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Thread: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

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    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    Light-emitting diodes, or LED's, have recently become a popular alternative to other lighting technologies, because of their numerous advantages. Therefore, I wonder if the same may happen with sound-producing semiconductors; if they shall ever be as feasible as are light-producing semiconductors.

    Currently, sound-producing semiconductors do exist, and the most notable type are piezoelectric buzzers, but the quality of their sound, from my experience, is nowhere near the quality of the sound of traditional electronic loudspeakers, so I now ask: will sound-producing semiconductors ever be a viable alternative to traditional speakers, as they become more efficient and advanced, as semiconductors usually do, or will traditional loudspeakers always be superior? What does everyone else say about that?
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    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    I think that the purpose will sort of dictate the design, and the only way to get big sound, is from a big surface. Yes, small buzzers and speakers can be loud, but not at LOW frequencies.

    Perhaps an electrostatic speaker is a good example of this? Essentially a piezo buzzer on a larger scale? Electrostats tend to be very high in quality for audio output, but they are complex, expensive, and potentially dangerous with the voltages involved.

    The joy of LED's is their simplicity... much as typical loudspeakers are simply a sound producing diaphram attached to a moveable magnetic coil.
    Last edited by Luke122; 10-09-2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Typo..

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    Water Cooled Stonerboy779's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    Considering I find myself constantly looking for vintage audio gear I don't rate the chances of audio progressing anywhere meaningful for ages haha.

    Also sincerely hope we don't ever move to sound producing semiconductors, maybe in a phone or something but never for any other purpose ever.

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    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerboy779 View Post
    Also sincerely hope we don't ever move to sound producing semiconductors, maybe in a phone or something but never for any other purpose ever.
    So if some breakthrough led to extremely precise audio of better quality than conventional speaker technology, you'd rather it just didn't happen? What if we had just decided the steam engine, sewage in gutters or the adding machine were good enough?
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

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    Console God LiTHiUM0XiD3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    there will always be die hard fans.... look at steam punk.... we will never make it to space with a steam engine and yet ppl still fantasize about copper, brass, rivets and stunning women in sexy clothes with 50 function goggles...
    Quote Originally Posted by nevermind1534 View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if somebody sigquotes part of this.

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    Mentally Underclocked mDust's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiTHiUM0XiD3 View Post
    there will always be die hard fans.... look at steam punk.... we will never make it to space with a steam engine and yet ppl still fantasize about copper, brass, rivets and stunning women in sexy clothes with 50 function goggles...
    So people have trouble separating fantasy from reality? Sure, I'd love to live in a few different fantasy worlds, but I don't. Instead of trying in vain to make this world into an impossible fantasy, I'll just wait for real technology to develop virtual reality...then probably wait for the price to come down for a year or two.
    I'll procrastinate tomorrow.

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    Water Cooled Stonerboy779's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    Quote Originally Posted by mDust View Post
    So if some breakthrough led to extremely precise audio of better quality than conventional speaker technology, you'd rather it just didn't happen? What if we had just decided the steam engine, sewage in gutters or the adding machine were good enough?
    I work on the priniciple of being realistic and knowing some of the physics behind sound reproduction.

    Now we have piezo electric buzzer and tweeters. They are often looked on poorly even compared to relitively cheap soft dome tweeters. The range also means they're not feasible as fullrange nor even mid speakers.

    Even if they end up producing fullrange piezoelectric or similar semi contuctor speaker. I cannot see a way in which they would possibly match the frequencies or spl that conventional cone, horn, ribbon dome and electrostatic speakers can currently produce very accurately especially in properly designed cabs.

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    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerboy779 View Post
    I work on the priniciple of being realistic and knowing some of the physics behind sound reproduction.

    Now we have piezo electric buzzer and tweeters. They are often looked on poorly even compared to relitively cheap soft dome tweeters. The range also means they're not feasible as fullrange nor even mid speakers.

    Even if they end up producing fullrange piezoelectric or similar semi contuctor speaker. I cannot see a way in which they would possibly match the frequencies or spl that conventional cone, horn, ribbon dome and electrostatic speakers can currently produce very accurately especially in properly designed cabs.
    So, you believe that sound-producing semiconductors shall never able to compare to traditional loudspeakers, unlike the fact that LED's are completely superior to incandescent or CFL lighting?
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

    "Those who would trade their freedoms for security will have neither." -Benjamin Franklin

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    Water Cooled Stonerboy779's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    Quote Originally Posted by DemonDragonJ View Post
    So, you believe that sound-producing semiconductors shall never able to compare to traditional loudspeakers, unlike the fact that LED's are completely superior to incandescent or CFL lighting?
    That's exactly what I feel. I cannot envision a future where semiconductors wholly replace traditional speakers. Nor do I want to envision one. It may enter the consumer market in some form other than buzzers but I don't hold any hope for it ever going anywhere.

    LEDs on the other hand I am very happy with and want to see them continue to develop.

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    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will Sound-Producing Semiconductors Ever be Feasible?

    My understanding is that digital processing technology is able to optimize things in clever and magical ways which can make superior sound from inferior surfaces. Moore's Law constantly improves All Things Digital ... while semiconductor material tech kinda plods forward at a glacial yet unstoppable rate. I suppose that engineering and real life will impose tradeoffs and limitations, but I think you no longer require a larger speaker surface to obtain audio fidelity; the little stuff can reproduce similar amplitude across wide frequency ranges.

    Having said all that, I agree that - now and for the next few decades - you need nice big fat speakers to get nice big fat sound.
    My mind says Technic, but my body says Duplo.

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