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On Loudspeakers as Recording Devices

Moving-coil electrodynamic loudspeakers and dynamic microphones use the same linear actuator technology at the core of their operation. Utilising this similarity, loudspeakers have a possible use as recording devices in cases where using dedicated microphones is not feasible. Such a use case exists in public address and voice alarm systems. This paper evaluates the feasibility of using the loudspeakers already in place in these systems as recording devices to provide information back to the system. A system using a single loudspeaker as both a playback and recording device simultaneously is analysed, modelled and simulated. The results show that using a current measuring set-up with an analogue-to-digital converter capable of detecting a range of roughly 120 dB, a speech signal incident at 46 dBSPL in a cone of 150° from a loudspeaker can be successfully estimated in an of?ce room with an announcement playing at 88 dBSPL and background interference present at the same time. As the estimated signal is unknown to the system, the solution generalises to other signal types as well.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society