The preference in loudspeaker product design is for small size, while preserving maximum low frequency extension and output volume. If the goal is to create a realistic reproduction of a live event, then certain speaker parameters must be adequately controlled, such as volume displacement, intermodulation distortion, stored energy and off-axis frequency response. Components must be carefully selected for low distortion performance. Parameters like phase linearity and cabinet diffraction are sometimes overrated. Multi-channel speaker setups require propagation delay correction and bass management, if not all speakers cover the full frequency range. These issues are reviewed at the advent of high resolution surround sound. The new technology can only fulfill its promise and expand into more than a niche market, if capable loudspeakers are widely available.
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