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Design of a Compact Cylindrical Loudspeaker Array for Spatial Sound Reproduction

Building acoustic beamformers is a problem whose solution is hindered by the wide-band nature of audible sound. In order to achieve a consistent directional response over a wide range of frequencies, a conventional acoustic beamformer needs a high number of discrete loudspeakers and be large enough to achieve a desired low-frequency performance. The acoustic beamformer design described in this paper uses measurement-based optimized beamforming for loudspeakers mounted on a rigid cylindrical baffle. Super-directional beamforming enables achieving desired directivity with multiple loudspeakers at low frequencies. High frequencies are reproduced with a single loudspeaker, whose highly directional reproduction--due to the cylindrical baffle--matches the design goals. In addition to the beamformer filter design procedure, it is shown how such loudspeaker array can be used for spatial sound reproduction.

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