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Practical Limits for Room Equalization

Traditionally, electronic equalization is used to improve the subjective quality of sound reproduction through the use of simple linear filters of low complexity. It will be shown that the properties of typical rooms combine with psychoacoustics to limit practical equalization to the use of minimum-phase filters of relatively low order despite the existence of new and powerful digital signal processing tools. The high Q and non minimum-phase nature of the room-loudspeaker-listener transfer function due to wave interference effects creates severe problems for more complete equalization. Typical cinemas and a listening room will be used to investigate the difficulties of more powerful equalization approaches.

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