Are you searching for new and fascinating facts about speakers to impress your audiophile friends?
Or are you already a music enthusiast looking to build your repertoire of speaker facts? Well, whatever the reason, you have come to the right place.
Here are the six most fascinating speaker facts you should know:
- The first speaker was invented to amplify the telephone.
- The most expensive speaker costs $4.7 million.
- The world’s smallest speaker is the size of a quarter.
- Almost 200 million smart speakers were sold in 2021.
- The loudest speaker in the world goes up to 188Db.
- You can make a DIY Speaker with common household stuff.
Now, I’m sure you won’t be satisfied with these simple one-liners.
6 Speaker Facts: Explained
Let’s dive deep into each of these speaker facts, so you can learn more!
1. The First Speaker Was Invented To Amplify the Telephone
Did you know that the first speaker was not invented for listening to music but rather to amplify the telephone?
Let’s take a quick walk through the pages of history and see how speakers slowly evolved into what we know today.
The traditional speaker we know today is the electric loudspeaker. Johann Phillip Reis invented the first iteration of this electric loudspeaker in 1861 and installed it on his telephone. The gadget could reproduce clear tones, but the speech got a bit muffled.
Approximately 15 years later, in 1876, the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, patented his version of the electric loudspeaker and incorporated it into his telephone.
Bell’s speaker improved upon Reis’ invention by delivering clearer tones and intelligible speech.
Over 60 years later, in 1925, the dynamic speaker was invented by Edward W. Kellogg and Chester W. Rice.
The dynamic speaker is the most common form of loudspeakers used today.
2. The Most Expensive Speakers Cost $4.7 Million
Do you have around 5 million dollars lying around, burning a hole in your pocket?
Well, for that much, you can consider buying Hart Audio’s D&W Aural Pleasure to become the proud owner of the world’s most expensive speakers.
The creator of these speakers, David Hart, designed them to look like human ears. If you want two giant gold ears in your living room, there is nowhere else you’ll find them – that is, if you can find them.
There are only 105 pairs of Hart Audio D&W Aural Pleasure in the world.
99 of these are made using bronze, priced at $62,800 each.
Then we have 5, made using sterling silver which increases the price 5 fold to $313,900. And the final piece of the Hart Audio D&W Aural Pleasure is made using 18-carat gold, weighs in at 100kg, and comes with a mere price tag of $4.7 million.
3. The World’s Smallest Speaker Is the Size of a Quarter
The INSIQ World’s Smallest Portable Bluetooth Speaker is the smallest speaker in the world. The INSIQ speaker measures a diameter of 1.2 inches (3 cm), slightly wider than an American quarter, and weighs 2.1 oz (60 g).
But how loud can these speakers get? Well, it’s loud enough to drown out my iPhone X at max volume. That’s pretty impressive given the small form factor.
Other than that, the device comes with Bluetooth 5.0 for easy wireless pairing.
There’s also a dedicated button to help you take selfies. How cool is that!
I was also impressed with its battery backup. This tiny thing can offer up to 2 hours of continuous music playback!
I would have never guessed you could get that much life out of such a small footprint.
Here’s an 8-min YouTube video from Unbox Therapy giving a quick rundown of these speakers:
4. Almost 200 Million Smart Speakers Were Sold in 2021
The smart speaker market is the newest and most innovative sector of the speaker world.
Ever since companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon started producing these products, the smart speaker market steadily grew every year.
According to SP Global, worldwide shipments grew by about 12% in 2021. The projected smart speaker sales in 2021 were over 186 million units.
Additionally, the smart speaker market is still on a growth track. Statista.com reports market revenues to increase from $15.6 Billion in 2020 to $35.5 Billion in 2025.
That’s a 225%+ increase in revenue over five years!
Below is a Google trends graph for the search term “smart speaker” in the united states, representing the rapid increase in interest in smart speakers.
US Google Trends Data: 2004-Present “smart speaker” (Source)
5. The Loudest Speaker in the World Goes Up to 188DB
The loudest speaker in the world is a 60-inch set of subwoofers designed by Richard Clark, Mark Eldridge, and David Navone.
These 60-inch subwoofers are capable of producing sound up to 188 dB! That’s pretty loud! Especially when you consider that a Jetplane produces just 150dB during take-off, and that’s enough to rupture your eardrums.
These speakers were never mass-produced for sale, so you’ll struggle to get your hands on them.
However, if you ever manage to come by these subwoofers, be sure to wear some hearing protection, or it can melt your brain!
6. You Can Make a DIY Speaker With Common Household Stuff
At its core, speakers are very simple devices.
If you’re interested in building a speaker yourself, you can watch this awesome 5-min YouTube video on the subject:
Here’s a quick look at the different parts of a speaker:
- Dust Cap
- Cone (Surround)
- Top Plate
- Rear Plate
- Voice Coil
You can make objects 1-7 by recycling common household items like plastic bottles, paper, and cardboard.
For the voice coil, you can make a small cylinder using recycled paper and then wrap it around copper wiring to prepare the coil.
And finally, for the magnets, I recommend getting these super strong Neodymium discs from Amazon.
This isn’t exactly going to produce the next quality speakers that you might want to install into your car.