Phase is really tough to talk about.
One reason is, we’ve confused the words “polarity” and “phase” for decades.
The polarity of a speaker refers to the (+) and (-) terminals. If you connect them to the (+) and (-) wires, respectively, you have observed proper polarity.
Let’s assume we have two identical subwoofers, in the same enclosure, close to each other on the same side of the enclosure, sharing a baffle. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume they are single voice coil woofers.
If they are connected observing proper polarity, both cones will move outward when the amp’s voltage swings positive, and both cones will pull inward when the voltage swings negative.
If you accidentally connect one woofer’s voice coil backwards, so that its cone pulls inward when the voltage swings positive, and pushes outward when the voltage swings positive, you now have two woofers which are fighting each other.
Both are trying to create air-pressure changes, but the work one is doing cancels out the work the other is doing. Because they are close to each other and on the same baffle, and because the distance they are separated is nearly nothing compared to the wavelengths they are playing, almost complete cancellation occurs.
And this is a pretty common error made in car audio. Almost everyone has had this experience. We ...
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