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Detailed explanation of common terms used in speaker evaluation

2021-06-29 73
With the development of manufacturing technology and the gradual reduction of costs, PC speakers that once only needed to be able to produce sound are becoming more and more concerned about the quality of sound reproduction, and many speakers have more or less certain Hi-Fi features. —Of course, in the fierce market competition, in order to find a selling point for their products, manufacturers ignore the real performance and quality of the products and hold Hi-Fi thighs to prove that their products are superior to their competitors. , Can even be said to be the main reason. ——As a result, more and more PC speaker evaluation articles are becoming increasingly Hi-Fi.

Compared with the previous PC speaker evaluation articles, these Hi-Fi-level evaluations seem to have two trends. One is to completely entertain and develop toward women’s magazines, as pointed out in "Talking about the lack of technology in speaker evaluation". , Using words such as "high-end" and "luxurious" to take a sensational way; the other is trying to add more "professional" elements, and seriously evaluate PC speakers as Hi-Fi speakers. The text is full of people. With a dazzling variety of terms, many users often feel like they are falling into the cloud when reading such articles: Although they are all composed of Chinese characters, it seems that it is difficult to accurately grasp the true intention of the expression (to be honest, the author sees I have a similar feeling in stock reviews. Many times I imagine the charter company in "Kung Fu" yelling like, "Man, speak Chinese! I don't understand"). Perhaps for some manufacturers, this kind of evaluation is more in line with their requirements. It seems that only ordinary users can’t understand it to show their professionalism more and prove that they put the Hi-Fi label on their PC speakers justifiably. Of course, for the evaluation media, this also seems to show their level better. The win-win situation that everyone enjoys makes this kind of articles more and more popular. This article intends to introduce the professional terminology involved in speaker evaluation, hoping to be helpful to friends when reading such "professional" articles.

However, it should be emphasized that many of these terms do not have corresponding standards in the industry, and the extension and connotation are quite vague, and the description in this article is not necessarily accurate. I hope friends will understand. In addition, it should also be noted that many media reviewers may not really understand the meaning when they pile up a large number of professional terms. There are many cases of far-fetched or even nonsense, and everyone needs to be clear when reading reviews. In addition, the more important point is that you have to have a clear understanding of Hi-Fi-class PC speakers. The so-called Hi-Fi, more efforts are reflected in the excellence of the sound quality, and the price of a model is only a few hundred yuan. PC speakers, even if their manufacturers are making money at a loss, how much can they invest in sculpting the details?

Sound field and sense of space
What sound field is it? This in itself is a rather vague concept. The source of this is probably nothing more than the two terms "Sound Field" and "Sound Stage" in English. Among them, "Sound Field" tends to generally refer to the space filled with sound, while "Sound Field" tends to refer to the space filled with sound. "Stage" is more aimed at the arrangement of the band on the stage during music performance (including the width, depth, height, and low of different instrument positions). In Chinese media, the common "sound field" seems to be similar to "Sound Stage" to a large extent, while "Sound Field" is more often described as "a sense of space".

Sound field

Sound field shape

The so-called sound field shape refers to the arrangement shape of the performance orchestra reproduced when the sound box restores the sound. Due to the uneven distribution of the frequency response curve, the directivity of the horn, and the sound reflection conditions in the room, some sound fields are concave, some are wider than the depth, and some are deeper than the width. Some sound fields are square and have no concave shape. The reproduction of different shapes of this sound stage is the shape of the sound field.

A good speaker, of course, the shape of the restored sound field is in line with the original shape when recording. This is a basic principle. However, the absoluteization of this concept is also biased. For example, in the recording of live performances, the arrangement of the orchestra is wider than the depth; but in the recording studio, the arrangement of the orchestra is often changed for the purpose of sound effects, usually in depth. Will stretch, especially percussion instruments will be placed farther. In this way, it is not the arrangement we see in the concert hall. In many cases, the faithful restoration of the speakers will weaken the overall effect.

Sound field position

In addition to the shape, the sound field also has a position problem, that is, where the different instruments are in the entire sound field and their front, back, high, and low layout. During the playback of different speakers, some will make the entire sound field approach the listener; some will move back relative to the listener; some will sound floating in the air; some will look like sitting on the second floor of a concert hall Look at the stage as usual, this is caused by the position of the sound field in the speaker playback.

There are many factors that affect the position of the sound field, the main ones being the uniformity of the frequency response and the placement of the speakers. For an ideal speaker, the restored sound field position should include: For example, the sound of double bass and cello should come from a lower place, and the position of the violin should be higher than that of the double bass and cello; if the orchestra has a front and a low back when recording When the arrangement is high, the sound field should have the appearance of front low and high rear. For example, copper pipes are generally located at a relatively high position; the height of the entire sound field should be basically equivalent to that of the listener sitting with both eyes looking straight. The height or slightly higher. That is, the violin should be above the line of sight, and the cello and double bass should be under the line of sight. The copper pipe must be at least the same height as the violin or higher.

As for the front and back positions of the sound field, the ideal state should start to extend back from the front line of the speaker. Of course, this kind of optimal sound field position is not easy to find, because it also has a great relationship with the listening software. Usually, it is easier to get it from the back of the speaker along a line, but it can't be retracted too much.

Sound field width

Generally speaking, when the speakers are playing back, the entire sound field should be able to fill the space of the audio-visual room, which is the so-called wide side wall.

Sound field depth

Theoretically speaking, the depth of the sound field refers to the distance between the front instrument and the last instrument in the sound field. In many cases, it is the distance between the violin and the bass drum and timpani. Some speakers or environments have too much mid- and low-frequency or low frequencies, so the position of the bass drum and timpani will rush forward. At this time, the depth of the sound field is of course very poor.

As for some speakers, it is absurd to be evaluated as "excellent sound field depth" due to the position of the sound field being retracted.

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Sound field and sense of space
Sense of space

The spatial sense of the speaker is essentially the size of the three-dimensional space of the recording venue that can be restored. To be able to fully express the sense of space, the reproduction of excellent details is the basic guarantee, especially the reproduction of "Tong Yin". In a sense, it can even be said that if you can't hear the complete hall sound, then the "sense of space" cannot be fully reproduced.

In many speaker evaluations, the hall sound and reverberation are often mixed together, but these are two completely different things. Tang Yin is Ambience in English, which refers to the surroundings, environment or atmosphere, and was later extended to the Tang Yin in the concert hall. From the "atmosphere" in its meaning, it can be understood that it refers to the musical details surrounding us. In addition to the perceptual meaning, Ambience has another rational explanation, specifically referring to the first reflected sound transmitted to the ear. Friends with acoustic foundations know that our ears pass through the original sound and the first reflected sound. The time delay between locating the sound source is the same for speaker playback. Through the time delay between the first reflected sound and the real sound connection, we can "feel" the size of the concert hall space. In other words, if it cannot be played back If you find the hall sounds, you cannot restore the sense of space in your brain.

The English for reverberation is ReverberaTIon. Although reverberation is also a reflection sound, there is a stricter time definition for reverberation, which means that after a burst occurs, the energy of the sound decays to one millionth of the original. (60dB) length of time. This is far from the hall sound that assists the human ear positioning.

Speaker positioning ability

Does it mean that the speaker's positioning ability is okay if you can hear the complete hall sound and restore the sense of space? The answer is obviously not that simple. Many friends who are beginners in photography may have encountered such a situation: the focus of the photo is blurred due to the lack of focus when taking pictures, such as a blurred face, and a small flower in the background is quite clear. Similarly, in the speaker During playback, phase distortion will also cause positioning drift, which often happens when the instrument that should be in the front left is restored to the front. In addition, the ratio of direct sound to reflected sound in the space is not good, especially high-frequency reflections that are too strong, which can lead to inaccurate positioning.

Layering

The sense of hierarchy is easy to understand. It refers to whether the interval between rows of musical instruments can be reproduced clearly. As far as TV is concerned, if dark gray and black can be distinguished, there is a sense of hierarchy. The same is true for the sound, the arrangement of the orchestra will not be mixed, but it will have a good sense of hierarchy. What's more, we need to hear the space between the instrument and the instrument, so that we can have the best sense of hierarchy.

Body sensation

Body sensation is the ability of human voices or musical instruments to show a three-dimensional effect. A speaker with a good shape will make the sound more convex, more three-dimensional, and make the shadow of the sound contour clearer.


Sound quality and tone
Sound quality

Tone quality refers to the quality of sound. In English, TONE QUALITY and tone color (TIMBRE or TONE COLOR) are not the same thing. But in Chinese, sound quality and timbre are often mixed or misused.

So, what exactly is the quality of sound? To give a simple example, for example, when we evaluate the quality of a car, the quality refers to the performance, safety, and service life of the car, rather than whether it is fancy and fashionable. Similarly, for the sound quality and the quality of the speakers In terms of it, it doesn't mean its level, its positioning, etc. It is more specific to its impatience. A speaker with good sound quality is comfortable and durable. In comparison, some speakers may be vigorous and powerful, but they are not durable to listen to. That may be a sound quality problem. A good speaker should have a sound quality like a good voice, which makes people never get tired of hearing it.

In a sense, it can be said that "quality" is the innate nature. The sound quality is noble, very good, and beautiful, which means the nature of this equipment is very good. It sounds very comfortable.

Timbre

Tone literally refers to the color of the sound. Of course, we all know that the sound has no color. However, we often hear similar sayings: this violin has a really cold tone, this violin has a really warm tone, etc. This means As far as the timbre of the violin is concerned.

In the eyes of Hi-Fi people, sound is like light, with color, but it is not seen with the eyes, but heard with the ears. Generally, the warmer the tone, the softer the sound; the colder the tone, the harder the sound. Too soft or too hard is of course not very good. Sometimes, timbre can also be described by words like "noble", which is basically one of nature. However, just like cloth, cloth quality refers to its material, and cloth color refers to its color. There are still clear boundaries between them.

Transparency

The transparency of sound is almost a noun that can only be understood and cannot be explained. However, friends who use innovative sound cards can compare the playback of the same music on other sound cards-of course, the premise is to use speakers with good quality-maybe you can appreciate the creative use of the advertising slogan "crystal-like" for many years. The meaning of "clear", to some extent, represents a sense of transparency.

The difference in transparency makes some speakers sound extremely clear, while others are like a layer of fog. For speakers, if the sense of transparency is not good, the overall performance will drop by many grades. The best transparency is soft, it sounds like ears will not be tired; the poor transparency is like sunlight that hurts the eyes, although you can see clearly, it is very sad. Most audio equipment can't achieve both clear and soft transparency, but can only express clearly.

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Speaker's detail reduction ability
vivid

The vividness of the speaker's ability to restore can make the music sound more lively and will not be lifeless. This is an important factor in whether the music is good or not, just like an excellent conductor can make the music full of life; while a bad conductor often makes the music dull.


Detailed explanation of common terms used in speaker evaluation


Resolution

The concept of resolution is relatively easy to understand. It can be compared to the resolution of its display. A high-resolution display can display the details of the image more clearly, while a good speaker can clearly restore the subtle and complex parts of the sound. Come out, the index that describes this ability is resolution.

Generally speaking, the resolution of a speaker mostly refers to the resolution at low level (subtle changes in the sound). For high-end Hi-Fi equipment, there is a high level of resolution, which refers to the response to the sound at extreme bursts. The reduction ability of various elements in the. ——For PC speakers, this is purely a luxury.

Detail regeneration

In a sense, the level of details and shadows can also be clearly attributed to the resolution, but the resolution does not represent all the details and layering. For example, the layering from the back to the back row is not enough only by the resolution. To complete.

Details refer to the details of the instrument, the subtle reproduction of the hall sounds, and all the noise in the recording space. The amount of detail reproduction of a piece of audio equipment can easily be compared through the AB Test. The speaker's detail reproduction and restoration ability depends on many factors, such as low distortion, high signal-to-noise ratio, high sensitivity, high resolution, transparency, etc. Equipment with few details sounds flat and boring: equipment with many details is fun. An excellent speaker must guarantee the ability to regenerate in rich details.

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Dynamic reduction ability of speakers
speed

The specific restoration of the sound by the speed in the speaker is mainly manifested in the rise time and slew rate, and the emphasis is on the speed of various reactions in the performance of the speaker.

Dynamic contrast

In layman's terms, dynamic contrast can also be understood as the contrast of sound strength, that is, the contrast between loud and quiet.

Generally speaking, dynamic contrast can also be divided into dynamic contrast with large contrast and dynamic contrast with small contrast. For example, the dynamic contrast of classical music is often very large, due to the great contrast between its loudest and smallest sounds; while rock music is very loud, but its loudness and loudness does not fluctuate much, so the dynamic contrast is not great.

What is dynamic contrast with minimal contrast? That is, the subtle contrast between strength and weakness is very close. This subtle contrast of strength and weakness is like rippling water, which seems to be motionless from a distance, but only when I look up close can I know that it is constantly fluctuating slightly. The most simple way to use dynamic contrast should be this: a great dynamic contrast is like a turbulent wave hitting the shore; a very small contrast between strong and weak is the fluctuation of the lake under the breeze.

The overall balance of the speaker

From the overall point of view, the speakers are like controlling the conductor of an orchestra, and an overall balance should be sought. This is like in an orchestra, everyone is a master soloist, but everyone comes up with a head and does not listen to the interpretation of the conductor. In this way, although the individual performance level is high, the overall balance of the orchestra must be very poor. This is not a good orchestra. In the same way, even if a speaker looks at each performance index separately, it is good, but if it can't achieve a delicate balance, then it must be intolerant. At this time, no matter how high the resolution is, and how good the dynamic contrast is, it is useless. Regarding this indicator, in many cases it cannot be measured with specific quantifiable indicators.

Discerning the overall balance of the speakers is like listening to more concerts to discern whether an orchestra is good or bad. You can only rely on your own rich listening experience to judge.

In addition, the overall balance ability also includes the appropriate volume distribution of high, medium, and low frequency bands. For example, what we call a good low-frequency foundation is one of them. The so-called low frequency basis is the stable and stable state created by the low frequency band in the entire music. Most music fans want the music to be very thick and rich, and don't want the high frequency to exceed the mid and low frequencies, which will result in a top-heavy situation. This reasonable high, medium, and low frequency range is also a reflection of the overall balance ability of the speaker. A speaker with a strong overall balance will sound durable, which is what most people call music.

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