Horn speakers have 2 parts: the compression drivers and the horns themselves.
Horn speakers have several advantages over cone drivers speakers:
- The compression drivers in horn speakers have MUCH higher efficiency than cone drivers. Having much higher efficiency is a key advantage because this allows using low power tube single ended amplifiers (view Single Ended Amplifiers page for more information).
- Compression drivers' diaphragm is significantly lighter than the cone of regular cone drivers. Since music signals fluctuate constantly, a very light diaphragm means it can move (generate sound) much more closely with the music signal, resulting in a much more faithful reproduction of the music signal.
- The sound exiting horns is more focused than the sound exiting cone drivers. This results in better imaging and sound localization.
Horn speakers also have several disadvantages:
- High quality compression drivers and horns are very expensive to manufacture.
- 4-way systems require big bulky horns. This is especially true for 5-way systems.
- 4-way and especially 5-way systems are very difficult to implement. MANY brand name and DIY 4-way and 5-way systems are poorly implemented.