The extensive research on the perceptual attributes of analog filters used for loudspeaker crossover networks does not necessarily apply to digital filters. In this study finite-impulse response (FIR) and Linkwitz–Riley (LR) digital crossover filters were examined for their perceptual artifacts. Subjective tests with headphones and loudspeakers showed that for LR filters the audibility of phase distortion can be predicted by group delay errors. But FIR filters of high order produce audible artifacts because of time smear created by extensive ringing. LR filters of order 8 or less and FIR filters of about 600 were without problems. These safety limits should be respected.
This paper costs $33 for non-members and is free for AES members and E-Library subscribers.