Loudspeaker Far - Field Measurement

Calculate First Floor Reflection Calculate Phase Response

There are two kinds of far-field measurement: gated and not-gated one.

In the gated measurement we set the markers so that we limit the data to be used to calculate the frequency response.
Eliminating reflections from the measurement in this way allows anechoic testing to be conducted in a normal room.

The relationship is a simple one: if you apply a time window of 6 milliseconds (0.006s �not unusual for measurements conducted in a typical domestic room), then the frequency resolution of the measurement will be limited to 1/0.006 = 167 Hz.

The not-gated far-field measurement, instead, uses all the data including the room response, and is useful to see how the speakers will sound in the environment they will be used, helping us understand where to place them.

In the far field measurement the microphone is placed at a distance at which the driver looks like a point source and its sound pressure level is inversely proportional with its distance from the mic (6 dB drop for each doubling of distance).

The industry standard sets this distance to 1 meter to allow integration of the various drivers in a front baffle, that is by 1 meter usually the woofer and tweeter response have added together so a single test gets both (however when testing speakers that uses line sources, like ribbon or array drivers, the mic-speaker distance is increased to 2 meters).

If you are testing drivers separately then you can use any distance that works but be aware that if it's true that a less than 1 meter distance increases the signal to noise ratio, it's also true that a too close distance causes the driver not to act as a point source, thus the measurement cannot be considered far-field.

Is common to use a distance equal to 4-5 times the driver diaphragm diameter, but not exceeding more than 1 meter: it rarely works for anechoic (gated) measurements cause the reflections are very close to the signal and you don't get any low frequency response (unless you have a huge measurement room, where floor-ceiling-sidewall reflections happens very late).

Using 1 meter or more for far-field (not gated) in-room response is just fine.

In the gated measurement it is very important to place the loudspeaker in the room center, so that all the parallel walls are equally far from it.
I use to put the speaker on a stand to center it between the floor and the ceiling. Also put some absorbing mat on the floor between the mic and the speaker, as well as on the microphone stand.

Calculate first floor reflection

When the speaker in the middle of the room on the floor, as far as possible away from walls inhibited, then the first reflection is the floor reflection.

The chassis under test and the measuring microphone are both at the height of 1 meter above the floor. The linear distance X between chassis and microphone is also 1 meter. The floor reflected wave has a greater distance to the microphone.

This is basically a delayed version of a primary signal that is produced when two or more loudspeakers are playing the same signal at different distances from the listener. In any enclosed space listeners hear a mixture of direct and reflected sound. Because the reflected sound takes longer to reach our ears, it constitutes a delayed version of the direct sound and a comb filter is created where the two combine at the listener. The extent of its audibility depends on how lively the room is to allow the reflected sounds to average out the overall response. Note that this interference may be constructive (additive) or destructive (subtractive).

Distance to Microphone [X  cm
Microphone Height [h  cm
Driver Height [Dh  cm
Speed Of Sound   m/s ( default is 343.2 m/s )
Distance 1st Reflection   cm
First Reflection arrives after   ms
1st Floor Refection [subtractive]   Hz @ 180 degrees  ( Dip )
1st Floor Refection [additive]   Hz @ 360 degrees  ( Peak )

fig. 1

Early reflections are those which reach the listener within a delay of 15 ms relative to the direct signal. The retarded sound creates phase problems by combining to the direct one. The result is numerous dips in the frequency response.

fig. 2

From fig. 2 becomes clear that sound energy starts arrive after roughly speaking 2.7 ms at the mictofoon.

This sound front is followed by response in the form of a subdued ultrasound which is reduced after 6 ms to a very low level.
After 6.3 ms a second, smaller quantity of sound energy arrive. This is the floor reflection.
A third front on approximately 10.5 ms is the reflection against the ceiling.
Finally we see a fourth (negative) front at 12 ms, this is the reflection against a sidewall.

Calculate Phase Response

First refection (-dB) at 180°, Second reflection (+dB) at 360°.

Measurement Approach Implementation Advantages Disadvantages Limits
Anechoic Chamber Acoustical measurements done within an indoor, (ideally) reflection-free environment Climate-controlled, artificial environment in which to measure amplitude response, noise & distortion, diffraction effect & directional response characteristics Cost; extremely large chamber needed for accurate LF amplitude response, noise & distortion, etc measurement Chamber , device under test (DUT) size; depth, type & configuration of absorptive material used within the chamber
Ground Plane Measurement Measurement done with the DUT & microphone typically placed on the ground, with the emissive radiating surface(s) pointed at the microphone Low cost; ease of implementation, within known limits, can provide accurate measurement data Upper & lower frequency limits. Other than the ground upon which it rests, DUT must be placed well away from any reflective surfaces or objects large enough to influence measured amplitude response Noise pollution, Inclement weather (when done outdoors)
Half-Space or Hemispherical Free Field Measurement Device affixed flush-mount with surface such as baffle, ground surface or clear wall of Hemi-anechoic chamber Depending on implementation and type of data sought, can provide excellent results Cost of indoor Hemi-anechoic chamber; use of baffle invites cancellation?. Out door, in-ground placement requires DUT to be placed well away from any reflective surfaces or objects large enough to influence measurements Approach requires all emissive radiators be on one side of the cabinet
Windowing (gated) Measurement taken and unwanted data windowed out Fast data acquisition & post-processing Requires significant data post-processing and the ability to skillfully interpret the results LF measurement accuracy defined by environmentally determined window length. Poor tolerance for time variance.
Near Field Measurement Measurement done with microphone placed near to, centered on and normal to front emissive surface of each acoustic radiator When implemented correctly, the near-field amplitude response provides for an accurate facsimile of the far field response Multiple emissive surfaces require multiple measurements along with subsequent post processing Upper frequency limit determined by size of DUT.

Measurement Tactics ( Audioholics.com by Gene DellaSala, 3 pages )

Click here to read about Near - Field Measurement or Ground - Plane Measurements.

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