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Personal Sound Zones: The Significance of Loudspeaker Driver Nonlinear Distortion

The influence of loudspeaker nonlinear distortion on personal sound zones is studied through simulations under anechoic conditions. Two sound zones, one bright, one dark are created by four linear loudspeaker arrays placed at the edges of a 2.5m x 2.5m square. Two methods for controlling the zones, acoustic contrast control and planarity control are employed. Loudspeaker nonlinear distortion is modeled with either second or third order nonlinearities. Without nonlinear distortion, simulations produce a contrast of 80.0 dB for both methods. When nonlinear distortion is added, the contrast is reduced mainly due to new, uncontrolled components in the dark zone. The impact of nonlinear distortion can be tuned through regularization governing the loudspeaker control effort and the contrast can be optimized.

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