Why should I respect the polarity of my speakers ?

A loudspeaker works in the same way as a piston, producing movements from back to front in time with the frequencies whose vibrations it must reproduce. Each loudspeaker uses several drivers specialising in different frequency families: treble, bass and midrange.

To ensure that these drivers work together, we synchronise their behaviour. This is called "phasing". So they move forward and back in perfect harmony. 

An audio system uses two speakers, so it's essential to respect the correct + and - polarity between your amplifier and your speakers. 

The risk is that the speaker out of the headlights could conflict with the in-phase speaker, disrupting the frequencies broadcast and giving the impression that the in-phase speaker is further away and less powerful. This is known as "unbalancing".

Focal loudspeaker exploded view

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