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Performance Comparison of Graphic Equalisation and Active Loudspeaker Room Response Controls

We compare the room response controls available in active loudspeakers to a third-octave graphical equaliser. The room response controls are set using an automated optimisation method presented in earlier AES publications. A third-octave ISO frequency constant-Q graphic equaliser is set to minimise the least squares deviation from linear within the passband in a smoothed acoustical response. The resulting equalisation performance of the two methods is compared using objective metrics, to show how these standard room response equalising methods perform. For all loudspeaker models pooled together, the room response controls improve the RMS deviation from a linear response from 6.1 dB to 4.7 dB (improvement 22%), whereas graphic equalisation improves the RMS deviation to 1.8 dB (improvement 70%). Both equalisation techniques achieve a similar improvement in the broadband balance, which has been shown to affect a subjective lack of colouration in sound systems. The optimisation time for a graphic equaliser is up to 48 times longer compared to that for active loudspeaker room response controls.

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