A typical speaker driver, with a metal basket, heavy permanent magnet and paper diaphragm

Making Sound: Diaphragm

A driver produces sound waves by rapidly vibrating a flexible cone, or diaphragm.

  • The cone, usually made of paper, plastic or metal, is attached on the wide end to the suspension.
  • The suspension, or surround, is a rim of flexible material that allows the cone to move, and is attached to the driver's metal frame, called the basket.
  • The narrow end of the cone is connected to the voice coil.
  • The coil is attached to the basket by the spider, a ring of flexible material. The spider holds the coil in position, but allows it to move freely back and forth.

Some drivers have a dome instead of a cone. A dome is just a diaphragm that extends out instead of tapering in.