Speakers and How To Position Them for Maximum
Getting the most boom for your buck
you purchase the most expensive, or the cheapest set
of speakers, position is the key for getting the
most out of them. If this is done properly, any set
of speakers can enhance the aural atmosphere and
create a sense of space to movies, games and music.
Most people who buy new speakers, usually just grab
them out of the box, throw them on the table, plug
them in and give them a test run. This is not a bad
way to start off but there is a lot more you can do
to produce better sound.
20th century, the step by step improvement in audio
quality has produced products that can duplicate
sound at near exact levels as one would hear live.
Currently in today's market, certain companies have
excelled in audio performance and have produced
speakers, audio systems and equipment that have
surpassed previous standards. Leading today, are
companies such as; Bose, Klipsch, THX ltd., Dolby
and Velodyne, who all produce sound equipment that
professionals and enthusiasts have taken a hold of
in the search for the best sound. This guide will
hopefully help you understand how sound reacts with
objects and how to configure your current sound
system for optimum performance, whether it be in
your Living Room or Computer Room.
Sound Waves Travel
Sound Gets From Your Speakers To Your Ear
Well before you get
to moving your speakers around your
room/office/studio/etc., the first thing you should
know is how sound actually works. Some might be
wondering why this is important. Well, to
properly place your speakers for the optimum
clarity, one needs to know how sound waves work and
react with objects around them. I know, I
know... physics is not the most exciting subject but
it will pay off in the end, trust us on this.
To start with, sound
is a compression waveform that can move through air
and materials (I.e. glass, metals), but not a vacuum
(sorry, you would not actually hear the Death Star
blow up in outer space) . This wave is created
by the back and forth vibration of an object, such
as a tuning fork or a speaker cone. Just like
most other waves, a sound wave has distinct
characteristics; amplitude, velocity, wavelength and
characteristics are very important to the sound
wave. Amplitude is basically the same thing as
loudness, velocity is the speed at which the sound
actually takes to leave the object and reach another
point (roughly 1000 feet per second), wavelength is
the distance from one crest to another and pitch is
the sound of the wave the we hear. Pitch is
determined by how long or short the wavelength is.
The shorter the wavelength is, the higher the note.
The longer the wavelength, the lower the note.
depending on the objects location and material its
constructed of, sound can interact very differently.
Their are typically a few things that sound will do,
be it reflected, absorbed, transmitted, refracted
and/or diffracted or cancel out.
Reflection: Hard materials, like concrete,
steel or other dense substances can reflect waves
that hit them. The further away the hard surface
is, the easier it is to notice the echo (I.e. echo
in a big stadium).
Absorption: Softer materials have a
tendency to absorb sound (I.e. drapes, t-bar
ceilings, big squishy couches). In most cases
these are used to purposely eliminate echoes and
unwanted noise reverb in theaters, recording
Transmission: Because sound is made up of
vibrations in matter, it can be transmitted
through most objects. When sound hits an
object, some of it gets reflected off the surface,
but a good majority passes right through it.
A good example of this is your noisy neighbor with
the big sound system, that keeps playing loud
music late into the night. Oh wait, that's
annoyance, which is a different matter altogether.
Refraction / Diffraction: This doesn't
really effect the sound of a wave, it just changes
the direction of it. When a sound wave comes
in contact with an edge of an object or passes
through one, the object alters its path, so it
sounds like the sound is coming from it.
Noise Cancellation: This is caused when
two sound waves that are out of phase (a peak of
one wave occurs when the valley of another does),
they will cancel each other out and cause no
that?? Good... That's the quick guide of
how sound works. So lets blow through a few more
quick subjects, then we can be on to the good stuff,
speaker set up.
Speaker Innards and Digital Systems