What causes this inertia? A driver's moving mass and the spring action of its suspensions aka spider and surround. This is true for all dynamic loudspeakers, even those with added horns which increase their sensitivity. Planar loudspeakers like electrostatic or magnetostatic designs lack this type of masking and are merciless when it comes to exposing/transducing noise.

To clean up the act of power supplies not performing all that well, an entire aftermarket has arisen which caters to cleaning up the incoming utility power before it hits our gear. This can be accomplished in the active or passive domains. Active solutions include power regenerators. In the passive department we might find large isolation transformers, capacitor banks, crystals, LEDs and power cables with inline filtration.

Most such noise reduction is focused on the two active leads of the live and neutral power lines. The third lead called ground or earth is mostly left alone. Ground is ground, is it not? It so happens that ground is not just ground but also a safety measure to, in the worst case, prevent electrocution. The ground plane has its own energy level which isn't constant. The cabling and wiring of equipment grounds has a direct impact on the energy level of the overall ground. Combined, an audio system thus lacks a stable zero reference unless all equipment is lifted from its individual ground connections to instead be wired up to a single so-called star point. Only that will now connect to ground as a shared reference for all equipment. Now the ground potential is equalized but the ground connection is still not clean. That needs additional measures.

Though very effective, star grounding is an invasive operation. Fortunately there are other means to equalize uneven ground potentials across equipment and simultaneously clean up the ground signal; simpler ways. Into this latter category belong the devices developed and marketed by Dutch firm Akiko Audio. We already witnessed many positive outcomes with their products like the recently reviewed Phono Booster which cleans up a phono stage's signal ground. That worked as advertised and we heard an improvement which cleaned up the music signal's rough edges and passed more micro detail.