Rooms and their unwanted reflection - a restatement
I repeat the sole point I see relevant to this -
- the only sound we want at our ear drum is the direct sound
- we do not want any 'second hand' reflected sound from any part of the room at our ears
- we are spraying the whole room with sound from the speakers when our ears represent the tiniest portion of the room's volume and area
- that sound will touch every surface point in the room - it cannot pick and chose
- by implication, since none of the surfaces are 100% absorbent, sound will be reflected off the various surfaces and will go rattling around the room until they are fully absorbed
- headphone listening where there is no room and hence no reflections is likely to give a pressure wave at the ear drum which is more faithful to whatever is on the recording than speakers in an untreated room, but it is a different and private listening experience compared to loudspeakers
As I said earlier ...
I was just considering the pressure at any one point on the surface as the leading edge of the initial wave front touches any point on the surface of the room relative to useful wave that arrived directly from the speaker to our ear.
So, your two ears represent only 0.00031% of the total surface area which means that 99.99969% of the sound energy sprayed into your listening room by the two speakers is not only wasted energy but degrades from your listening experience as it becomes tainted with the room's sonic characteristics. That's why attending to the room's characteristics and damping is the most important upgrade you can make.
The point remains that we are exploding a tremendous about of sound energy into the 3D volume of the room (i.e. we're pumping a lot of power into the room) just so that a tiny pressure "beam" of sound passes directly from the speaker(s) to impinge upon our ear drum and make its way to the brain = a hugely wasteful and inefficient process when all we want is that initial sound "beam". Sadly we can't have the wanted "beam" without pumping the room with sound, none of which is useful to our ears.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK