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How does sound travel from the musical device to the heaphone

  1. Apr 6, 2005 #1
    How does sound travel from the musical device to the heaphones through the wire? I'm trying to understand the process the music/sound goes through along the wire to the headphones.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2005 #2
    Do you know how or what A/C (alternating current) is? Do you know, or have you looked for information, how a speaker works?
  4. Apr 6, 2005 #3
    Yup, I know what an AC current is. I understand somewhat how a speaker works, though I'm no expert.

    By the way, I'm not looking for a technical description of what I asked in my question, a simple layman's explanation would suffice. This was a question I thought of while I was walking back from class today.

  5. Apr 6, 2005 #4


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    The sound is represented by a changing voltage on the wire. If the sound is middle A, for example, the voltage on the wire will be changing sinusoidally, with a frequency of 440 Hz. The loudness of the sound is represented by the amplitude of waveform.

    - Warren
  6. Apr 6, 2005 #5
    Hah, that's pretty cool... thanks.

    So why do some headphones sound better than others? Does it have to do with the material the actual headset is made out of, or is there some other method?

    Also... let's say I wanted to make my own headphone extension, so I could keep my mp3 player in my bookbag now that I don't wear a jacket anymore. Could I insert 2 new wires into the existing headphone wire and then tape it back up? Would this affect the sound? Would it even work?
  7. Apr 6, 2005 #6


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    Some headphones sound better than others for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of the speakers they use. Better speakers more faithfully reproduce the sound represented by the changing voltage on the wire connected to them. In addition, good headphones have well-designed earcup shapes and volumes to better channel the sound from the speaker into your ear. The problem is not trivial.

    And yes, you could simply splice in new wire in your headphone cable to make it longer. A better solution would be to simply buy an extension cable, which already has the proper connectors on both ends.

    - Warren
  8. Apr 6, 2005 #7
    Sound quality is a function of headphone materials. A better driving coil(better as in the manufacturer took the time to impediance match the coil) a better--more powerful--magnet on the voice cone, a stiffer material for the voice cone and a very pliable material used to attach the voice cone to the speaker parameter all improve sound quality. Also, the material that surronuds the speaker itself improves sound quality as does the shape of the surrounding material.

    As for your quest--you probably don't want to do that. It will work; however, taped up connections are bad for sound quality. You can buy extentions at radio shack for like $5.
  9. Apr 6, 2005 #8
    Thanks for the answers, guys.
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