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Effects of Loudspeaker Directivity on Perceived Sound Quality - A Review of Existing Studies

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The directivity of a loudspeaker system is often regarded as a prominent factor in the overall subjective quality of the reproduced sound experience. Much literature is available on the topic, and currently a broad field of opinion exists amongst designers. This paper provides an overview of the available literature, as well as an extended investigation into listener-based research. Results indicate that for such a widely debated topic, conclusive measurement data with regard to human listeners is limited and therefore a proposal for more informative listening tests is presented.

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Gary Eickmeier

Comment posted July 2, 2011 @ 19:26:00 UTC (Comment permalink)

The authors say that they will  be doing future studies of radiation patterns and speaker positioning and would welcome input from the membership. Sigfried Linkwitz has challenged the membership to find the ultimate radiation pattern, speaker positioning, and room characteristics for stereophonic reproduction. I wrote a paper in October of 1989 that did not get published that answers all of these questions, and I would like to have my suggestions included in any future studies, but there is no directory of members' Email addresses so I can talk to anyone.

My paper was "An Image Model Theory for Stereophonic Sound", preprint 2869,

and it gives the basis for the selection of "The Big Three" (radiation pattern, speaker positioning, and room acoustics) and my resultant choice for all three. The importance and urgency to communicate my suggestions is that others may not have considered my Big Three in any testing, and the problem is that if you get any one of them wrong, the whole image collapses and you would not know how close you are to the answer.

The paper proposes a different way of looking at stereophonic sound (the realistic reproduction of auditory perspective) that has been hinted at in previous work but never completely solved. I wish to correspond with whoever might be interested. I consider this a most important topic, and one of the last questions to be answered in audio engineering.

Gary Eickmeier

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