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Speakers and Bass Frequencies

crutschow

May 7, 2021
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Talking about "small speakers" here not earbuds.....bud (or headphones).
Okay, but that does bring up an interesting point.
The small speaker in a headphone or earbud can produce realistic levels of low-frequency bass in the ear because it is required to move only a very small volume of air.

Interestingly, I have a set of Sennheister headphones that actually have too much bass, and I have to roll off the low frequencies below a couple hundred Hz with an audio equalizer to keep the music from sounding too bass heavy.
 
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HAROLDYOUNG

Jul 15, 2023
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Okay, but that does bring up an interesting point.
The small speaker in a headphone or earbud can produce realistic levels of low-frequency bass in the ear because it is required to move only a very small volume of air.
The diaphragm is pressed almost directly against the inner ear. That is not the same as a speaker pushing volumes of external air in a room. The amount of work to reproduce low frequencies is practically negligable and the inner ear is constructed to hear low frequencies. On the other hand, speakers outside of the human body, are required to use much greater energy to reproduce lower audio frequencies to reach the human ear and satisfy the listeners expected level of bass reproduction. In the past before electronics, symphony orchestras accomplished this same feat by using large violins (bass fiddles) and air volume pushers (woodwinds and brass & percussion) to achieve the same result and no one complained about the bass. That adds another dimension to the "bass question" which is social and technological conditioning. I recall reading that Rock concerts use 100,000 watt and up to 400,000 watt, P.A. systems. Makes you wonder how loud does the bass really have to be, when hundreds of years ago, audiences were satisfied with acoustic bass instruments with zero amplification (and zero speakers).
 
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crutschow

May 7, 2021
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The diaphragm is pressed almost directly against the inner ear. That is not the same as a speaker pushing volumes of external air in a room.
Never implied that it was.
Makes you wonder how loud does the bass really have to be, when hundreds of years ago, audiences were satisfied with acoustic bass instruments with zero amplification (and zero speakers).
The purpose of a bass speaker in reproducing the sound of musical instruments is not to produce high volume of bass, but to reproduce the bass accurately in the listening room at a level equal to the original sound.
That still requires moving a significant quantity of air to achieve concert-hall volume levels.
The most stringent test is probably reproducing the 16Hz note of the largest pipe-organs (which is more felt as a rumble, than heard).

Of course, the bass requires larger volume levels when reproducing the loud, low-frequency sound effects of some movies.
So it makes some difference whether you are trying to reproduce the bass of music or special-effects bass.
 

danadak

Feb 19, 2021
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Just because the error is non-linear doesn't mean what we hear is corrupt.
By that definition of illusion, the obviously every thing we sense is a corrupt illusion, since all our sensors are non-linear.
But I don't see how that is pertinent to the reproduction of accurate sound(?).

If the signal path is non linear then that signal path has, and does, corrupt the origin
source. End of story.

Yes everything is an illusion, myriads of findings various species have different sensing capabilities
than others.....even their processing engines post sensor production, in species, different. Look at the pursuit
of human perception of a sunset, and using gobs of pixels trying to replicate it. No camera comes
close to what we see with our eyes, no matter how many pixels its got. And camera only works on
part of the environment.....and then we have that crappy sensor eye spectral sensitivity trashing the
source data......


Regards, Dana.
 

crutschow

May 7, 2021
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If the signal path is non linear then that signal path has, and does, corrupt the origin
source. End of story.
End for you perhaps, but your saying so doesn't make it so.

Just because the signal path from our body sensors to our brain is non-linear doesn't mean the signal is corrupted, it just means it's non-linear and that's how we perceive the signal.
But if the path for the signal to our body is non-linear or distorted, then that's a corruption of the signal.
It's now changed from the original, and that can often be perceived by us.

The difference between those two non-linearities would seem to be apparent.
 

hevans1944

Hop - AC8NS
Jun 21, 2012
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Ima gonna jump in here and ask: what about cochlear implants? These are pretty crude right now, having something like ony 24 "channels" of audio spectrum... definitely not "high fidelity"...but with modern technology, this could be extended to hundreds or thousands of channels. The surgery required to perform an implant of thousands of electrodes would probably have to be performed by an AI. Or perhaps an electronic brain implant, along the lines that Elon Musk is working on? Why bother with pressure waves in air at all?

And why hasn't @Audioguru weighed in on this yet? He can tell you how "horrible" the "Sweet Sixteen" speaker array sounded. For you newborns watching this conversation, the "Sweet Sixteen" was the design of an array of sixteen 4-inch el-cheapo speakers that was supposed to be the equal to a large woofer having the same cone area as the sum of the sixteen 4-inch speaker cones. The first article was published in Popular Electronics magazine, January 1961. AFIK, it didn't work. But you can read the original article scanned by the Internet Archive here.
 

danadak

Feb 19, 2021
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End for you perhaps, but your saying so doesn't make it so.

Just because the signal path from our body sensors to our brain is non-linear doesn't mean the signal is corrupted, it just means it's non-linear and that's how we perceive the signal.
But if the path for the signal to our body is non-linear or distorted, then that's a corruption of the signal.
It's now changed from the original, and that can often be perceived by us.

The difference between those two non-linearities would seem to be apparent.

Just because the signal path from our body sensors to our brain is non-linear doesn't mean the signal is corrupted, it just means it's non-linear and that's how we perceive the signal.

If a signal arriving at brain is not a linear replication of the source, that to me is corruption. Unless perception
is capable of undoing the non linear corruption and supplying a resurrected signal to the brain. If the signal, such
as one with additional harmonics due to non linearity, arrives at brain and "Perception" removes them, great.
Otherwise perception, which could be linear itself, could pass on the signal path corrupted signal. However
if perception is non-linear then it can add to the problem. Either way unless perception is a resurrection of the
source signal it is not turning a corrupted signal into a uncorrupted signal.

Regards, Dana.
 

crutschow

May 7, 2021
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If a signal arriving at brain is not a linear replication of the source, that to me is corruption.
Our brain interprets the signals from our sensors and that is our perception of the signals and the world around us.
The signal coming to our senses can be corrupted, but it makes no sense to me to say that perception is corrupt.
The one exception to that would be if the sensor is obviously corrupt, such as color blindness.

But I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.
 
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