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Chapter 2: How Loudspeakers Work > 2.5 Horn Loudspeakers

2.5  Horn Loudspeakers

An acoustic horn is used to improve the coupling efficiency between a drive unit and the air. It acts as an acoustic transformer that provides mechanical impedance matching, converting large pressure variations over a small area into low pressure variations over a large area, giving a greater acoustic output from a given driver. Horns have a low-frequency limit set by the flare rate and the mouth size; the slower the flare rate, the lower the frequencies a horn can reproduce for a given length. A horn with an area flare rate of 30% per foot is considered to be effective down to about 30 Hz. The flare may have an exponential or tractrix flare; conical flares, as used on old phonographs, have a poorer low frequency response. The flare in Figure 2.1e is illustrative only.


  

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