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Understanding Subwoofer Review Distortion Measurements Part III

In this article, we attempt to shed some light on subwoofer distortion graphs so any reader can follow them to get a better understanding of how

Understanding Subwoofer Review Distortion Measurements Part III
Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part II

The waterfall plots and polar maps often seen in Audioholics' speaker reviews are colorful and visually interesting, but what can they really

Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part II
Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part I

Audioholics’ speaker reviews often contain detailed measurement graphs. In this article, we explain frequency response and the set of curves

Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part I

Recent Speaker Design Articles

Understanding Subwoofer Review Distortion Measurements Part III

Understanding Subwoofer Review Distortion Measurements Part III

In our subwoofer reviews, we post a very comprehensive set of measurements that illuminates the full range of a subwoofer's performance. We have noticed that one of the graph sets in our subwoofer reviews have been a bit cryptic for much of our readership, however, for those who understand what is being displayed, they are some of the most illuminating graphs in looking at how well the subwoofer maintains accuracy from low loudness levels to its maximum limits. In this article, we attempt to shed some light on these graphs so any reader can follow them to get a better understanding of what their subwoofer is actually doing.

In this article, we attempt to shed some light on subwoofer distortion graphs so any reader can follow them to get a better understanding of how the subwoofer objectively perform in our reviews.

— June 26, 2019 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part II

Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part II

The waterfall plots and polar maps often seen in Audioholics' speaker reviews are colorful and visually interesting, but what can they really tell us about a loudspeaker's performance? In this article, we explain the meaning of these graphs. We try to help you understand what to look for in determining the sound character of speakers from the information displayed in these graphs, so you can use them to find the right speaker for your system.

The waterfall plots and polar maps often seen in Audioholics' speaker reviews are colorful and visually interesting, but what can they really tell us about a loudspeaker's performance?

— June 12, 2019 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part I

Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part I

Over the last couple of years, Audioholics’ speaker reviews have contained measurement graphs that have prompted questions from many readers about the meaning and importance of the information displayed in them. Some readers have found the information in them confusing, and that is our fault for not recognizing how cryptic these sort of representations are for an average reader. In this article, we explain frequency response and the set of frequency response curves known as the 'Spin-O-Rama' curves.

Audioholics’ speaker reviews often contain detailed measurement graphs. In this article, we explain frequency response and the set of curves known as the 'Spin-O-Rama' to help you pick better product.

— May 24, 2019 21:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Speaker Grilles On Or Off: Which Way Sounds Better?

Speaker Grilles On Or Off: Which Way Sounds Better?

Do grilles on speakers really make a difference on or off? Most home audio loudspeaker grilles are removable so their use is optional for most applications. Given how fussy audio enthusiasts can be though the use of grilles has been a point of strong personal preference for as long as there have been home audio loudspeakers. This article will help resolve the issue of whether or not to remove them for critical listening and how they affect the overall sound.

Do speakers sound better with their grilles on or off? This article compares the two options to scientifically determine which way is best and what other factors can impact sound more dramatically.

— February 18, 2019 08:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Epique CBT24 Loudspeaker Designer Note by Don Keele

Epique CBT24 Loudspeaker Designer Note by Don Keele

As an addendum to our review of the Dayton Audio CBT24 "Epique" loudspeakers, we have invited the CBT24 designer Don Keele to explain some of the unique aspects of the CBT design in more depth and the CBT24 in particular. Don Keele's accomplishments in loudspeaker design is a long list, as is the list of awards he has received in this endeavor which includes a Scientific and Technical Acadamy Award from the Acadamy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for work he did on constant-directivity horns. In this short piece, Don explains some of the features and science behind the CBT24 and what performance characteristics separates it from conventional loudspeaker design.

As an addendum to our review of the Dayton Audio CBT24 "Epique" loudspeakers, we have invited the CBT24 designer Don Keele to explain some of the unique aspects of the CBT design in more depth.

D. B. (Don) Keele, Jr. — April 27, 2018 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

A Historical Perspective of the Loudspeaker Impedance Specification

A Historical Perspective of the Loudspeaker Impedance Specification

Audio specifications run the gamut from merely “nice to know” to “genuinely useful.” A speaker’s impedance rating should be one of those genuinely useful specs, but you can’t always trust them. What does it really mean when a company rates their speaker as 8 ohms, or 4 ohms? Read on to get an "insider's look" at loudspeaker impedance spec rating and the marketing behind it that you won't read anywhere else.

Audio specifications run the gamut from merely “nice to know” to “genuinely useful.” A speaker’s impedance rating should be one of those genuinely useful specs, but you can’t always trust them.

— December 07, 2017 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Study Shows No Correlation Between Price and Sound Quality in Headphones

Study Shows No Correlation Between Price and Sound Quality in Headphones

In a recent study of the frequency responses of over 280 headphones, it was found that price had no correlation to frequency response. Why is this a big deal? Earlier research found that frequency response was by far the greatest factor in headphone sound quality. So if price does not correspond to sound quality in headphones, what is really gained by spending hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars one a set, beyond build quality, comfort and features? Read on to find out more about the research that prompts these questions.

In a recent study of the frequency responses of over 280 headphones, it was found that price had no correlation to frequency response (a primary indicator of sound quality). So why spend more money?

— July 05, 2017 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Loudspeakers & Power Ratings Part III: The Test Results

 Loudspeakers & Power Ratings Part III: The Test Results

In parts one and two, the case was made for the idea that real power handling in loudspeakers was intimately tied to the nature of the signal, as well as the electromechanical parameters of the speaker under test. In the final part of this three part article, Paul performs an experiment to determine if the underlying theory has merit, or if he is simply full of hot air. Be sure to check out our recently added YouTube video discussion on matching amplifier power to loudspeakers.

In parts 1 & 2 we discuss power handling in speakers and how the test signal affects the results. Now we test with measurements and blow up drivers to find the answers. Updated with YouTube video.

paul — July 18, 2016 06:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Pros & Cons of Various Center Channel Designs

Pros & Cons of Various Center Channel 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 and recently added YouTube Video discussion 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.

This article and YouTube Video takes you on a tour of the most common center channel driver arrangements and discusses their strengths and weaknesses to help make the best selection for your needs.

— April 13, 2016 10:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Audio Measurements: The Useful vs. the Bogus in Consumer Audio

Audio Measurements: The Useful vs. the Bogus in Consumer Audio

It's every audiophile's dream to own a loudspeaker that measures ruler flat from 20Hz to 20kHz. It's not uncommon for the audio magazines to regurgitate the manufacturers claims either in text or with measurements to emphasize product positives. It's my belief that most of the manufacturers and audio magazines aren't flat out lying or being deceptive as much as they aren't giving you the whole story likely because of lack of proper measurement facilities or techniques at their disposal. It's easier to furnish pretty graphs because quite frankly to paraphrase Jack Nicholson "you (consumers) can't handle the truth". In most cases these measurements do have a grain of truth if you place a lot of conditions and caveats on them that are often not disclosed. In this article and recently related YouTube Video discussion we explore various measurement and graphing techniques. Can you handle the truth? If so, read on...

Manufacturers and most A/V publications love to publish ruler flat frequency response curves to highlight product positives. This article and YT video explores the limitations of these measurements.

— March 29, 2016 08:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Loudspeaker Drivers: Identifying Legitimately High Fidelity Parts

Loudspeaker Drivers: Identifying Legitimately High Fidelity Parts

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 and discuss this in detail in our recently added YouTube Video Discussion. 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. 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.

This article focuses attention on loudspeaker drivers defining the basic core elements that make up the drivers & trade offs associated with various design approaches. Better parts MAKE a difference!

— January 03, 2016 10:00 in Loudspeaker Design

Dipole vs Bipole vs Monopole: Which Surround Speaker is Best?

Dipole vs Bipole vs Monopole: Which Surround Speaker is Best?

This article covers the various surround speaker types such as dipole, bipole and direct radiators (aka. monopoles) and discusses the pros and cons of each. We provide recommendations on which type of speakers to use for standard 5.1, 7.1 speaker layouts as well as emerging immersive surround formats like Dolby Atmos. Rather than trying to define the “best” surround speaker, it's important to understand what kind of speaker would be the best for your application. Check out our recently added YouTube Video discussion.

We explain the various surround speaker types such as dipole, bipole and direct radiators and discuss the pros and cons of each applicable to new immersive surround formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

— September 20, 2015 08:00 in Loudspeaker Design

The Audibility of Distortion At Bass Frequencies

The Audibility of Distortion At Bass Frequencies

Bass is the most physically demanding frequency band for a home theater system to reproduce, so it will naturally be the region where distortion is the most prevalent. Those of us interested in higher fidelity sound would do well to understand the degree of which distortion in low frequencies can be heard and the challenges involved in finding those distortion thresholds. This article discusses those challenges and relays some of the current understanding of the subject from the field of audio science. Is your sound system up to the task of faithfully reproducing bass content, and if not, how short does it fall between your hearing and the sound engineer’s intention?

Want to know how well your sound system reproduces bass? We discuss the audibility of distortion in bass and ways bass reproduction in audio systems can fall short of of a listeners expectations.

— August 13, 2015 09:00 in Loudspeaker Design

The Truth About In-Wall Speakers

The Truth About In-Wall Speakers

Despite the flawed conventional wisdom, in-wall speakers can be as good as their freestanding counterparts. In fact, there are areas where in-walls even offer advantages over conventional box speakers. And while a bad speaker is a bad speaker; in-wall or in-room; good in-wall speakers can solve many logistical problems. Put on your "open-mind" cap and read on...

This article will explore the pros and cons of in-wall vs in-room speakers. Assuming that we’re talking about comparably-priced and similar products that differ only in that one is set in the wall.

— July 23, 2015 00:00 in Loudspeaker Design