Modes in small rooms may lead to uneven frequency responses and extended sound decays at low frequencies. In critical listening environments, this often causes unwanted coloration effects, which can be detrimental to the sound quality. Choosing an appropriately proportioned room, and placing listener and loudspeakers in the right places can reduce the audible effects of modes. A new methodology is detailed for determining the room dimensions for small critical listening spaces as well as the optimum positions for sources and receivers. It is based on numerical optimization of the room geometry and layout to achieve the flattest possible frequency response. The method is contrasted with previous techniques for choosing room dimensions. The variations of the room quality for different room sizes are mapped out. These maps include an allowance for constructional variation, which has not been considered previously.
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