Bullhorn, megaphone, speaking-trumpet, loudhailer and blowhorn are all names of a cone-shaped acoustic horn that amplifies sound or a person’s voice in a particular direction. This is a great tool used at public gatherings and rallies to direct the crowd. But, have you ever wondered how a megaphone amplifies sound so well? How it works and where it came from? No idea, right?
At RTC Electronics, we not only offer bullhorns for sale but also provide rich information about this useful device. Let us help you know everything about bullhorns with the help of this blog post.
The reason why bullhorns provide powerful sound reinforcement and amplification is the mechanism that works inside it. When a person speaks, the sound waves move from the narrow area of your mouth to the open space outside which causes some of the waves to reflect back toward your mouth. However, when you speak into the narrow end of the horn, the sound waves don’t immediately move to the vast open space and travel down to the cone instead. In this way, the sound waves don’t reflect backward, thus increasing the volume of your voice. The cone shape of the horn also acts as a funnel that channels the sound you make and focuses it towards the direction of the wide end. As a result, your voice is amplified effectively towards the target or in the direction you want.
The invention of bullhorns is subject to historical controversy as there are references of initial designs of acoustic horns in Ancient Greece and a drawing of a Native America chief by Louis Nicolas. However, the credit of inventing megaphone goes to both Samuel Morland and Athanasius Kircher (in the 17th century). Kircher used a cochleate design featuring a twisted and coiled horn to make it more compact. On the other hand, Morland used a straight, tube-shaped design.
The Term ‘Megaphone’
In 1878, Thomas Edison developed a speaking trumpet-like device with the aim of benefitting the deaf or people who are hard of hearing. The device was a variation of the traditional horn as it included three separate funnels placed one after another. The enormous design of this device featured two outer funnels made of paper, eight and six inches long respectively. These funnels were connected to a tube inserted in each ear. The third funnel in the middle was similar to the speaking trumpet developed by Morland. The difference was that Edison’s device had a larger slot to insert a person’s mouth compared to Morland’s device. The Edison horn was a powerful one as even a low whisper can be amplified to be heard approximately a thousand feet away. That’s why the term ‘megaphone’ is associated with Edison.
The bullhorns that we know today are modified versions of the traditional acoustic megaphone featuring a microphone, an amplifier powered by a battery and a loudspeaker. The microphone converts sound waves into electrical audio signals, the amplifier increases the power of the audio signal and the loudspeaker converts these audio signals into sound waves again to amplify the human voice to a higher level (more than 90 dB). Unlike the conventional bullhorns that were bigger in size, the modern devices are handheld and are generally used to address a larger audience at street demonstrations, outdoor sporting events and movie sets.
Features to Look for When Purchasing Bullhorns
When purchasing a bullhorn, you must look for five features in the device. These features not only increase your convenience but also enhance the utility of the megaphone. Here are some specifications you should consider before making the purchase.
- Adjustable Volume Control is an important feature that allows you to control the volume of your amplified voice. If the crowd you’re addressing is far from you and it’s noisy out there, then you can set the volume high or keep it low if the audience is nearby.
- Portability of the bullhorn is essential to consider because if the device is heavy, you’ll be unable to comfortably carry it. Make sure that you buy a lightweight bullhorn with convenient shoulder and wrist straps for increased portability.
- Recording feature in bullhorns come in handy if you’re frequently repeating an announcement. It can record your short message and playback in a loop.
- Built-in Siren helps to get a crowd’s attention as the alarm is louder and more noticeable.
- Detachable Microphone is a useful feature that allows you to move the megaphone away from your face so that you can direct your voice in different directions.
Hopefully, this blog post has helped you gather a lot of interesting details about bullhorns. This powerful tool is a must have when you’re addressing a public gathering. If you’re a speaker, orator or active participant of rallies, megaphones are your best companion. Get one for yourself today if you don’t have it. But, make sure you purchase one with the above-mentioned features.
At RTC Electronics, we offer lightweight megaphones with built-in siren, detachable microphone, adjustable volume control, rechargeable battery, 10-second integrated audio memory recording, portable design and ergonomic pistol grip. You can take a look at our collection of horn speakers on sale. Different types of speakers from top brands are available at affordable prices.