Presenting the sound journey: from concert hall or studio to your living room.
A cellist plays a virtuoso solo on his instrument with a lot of emotion, a rock band creates an exuberant atmosphere during a pop concert and a singer in a studio puts her heart and soul into a moving ballad. You never get tired of that and you want to listen to it over and over again. Real music addicts however, want more than just listen to a song, they really want the whole experience, to get into it, be thrilled at the highest level. They prefer to get as close as possible to the experience of that concert or the original sound recording, as close as the artist itself.
The sound travels a long journey, though, before it reaches your ears in the living room. Getting that real concert experience or this pure studio sound to your living room is therefore an absolute challenge for designers and builders of audio equipment.
To have a proper look at this sound journey, we can split it in two separate parts:
1. The recording part of the music, storing it to a sound carrier or streaming it across a broadband network;
2. The reproduction part, is where the music is played back in a living room and how it travels to the human ear.
We can be brief about the first trajectory: we have virtually no influence on that. The good news is that we can really assume that the recording process is done in a very professional way, most of the time with the artist directly involved. So purchasing the highest possible music quality is of utmost importance if you want to really exert maximum influence on this part of the sound journey.
The second part of the journey of sound is where we come in, playing back and listening to these recordings. Real music addicts know that most of our living rooms is where we live and not necessarily a place we consider a concert hall or recording studio. That may be the case, but we still have an enormous influence on the perceived sound quality, more than we know. Let’s have a closer look at the four most important aspects that influence our listening experience:
Traditionally there is quite a bit of hardware involved considering how we are listening to music, i.e. a source (playback equipment such as a CD player, a turning table, or a streaming device), wiring, power supply, pre- and power amplifier, Digital to Analog Converter, all sorts of electronics, and loudspeakers with cross-over filters and speaker units. With a passive speaker system you are free to choose the individual components. Each individual component has its own specifications and characteristics and as an end user you must have a pretty good understanding of how to mix and match for the desired perfect end result.
It is well understood that most living rooms are not optimized as sound studio and that loudspeakers tend to interact with the environment they are in, which results in acoustical reflections from walls, floor and ceiling. Excessive reflections may disrupt the original purity of sound and negatively influence the perceived quality of music, a serious issue for music lovers. The challenge therefore is to design a loudspeaker that, on the one hand, is directional for the entire audio spectrum (they should beam acoustic energy towards the listener as much as possible), and provide a wide horizontal sound stage (the listening sweet-zone) on the other. The third key performance issue is that a perfect stereo loudspeaker pair should provide a clear and uncompromising sound image, i.e. reproduce the four dimensions (depth, width, height and timing) to construct exact positions of voice and instruments just as in the original music composition.
The KAD K7 loudspeaker, with its symmetrical arrangement of driver units, creates a wide sound stage (the listening sweet-zone) with strongly reduced radiation to floor and ceiling boundaries. And due to the cardioid-like (3) sound radiation of the low frequency drivers, the sound pressure of the lowest frequencies is greatly reduced at the rear side of the speaker and increased at the front side. This allows less critical loudspeaker positioning in relation to the front wall (wall facing the listener), avoiding disruptive standing waves and “suck-outs” in the lower frequency domain.
Perhaps the most important part of the sound journey. Because what the ears hear is the ultimate judgment of the music listened to. But just like with the acoustics of the living room we will have to be satisfied with what we’ve got. After all, we only have one pair of ears and, apart from cleaning them, we can have little influence on that. Still, it is important to realize that our hearing decreases only in the highest spectrum as we get older, representing less than 10% of acoustical information, and remember that the human voice is still the most important part of our hearing experience.
With our commitment to your passion for music and by choosing the most favorable solutions for these four domains of influence, the KAD K7 loudspeaker system is able to create a fascinating sound stage, even in the most "challenging" room. “as if you were there”!