are concerned both audio transducers can be tested for output SPL, frequency response, distortion and the like.

Now for the differences. Two major differences between a dynamic receiver and a loudspeaker are the application of each component and how each component should be tested for acoustic parameters.

On the one hand dynamic receivers are typically used in applications where the product is in close proximity to the human ears, for example, the common landline telephone where the handset is nestled to the ear. On the other hand loudspeakers find themselves used in application where the product is placed at some distance from the user’s ears, for example a portable boom box.

The other major difference between a dynamic receiver and a loudspeaker has to do with how each component should be tested for acoustic parameters. For loudspeakers the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard 60268-5 stipulates the driver should be mounted on a standard baffle. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T  P.57) specifies certain types of artificial ears to be used for testing dynamic receivers. Testing on dynamic receivers will be discussed in our next blog on dynamic receivers.

Other than these two major differences between a dynamic receiver and a loudspeaker other differences can be power handling capability and the impedance of the voice coil. Dynamic receivers generally have lower power handling capability when compared to a loudspeaker driver. By way of comparison the rated power of a dynamic receiver is in the milli watts range while loudspeaker drivers can be tens of watts. Further dynamic receivers can have voice coil impedance’s exceeding 32 ohms while loudspeaker drivers usually would have voice coil impedance’s between 4 to 8 ohms.

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