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What's More Accurate a Microphone or our Ears?

Which is more accurate at detecting sound: our ears or a microphone? This article argues the distinction between perception and technical

What's More Accurate a Microphone or our Ears?
Dirac Live Room Correction Offers Sophisticated Calibration and Set Up

The Dirac Live package comes in 2CH ($450) & 8CH ($750) versions and is considered by many to be one of the most cutting edge room correction

Dirac Live Room Correction Offers Sophisticated Calibration and Set Up
Sound Reproduction: Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

What are the characteristics that determine the sound quality of an audio system? Dr. Floyd Tool reveals the answers in: Sound Reproduction The

Sound Reproduction: Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

Recent Room Acoustics Articles

What's More Accurate a Microphone or our Ears?

What's More Accurate a Microphone or our Ears?

Which is more accurate at detecting sound: our ears or a microphone? Most people might automatically assume a microphone since a good microphone can measure sound pressure over frequency so precisely, but the reality is even the most sophisticated microphones are relatively simple devices compared to human hearing. What makes our hearing so special compared to the exactitude of a microphone? You will have to read our article to see if the ear is mightier than the microphone at gauging sound.

Which is more accurate at detecting sound: our ears or a microphone? This article argues the distinction between perception and technical measurements and how that relates to our enjoyment of sound.

— December 27, 2018 00:00 in Room Acoustics

Dirac Live Room Correction Offers Sophisticated Calibration and Set Up

Dirac Live Room Correction Offers Sophisticated Calibration and Set Up

Among room correction EQ programs, Dirac Live has garnered a reputation for being one of the most effective solutions for removing the room from interfering with the sound. It accomplishes this by correcting problems with the time-arrival in sound as well as the frequency response. Other room correction equalizers ignore the time domain, but a complete solution isn't possible without addressing the time domain since latent arrivals from acoustic reflections are apart of what colors the frequency response in the first place. Let's take a brief look at how it accomplishes this, and some of the other neat features that comprise the Dirac Live package.

The Dirac Live package comes in 2CH ($450) & 8CH ($750) versions and is considered by many to be one of the most cutting edge room correction systems. The latest version promises a simplier interface.

— February 13, 2018 00:00 in Room Acoustics

Sound Reproduction: Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

Sound Reproduction: Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

What are the characteristics that determine the sound quality of an audio system? This is a question that for too long has been shrouded in mysticism as if there were some ephemeral magic that touched some systems and not others. But, the truth is this question can be approached objectively, and indeed that is what Dr. Floyd Toole has been doing with over a lifetime of scientific research. The results of his research is presented in a clear, concise third edition of his book 'Sound Reproduction,' which makes for an enlightening read for neophyte audio enthusiasts and long-time audiophiles alike.

What are the characteristics that determine the sound quality of an audio system? Dr. Floyd Tool reveals the answers in: Sound Reproduction The Acoustic and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and rooms.

— December 11, 2017 13:00 in Room Acoustics

Room Reflections & Human Adaptation for Small Room Acoustics

Room Reflections & Human Adaptation for Small Room Acoustics

Dealing with acoustics in small rooms is no trivial matter. The quest for the “perfect” room all depends on your expectations, why you are listening (business or pleasure), what program you are listening to, and the condition of the ears you are listening through. This article focuses on the topic of early reflections in small room acoustics and how to deal with them based on listening preferences and the accuracy of your loudspeakers. The portions of side walls responsible for first lateral reflections are specified as “optional areas: absorb, diffuse, reflect.” It is a decision to be made by the customer and/or the installer.

Dealing with acoustics in small rooms is no trivial matter. This article focuses on how to treat early reflections based on listening habits, your loudspeaker choice. Absorb, diffuse, reflect; decide.

Dr. Floyd Toole — April 04, 2016 10:00 in Room Acoustics

History of Multi-Sub & Sound Field Management (SFM) for Small Room Acoustics

History of Multi-Sub & Sound Field Management (SFM) for Small Room Acoustics

The problem with the small rooms we listen in is that they so often present us with offensive bass booms, and the bass is different at different seating locations. The traditional solutions for taming room resonances have relied on low-frequency absorption (a.k.a. bass traps), system layout, and manipulating room dimensions. In homes these may or may not be practical. So my team and I investigated alternative solutions, leading to multiple subwoofer strategies and a sophisticated DSP process called Sound Field Management (SFM). This article describes the evolution of these methods, that can replace or supplement bass traps in some situations.

Solving bass problems in small rooms have historically been done with low frequency absorption (ie. bass traps). This article discusses an alternative/complimentary solution using multi-sub and SFM.

Dr. Floyd Toole — March 21, 2016 17:45 in Room Acoustics

Bass: the Physical Sensation of Sound

Bass: the Physical Sensation of Sound

Have you ever watched a bombastic movie in a theater with a heavy-duty bass system and felt as battered as the film's hero afterward? Ever wondered how a kick drum sound could cause that 'chest punch' sensation? Did you know that at a low enough frequency, high-amplitude sound may even be able to breath for you? In this article we look at how bass is felt rather than heard, and, after reviewing some of the research that has been done in this area, we investigate the points at which low frequencies go beyond sound and become a tactile sensation in an experiment of our own with willing volunteers. We caution readers NOT to try these experiments at home.

Ever wonder why you can feel bass? We take a look behind the science of bass waves and the tactile sensations that they cause. Our bass experiments were quite revealing but don't try them at home.

— December 29, 2015 00:00 in Room Acoustics

Early Reflections and Bass for Small Room Acoustics

Early Reflections and Bass for Small Room Acoustics

For a long time, conventional wisdom has treated large and small room acoustics as one in the same. But there are fundamental differences and objectives between the two and thus they should be handled differently accordingly. Small rooms are dominated by room modes at low frequencies which needs to be addressed either with passive room treatments or a multi-subwoofer approach. It has been shown that early reflections can be beneficial for perceiving ambiance and spatial cues in the music. This article and accompanying YouTube video discusses these topics in more depth and gives recommendations for consideration of sound reproduction in small room acoustics.

Conventional wisdom has treated large and small room acoustics as one in the same. We discuss the latest science on early reflections and bass room modes and how to deal with them in small rooms.

— September 17, 2015 00:00 in Room Acoustics

Early Reflections in Home Theater Rooms: Beneficial or Detrimental?

Early Reflections in Home Theater Rooms: Beneficial or Detrimental?

Early reflections may or may not be major problems in home theaters. Addressing them through the use of heavy absorption should be pursued with caution and recent research indicates it may not be needed at all for lateral reflections. I believe the issue of early reflections and their relative merits (or lack thereof) in any home theater should never be ignored. This article opens a dialog on how to best deal with them and how they differ from large listening spaces. Our recently added YouTube Video gives great advice on how to treat the acoustics of your theater room and also discusses the benefits of early reflections based on Dr. Floyd Toole's pioneering research.

Are early reflections in small rooms beneficial to the sound quality of what we hear in our home theater speaker systems or are they a detriment? This article and YouTube video addresses answers that.

Jeff Szymanski — June 07, 2015 09:00 in Room Acoustics

Is Auto Room EQ and Setup In A/V Receivers Useful?

Is Auto Room EQ and Setup In A/V Receivers Useful?

Since the dawn of the HiFi age, audiophiles have loved to tweak the sound of their audio systems. Some do it with cables, while others employ more aggressive measures like bass and treble controls. As time progressed, our technologies advanced and we've come up with more sophisticated tone controls such as Graphic and Parametric Equalizers to offer more finely tuned adjustments. A/V receiver manufacturers and companies such as Audyssey and Dirac have also developed their own EQ systems that measure your room response with a microphone to further tune your system. But are these auto setup and EQ systems to be trusted? Are they really useful in helping setup and fine tune your home theater system? Watch our Youtube video on this topic and please share your experiences on our forum.

Is Auto Room EQ and Setup necessary in A/V receivers? Do they correctly adjust your speaker system for optimal performance, or do they cause more harm than good?

— December 20, 2014 08:00 in Room Acoustics

Dirac Room Correction Interview With Mathias Johansson

Dirac Room Correction Interview With Mathias Johansson

Continuing our investigation of the various room correction products on the market, we had a chat with Mathias Johansson of Dirac who was kind enough to answer our questions. For those unfamiliar with the company, their room correction solution is used commercially as well as in home audio products like the Theta Digital Casablanca and Emotiva XMC-1. Want to know the details of how Dirac Live works its magic? Check out our full interview.

Room EQ: Today the Audioholics have a chat with Mathias Johansson to get the inside scoop on Dirac's room correction products. Click to learn all about Dirac Live and Unison.

— November 05, 2014 08:00 in Room Acoustics

Optimum Room Locations for Subwoofers An Analysis

Optimum Room Locations for Subwoofers An Analysis

While we generally recommend the subwoofer crawl to help find the best spot to place a single subwoofer, there's no denying that a single subwoofer can't provide smooth response over a wide seating area. While multiple subwoofers can help deal with this issue, there aren't many guidelines floating around on how to make the most of them. Fortunately, Todd Welti of Harman has taken the time to share his research on the matter, including simulation results for a wide range of rooms, to help you find the best locations for your subs.

Tom Welti of Harman International goes over the subject of optimal subwoofer placement using advanced simulations to predict bass response in a wide range of listening spaces. Best locations for bass.

Todd Welti — October 22, 2014 09:00 in Room Acoustics

Eilex PRISM EQ Interview With Yoshi Asahi

Eilex PRISM EQ Interview With Yoshi Asahi

Eilex's PRISM EQ isn't your run of the mill room correction system. In fact, the folks at Eilex note that it's not a room correction system at all. Instead, PRISM is designed to correct the acoustic power volume density your speakers. To accomplish this, PRISM takes a series of near field measurements, and applies VIR (variable-resolution impulse response) filters. To learn more about the system, we had a chat with Eilex's own Yoshi Asahi. Want to know all the details? Check out our full interview.

Tech Article: Today the Audioholics interview Yoshi Asahi of Eilex to learn more about their PRISM EQ system. PRISM EQ isn't a conventional room EQ, but instead corrects speaker near field response.

— October 13, 2014 08:00 in Room Acoustics

Anthem ARC Room EQ Interview with Dr. Peter Schuck and Nick Platsis

Anthem ARC Room EQ Interview with Dr. Peter Schuck and Nick Platsis

Continuing our investigation of the various room correction (aka Room EQ) products on the market, we had a chat with Anthem's Nick Platsis and Dr. Peter Schuck who were kind enough to answer our questions. Anthem's Room Correction or ARC, is found exclusively in Anthem's MRX receivers and their AVM and D2 series Preamp processors. How does ARC work? Why does Anthem limit room correction to 5 kHz? Read the article to find out. Updated on 10/08/14 with more detailed Q&A pertaining to bass management and EQ functionality.

ARC Auto EQ: Today the Audioholics had a chat with Anthem's Nick Platsis to get the inside scoop on Anthem Room Correction (ARC). Click to learn all about ARC the wonders of great EQ.

— October 08, 2014 07:00 in Room Acoustics

Tip of the Day: Sound Isolation For Your Home Theater

Tip of the Day: Sound Isolation For Your Home Theater

Today's tip of the day can be summed up in two words: sound isolation. Not only does this keep you from disturbing others (handy if you're watching a movie at night), but it also serves to reduce the amount of external noise that leaks into your room. We cover four techniques to help isolate your A/V system from the rest of the world: mass, absorption, decoupling, and damping. Want to know more? Click to read the full article.

Acoustics: Today's tip of the day can be summed up in two words: sound isolation. It helps keep you from disturbing others, and reduces the noise floor in your room. Win-win!

— September 05, 2014 08:00 in Room Acoustics