Ole Witthøft

How to make the speaker cover the living room with sound

Concert speakers do it. Studio speakers do it. But the speakers in your living room just might! You have no idea, because you'll rarely find information about the speaker's sound dispersion anywhere. This is a very important feature.



A paying audience experiences a sound where work has been done on the sound coverage of the concert space.


You can, roughly speaking, divide the speaker universe into three worlds, where the requirements for sound and thus speakers are quite different. There are concert and touring speakers, like those you'll encounter at live concerts, in theatres and other places where large areas need to be filled with sound. There are also studio speakers, where performers and sound engineers sit together at a console, polishing and editing the sound into place, for music releases, film, TV, radio and more.
Speakers that belong to the two worlds are called, under one, professional speakers. The third world of speakers is the one to which speakers like the Q113 belong, i.e. speakers for the home.
The three worlds of loudspeakers are different in that the users of professional loudspeakers are professionals who use the loudspeakers for their work. Home speakers are of course used by people who like to listen to music etc. in their living room.
The different starting points of the users determine the amount of technical information about the speakers, and here the directive does not belong to the technical specifications of home speakers. This would have told us something about the speakers' usefulness in the living room.


This blog post is the first in a series of four about sound diffusion.



An ordinary consumer is not told whether his speakers can cover the living room with sound. Specifications are rarely given, usually not at all ...


The professionals will know the directive

Speakers for concert sound have as their main purpose to deliver sound to a paying audience. If the concert sound speaker system can even be designed so that the sound is not transmitted to the concert's non-paying neighbours, you are technically in good shape.
Concert sound engineers are interested in ensuring that all audience members have a reasonably consistent sound experience, regardless of where they are in relation to the stage. There should be no areas of "black holes" where the sound is poor and causes the audience to walk away.
In another world, the recording studio, the engineers sit next to each other with the speakers in front of them, and here it is crucial for the work that you can trust the sound of the speaker, even if you are not sitting in the middle of the speakers. And, most importantly, that those sitting at the desk hear the same sound no matter where they sit.
The property I'm talking about is called speaker directivity or sound dispersion. A loudspeaker for professional users has no chance in the market if there is no evidence of the directivity of the loudspeaker.
A distinction is made between the loudspeaker's vertical and horizontal radiation characteristics, which in the case of horn loudspeakers, for example, are specified as a kind of window with openings of ex. 40×60 degrees or 80×60 degrees etc. In this way, a professional user can find a loudspeaker that is optimised to have the listening window he needs in the particular setup.
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Ole Witthøft
Ole is the founder of System Audio. His 3 greatest passions are music, design and technology. Every day, Ole is working on some kind of projects, and you find him in the workshop, in the production, behind a computer or on one of his many presentations around the world.
How to make the speaker cover the living room with sound | SA

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