Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

Sad there is no in-room measurement

It seems like every time there is a controversial Stereophile loudspeaker review, whether it was a negative review or a positive review with bad measurements, the review is lacking an in-room response measurement. OK, maybe not every time, but it always seems to be lacking when they're reviewing a controversial speaker that is either designed for near wall placement, or employs directivity control.

I don't need an in-room measurement for conventional box speakers designed for placement away from walls with dome tweeters and cone midranges & woofers, because I know from experience how their pseudo-anechoic measurements translate. But in cases like Sjöfn The Clue and the Volti Rival, I think the in-room measurement tells you more than the pseudo-anechoic measurement.

With the Volti Rival, if all you look at is the nearfield, on-axis, pseudo-anechoic response, you might be unimpressed. But if you assume this speaker is intended to be placed in a relatively live, untreated room where power response matters most, a lot of the problems go away. Those ragged looking peaks and valleys in the lower treble are reversed off-axis. Similarly, the rising treble response on-axis is countered by narrowing dispersion off-axis. So I would expect that the power response of the midrange + tweeter is a lot flatter than you might think.

The real mystery here is the level mismatch between the woofer and the other drive units, which seems to be about 5 dB. That should be an easily audible flaw, so it's a bit strange for Ken to say that the speaker has no house sound, compared to his DeVore's. An in-room measurement showing the response of the Volti vs. the DeVore in Ken's room would shed a lot of light on that.

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