Studio Speakers: What is phase compensation and do you need it (measurements)? - with HEDD Audio

hedd audio & acoustics insider


Oh that dreaded word.

Mysterious, difficult to comprehend, and oh-too-often the escape goat when we don't really know what the issue is..

"It MUST be a phase problem!"

Of course in the real world, phase is just another way to look at time, and it's at the very core of a lot of what we do as sound engineers and music creatives.

Proper timing affects groove, punch, power, detail and excitement, just to name a few.

It's pretty important.

So you may be surprised to hear that that speaker in front of you is probably totally incapable of reproducing the entire bandwidth of frequencies at the same time.

In fact it smears the spectrum out, with the high frequencies leaving the speaker first, and the lows only deciding to tag along at the very end.

Now this isn't news to anyone who's into speaker design.

But up until very recently, it's been something we usually just had to live with.

We already got "impulse response correction" or "phase compensation" included in the odd higher end room correction packages here or there.

But moving forward, with DSP becoming more and more prevalent in many company's playback systems, I'm sure it won't be long before this is standard all around.

So what does phase compensation actually mean when we talk about speakers? And how does it affect what we hear?

That's what I want to show you in this first video in my collaboration with HEDD Audio.



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