Designing for near field or far field listening?
It only occurred to me some years after entering the speaker business that, as a general rule, all 'BBC monitors' are designed with near-field use in mind. Why wouldn't they be? In a broadcast environment, the sound engineer is always working in a relatively small control room - about the size of a typical UK bedroom - crammed with equipment and people. Even if we look back through the archive at BBC studios from fifty years ago, the sound engineer (or in BBC speak, the studio manager or studio assistant in local radio) would be working intimately closely to the monitor speaker - almost under it in some cases.
Originally Posted by bluegrass
So what? Well, it's a really important point actually. Take a speaker - that is, almost any hifi speaker - and play it in a large room, a few mtrs. from the listener and it will sound good. Take the same speaker and put it in a much smaller room than the one it was optimised for and then put the listener right up close to it, and that same speaker can (and often does) sound absolutely ghastly. So the magic of the 'BBC formulae' for speaker design is to attack the design from exactly the opposite direction to conventional hi-fi speakers. A huge amount of design effort is expended to make the speaker sound natural with dreive units properly integrated when the listener is close enough to touch it, which virtually guarantees that listening further away, it also sound good.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK