Along with our professional activates, we are also involved in research in various areas of acoustics. Our current room acoustics project involves the active synthesis of listening room acoustics at the Institute of Sound Recording at University of Surrey, UK.
The main objective of the 'Active Listening Room' project is to design a critical listening environment where the key acoustic properties of a room can be actively modified.
The aim is to create a truly variable listening condition in a reference listening room by means of active simulation of key acoustic parameters such as the early reflection pattern, early decay time and reverberation time.
These parameters are known to affect the subjective assessment of reproduced sound quality in a listening environment.
With the standardization of reference listening rooms, such as the ITU-R BS 1116 where the acoustic properties of the listening environment are controlled within critical limits, it is considered that the simulation of artificial sound fields should be possible by strategically arranging multiple active sources around the listener, without permanently changing the existing acoustic fabric of the room.
However, reference listening rooms has its own acoustic characteristics which must be subdued, by non destructive means, to a limit where it does not influence the subjective impression of the artificially created sound field.
Download The Active Listening Room Project JAES paper
In the consumer sector, the evolution of Surround Sound has seen the addition of more and more channels in response to the increasing demand of the audience to have a more realistic listening experience. With the arrival of Wave Field Synthesis WFS, the whole thinking behind multi-channel reproduction of sound is changing. In a wave field synthesis environment, the entire room is filled with sound – immersing the entire audience into a specific sound atmosphere with discreet sound events moving right up to their ears, flying through their heads and throughout the room – even beyond the walls. Speaker arrays ring the listening space and operate in a coordinated, phased fashion to re-create each individual sound wave. “V-lab” is the first large scale WFS room designed by us for CCSR at the University of Surrey. The room hosts a panoramic view 120 degree screen and an audio system consisting of 340 loudspeakers employing the WFS 3D audio.