Home Speaker Asylum

General speaker questions for audio and home theater.

Very dependent on speaker type - and the type of listening you do most.

In the realm of speaker design you will find many different dispersion philosophies. Some types embrace "narrow" or controlled dispersion, other types feature "wide" or relatively uncontrolled dispersion, etc... Narrow or "controlled dispersion" (typically horns or "waveguide" designs) speakers seek to minimize room reflections and maximize direct sound. Wide dispersion designs seek to utilize a portion of room reflections in order to enhance a sense of spaciousness.

But it should be noted that one type of speaker design might be better suited to (what is called) "critical listening", while another type might be better suited to "recreational listening".

In a "critical listening" environment (typically, recording studios, etc...) you don't want too many spurious reflections muddying up the direct sound of the speakers. Instead, you are looking for maximum recording information retrieval, and that means that "soundstaging effects" encoded in the recording are the only ones you really want to hear. A "good recording" with featuring good soundstaging cues will sound appropriately spacious, and a "bad" recording with lousy soundstaging cues will sound appropriately "constricted" (soundstage-wise)...

In "recreational listening" (the kind that many audiophiles in home environments like), "soundstaging effects" (that are not necessarily encoded in the actual recording) might be welcomed. An enhanced sense of spaciousness is sometimes the goal, and there are speaker designs that are better suited than others are at catering to this "recreational" whim. Look at wider dispersion speaker designs for these "added effects" but remember that, with these speaker designs, you need to be prepared to tame EXCESSIVE amounts of reflected sound on occasion.

So you can expect to "tailor" your use of room treatments depending on speaker type, listening style, and room acoustics. Some speaker systems may sound best with little (or no) room treatment, other speaker systems might sound best with more and more varied types of room treatments.

Edits: 01/07/24

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  • Very dependent on speaker type - and the type of listening you do most. - peppy m. 09:09:28 01/07/24 (0)


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