Featured image of post How do HIFI enthusiasts arrange the audio-visual room to reduce the generation of standing waves?

How do HIFI enthusiasts arrange the audio-visual room to reduce the generation of standing waves?

How are standing waves generated? How to reduce the generation of standing waves? How to reasonably arrange the audio-visual room to maximize the listening experience?

After taking home their beloved audio equipment, HIFI enthusiasts must arrange their audio-visual room well. So, how can you scientifically arrange your audio-visual room so that you can maximize your listening experience while enjoying an elegant listening environment? In fact, the layout of the listening environment is a knowledge that HIFI enthusiasts need to learn and apply for a long time. There will be a lot of points involved. Today we will talk about how to arrange your own audio-visual room to improve the listening effect based on the concept of “standing wave”.

“Standing wave” is a headache that most modern HIFI enthusiasts will encounter when playing back music. Once a large number of standing waves are generated in the audio-visual room, our listening experience will be greatly reduced. The specific performance is that the sound is muddy, the human voice cannot be heard clearly, the three-frequency balance is destroyed, the bass is particularly prominent, and it is accompanied by a sense of roar and other bad listening experience.

Causes of standing waves

The generation of “standing waves” is mainly the superposition of multiple sound waves of the same frequency band, resulting in the final sound effect being amplified and strengthened. Among them, the “low-frequency standing wave” produced by the superposition of low-frequency sound waves has the greatest impact on listening experience. “Low frequency standing wave” will greatly reduce the listener’s experience. When the listener listens to music in a room full of low-frequency standing waves, he will feel an obvious “resonance” of the environment.

Every time the bass is transmitted from the speaker, through the reflection of the wall, or the bass between the left and right channels interferes with each other, a large number of standing waves may be generated in the audio-visual room. Although not every bass output will necessarily produce a standing wave, but playing music continuously in a relatively small room, to some extent, we can think that the “standing wave” must exist.

Our listening environment is usually a certain space in the home, such as the living room or bedroom. Some qualified HIFI enthusiasts may also specially set aside a room in their home as a dedicated audio-visual room. In this limited space, the larger the size of the speaker, the easier it is to generate the so-called “standing wave”.

We can also use more popular sentences to explain the advanced concept of “standing wave”. Simply put, when there are more than two speakers in the room, and these speakers are playing the same piece of music at the same time, and there are a lot of low-frequency sound waves in this piece of music. At this time, a “standing wave” will be generated.

Although “standing waves” are inevitable, in different listening environments, even if the same piece of music is played, the amount of standing waves produced is different. In some cases, this difference can be very large. This is also one of the main reasons why we should learn to arrange the audio-visual room. Because, rationally arranging the audio-visual room can greatly improve the interference of “standing waves” to the listener, thereby optimizing the listening experience.

Ideal listening environment

If we imagine an ideal listening environment, there is only one channel speaker, and the space is infinite, and the sound waves will never touch the wall and reflect. Then, in such an environment, “standing waves” will not be generated. Obviously, the listening environment in our home can never be so “ideal”. But we can minimize the amount of standing waves generated, thereby optimizing our sense of hearing in a fixed environment. Through the introduction in the previous section, we have already understood the reason for the standing wave. Next, let’s discuss how to optimize the listening environment in a simple and scientific way to reduce the generation of standing waves.

Reasonably choose the size of the speaker

First of all, we need to choose the appropriate speaker size to match the listening environment we have built. If you are in a small room that is not too big, place a pair of large floor boxes with very high sensitivity. Then, driven by the amplifier, the sound pressure level generated by this pair of large floor-standing boxes will far exceed the limit that this small room can bear. The end result is that the sound waves from the speakers are reflected heavily in a small space. At this time, a huge amount of “standing waves” will be generated, making the sense of hearing very poor.

So we say that the size of the speaker needs to be judged according to the size of the listening environment. This can be said to be the first point in choosing speakers. Speakers that are too small will result in insufficient sound pressure levels, resulting in inaudible sound. Loudspeakers that are too large will create standing waves.

Generally speaking, if the area of the living room is more than 20 square meters, we can safely choose a floor box; in some bedroom spaces with a small area, such as a space with an area of about 10 square meters or even smaller, we try to choose a bookshelf box. Otherwise, it is very unwise to spend a lot of money to buy expensive large-size speakers, but the actual listening effect is greatly reduced.

Reasonably choose the placement of speakers

Second, we need to place the speaker in a reasonable position. The correct placement is also an important point to reduce the generation of standing waves.

Let’s take the most common two-channel floor-standing speaker layout as an example. The distance between two floor-standing speakers should be at least 1.2 meters apart. In a regular residential environment, the maximum distance between them should not exceed 2 meters. Because too large a distance will affect the image quality of the sound. A reasonable distance can reduce the mutual interference of low-frequency sound waves between two floor boxes, and the standing wave phenomenon can be alleviated to a certain extent.

The backs of the two floor boxes also need to be placed at a distance from the wall. It cannot be placed against the back wall. The reason for this is to prevent the sound waves coming out of the speaker port from directly touching the wall and reflecting. Placing it at a distance can alleviate the degree of this reflection against the wall, thereby reducing the generation of standing waves.

If the conditions in the room permit, it is better to place the speakers at a distance from the side wall as well as the rear wall. Because low-frequency sound waves often have no directivity, they will spread around at the same time. Controlling the distance between the loudspeaker and the side wall is also a technical means to reduce the generation of standing waves.

Arrange furniture reasonably to reduce standing waves

Furthermore, our listening room must not be empty except for audio equipment. This may be a misunderstanding for many people in arranging the audio-visual room. When we arrange the audio-visual room, we need to properly place some simple furniture in the current environment. Proper placement of some furniture can reduce the generation of standing waves.

Its principle is very simple. If there is nothing in the room, the sound wave will directly hit the wall when it is transmitted in the air, causing reflection, thereby enhancing the possibility of standing wave generation. Proper placement of irregularly shaped furniture can absorb part of the sound waves and reduce the reflection of sound waves directly hitting the wall. One thing to be reminded here is that the placement of furniture should try to avoid placing it between the speaker and the connection line of the listening emperor, because this will prevent the sound waves from the speaker from being transmitted to our listeners.

Generally speaking, for two-channel speakers, some items, such as TV sets and TV cabinets, can be placed in the middle of the connection between the two speakers to reduce the possibility of low-frequency standing waves between the left and right channels. But be careful, don’t have too many things, too full of things will have a negative effect. Our listening seat should be at least 1 meter to 2 meters away from the speaker, and it cannot be placed close to the listener like a PC computer desktop speaker.

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Last updated on 2023-03-22 20:55 CCT
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