The loudspeaker is a small sound driver fitted within a mobile phone, or other communication device, which is used to produce sound. Traditionally, loudspeakers on mobile phones are used to produce sound alerts for events such as incoming calls, incoming messages and alarms.
Since mobile phones have started doubling as portable music players in recent years, users have begun using their built-in speakers for playback of music. Acknowledging this new type of use of the mobile phone loudspeaker, manufacturers have begin to equip their music or video-centric mobiles with more powerful loudspeakers or even a pair of loudspeakers for accurate stereo reproduction and enhanced spatial effects.
Loudspeakers are also used to reproduce voice calls out loud, thus allowing users to deal with calls hands-free or even have conference calls with others in the same room (that use of the mobile phone is called a speakerphone, which is not to be confused with a loudspeaker).
Loudspeaker implementation can vary from model to model. For example, in order to save space and make phones thinner, some manufacturers don't use a dedicated loudspeaker but instead use the earpiece speaker to produce sound alerts as well.
One way or another, whether you use it for fun, conference calls or just for plain ringing, there is one single thing that's important - loudness. We had explored this in depth in our reviews besides the casual subjective remark, but in 2007 we decided it was time we took a more scientific approach.
So we got ourselves a handy piece of equipment - a digital noise/loudness meter - in order to start measuring objectively that all-important aspect of modern handsets - how loud is the loudspeaker in reality.
So, for the record, here is how our test setup goes. We do our tests in one and the same quiet room taking sound measurements with the handset loudspeaker facing the microphone at a distance of exactly 1 m.
We do three different tests. For each test we make several consecutive measurements - we usually disregard the highest and the lowest readings and we take the average value of the rest.
The three tests are as follows:
1) A phone ringing. We use an old-school ringtone, resembling the ringing of an old phone. It seems that most phones do well when we use it.
2) Pink noise. We use a sample of pink noise. Our readings with it are pretty indicative on how well the handset loudspeaker would fare with standard music. Teenagers definitely appreciate a handset that will allow them to crank up the volume as high as possible.
3) Human voice, male. This is an important test, since if you tend the use the loudspeaker for speakerphone purposes, loudness is really important, regardless of whether you are in a conference room or in your car.
You can find the results of all the phones tested posted right here.
0 - 9
A-GPS (Assisted GPS) | A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) | AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) | Accelerometer | Airplane mode | Alarm Clock | Alphanumeric | AMOLED display (Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) | Analog | Android | Antenna | APN (Access Point Name) | Apple iOS | Audio jack | Auto-focus | AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile)
Calculator | Calendar | Call alerts | Calling Plan | Camera | Capacitive Touchscreen | Car Kit | Carrier | CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) | CDMA2000 | Cell | Chipset | cHTML (Compact HyperText Markup Language) | CIF (Common Intermediate Format) | Clamshell | CMOS (Complementary metal-oxidesemiconductor) | Color depth | Concatenated SMS | CPU (Central Processing Unit) | Crosstalk | CSTN (Color Super Twisted Nematic) | CTIA | Custom ringtones
D-Pad (Direction Pad) | DC-HSDPA (Dual Carrier or Dual Cell High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) | Digital Zoom | Display type | DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) | DNSe (Digital Natural Sound engine) | Downlink | DRM (Digital Rights Management) | Dual-band | Dual-Mode | Dual-SIM | DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) | Dynamic Memory
EDGE (Enhanced Data for Global Evolution) | EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) | EGPRS | EGSM (Extended GSM) | Email client | EMS (Enhanced Message Service) | EV-DO | EV-DV | Exchangeable covers | External Antenna Jack | External Display
FCC (Federal Communications Commission) | Feature Phone | Femtocell | Firefox OS | Firmware | Fixed-focus | Flash Memory | Flight mode | Flip-down phone | FM Radio | FM Transmitter | Form factor | FOTA (Firmware Over-The-Air) | FPS (Frames Per Second) | Frame Error Rate | Frequency | FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
H.263 | Half-QWERTY keyboard layout | Handwriting recognition | Haptics | Hot Spot | Hot Swap | HSCSD (High-Speed Circuit Switched Data) | HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) | HSDPA+ (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access Plus) | HSP (Headset Profile) | HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access) | HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) | Hz (Hertz)
Land line | LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) | LED (Light-Emitting Diode) | Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) | Li-Polymer (Lithium Polymer) | LiMo OS | Linux | Location-Based Services (LBS) | Lock code | Long SMS | Long term evolution (LTE) | Loudspeaker
Macro | Maemo OS | mAh | Mass Storage mode | MB (Megabyte) | Mbps (Megabit per second) | MeeGo OS | Megapixel | Memory card slot | Memory effect | Messaging | MHz (Megahertz) | Micro USB | microSD | microSDHC | Microsoft Exchange (Server) | MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) | MIDP (Mobile Information Device Profile) | Mil-Spec (MIL-STD) | Mini-USB | miniSD | MMC | MMCmobile | MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) | Mobile games | Mobile IM (Instant Messaging) | Mobile WiMAX | Modem | Monochrome | MP3 (MPEG Layer 3) | MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) | MPEG-4 video | Multitouch input method | Music playback time (battery life) | Music Player
Packet Data | Pager | PC Sync | PCS (Personal Communications Service) | PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) | Phone Book Access (PBA) | Phonebook | PIM (Personal Information Manager/Management) | PIN code (Personal Identification Number) | Pixel | Pixel density (PPI) | Polyphonic ringtones | POP3 (Post Office Protocol) | Port | Predictive text input | PTT (Push-To-Talk) | PUK Code (PIN UnlocK Code) | Push
RAM (Random-Access Memory) | RBDS (Radio Broadcast Data System) | RDS (Radio Data System) | Resistive touchscreen | Resolution | Ringer ID | Ringing profiles | Ringtone | Roaming | ROM (Read-Only Memory) | RS-MMC (Reduced-Size Multi Media Card) | RSA (Rural Service Area) | RSS (Rich Site Summary) | Ruggedized (Rugged)
S60 user interface | SAP (SIM Access Profile) | SAR (Specific absorption rate) | Screen protection | SD (Secure Digital) | Secondary camera | Sensors | Side Keys | SIM | SIM lock | Single-Band | Skin | Smartphone | SMIL | SMS (Short Messaging Service) | SNS (Social network service) | Soft keys | Soft Reset | Speed Dial | Stand-by time (battery life) | Stereo Speakers | Streaming Video | Stylus | Sub-QCIF | SVGA | Symbian | SyncML
Talk time (battery life) | TCP/IP | TD-SCDMA (Time Division-Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) | TEST | Tethering | Text messaging (texting) | TFD (Thin Film Diode) | TFT (Thin Film Transistor) | Theme | To-Do list | Touchscreen | Trackball | Transflash | Transflective | Tri-band