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Low Frequency Performance of Circular Loudspeaker Arrays

Compact loudspeaker arrays are widely used for the localized delivery of audio messages and beamforming applications. The optimal directivity performance of these devices is limited to a given frequency limit, whose upper bound is defined by the occurrence of spatial aliasing. The lower bound of this frequency range is caused by the limited capability of the array to generate a directional sound beam when the wavelength of the sound to be reproduced is large in comparison to the size of the array. In this work a theoretical and experimental study is presented of the directivity limitations of circular loudspeaker arrays at low frequencies. The frequency at which the array directivity pattern starts to diverge from the desired one is calculated analytically and put into relation with the dynamic range of the transducers and with the regularization scheme used when designing the beamforming digital filters.

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