Constant Directivity behavior, without diffraction

The goal of a horn or waveguide is to control the sound radiation of a device (tweeter or compression driver).

When a directivity is not constant, the device loose more and more coverage when the frequency goes up, the polar aka the energy in dB relative to the angle of radiation show us the problematic :

ideal CD

On this polar map, that represents how the sound energy radiates, we can see it become tightened too soon, since 5kHz. The listening experience will be a speaker that sounds “tiny” and incoherence because there is a radiation incoherence according to frequency.

If we solve it we can have a coherent sound and a wide soundstage, thanks to constant directivity, absence of midrange narrowing/beaming and with a good integration with directivity match at crossover, space between center to center according to crossover wave-length… You can follow our implementation guide.

The ideal theorical response should looks like:

ideal CD

It’s completely straight and the yellow color (-6dB) define the coverage angle in degrees, of course a speaker cannot be straight on all this bandwidth :

Two things that it’s important to not forget :

Psycko-acoustic And Real Ideal Response

As Dr Floyd Tooles said the directivity pushed constant very high is not very desired by the ear (understand the brain), a decay is more appreciated by the brain in high frequencies.

So a good horn will look like this, here a X-Shape 25cm on a BMS 5530:

ideal CD

The goal is to push the constant directivity behavior in regards to horn width and throat size upper but not ultra high, until 7/8khz.

For the low end of the control we try to cover the most of the reverberated field, so until the begining of Schroeder area more or less, so it’s depending of room size.

We will have to reduce the midrange narrowing and the midrange beaming as well as we can.

The listening experience will be a lot better in constant directivity, in a room almost half of the sound you listen is a reflection from the wall, so even if you listen alone in front of the speaker, a constant directivity horn will change everything and will bring a more natural and fidelity listening experience.

More about Psyckoacoustic here.

Critical Distance, adapt your opening coverage to listening distance

We listen at a so-called critical distance where the direct field (sound coming directly from the speaker) and the reverberant field (sound that rebound on walls) is at 50/50 or 60/40.

The brain then has a time of integration to merge the two fields, time that is different according to frequency.

As we cut when horn loses its directivity and woofers become directive there is no brutal change of directivity so no problem occur, the main purpose is to adapt coverage to listening distance and acoustics.

As seen in the critical distance article, do not fall in the “one-120°-coverage-fits-all” is important.

Here is a guide of coverage according to distance: