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Can We Get the Bass Right?

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This paper reviews literature related to the reproduction of bass in small rooms. The overall picture given by this review shows weaknesses in the current recommendation of using a single subwoofer to play frequencies below 80 to 120 Hz. Results of listening tests related to room modes and spatial information are summarized. Three techniques for reducing the problem of room modes are described: i) modal equalization, ii) the use of a mono bass signal from multiple subwoofers to give a more even response throughout the listening area, and iii) the use of subwoofers with cardioid or dipole polar response. To improve the presentation of spatial information the use of stereo bass is considered. The question as to whether it is possible to achieve the best of controlling room modes and presenting spatial information is still open.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society