Out of all 88 car audio terms, how many do you know?

  1. 2 Channel  – An amplifier with two channels. 
  2. 2-Way – Two speakers in a component system. 
  3. 3-Way  – Three speakers in a component system. 
  4. 4 Channel  – An amplifier with four channels. 
  5. 4th Order Bandpass  – An enclosure in which a sealed section is on one side of the subwoofer and a ported section is on the other.
  6. 6th Order Bandpass  – An enclosure in which there are two ported sections on both sides of the subwoofer. 
  7. Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) – A lead-acid battery that contains an electrolyte suspended in micro-glass fleece, as opposed to freely flooding the plates. 
  8. Active  – When speakers are connected directly to an amplifier and the crossover on the amplifier is used or a digital sound processor is used.  
  9. Alternator (Alt) – A generator of electrical power in a car that produces an alternating current. It is a major component of the vehicle’s charging system. 
  10. Ampere  – The SI base unit of electrical current.  
  11. A-Pillar  – The frontmost portion of the car, typically where tweeters are installed.  
  12. Band Pass – A combination of a low pass and high pass in which frequencies between a certain range are allowed to pass.  
  13. Bandwidth  – A range of frequencies within a given band.  
  14. Bass Boost  – Enhancement of low-frequency sound in a recording.  
  15. Battery  – A container consisting of one or more cells, in which chemical energy is converted into electricity and used as a source of power.  
  16. B-Pillar – Portion of the car that is behind the front seats, typically where a wall is installed. 
  17. Bridged – Process of combining a pair of channels in an amplifier to reduce resistance or impedance of the amp.   
  18. Capacitors  – A device used to store an electric charge, consisting of one or more pairs of conductors separated by an insulator.  
  19. Circuit  – A closed path that allows electricity to flow from one point to another.  
  20. Class A  – Amplifier that uses all of the audio signal input, all of the time. 
  21. Class A/B  – Amplifier that uses technology from both classes a and b.
  22. Class B  – Amplifier that uses two output devices that handle conducting signals alternately. 
  23. Class D – Amplifier that works by switching their output devices “on” and “off”.  
  24. Clipping  – Form of distortion that limits a signal once it exceeds a threshold.  
  25. Coaxial – Combination of a mid-range speaker and tweeter to form one speaker.  
  26. Coil – Wire wrapped around the former that reacts with the stationary magnet to move the former.  
  27. Component – Speaker and tweeter are separate from one another.  
  28. Copper Clad Aluminum (CCA) – An electrical conductor (wire) composed of an inner aluminum core and outer copper cladding. 
  29. C-Pillar – Portion of the car that is behind the back seats. 
  30. Crossover – An electronic device that is wired between the amplifier and speaker to ensure that bass frequencies are sent to bass speakers and treble frequencies are sent to treble speakers.  
  31. Current  – The movement of electrons through a circuit from the source and back to the source. 
  32. Decibel (dB) – A unit to measure the intensity of sound.  
  33. Deutch Industri Normen (DIN) – The size opening that a radio fits into.  
  34. Digital Multimeter (DMM) – Device that allows you to measure voltage, resistance, current, etc.  
  35. Digital Signal Processor (DSP) – A circuit that transforms/processes a digital audio signal to enhance the sound quality.  
  36. Distortion  – An undesired change in the waveform of an electrical signal  
  37. Distribution Block  – A convenient way to distribute power from a single input source to multiple outputs.  
  38. Double Din  – Size opening that a radio fits into that is approximately 4 inches high and 7 inches wide.  
  39. Dual Voice Coil  – A speaker design in which two lengths of wire are wrapped around the former, has a double positive and negative terminal.  
  40. Equalizer  – Manipulates frequencies, allowing you to boost or decrease certain frequency ranges to modify or enhance sound quality.  
  41. Former – A cylinder that accepts amplifier current, being moved upwards or downwards. 
  42. Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC)  – Large and high-definition way that information is stored for an audio track.  
  43. Full Range – A signal that goes 20 to 20000 hertz.  
  44. Gain – Determines the strength/sensitivity of the signal.  
  45. Gauge  – The thickness or size of the wire, the smaller the gauge the thicker and larger the wire.  
  46. Head Unit – Source device in the dash of a vehicle that plays signals.  
  47. Hertz – The SI unit of frequency, equal to one cycle per second occurring with a sound wave.  
  48. High Level  – Speaker-level input.  
  49. High Pass – Allows signals above a specific frequency to pass. 
  50. In Phase – When subwoofers are wired correctly and move in the same direction in sync.  
  51. Infinite Baffle  – Baffle that houses subwoofers with the trunk space serving as the enclosure.  
  52. Lead-Acid – A secondary battery in which the electrodes are plates or grids of lead immersed in dilute sulfuric acid. The anode is coated with lead dioxide and the cathode with spongy lead.  
  53. Level  – The volume or loudness of something.  
  54. Lithium-Ion – A secondary battery in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.  
  55. Low Level  – RCA level input.   
  56. Low Pass  – Allows signals below a specific frequency to pass. 
  57. Mid-Range Speaker  – A loudspeaker component designed to produce frequencies between 250 to 2000 hertz.  
  58. Monoblock  – An amplifier with one channel.  
  59. Ohm – The SI unit of electrical resistance, expressing the resistance in a circuit transmitting a current of one ampere when subjected to a potential difference of one volt.  
  60. Out of Phase – When a subwoofer is wired incorrectly and moves in the opposite direction or out of sync with other subwoofers as a result.  
  61. Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) – An electrical conductor (wire) in which oxygen content is removed from the copper to improve its conductivity.  
  62. Parallel – A closed circuit where the current divides into two or more paths before coming back together to complete the full circuit, devices are in constant contact with the main circuit pathway.  
  63. Passive  – When a crossover is utilized.  
  64. Phase  – Vibration of air.  
  65. Ported  – An enclosure in which the internal airspace is not completely isolated from the outside environment, instead it is purposefully ported to the outside environment.    
  66. Real-Time Analyzer – Measures frequency response output of a sound system.  
  67. Root Mean Square (RMS) – Signifies the size of a signal.  
  68. Sealed  – An enclosure in which the internal airspace is completely isolated from the outside environment.  
  69. Series  – A closed circuit where the current follows one path, devices are connected in a continuous row along the circuit loop.
  70. Short  – An accidental path created in a circuit, generating a connection where one did not exist before. 
  71. Single Din  – Size opening that a radio fits into that is approximately 2 inches high and 7 inches wide. 
  72. Single Voice Coil  – A speaker design in which one length of wire is wrapped around the former, has a single positive and negative terminal.  
  73. Slope – Sometimes referred to roll off, how quickly a frequency falls off.  
  74. Sound Deadening – Prevents vibrations inside of the vehicle and dampens noises outside of the vehicle.  
  75. Sound Pressure Level (SPL) – The measure of the pressure of a sound.  
  76. Sound Quality (SQ) – Characteristics of sound that allow the ear to distinguish sounds that have the same pitch and loudness.  
  77. Spider – A flexible ring that controls the movement of the cone and keeps the voice coil center. 
  78. Staging – Replicating the spatial aspects within a track.  
  79. Strapped  – Wiring two amplifiers together to achieve the power of both amps combined.  
  80. Subsonic – Traveling at a velocity below that of sound typically refers to low range frequencies.  
  81. Subwoofer – A loudspeaker component designed to reproduce low bass frequencies.  
  82. Surround  – Flexible ring that supports the front of the cone, securing it to the frame while still giving the cone the ability to move forward and backward.  
  83. Time Alignment – Sometimes called time delay, delay of drivers so that sound from both sides reaches the listener at the exact same time.  
  84. Tuning  – Devices such as crossovers and digital sound processors are being adjusted for optimal sound. 
  85. Tweeter – A loudspeaker designed to reproduce high frequencies.  
  86. Voltage (V) – The rate at which energy is drawn from a source that produces a flow of electricity in a circuit, expressed in volts.  
  87. Wall – Enclosure built behind the front seats of a vehicle that takes up the entire back seat (b-pillar), providing more air space.
  88. Watts RMS – The continuous power output of an amplifier or continuous power handling of speakers.   
Car Audio Terms you MUST Know

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