The speaker’s house pumps things up
But what about the box that all that stuff goes in? The way an enclosure is constructed has a huge impact on the quality of the sound. Often, physical compartments are built into speakers (called ports, seen in that pic up there), and these compartments take air produced by the speaker cones and amplify it to generate louder or lower frequency vibrations. This essentially adds depth and volume (read: a ton of bass from that tiny box) to transducers with more limited capabilities. And that’s important, because if you push a transducer past its capabilities, it’ll start to sound distorted.
Sound systems use fancy shmancy digital signal processing
To push sound even further, speakers employ digital signal processing (DSP). Freeman told us that Bose uses a special form of DSP called “dynamic equalization” in their new SoundTouch series to help your music sound as ear-catching as possible. Essentially, it adjusts the system’s equalization shape (the prevalence of its highs, mids, and/or lows) depending on the volume of the music. For example, since bass frequencies are less apparent to the human ear, when music is very quiet you might not even hear the bass under all those rich mids and highs. Dynamic EQ will automatically boost that bass at lower volumes to keep things sounding right. And that’s just one trick; Bose was notably tightlipped about their other DSP secrets.