We tend to think of speakers as devices that blast sound at us. But they actually blast sound in every direction, and that's a good thing. In fact, if they don't blast sound in every direction, it can be a problem.
A speaker's characteristic sound projection pattern, broad or narrow, is referred to as "dispersion."
We all know what distortion sounds like. We've heard it in heavy metal tunes, cheap iPod docks and the crummy speakers at Taco Bell drive-thrus. And we've all read distortion specs on things like receivers and subwoofers. But other than a general understanding that distortion isn't something we want in home audio gear, most people really don't know what it is.
If what I heard today is any indication, Kodak’s decline may be Hollywood’s gain. When Kodak dropped the naming rights to the famous theater used to host the Academy Awards, Dolby picked them up — and gave the theater a first-class technical makeover.
Dr. Poh Hsu has a doctorate in civil engineering from MIT, but his passion for audio and experiments in subwoofer design led him to found his own speaker company in 1991. His subs quickly earned a reputation for high output, outstanding sound quality and great value, and he’s still at it today. Excerpts from this interview appear in the feature story “Subwoofers: The Guts and the Glory.”
S&V: What do you believe are the major determiners of subwoofer sound quality? Driver? Amp? Loading? Enclosure? DSP tuning? Etc.
PH: It is how they are all designed to work together synergistically. No one factor stands out.
S&V: What drives your decision to go with sealed, ported, or passive radiator loading in a particular sub? Is one or the other particularly suited for a certain environment...
Whenever I drive the stretch of I-5 between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, I feel like Luke Skywalker sensing a powerful presence nearby. That’s because I know that just north of Seattle lives one of the true legends of the audio industry: Bob Carver, founder of Phase Linear, Carver Corporation, and Sunfire, and the pioneer of numerous audio technologies during his four-plus decades in the industry.
Ed Mullen so impressed everyone with his subwoofer smarts (and even temperament) as a participant on Internet audio forums that SVS—a company that has mostly specialized in subwoofers, but is now putting equal effort into speakers—hired him. He now enjoys a rep among home theater enthusiasts as one of the guys to call for advice about subs. Excerpts from this interview appear in the feature story “Subwoofers: The Guts and the Glory.”
S&V: What’s the most important aspect of a subwoofer: the driver, the enclosure, or the amplifier? EM: SVS takes a holistic approach to sub design. It’s very possible to use high-quality components that don’t work well together, and the results will not be optimal. We look at the end-user application, then develop a list of components for that application. You’ve got to match enclosure size, the form factor, the amplifier power, and the driver itself...
Epos Acoustics could justify the claim that its new K-series speakers are fine-tuned for today's audio world based solely on the sleek, seamless design. But there's more to the K-series than cool looks.
Epson's PowerLites: Home or Pro?160284947971EpsonPowerLite Pro Cinema 1080 UBWith its latest 1080p LCD front projector, Epson takes a cue from the airlines by offering both coach and first-class versions.