Until today, only few acoustic prediction software packages utilize complex directivity data to characterize sound sources, such as line arrays. This work gives some theoretical background on the significance of phase data for the prediction of combinations of coherent sound sources. A mathematical model is introduced that allows evaluating the error ranges for several loudspeaker measurement methods. It is shown that, in contrast to what one would naively expect, the choice of the reference point for measuring complex data is rather irrelevant within given limits. These limits are derived based on the propagation equation for spherical waves. It is further shown analytically that the use of phase data reduces the measurement error to be expected by at least an order of magnitude.
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