Acoustics of a room are fixable using costly equalizers. It is hereby clarified why that isn't conceivable because of the room resisting it and nullifying increasing sound boosts. A room built acoustically correct will enable the electronics in carrying out its job suitably.
Why is it not possible to rectify room acoustics using electronics?
Using of sophisticated costly equalization to try to correct room acoustics was being practiced by recording studios and sound boosting companies during the period 1960-1980. Now it is being practiced in home theaters. Though equalization can change a fine system into a better sounding one, if it is a fine room, it cannot change the laws of physics.
The environment in a room is a lively one. It will resist what can be called as acoustic “null sum” game: boosting the strength of the missing frequency also enhances the degree of room reflection that is out-of-harmony, prolonging the “null” inside the space.
It can be clarified further. You may know that if the total of the +3 dB original SPL (Sound Pressure Level) and reflection –3 dB SPL is zero, then by adding 3 dB to a SPL original +6 dB and SPL reflection –6 dB will add to zero.
We can prove this effectively using a small science experiment: With the help of a loudspeaker of single driver type, an amplifier and a solo frequency oscillator connect the speaker to a tone of 1000 Hz via the amplifier for obtaining a relaxing listening level. Now readjust the speaker facing a flat, hard surface about 6-3/4 inches apart. You will see that the sound disappears. This is because the distance is half the wavelength of 1000 Hz. The energy reflected has phase difference of 180 degrees with respect to the source.
Enhancing the level of the original signal will always lead to a relative enhancement in the level of reflected signal. Practically, the signal after reflection will be a little weaker and a little sound is audible as the strength of signal diminishes after some distance and due to absorption. It may be recalled that the speed of sound in air is about 1130 feet in a second. 1000 Hz has a wavelength of 1130 feet if divided by frequency 1000 Hz equals 1.13 feet. Divided by 2, half wavelength will be 6.78 inches. The estimation will change slightly depending on humidity conditions, temperature and pressure (depends on altitude).
In the days when there was an increase of playback channels like mono, stereo, etc. and an increase of recording tracks starting from mono to twenty four, the recognition of acoustics also increased. You may have wondered why the mix sounded differently at home, inside the car or not in the studio nearby. There are rooms that vary by 12 dB inside the same space using all-bass mixes or without bass based on the room from where they originated.
It is not fair to evaluate any audio equipment in a room that is not acoustically treated. Correcting a room using an equalizer is an audio myth. First, correct the acoustics and all of the gear, the equalizer including, will work to its advertised potential.
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