Reflecting on Lateral Reflections in an Audio Room
Returning once again to our new format, please enjoy a few pages straight from the notebook of Art Noxon, PE, Acoustical. This week’s topic builds upon our last edition, and plunges further into the veritable wave of strong, early reflections generated by your room’s surfaces. A typed version of the textual content is included below for convenience.
The Near Wall Reflections are Only the Beginning of Your Concerns…
In addition to lateral reflections, where the sound from the speaker is reflected off the wall to the outside of the speaker, we also have reflections off the opposite wall.
In this case, we have left speaker information being reflected into the right ear.
As before, we have 3 wall reflections; side walls, upper ceiling corner, and lower floor corner.
What is the Effect?
Simply put: the imaging is wrecked. The lifelike soundstage you know and love is gone, replaced by a foggy bank of music. That might have been good enough in the earliest days of high-end audio, but today we demand more.
How do I Control Them?
Absorbers and diffusers, properly positioned.
When it comes to almost every acoustic problem, TubeTraps are a universal tool for absorbing and diffusing sound with just the right spectral balance.
Try the 13″ and 16″ models to intercept the crosstalk reflections and experience the magic. Where to put them? Keep reading!
StudioTraps provide this service with uncanny flexibility.
SoundPlanks positioned with appropriate spacing and wall height are the other preferred solution.
Higher Level Early Reflections
Additionally, we have triple reflections where the front two corners become involved. Here are shown some of these triple reflections. They follow similar paths as before, except they include a reflection off the front wall.
Because the paths are longer, the reflections are weaker and more time delayed, but still within the sound fusion time window.
What is left out of these diagrams is the horizontal wall bounce paths and the floor bounce paths.
Audiophiles tend to prefer ambient listening rooms which means to control early reflections with minimal amount of sound deadening panels in the room.
Notice each set of reflecting paths cross one another. Add a single sound trap (floor to ceiling) at each path intersection.