Understanding Speaker Frequency Response

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Oleg, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Posts:
    442
    Location:
    USA
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    It is. You want a flat response from your speakers (at least in a proper listening room). And the best speakers have the flattest.

    A flat response means the speaker will reproduce the original source sound "faithfully". If not flat, that means the speaker will exaggerate or degrade certain frequencies. For example, make the bass too high, or the highs too low. Any deviation from perfectly flat is a flaw.
     
  3. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Posts:
    442
    Location:
    USA
    As bass-head. flat frequency, drives me nuts. :D
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    That's what frequency equalizers are for - so you can tailor the output of your speakers to compensate for heavy drapes and carpets, bouncy hard walls, etc. But a speaker should not assume you want heavy bass or pronounced highs. A speaker should reproduce exactly what the musicians produced. Period.
     
  5. Krusty

    Krusty Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Posts:
    8,693
    Location:
    Among the gum trees
    Exactly, Bill!
     
  6. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Posts:
    1,232
    Location:
    USA
    Frequency equalization is also quite helpful to compensate for frequency hearing impairment. While this can exist at any age, high frequency hearing loss is very common in the senior years!
     
  7. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Posts:
    442
    Location:
    USA
    You are abuslty right.
    Ah that explains it all. Another question i have. How far apart are Logitech z623 and klipsch promedia 2.1?.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  8. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Posts:
    4,979
    Manufactures Flat Frequency Response graphs are usually the result of testing in an anechoic chamber, or outdoors with no wind, & a quiet noise background. The EXACT speaker/s when placed in a room will NOT give a FFR ! Also putting those Same speakers in ANY other room, will give different responses.

    Every room is different, & effects the sound we hear in different ways. So a FFR is Not what's required. So EQ and/or other tools/equipment is needed to try & get a more balanced sound. But, as everybody has different hearing capabilities, & different preferences for levels of bass, sub bass etc etc, some will prefer solutions others won't, & vice versa !

    Only by time consuming etc experimenting/testing, can you achieve better results. Not everybody wants to do that, or knows how to, so they never attain as good sound as they could with what they already have.

    With Free software such as REW http://www.roomeqwizard.com or ARTA http://www.artalabs.hr & a low cost Calibrated microphone, you might be surprised at what you discover, & can then correct with EQ etc etc.

    Have fun
     
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    Audio reproduction, audiophile-quality equipment, setup, and repair was my first love as a technician way back in the early 70s before I got into IS/IT hardware. Whenever I helped set up some one's new system, I used a SPL (sound pressure level) meter positioned where the primary listener's head would sit when listening. Then I calibrated the output of each speaker to their room using a frequency equalizer to shape the signal sent to the final amps. In EVERY case, once the output was shaped to achieve the flatest response possible, the user didn't like it! They would complain it sounded tinny, or too bright, or not enough bass, or too much base.

    A very common complaint was, "They didn't sound like that in the showroom!" That is not uncommon. What is common is for the sales staff to crank up the highs and lows, just as TV manufacturers and sales staff crank up brightness on TVs - because people with untrained ears and eyes "perceive" those characteristics as a sign of quality - when in fact, they are not.

    The highest quality sound from a speaker equals the flattest frequency response across the widest frequency range with the least amount of distortion. Notice I did not put loudness in there. There are other characteristics like dispersion, dynamic range, efficiency (debatable) - but those are minor compared to the others.

    I had the ADC Sound Shaper Thirty back in the day on my system. Loved it. My problem today is I worked for 24 years on or next to a military flightline and I loved and still love loud rock. My almost 65 year old ears are not as discerning as they once were (though I still know distortion when I hear it). Another problem today is music is so much synthesized and auto-tuned anyway, who knows what it is really supposed to sound like? :(
     
  10. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,443
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    You can't go wrong with either. Each has it's minor flaws.

    I have been using the Logitechz623 .[I had to switch from a set of Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra MX6021s, after my downstairs neighbor complained about the subwoofer which was downward firing and was far too large to place anywhere except the floor - I always referred to them as a $1,000 stereo system for $199 - at moderate sound levels (floor shaking) they were unbelievably excellent. High powered Individual amps for tweeter/midrange/subwoofer. Altec Lansing has been producing some of the highest quality speakers for decades - initially the large horn speakers you see at stadiums, theatres, and concert venues. The MX602, IMHO, is heads above both the Logitech and Klipsch-dunno if they are still being sold,]

    The Logitech 623 has for years been iconic for a high-quality/ high-value/high power 2.1 system. They are, however, base heavy, but this can be compensated for by lowering the base level control on the right-side speaker and with an equalizer. The base is very clean and exceptionally tight, The high end has been criticized as being somewhat weak and at least the reviwers at Maximum PC said that the high end was "tinny" and that they found listening to them to become irritating. I like them. I find them to have extreme clarity. I am able to place the subwoofer on my desk - doesn't look so great but it's not oversized like the Altec Lansing..

    The Klipsch would likely be preferred by a true audiophile because of it's overall flatter response. However, the base at high volume levels has been said to "rumble", i.e., distorted and not tight. I owned an earlier incantation of the Klipsch more than ten years ago, they were fine until they failed after a year.

    If you can spring for an aditional $75, the Corsair SP2500, took over the title of "King of the Hill" in the 2.1 segment of the market years ago. While aimed at the gaming sector, it has received rave reviews as being superb for music and video applications also.

    Of course, with any speaker system the quality you hear is highly dependant upon your sound card.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  11. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    It is all relative. You are talking about the left speaker, right speaker and subwoofer/LFE, plus all the electronics/amplification for just $160 - with shipping. I don't believe any "true audiophile" would see (hear) much to prefer with any of the offerings above.

    It is important to put computer speakers in perspective to what any (even wannabe) audiophile would prefer. A "low-end" audiophile left-only speaker would likely cost twice that $160 to start. And that is with no amplification. Add the right side and we are over $600 for a budget "stereo" system - but with no electronics to drive them. Add another $300 for a budget receiver and then you got some tunes.

    $500 for a self powered sub/LFE would be a starting point in a half way decent system. But of course, that is not surround. You need at least a center and 1 pair of rears to round it out.

    So IMO, there is no such thing as a "high fidelity" computer speaker system. All of those suggested are good for background music, or maybe when focusing on the monitor during game play.
     
  12. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,443
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    LOL :)

    Bill: I agree for the most part, but the question was the narrow one of a comparison of the Logitech and the Klipsch 2.1 systems in question.

    I would encourage you, however, to listen to a set of $199 Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra MX6021s if you ever have the chance. Might give you pause to reconsider.

    Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra MX6021: Specs

    Two 75mm mid-range and two 22mm high-frequency neodymium drivers
    165mm long-throw woofer
    Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 106 dB
    Total Continuous Power: 200 Watts RMS
    Midrange driver: 33 Watts per Channel @4 ohms @10% THD @150 Hz-2.5 kHz
    Tweeter: 33 Watts per Channel @4 ohms @10% THD @2.5 kHz-20 kHz
    Subwoofer: 68 Watts @8 ohms @10 % THD @40 Hz-180 Hz Single Channel Loaded
    System Response: 40 Hz-20 kHz (-10 dB)
    Signal to Noise Ratio @1 kHz input: greater than 75 dB
    Subwoofer Dimensions: 260x382x400mm
    Satellite Dimensions: 135x156x220mm
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    I know they can really put some nice sound out of inexpensive speakers these days. But when you've had to luxury of listening to really serious high-end loudspeakers, you get really spoiled. Next on my list, if I ever get a chance are the $685,000 :eek: per pair Wilson Audio Modular Monitors, or WAMMs. My problem is as soon as I step in the showroom, they know I can't afford them.

    Regarding the two in question - there really is no way anyone can answer that for you. Any speaker you buy has to satisfy your ears not mine. If it were easy to make a "one size fits all" speaker, it would have been done years ago.
     
  14. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Posts:
    442
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks all of you for great answers. But as most of you know this. Logitech 623 system are not loud speakers. Meaning there are no amplitude.
     
  15. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,443
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    You are joking. Right o_O?
     
  16. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Posts:
    5,443
    Location:
    DC Metro Area
    Bill: Many moons ago when I was "in the chips" for my 30th birthday I treated myself to a pair of Genisis II speakers that cost $1,200+ in today's dollars. They were designed by one of the original developers at AR Research that I know you must be familiar with. They were powered by a a solid high SNR 100 watt per channel JVC high end receiver. I know what good sound sounds like. Yeah, I know all about the stratospheric speakers and tube pre amps and all that. I had a good friend who could afford to be into that. But we are not talking about this type of set up. We are talking about PC Speakers that are a totally different animal that serve a totally different purpose than high end audiophile components. Trust me -- if you are lucky and get a chance listen to a set of $199 Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra MX6021s. They are remarkable for that price and rival $1,000 audio systems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  17. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Posts:
    3,264
    Location:
    USA
    The closest thing you can get to audiophile sound systems for the PC is Swan Audio. They have some nice book shelf speakers that are very accurate.
     
  18. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    Of course they are. Loudspeaker has nothing to do with loudness or amplification. Loudspeaker is just the proper and full name for a speaker - a device that takes an electrical signal and converts it sound through an electro-mechanical device (transducer).

    But specifically to your comment about "no amplitude". First, I am going to assume you meant "no amplifier" or "no amplification". Amplitude is just a means of measure and is the same as saying no height or no weight or no magnitude. So assuming you meant amplifier or amplification, that's not correct either. As seen here, the Logitech 623 is like almost every set of 2.1 (or 4.1 or 5.1) computer speakers and has an integrated amplifier built into same case as the sub.
    I am very familiar with AR. My dad got into audio reproduction in the mid 60s and has a set of the original AR-3 speaker systems. When I was in the Air Force, my first overseas assignment in the early 70s allowed me to afford a set of AR-3a speakers as my first set of audiophile quality speakers which I still have today and hope to restore this new year. At the time, 1 AR-3a cost me 1 month's pay ($200)! And of course, you need to for stereo. Fortunately, I lived in the barracks and ate at the chow hall. They are still known as some of the finest "loudspeakers" ever produced.
    I agree 100%. But sadly, there are many visitors to these forums who don't understand that.

    Do not think I don't appreciate the sound that comes out of the better computer speakers. Way back in 2001, I paid (on sale) $130 for a set of Logitech Z560 THX Certified 4.1 speakers that I still use on this system today (enjoying Mannheim Steamroller as I type). That was a lot of money back then and still is today for many. Over the years I have listened to many 2.1 and 5.1 computer speaker systems, thinking I should upgrade. But I have never been enticed to retire these. They still sound great and for what I use them for (listening to music via Pandora or one of my 600+ CDs) I don't need nor do I miss a center channel speaker. In fact, a center speaker would get in my way, and would actually distort stereo spectrum.

    As for your Altecs, while I have heard some very impressive Altec Lansings in home theater setups, the reviews of those MX6021s don't measure up for their relatively high price tag. :(

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2355125,00.asp
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/pc-speaker-reviews/altec-lansing-expressionist-ultra-mx6021-review/

    I don't believe Swan Audio makes "computer" speakers any more. If you need separate amplification, those are not really "computer" speakers. That's not to say you cannot have a receiver or preamp/amp sitting on your desk to power a nice set of bookshelf or floor standing speakers with your computer (that's what happens with HTPCs), but those are still not considered "computer" speakers which either have integrated electronics or are so small, they run off the 4W from a sound card or via USB power.
     
  19. Dragon1952

    Dragon1952 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    Posts:
    2,209
    Location:
    Hollow Earth - Telos
    I see the 623 speakers on amazon and it looks like a lot of people bought them and like them. Almost 3,300 customer reviews.
     
  20. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Posts:
    3,264
    Location:
    USA
    If I remember correctly, the Logitech Z623 doesnt use a Logitech speaker. They use a TangBand driver, which are great in the DIY audio world.
     
  21. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    My guess is Logitech does not make any of their own speakers - though they may have a speaker manufacturer make them to own specs.
     
  22. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Posts:
    442
    Location:
    USA
    "Logitech 623 system are just room feeling
    Yep. That's what i have meat to say. They are not stage feeling unlike Pro Media., And yes. i have meant "no amplifier". Using DFX Audio Enhancer helps with amplification. Meaning that's DFX makes speakers sound smother. And Logitech is know for mouse manufacturing. They have just recently gotten in speakers biz.
     
  23. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    Nebraska, USA
    As I noted earlier, loudness is not an indication of quality. There are many speakers that can produce tremendous sound pressure levels (SPLs) or "volumes", but that does not mean they do so without adding distortion or by faithfully reproducing the original sound. In fact, many speakers that tout high SPL capability are incapable of producing flat, 20 to 20K, low distortion, high S/N at low volume levels - during quiet passages in the music/soundtrack. In other words, they have poor dynamic range.

    :( I am sorry, but you really should do your homework first, or at least follow the comments in this thread before saying something that makes no sense. Did you see above where I said I bought my Logitech speakers way back in 2001? And note they had been making computer speakers for at least 5 years before that. So for over 20 years, Logitech has been making computer speakers. It is true they first made their mark with mice and keyboards, but it is just not true that speakers are something recent.

    :( No it doesn't. It's an equalizer. And it is made to compensate for deficiencies in the speakers and audio distribution method which generally involves distortion adding compression/decompression methods. And it supposed to do so without adding any distortion or changing the music from what the artists intended. And in general, these programs fail in both those areas because (1) they have to guess and (2) users commonly push settings to exaggerate highs and lows because they think exaggerated highs and lows sound better. :(

    Again, if the idea is to reproduce the sound as it was originally produced, you do not add booming bass, enhanced highs, 3D "effects", or dynamic gains. But if you don't mind "synthetic" enhancements then fine. And in many cases - such as background music, nightclubs, dance parties, synthetic enhancemetns are fine. But if the desire is to listen to music the way the artists recorded it, the better option is to listen to source materials that are not compressed or altered in the first place, then play it through equipment (and software) that does not alter that sound.
     
  24. Oleg

    Oleg Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Posts:
    442
    Location:
    USA
    I don't mind "synthetic" enhancements. It's. because i am listening a lot of club music or EDM. I am sure a lot of Djs are using "synthetic" elements by using Mix-board.
     
  25. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2003
    Posts:
    778
    Location:
    Headquarters - London & Field Offices -Worldwide
    Imagine a relatively small company that makes mice and keyboards knowing much about sound. Some may have heard of the Razer Company. They now know a little bit about sound. They recently bought THX LTD.

    In addition to a flat frequency response a properly time-correlated tweeter, midrange and woofer are needful in this example of a three way system. Basically this means that if a speaker had a flat frequency response it might not sound very good even in a perfect room. Why not? you ask? Most of the time with less than the most high end speakers there occurs the following phenomena: The highs and mids and lows do not exit the speaker in the same time frame as when they would have entered the ears of someone who was in the room when the recording was made assuming a studio recording for example. The discordance of the timing of the frequencies makes for a muddied and dull sound. If one used a device to correct the timing of the frequencies relative to each other then the same speaker in the same conditions would sound altogether different and great comparatively speaking. The device would be a BBE Sonic Maximizer for example. All the while the EQ would not/does not change.

    Best wishes
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.