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The focus of this article is on loudspeaker sensitivity. Loudspeaker manufacturers sometimes exaggerate the specifications of their products to make them look better than they really are.
This article outlines our test procedure in determining a subwoofers room size recommendation based on its max CEA SPL output while making room size and subwoofer distance assumptions.
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The presentation of loudspeaker measurements varies wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer. This means that, without independent analysis, consumers are left comparing specifications that were obtained using completely different methods that yield different looking results. In an effort to alleviate this confusion, it is our goal to provide readers with consistent measurement information for each loudspeaker reviewed allowing direct comparison from review to review. As a part of this commitment, the Audioholics Loudspeaker Measurement Standard presented in this article provides the nuts and bolts of the techniques used to measure loudspeakers. Our measurements will include : On-Axis Frequency Response, Sensitivity, Listening Window Response, Polar Response, Impedance & Electrical Phase and Distortion Analysis. We discuss how these measurements will be conducted, including the test equipment and calibration procedure used in case the reader or manufacturer wishes to reproduce our results. Please feel free to share your comments in this articles related thread.
Stuck on jargon like Ohm's Law, Impedance and Electrical Phase? Have you ever wondered what makes a loudspeaker “difficult to drive”? Do you wonder what’s so special about an amplifier that is stable into a 4 ohm load? If these are the kinds of questions that leave you mystified, this may be the article for you. Things are far more complicated than saying “Speaker X is 100dB sensitive, so you could power it with a potato!” Fortunately, there is nothing extraordinarily difficult involved in answering these questions: as long as you have rudimentary math skills and knowledge of the right equations, you will be able to look at a few basic measurements of a loudspeaker, namely the impedance curve, electrical phase curve, and voltage sensitivity, and determine what kind of amplification you’ll need to get the job done.
Loudspeaker manufacturers sometimes exaggerate the specifications of their products to make them look better than they really are. Some are more honest than others in this regard. The focus of this article is on loudspeaker sensitivity and what to look for in this rating so the consumer can make a more educated purchasing decision when comparing products. We propose an ideal solution every speaker company every loudspeaker company can easily follow, giving all of us one very specific, agreed-upon, universally-recognized way of measuring and stating sensitivity. If all speaker companies did this, then consumers would have a reliable, transparent way to compare sensitivity ratings from different manufacturers, and reviewers would have a concrete benchmark against which to verify their test result findings against the manufacturer’s claims. But, alas, not everyone does—so caveat emptor!
The tip for today is NOT to get too bent out of shape on loudspeaker specifications and measurements. Measurements and specifications are important tools in the decision making process for purchasing audio equipment. They can help those with the knowledge to interpret them identify potential performance issues. However, not all measurements and specifications are created equally. In the end, what matters most is whether or not you are pleased with the sound emanating from your speakers in your listening space.
Tip of the Day: Corner load a small but potent sub to take advantage of low frequency room gain. Keep the wife happy aesthetically while getting the deep tactile bass you desire. This can be accomplished with a small sub employing a HPF with a gradual rolloff. The EMP ES1010i is one example that works well in such situations. Check out the EMP ES1010i Subwoofer: http://www.emptek.com/es1010i.php
Sealed vs ported loudspeakers, which one is better? This is an age-old question one which sparks debates not only among consumers but designers themselves. There are certainly points on each side of the argument to consider. The debate of ported vs. sealed is intrinsically relevant and interesting, regardless of the arbitrary brand involved. This article provides a historical perspective on the genesis of the sealed loudspeaker design and how it compares with conventional ported designs.
In an ideal world we would have three (3) identical speakers with a vertical arrangement of drivers for the front left, front right and center speakers; hence the term "matching LCR's". In this idealistic world, there are no diseases, no poverty and no money. But, you do have to worry about the occasional Borg assimilation or Dominion take-over of the Alpha quadrant. In reality, our viewing screen prohibits us from having a tall center channel speaker and our lack of warp drive keeps us far enough away from the bad aliens. This article takes you on a tour of the most common center channel driver arrangements and discusses their associated pros and cons to help you pick the best product for your needs.
Comb Filtering and Acoustical Interference are two audio terms that relate to the manner in which two or more sound sources (such as two separate speakers or two drivers within a single speaker system) interact and affect each other. The importance and audibility of these phenomena are the subject of this article, and they are a source of a continuing difference of opinion among well-respected equipment designers and acoustic theorists/researchers. Dealing with potential acoustical interference issues of multiple drivers in the same loudspeaker cabinet is something any serious designer should be concerned about and not just brushed off as a measurement artifact that doesn’t have real world implications.
This article focuses attention on loudspeaker drivers while continuing the series on “Identifying Legitimately High Fidelity Loudspeakers. We take you on a tour of all the various aspects in driver design and the trade-offs associated with each type. We discuss why budget minded designs often employ stamped frame baskets as opposed to better but more costly cast frame alternatives. We also go into more detail on driver mechanics to gain a better understanding of what’s inside the loudspeaker driver to make it work. Getting a peek at the guts inside a speaker system you are considering purchasing can tell you a lot about the budget allocated towards the drivers in the design. If the manufacturer doesn’t supply such images, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Better parts truly can yield better performance in the hands of a competent designer which are more common these days with the advent of inexpensive measurement equipment and knowledge of the basics in loudspeaker mechanics 101.