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What Are Bipolar Speakers?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 July 2014
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Bipolar speakers are projection units that are part of an audio system. Sometimes used in commercial settings, speakers of this type are often included as part of a home theater that is equipped with a specific audio solution known as surround sound. One of the characteristics that distinguish bipolar surround speakers from other types of audio speakers is the direction in which the sound is projected.

Unlike other types of speakers, bipolar speakers do not project sound from the front side only. Instead, the drivers that power the speakers are located on the opposite sides, with front and back or left and right being the two main configurations. The two drivers are normally synced so they fire or project sound in a specific phase or pattern, a feature that helps to ensure the overall high quality of the sound production. This is in contrast to the dipole speaker, where sound is projected from one side of the device and is aimed in one general direction.

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One of the more common uses of bipolar speakers is with a home theater audio system. The configuration of the speakers makes it relatively easy to mount the speakers at strategic but discreet positions along the walls of the room. This can help to enhance the sense of sound emitting from all around the space, rather than from projecting from one or two locations. As a result, the sound reproduction has a clarity and sense of fullness that is very difficult to achieve with standard speakers.

In addition to bipolar speakers that are designed for wall mounting, there are also bipolar tower speakers. Equipment of this type is often ideal for larger spaces, like an assembly hall or a conference chamber. By directing sound in multiple directions, people within the space do not have to be near the speakers in order to hear the audio presentation clearly. Smaller tower systems are also available for use around the house, either as a permanent set-up in a room or a temporary set up for a backyard party.

While some bipolar speakers are constructed to function with only one particular make and model of home theater systems, others are configured to work with a wide range of systems, including televisions, stereos, computers, and any other device that receives an audio signal. In years past, speakers of this type tended to be somewhat expensive, making them more of a luxury item. Advancements in technology have made it possible to manufacture the speakers at a lower cost, which in turn has helped retail prices for the devices to drop considerably.

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