Category: Company Updates

Sounding Off: Three Things You Didn't Know About Electric Horns

As required components for on-road vehicles, chances are you have come across audible warning devices in some form or fashion. But here’s what you may not know about these essential electrical parts.

1. Major Differences Between Fanfare & Disc Horns

Every single electric horn is classified as either disc or fanfare (both seen in figure 1). The disc horn is the more common and cost effective of the two. The sound comes straight from the diaphragm, which is located behind a protective plate. Typical applications include but are not limited to scooters, motorcycles, construction and agricultural equipment, and passenger cars. 

Fanfare horns, also known as trumpet or snail horns, are essentially the same as the disc horn except for the plastic piece that covers the diaphragm. This piece, which has a tuba-like shape, provides a pathway and a funneled opening for the sound to travel through. Figure 2 depicts the inside of the cover. The result is a richer, deeper and slightly more powerful sound. 

2. Horns Have Multiple Configurations

When purchasing an electric horn, every type is offered in two different tones: high or low. The low tone horns will typically produce sound in the range of 350-400 Hz and high tone horns will be within 400-500 Hz. 

Another configuration requirement to identify is the type of electrical connection. Be sure to note how the horn will be connected to the power supply when selecting your horn and connection type. Quick connect (QC) terminals or wire connectors are the most common options, but Chief can work with you to determine the best solution for your audible warning device.

3. Two Horns Does NOT Mean Twice As Loud

Some vehicles are equipped with two horns. However, the addition of the second horn will only raise the sound pressure of the noise emitted by 2-3 dB. When two horns are mounted in the vehicle, more often than not, one is high tone and one is low tone. The combination creates a richer, higher quality sound, allowing for a more effective warning amongst external noises such as music or construction.