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Definition: electrostatic speaker


An electrostatic loudspeaker uses a thin plastic diaphragm residing between two perforated metal sheets (the grids or stator plates). The audio signal is applied to the grids out of phase. While one grid causes the diaphragm to push, the other causes it to pull, thus moving air and creating sound. Due to the short traveling distance of the diaphragm compared to the voice coil of the common dynamic speaker, electrostatic speakers have considerably less distortion. They are also very thin, but their bass response is not as great. Units with electrostatic midrange and high-frequency drivers combined with dynamic bass drivers are widely used. Contrast with dynamic speaker. See electrostatic.




A Thin Plastic Diaphragm
Many aficionados love the electrostatic speaker's unique diaphragm design; however, the bass frequencies do not match the intense booming of a good subwoofer.






Combo Electrostatic and Dynamic
To get the best of both worlds, this MartinLogan speaker combines an electrostatic speaker for midrange and high frequencies with a conventional dynamic coil driver for bass frequencies. (Image courtesy of MartinLogan, Ltd., www.martinlogan.com)






Electrostatic and Dynamic Speakers
There is a huge difference between electrostatic speakers and the more common dynamic "cone" speaker. For more information, see dynamic speaker.