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BeoLab 90

Technical Sound Guide

Bang & Olufsen A/S


August 31, 2016

Please note that text in grey indicates features that are not yet released
(SW V. 1.2.2.5235)
Contents

1 Introduction 7
1.1 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.1.1 Beam Width Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.1.2 Beam Direction Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.1.3 ARC: Active Room Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.1.4 Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

2 Application Information 11
2.1 Menu Navigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
2.2 Menu Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

3 Presets 13
3.1 What is a Preset? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.2 Preset management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.2.1 Selecting a Preset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.2.2 Creating a Preset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.2.3 Editing a Preset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.2.4 Deleting a Preset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

4 Control Parameters 15
4.1 Beam Width Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.1.1 Narrow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
4.1.2 Wide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
4.1.2.1 Adjusting the Light Ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.1.3 Omni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.1.4 Comment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
4.2 Beam Direction Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3 Speaker Distance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3.1 Adjusting Speaker Distances with a rotated Beam Direction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3.2 Adjusting Speaker Distances for more than one listening position . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3.2.1 Automated Measurement of Speaker Distance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.4 Speaker Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.5 Speaker Role . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
4.6 Active Room Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.6.1 Selecting an ARC Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.6.2 Combining ARC Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.6.3 Creating a new ARC Zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.7 Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.8 Mute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.9 Tone Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.9.1 Bass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.9.2 Treble . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
4.10 Advanced Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.10.1 Latency Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

2
4.10.1.1 High . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.10.1.2 Low . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
4.10.1.3 E ects of Latency Mode on Beam Width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.10.2 Loudness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.10.3 Frequency Tilt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.10.4 Sound Enhance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.10.5 Sound Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.10.6 Parametric Equaliser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.10.6.1 Magnitude Response Plots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.10.6.2 Factory default settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.11 Triggers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
4.11.0.1 By Speaker Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.11.0.2 By Source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.11.0.3 Mixed systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

5 Inputs 29
5.1 Inputs Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.1.1 Automatic Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.1.1.1 Selection Priority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.1.2 Manual Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.2 Individual Input Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.2.1 Re-naming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
5.2.2 Gain O set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.2.3 Detection Threshold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.2.4 Auto-detection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.2.5 Maximum Input Voltage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.2.6 Time-out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
5.2.7 Input Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.2.8 Control Volume of S/P-DIF (or Optical) input using Power Link . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.2.9 USB Volume enabled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5.3 Connection Panels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

6 System 33
6.0.1 About . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.0.2 Max Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.0.3 Startup Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
6.0.4 Power Enhance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

7 Tables 34
7.1 Loudspeaker Sensitivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
7.2 Volume Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
7.3 Parametric Equaliser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

8 Features 35
8.1 Resonance-based Sound Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
8.2 Phase-Optimised Filtering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

3
8.3 Automatic Bass Linearisation (ABL) and Thermal Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
8.4 Thermal Compression Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
8.5 Production Cloning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

9 Technical Specifications 37
9.1 Total System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
9.2 Preamplifier and Processor Section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
9.2.1 Overall Specifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
9.2.1.1 Digital input to DAC outputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
9.2.1.2 Analogue input to DAC outputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
9.2.2 Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
9.2.2.1 Analogue Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
9.2.2.2 Digital Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
9.2.3 Digital Signal Processor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
9.2.4 Digital to Analogue Converters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
9.3 Power Amplifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
9.3.1 Tweeters and Midrange Sections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
9.3.2 Woofer Section . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
9.4 Loudspeaker Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
9.4.1 Tweeters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
9.4.2 Midranges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
9.4.3 Front Woofer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
9.4.4 Woofers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
9.5 Power Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
9.6 Digital Power Link . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

10 FAQ 42
10.1 Multichannel system setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
10.1.1 Bang & Olufsen television as source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
10.1.2 Third-party device as source . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
10.2 Does BeoLab 90 support DSD? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
10.3 Does BeoLab 90 support DXD? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
10.4 Why does the BeoLab 90 sound di erent when Im watching television? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

11 Troubleshooting 43
11.1 Some features in the BeoLab 90 application are disabled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.2 Lip Sync problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.3 Echo problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.3.1 Multiroom audio systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.3.2 Surround Processors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.4 Loudspeakers dont turn on automatically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.5 Loudspeakers never shut o . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.5.1 Analogue sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.5.2 Digital sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.5.2.1 S/P-DIF and Optical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

4
11.5.2.2 USB Audio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.6 The BeoLab 90 application doesnt work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.7 Loudspeakers are distorting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.8 Loudspeakers are noisy / too quiet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
11.9 USB Audio source too quiet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
11.10 USB Audio source too loud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
11.11 USB Audio not working . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
11.12 S/P-DIF input not working . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
11.13 Optical input not working . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
11.14 Automatic switching of inputs not behaving as expected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

12 Appendix 1: Recommendations for Critical Listening 45


12.1 Loudspeaker Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
12.2 Listening Room Acoustics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
12.3 Loudspeakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
12.4 Source Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
12.5 Cable recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
12.5.1 Analogue cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
12.5.2 Optical cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
12.5.3 S/P-DIF cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
12.6 AC mains cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

13 Appendix 2: Introduction to Parametric Equalisers 49


13.1 Filter Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
13.1.1 Low Shelving Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
13.1.2 High Shelving Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
13.1.3 Peaking Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
13.2 Gain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
13.3 Centre Frequency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
13.4 Q . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

14 Appendix 3: The Influence of Listening Room Acoustics on Loudspeakers 52


14.1 Early Reflections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
14.2 Room Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
14.3 Reverberation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
14.4 Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
14.5 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

15 Appendix 4: Loudspeaker Directivity and Distance Perception in Stereo Imaging 57


15.1 Distance Perception in Real Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
15.2 Distance Perception in a Stereo Recording . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
15.3 Combining the Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

16 Appendix 5: Microphone Placement Strategy when creating ARC Zones 58


16.1 General information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
16.1.1 Microphone Orientation and Holder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

5
16.1.2 Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
16.1.3 Doors and Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
16.2 One listening position . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
16.3 More than one listening position . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

17 Appendix 6: ABL - Adaptive Bass Linearisation 60


17.1 A General Introduction to ABL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
17.2 ABL and BeoLab 90 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

18 Appendix 7: Thermal Compression Compensation 62


18.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
18.2 Voice coil temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
18.3 Loudspeaker response changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
18.4 The solution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
18.5 Some extra information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

19 Appendix 8: Control of BeoLab 90 using the BeoRemote 1 65


19.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
19.1.1 Customising the Product Name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
19.2 Input Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
19.2.1 Source Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
19.2.2 Customising the Input Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Index 66

6
Introduction

The BeoLab 90 is a new loudspeaker behaviour of the BeoLab 90s to deliver These three scenarios illustrate the
concept from Bang & Olufsen that this experience instead. primary listening modes that the
gives the customer an unprecedented BeoLab 90 can deliver. Well call the
level of control of its acoustic first one active listening since your
Perceived location of
left loudspeaker
behaviour and performance. Unlike Speaker Distance primary activity is to listen to the
almost all other conventional recording. Well call the second one
Compensation

loudspeakers, the BeoLab 90 can be passive listening, since, in this case,


altered by the user to behave as if it listening to music is secondary to
were completely di erent loudspeakers another activity (in our example,
for di erent listening situations. reading) in a stationary listening
position or area. Well call the third
Imagine that you have a pair of BeoLab
case background music, which is
90 loudspeakers, perfectly positioned
similar to passive listening, however,
in your listening room, with a single Figure 1.2: The sound stage presented
by BeoLab 90s for passive listening there is no determined listening
chair in the correct location, as is
when not sitting in the sweet spot. position (either because there are
shown in Figure 1.1. You sit in this chair
many listeners, or listeners are moving
to listen to a recording to hear
around the listening area, or both). In
sparkling high frequencies and a tight,
order to be able to do this, there are
punchy bass that extends to the lowest
di erent parameters inside the BeoLab
audible frequency bands along with
90 that are adjustable. You can choose
the accurate and precise placement of
to alter each of these parameters
the instruments within the space in
individually according to your
front of you (better known as stereo
preferences and listening positions
imaging).
and then save the settings to a preset
for future use.
Figure 1.3: The sound stage presented
by BeoLab 90s for passive listening
when sitting in the sweet spot. 1.1 Features

BeoLab 90 gives you the power to


Finally, imagine that you invite your
make these changes using a large
friends for a party or youre just
number of handles controllers that
walking around the room. Imaging is of
let you change the acoustical
no interest to anyone you want a
behaviour of the loudspeaker. Among
loudspeaker that can deliver the same
these features, there are three that
experience to the entire room at the
stand out:
same time by sending sound in all
Figure 1.1: The sound stage presented
by BeoLab 90s for active listening when directions simultaneously. Again, with
your controller, you change the BeoLab Beam Width Control
sitting in the sweet spot with properly
placed loudspeakers. Perceived
90s acoustical location
behaviour to suit of
the Beam Direction Control
left loudspeaker
occasion.
Speaker Distance Active Room Compensation
Now, imagine that you have the same Compensation
loudspeakers in the same positions in In addition to these, the BeoLab 90 has
the same room, but youve moved to a many other parameters that give you
the sofa as in Figure 1.2 (or perhaps a wide range of customisation
youre still in the same chair as before possibilities such as:
as in Figure 1.3) and you prefer to
listen to music as a background while
Basic Tone Controls
you read a book. In this case, the bass
(Bass, Treble, Frequency Tilt,
precision and the imaging of the
Figure 1.4: The sound stage presented Sound Enhance)
recording is not important you just
by BeoLab 90s for background music Selectable Sound Designs
want a cloud of sound that does not when the listeners are moving around
distract you while you read. Using your the room. Perceived location of 10-band Parametric Equaliser
controller you simply switch the left loudspeaker
Speaker Distance
Compensation
7

Perceived location of
left loudspeaker
"Reflection-free Zone"

Speaker Distance (for get a more accurate representation of


time-alignment at the listening the sound the recording engineer
position) heard when the recording was made.
Speaker Level

1.1.1 Beam Width Control "Reflection-free Zone"

When a recording engineer makes a


recording in a well-designed studio, he
or she is sitting not only in a
carefully-designed acoustical space, Figure 1.6: An alternative method to re-
duce the problem of side wall reflections Figure 1.8: BeoLab 90 solves the prob-
but a very special area within that lem of side wall reflections by reduc-
is to re-direct them away from the lis-
space. In many recording studios, tening position, producing a reflection- ing the amount of acoustic energy that
there is an area behind the mixing free zone. This method is often used is radiated towards the side walls so
in recording studios that are initially de- there is less energy to reflect.
console where there are no reflections
signed with the help of an experienced
from the sidewalls arriving just after
acoustical consultant.
the direct sound from the However, if youre sharing your music
loudspeakers. This is accomplished with friends or family, depending on
either by putting acoustically This is di erent from your living room where people are sitting, the beam
absorptive materials on the walls to which has not be designed primarily as may be too narrow to ensure that
soak up the sound so it cannot reflect an acoustical space. It has sidewalls everyone has the same experience. In
(as shown in Figure 1.5), or to angle that reflect the energy from your this case, it may be desirable to make
the walls so that the reflections are loudspeakers and send that sound to
"Reflection-free Zone"

BeoLab 90s sound beam wider.


directed away from the listening you at the listening position a
position (as shown in Figure 1.6). situation that is more like that which is Of course, this can be extended to its
shown in Figure 1.7. extreme where the BeoLab 90s beam
width is extended to radiate sound in
all directions equally. This may be a
good setting for cases where you have
many people moving around the
listening space, as may be the case at
a party, for example.

This option to change the pattern of


"Reflection-free Zone"

the radiation of sound from the BeoLab


Figure 1.5: One way to reduce the prob- Figure 1.7: The direct sound (in red) 90 is called Beam Width Control.
lem of side wall reflections is to absorb from the loudspeakers is influenced by
them at the walls so that there is no re- the reflections o the side walls (in
flection. This is a solution often used in grey).
recording studios, however, it also re-
1.1.2 Beam Direction Control
sults in an unnatural-sounding dead
room. In order to get the same acoustical Almost all loudspeakers are designed
behaviour in your living room that the to radiate sound forwards so, in order
recording engineer had, we have to to get the best experience from your
reduce the amount of energy that is loudspeakers, you have to be located
reflected o the side walls. If we do not directly in front of them. However,
want to change the room, one way to BeoLab 90 gives you the freedom to
do this is to change the behaviour of change the direction of the sound
the loudspeaker by focusing the beam beam directed from the loudspeaker.
of sound so that it stays directed at the You can select one of five directions as
listening position, but it sends less being the acoustical front of the
sound to the sides, towards the walls. loudspeaker. If youre sitting to the
side of the loudspeaker as is shown in
This is one of the options that BeoLab Figure 1.2 you can choose to rotate the
90 gives you to make the beam of sound beam so that it is directed more
sound directed out the front of the towards your listening position instead
loudspeaker narrower to reduce the of in front of the loudspeakers.
level of sidewall reflections, so that you

8
loudspeakers not only see each other
Back Back as having an e ect on the room but
Left Right they help each other to control the
rooms acoustical influence.

Front Front 1.1.4 Performance


Left Right

BeoLab 90 has been designed from the


outset to deliver an unparalleled audio
Front
performance. Measured directly in
front of the loudspeaker, it has a
Figure 1.9: BeoLab 90 has five beam di- frequency range that exceeds the
rections available, allowing you to opti-
limits of human hearing at normal
mise for di erent listening positions.
listening levels as can be seen in the
comparison plot in Figure 1.10. BeoLab
90 is also able to cleanly deliver audio
1.1.3 ARC: Active Room
at peak levels at or exceeding the
Compensation
upper limits of comfort for humans as
can be seen in the comparison plot in
In 2002, Bang & Olufsen introduced
Figure 1.11. (see the Technical
the BeoLab 5 which included ABC
Specifications for more details).
Automatic Bass Calibration. This was a
system that used a microphone to
measure the e ects of the listening
rooms acoustical behaviour on the
sound of the loudspeaker, and then
created a filter that compensated for
those e ects in the low frequency
band. As a simple example, if your
room tended to increase the apparent
bass level, then the BeoLab 5s would
reduce their bass level by the same
amount.

BeoLab 90 takes this concept to a new


level with its Active Room
Compensation or ARC. Using an
external microphone (supplied with the
loudspeaker), you can measure the
e ects of your rooms acoustical
behaviour in di erent zones in the
room and subsequently select
optimised compensation filters for
di erent situations. For example, you
can customise a filter for the sofa, and
another for your dining area. In cases
where you are moving between these
locations, you can simply select a
combination of both filters to create a
single compensation filter that
improves the sound experience in both
locations.

The BeoLab 90 also o ers another


development in acoustical room
compensation: multichannel
processing. This means that the

9
BeoLab 90

Human Hearing
Piano

Pipe Organ

Male Voice
Female Voice

Cymbals
Double Bass

Piccolo
BeoLab 90

Human Hearing
16

32

64

125

250

500

1,000

2,000

4,000

8,000

16,000

32,000

64,000
Piano
FrequencyPipe
(Hz)
Organ

Male Voice
Figure 1.10: The approximate frequency ranges of example sound sources. The darker grey bars show the
frequency ranges of the fundamental frequencies. The gradient bars show the harmonic content. The white
Female Voice
line in the Piano range shows Middle BeoLab
C. BeoLab
90 90s frequency
Maximum
Cymbals SPL range is shown for comparison.
140
Sound Presssure Level (dB SPL)

Double Bass
Piccolo
120
16

32

64

125

250

500

1,000

2,000

4,000

8,000

16,000

32,000

64,000
Threshold of Pain
100 Frequency (Hz)

80
BeoLab 90 Maximum SPL
140
Sound Presssure Level (dB SPL)

60
120
40 Threshold of Pain
100
20
80 Threshold of Hearing

0
60

-20
40
16

32

64

125

250

500

1,000

2,000

4,000

8,000

16,000

32,000

64,000

Frequency (Hz)
20
Threshold of Hearing

-20
16

32

64

125

250

500

1,000

2,000

4,000

8,000

16,000

32,000

64,000

Frequency (Hz)

Figure 1.11: A comparison of the limits of human hearing and the technical limits of BeoLab 90. Note that
the BeoLab 90 specifications are based on one loudspeaker, measured at a distance of 1 m in a free field.
(Preliminary specifications. These values are subject to change.)

10
Room Compensation ... R
Application Information
Sweet Spot Swe
2.1 Menu Navigation ......
Presets
Presets ... ... Sofas Presets
Presets Sofa

Entire Room
Easy Chair Enti
Easy Chair Easy Chair
Easy Chair
Party Dining
Party Table Dinin
Party Party
Sofa Left Sofa Left +
Sofa Left Sofa Left

Figure 2.4: Circular selection buttons al-


low for one item from the list to be cho-
sen.

Figure 2.2: Press the ... icon in the top


right to switch to the edit mode for the
current screen. Room Compensation ...

Sweet Spot
Party
Sofas
Beam Control
Entire Room
Room Compensation
Dining Table
Advanced

Figure 2.5: Rounded square selection


Figure 2.3: Press and hold the title to re- buttons are toggles that allow for more
name the item. than item from the list to be chosen.

Figure 2.1: Swipe from left to right,


starting outside the screen, to return to
the previous menu.

11
2.2
Menu Map

Speaker Speakername Presets ... PRESETNAME Beam Control


SPEAKERNAME Preset PRESETNAME Beam Control Beam Width
SPEAKERNAME Input PRESETNAME Room Compensation Beam Direction
etc. System Volume / Mute Advanced Swap
Tone Controls Speaker Role
+ Speaker Distance
Speaker Level
Start Auto-calibrate

Tone Controls Room Compensation ...


Bass ZONENAME
Treble ZONENAME
+

Advanced
Latency Mode
Parametric EQ
Loudness
Frequency Tilt
Sound Enhance
Triggers

12
Sound Designs
Preset Number

Inputs ... Inputs INPUTNAME


WPL / WiSA WPL / WiSA Gain Offset
Automatic Power Link Detect Threshold
Power Link XLR Auto-detection
XLR RCA Max Input Voltage

in edit mode which is entered by pressing the ... icon at the top right of some menus.
RCA S/P-DIF Control Volume
S/P-DIF Optical Input Impedance
Optical USB Audio Time-out
USB Audio

System About Speaker Info


About Automatic Update Product Information
Guide Update Now Network
Network Automatic Log Input Signal
Reset Submit Log Temperatures
Power Enhance Speaker Info Error Log
Max Volume
Start Volume

Figure 2.6: Simplified navigational map for the BeoLab 90 application when completed. Items in red are only visible when the menu is
Presets

3.1 What is a Preset? ...


Presets ... Presets ...
Presets Presets
Presets
Almost all parameters that can a ect
Easy Chair EasyChair
Chair
the audioEasy
characteristics
Chair of the BeoLab Easy Chair Easy Easy Chai
90 can be pre-programmed and saved Party
Party Party Party Party Party
as a preset that is easily and quickly
selectable by the end user. A preset Sofa Left
Sofa Left SofaLeft
Sofa Left Sofa Left
Sofa Left
contains a wide range of controls that
can be customised to suit both the +
Figure 3.4: Press anywhere on a presets
listeners personal preferences and his
line to begin to edit its parameters.
or her location in the listening room.

Presets can either be selected


The presets name can be changed by
manually using the BeoLab 90
Figure 3.2: Press the three dots at the pressing and holding the name at the Easy Chai
application or they can be selected top right of the screen to enter the edit top of the preset menus edit mode.
automatically as is explained in mode. Party
Triggers.
Party Sofa Left
3.2.2 Creating a Preset
3.2 Preset management
... Presets ...
Presets In order to create a new preset, enter Beam Control
3.2.1 Selecting a Preset the edit mode (as shown in Figure 3.2)
and pressEasy
the +
Chairicon in the Preset
Room Compensation
Easy Chair
If at least one preset has already been menu. This will start a process where
Party Party
you can name the preset and edit its
Advanced
created, then the list of available
presets are shown in the Preset Select parameters.
Sofa Left Sofa Left
menu, an example of which is shown in Figure 3.5: Press and hold the preset
Figure 3.1. From this menu, ...
you can name to change it.
Presets Presets Presets
manually select a preset by clicking on
its icon as shown, or you can move
deeper into the Edit Preset menu as
3.2.4 Deleting a Preset
Easy Chair Easy Chair Easy Chair Easy Ch
shown in Figure 3.2.
Party InParty
order to delete a preset, enter the Party
Party
preset menus edit mode and swipe to
Presets ... Presets the Presets
leftLeft
at any position in the row. This Pres
Sofa Left Sofa Left Sofa Sofa Le
will reveal an x on the right side of
Easy Chair +Easy Chair theChair
Easy screen. Pressing the x will delete Easy Chair
the preset.
Party Party Party Party

Sofa Left Sofa Left Sofa Left Sofa Left


Figure 3.3: Press the + icon to create
a new
+ preset and start editing it. Easy Ch

Party
Pres
3.2.3 Editing a Preset
Sofa Le
To edit the parameters of an existing Easy Chair
Figure 3.1: Select a Preset by pressing
its icon on the right of the screen as preset, press its associated icon when
shown. The ... Preset is
currently-selected Presets ... Party
Presets in the preset menus edit mode.
indicated with a check mark.
Sofa Left
Easy Chair Easy Chair
... Presets ...
Party Presets Party

SofaEasy
Left Chair Sofa
Easy Left
Chair
13
Party Party

Sofa Left Sofa Left


Presets

Easy Chair

Party

Sofa Left

Presets

Easy Chair

Party

Sofa Left

Figure 3.6: An example of deleting a


preset. To delete the Party preset,
swipe to the left on its row. This will re-
veal the x on the right of the screen.
Press the x to delete the preset.

14
Control Parameters

4.1 Beam Width Control

The beam of sound that is radiated


from the BeoLab 90 can be adjusted by
selecting from three options:

Narrow
Wide
Figure 4.2: A perfect loudspeaker con-
Omni figuration with BeoLab 90s. Both loud-
Figure 4.3: A map of the phantom im-
speakers are aimed at the listening po-
age location of the voice (shown in red)
sition. The distance from the listen-
in Suzanne Vegas recording of Toms
... ... ing position to each loudspeaker is the
Diner. Beam Width: Narrow
Beam Control same as Beam Control
the distance between the two synth pad at end
loudspeakers. For more detailed infor-
mation on loudspeaker configuration, synth fx around 2:20

see Appendix 1: Recommendations for Change"choir" the track to Jennifer Warness "choir"

Critical Listening recording of Bird on a Wire from the


bass

Album Famous Blue Raincoat: The


sax
bk
tri hh

Songs of Leonard Cohen. In trithis


bass
shake

While facing a point located at the


gtr bk
tom
recording, there are many
tom tri
more
centre between the two loudspeakers,
snare
tri
instruments and voices, however, it
tom bongos
cow

play Toms Diner (recorded by voice

should be very easy to locate the


Suzanne Vega in 1987 for her album
position of each of those sources as
Solitude 180
Standing). Vegas voice
180 directional sound directional sound
coming from somewhere between the
should appear to float at a position
two loudspeakers. A partial map of
between the two loudspeakers. If her
these locations is shown in Figure 4.4.
voice does not appear to be located
Left Master Left Master Left
exactly mid-way between the two synth pad at end

3.5 m
Distance 3.5 m loudspeakers, it is likely that 3.5you
m are synth fx around 2:20

sitting slightly closer to one "choir" "choir"

loudspeaker
Level than the other 5.0 dB
in other
bass
.0 dB Level 5.0 dB sax
words, to one side of the sweet spot. tri
bk
hh

Try moving slightly side-to-side and


bass
shake
gtr bk tri
tom

pay attention to the lateral movement


tom tri
snare
tri tom bongos
of Vegas voice in space. cow
voice

This ability for a pair of loudspeakers to


Figure 4.1: The Beam Control menu for deliver the illusion of a sound coming
the Master loudspeaker. To switch to from a location in space between them
the Slave loudspeaker, press the area is called phantom imaging or stereo
around the two small dots in the centre
imaging or simply imaging. Figure 4.4: A map of the phantom im-
of the screen.
age locations of instruments and voices
Now pay attention to the apparent in Jennifer Warness recording of Bird on
distance to the voice. If the Beam a Wire. Beam Width: Narrow.
4.1.1 Narrow Width Control of the loudspeakers is
set to Narrow mode, the voice will
Sit in the sweet spot a location in BeoLab 90 is able to deliver such a
appear to floating roughly half-way
your listening room that is exactly the precise stereo imaging for active
between you and the loudspeakers.
same distance from each of your listening because it is able to reduce
This is shown in Figure 4.3.
BeoLab 90s, and where the two the amount of energy in the reflections
loudspeakers are facing (shown in o the side walls of your listening
Figure 4.2). Using your BeoLab 90 room. This gives the same result at the
application, set the Beam Width listening position as if you used
Control to Narrow. acoustically absorptive materials on
your walls, or changed the geometry of
your listening room to avoid having

15
Front Front
Left Right

Front

Beam Width: Narrow

first reflections in the listening position. 64 90


5
125 120 60
250
500 0
1000
2000 5
4000 150 30
8000 10
Back
Right 15

180 0

210 330
Front
Right

240 300

270

Figure 4.7: Polar plot of the directivity of


the Narrow Beam. Latency: Long Figure 4.9: Conceptual drawing showing
Figure 4.5: Conceptual drawing showing the beam width of the Wide Beam.
the beam width of the Narrow Beam.
Beam Width: Narrow

150 0

You should note, however, that there 100 2

are side-e ects to using a narrow


Horizontal Angle []

50
4
beam width. The most obvious may be 0
in the low frequency behaviour of your
6

50
BeoLab 90s. Generally, the overall 8

impression will be that the bass


100
10

content is tighter or has more 150

12
punch when the BeoLab 90 is in Figure 4.10: Press the curved line shown
100 1000 10,000
Frequency [Hz]

narrow mode. However, this e ect is above to change the Beam Width to
Figure 4.8: Full frequency range direc- Wide (Front).
also dependent on the setting of
tivity plot of the Narrow Beam. Latency:
another parameter described in Long. Contours in steps of 3 dB, nor-
malised to the on-axis response.
Beam Width: Wide
Latency Mode. 64 90
5
125 120 60
250
500 0
1000
2000 5

4.1.2 Wide
4000 150 30
8000 10

15

As mentioned above, when the BeoLab 180 0

90s are set to a narrow beam width,


they are somewhat unforgiving of a
210 330
mis-placement of the listening
position. This is particularly noticeable
Figure 4.6: Press the sector (or pizza
240 300

when you are listening to recordings or 270


slice) on the BeoLab 90 app to change
the Beam Width to Narrow. movies with friends and family.
Figure 4.11: Polar plot of the directivity
of the Wide Beam. Latency: Long
Consequently, in more social or
passive listening situations, it is likely
A second potential side e ect is the
preferable that the BeoLab 90s have a
sensitivity of the system to an incorrect
Beam Width: Wide, Front

wider beam width, more similar to


listening position. You may notice that,
150 0

BeoLab 5 loudspeakers. Although this


in narrow mode, it is critical that you 100 2

will likely result in more energy in the


are seated at exactly the correct
Horizontal Angle []

50
4
sidewall reflections, it also ensures that
listening position in order to achieve 0
there is a more equal distribution of 6
both precise and accurate stereo
the direct sound across a wider
50

imaging. Small deviations in listening


8

listening area in the room.


100

position may result in noticeable 10


150
detriments in the spatial 100 1000 10,000
12

representation of your recordings. Frequency [Hz]

Figure 4.12: Full frequency range direc-


tivity plot of the Wide Beam. Latency:
Long. Contours in steps of 3 dB, nor-
malised to the on-axis response.

16
The side e ects ofsynth the Wide beam
pad at end

... ... Beam Control


width are dependent onControl
synth fx Beam
around 2:20 the strength of Beam Control
the sidewall
"choir"
reflections, however,"choir" in
bass

many situations, four di saxerent e ects


may be audible. tri bk
hh
bass
shake
gtr bk tri
The first is that the apparent tri distance
tom
tom
snare
to the various sources in tom
the stereo
tri bongos
cow

mix will collapse slightly, resulting in


voice

the perception that the sources in the


recording are roughly the same
distance from the listening position as
180 directional sound 180 directional sound 180 directional sound
the loudspeakers themselves. This
means that (relative to the narrow Figure 4.14: A map of the phantom im-
mode) very close sources will move age locations of instruments and voices Figure 4.15: Adjusting the visual indica-
in Jennifer Warness recording ofLeft
Bird on tor in the light ring on the top of the
further awayMaster
and very far sources Left will Master Master Left
a Wire. Beam Width: Wide. Compare to loudspeaker.
move closer to the listening position.m Figure 4.4
Distance 3.5 Distance m
3.5 3.5 m
Secondly, the apparent width of the
Level
sources will become slightly larger
dB
5.0with Level 5.0 dB 4.1.3Level
Omni 5.0 dB
Thirdly, the overall timbre or tone
less precise left-right locations. You will colour of the sound may change as a
not have pinpoint locations as in In some situations, it may be
result of increase influence of the
narrow mode imaging becomes preferable that the BeoLab 90s radiate
sidewall reflections at the listening
slightly more cloudy or fuzzy. This sound in all directions equally. One
position.
is due to the extra energy reflected o example of this are when you are
the side walls. Finally, as mentioned above, the throwing a party and have many
overall punch of the bass will change guests listening to music
when compared to the narrow mode. simultaneously from many di erent
locations in the room. Another example
is when you have fewer persons in the
Adjusting the Light Ring room, but they are moving around to
di erent locations and simply want
To adjust the direction of the indication background music while they do so.
on the light ring when the Beam Width
is in wide mode, enter the Beam In such situations, you can set the
Control menus edit mode (by pressing BeoLab 90s to deliver an Omni beam
the ... icon in the top right corner). width where sound is radiated equally
Note that this control will have no in all directions in the horizontal plane.
e ect on the audio signal it is only
used to customised the visual indicator.
Figure 4.13: A map of the phantom im- This can be done independently for the
age location of the voice (shown in red)
two loudspeakers.
in Suzanne Vegas recording of Toms
Diner. Beam Width: Wide. Compare to
Figure 4.3

"choir"

tri

gos

17
Beam Width: Omni
synth pad at end

150 0
synth fx around 2:20

"choir" "choir" 100 2


bass

Horizontal Angle []
50
4
sax
bk 0
tri hh
bass 6
shake
gtr bk tri 50
tom
tom tri 8
snare
tri tom bongos 100
cow
10
voice
150
12
100 1000 10,000
Frequency [Hz]

Figure 4.19: Full frequency range direc-


tivity plot of the Omni Beam. Latency:
Long. Contours in steps of 3 dB, nor-
malised to the on-axis response. Figure 4.21: A map of the phantom im-
age locations of instruments and voices
in Jennifer Warness recording of Bird on
The side e ects of the Omni beam a Wire. Beam Width: Omni. Compare to
Figure 4.4
width are similar to those of the Wide
Figure 4.16: Conceptual drawing show- beam width the only di erence is
ing the beam width of the Omnidirec- that they are more noticeable. In addition, in cases where the
tional (Omni) Beam. Distances to sound sources become loudspeakers are located near a rear
even more similar to the distance the wall, the timbral e ects of reflections
loudspeakers, left-right imaging from behind the loudspeakers may also
becomes less precise (but more become more audible.
forgiving of incorrect listener
placement), and the influence of wall Experienced readers will notice that,
reflections becomes more audible. although in the low frequency bands,
the omni setting results in an
omnidirectional directivity, there are
measurable lobing e ects in the
higher frequency bands. This is
Figure 4.17: Press the outside circle in
primarily caused by the distances
the Beam Control menu to change the
Beam Width to Omni. between the midrange and tweeters
which have been optimised for the
Beam Width: Omni narrow beam width, however, in a
passive listening or background music
64 90
5
125 120 60

situation, this will not detract from the


250
500 0
1000
2000
4000 150
5
30 overall performance of the
loudspeaker.
8000 10

15

180 0

Figure 4.20: A map of the phantom im- 4.1.4 Comment


age location of the voice (shown in red)
210 330 in Suzanne Vegas recording of Toms
Diner. Beam Width: Omni. Compare to Note that the above illustrations
240 300
Figure 4.3 connecting Beam Widths to listener
270
position are merely that illustrations.
"choir"
It should also be said that changing the
Figure 4.18: Polar plot of the directivity
of the Omni Beam. Latency: Long Beam Width of the BeoLab 90 has
hh non-intuitive consequences on the
tri perceived sound of the loudspeakers.
For example, the overall sensation of
tri

bongos

punch in the bass may be di erent


for the three Beam Widths, regardless
of your location in the listening room.
Consequently, it may be that you
prefer the overall sound of a particular
Beam Width, even if you are not sitting
in the beam.

18
Front Front
Left Right

Front

4.2 Beam Direction Control Note that the beam directions of the from the listening position. The value
two BeoLab 90s in a pair are displayed on the menu should be the
There may be cases where you are independent, however, if you are distance from the listening position to
sitting o -axis to the loudspeakers, far adjusting the Master loudspeakers each loudspeaker. The result of this
away from the so-called sweet spot direction, the Slaves direction will be alignment is that the closer
in the listening room. Depending on automatically adjusted to match. (e.g. loudspeakers signal is delayed to
the placement of your loudspeakers, If you set the Master to Left Back, then match the time of arrival of the sound
this may even include listening the Slave will also be set to Left Back.) from the more distant loudspeaker.
positions that are behind the If you would like the loudspeakers to
loudspeakers. In these situations, it be directed in two di erent directions
Note that, since the Listening Position
may be desirable to change the (e.g. Left Back and Right Front), you
can be di erent for di erent Presets,
principal direction of radiation of the should adjust the Master loudspeaker
these distances may not necessarily be
sound from the BeoLab 90s, rotating first, and then adjust the Slave.
the same from Preset to Preset.
the beam so that it is better directed
Units Metres, Feet
towards the listening position. This is
Range (m) 0.0 10.0
possible using the Beam Direction
Range (ft) 0.0 30.0
Control feature of the BeoLab 90.
Resolution 0.1
When the Beam Width is set to Wide, Factory Default 1.0 m
it is possible to change the direction of
the beam by selecting from five
options: 4.3.1 Adjusting Speaker
Back Back
Left Right Distances with a
Front rotated Beam Direction
Front Left
If you are measuring the Speaker
Front Front Right
Front Distances manually, then the
Left Right
Back Left Figure 4.23: Conceptual drawing show- measurement should be made from
ing the beam width of the Medium Beam the listening position to the tweeter
Back Right in the Left Front direction. associated with the Beam Direction as
Front illustrated in Figure 4.26.
These five directions are illustrated in
Figure 1.9 as well as Figures 4.9, 4.23,
and 4.24.

It should be noted that the Beam


Direction control is only available when
the Beam Width control is set to
Wide. This is because the narrow
beam width is only possible due to the
cluster of three tweeters and three
midrange drivers on the front of the
loudspeaker. Also, since the omni
Figure 4.26: The Speaker Distance for
beam width is circular, its rotation
each loudspeaker should be measured
would be redundant. from the listening position to the rele-
vant tweeter for the given Beam Direc-
Figure 4.24: Conceptual drawing show- tions.
ing the beam width of the Medium Beam
in the Right Back direction.

4.3.2 Adjusting Speaker


4.3 Speaker Distance Distances for more than
one listening position
The Speaker Distance control is used to
ensure that the times of arrival of the In cases where there is more than one
Figure 4.22: Press the curved line shown
above to change the Beam Width to loudspeakers signals at the listening listener present, the Speaker Distances
Wide with a Left Front direction. position are matched, despite their can be optimised by measuring each
being placed at di erent distances loudspeakers position relative to the

19
closest listening position, as is shown to placement in the listening room,
in Figure 4.27. room acoustics, or the listening
position relative to the loudspeakers,
you may wish to fine-tune
Master Slave the relative Slave Master
(Left) (Right) (Left) (Right)
levels of the two loudspeakers. This
can be done with the Speaker Level
adjustment.

It is recommended that the Speaker


Levels should be adjusted at the Figure 4.29: An example of a loud-
listening position. Note that this can be speaker configuration where the Mas-
ter loudspeaker should be assigned the
performed either before or after an
Speaker Role of right.
Active Room Compensation profile has
been created the ARC compensates
Figure 4.27: The Speaker Distance for for any adjustments automatically.
each loudspeaker should be measured
from the relevant tweeter for the given The Speaker Level for each BeoLab 90
Beam Directions to the closest listening
position. in the pair is adjusted from the Beam
Master Slave
Control menu, shown in Figure 4.1.
Beam Control ... Beam Control ... (Left)
Beam Control
(Right)

Automated Measurement of 4.5 Speaker Role


Speaker Distance
The distance from the listening position The BeoLab 90 is created as a pair of Figure 4.30: An example of a loud-
loudspeakers one master speaker configuration where the Mas-
to each BeoLab 90 can be measured
ter loudspeaker should be assigned the
automatically using the microphone loudspeaker which has the connection
Speaker Role of left.
included with the loudspeakers. This is panel for the input signals
Master Slave and one Slave Master
(Right) (Left) (Right) (Left)
done by pressing the microphone icon slave loudspeaker.
at the bottom of the Beam Control In addition to this, since the beam
Since both the left and right audio
menu (shown 180indirectional
Figure sound
4.28) and 180 directional sound direction
180can be rotated
directional sound to the back of
channels are input to your master
following the instructions. the loudspeakers, it is possible that, for
loudspeaker, there is no physical way
some presets, you will wish to swap the
of knowing which loudspeaker is on the
Master Left left and right Speaker Roles
Master Left(compare
leftMaster
and which is on the right Left
(compare
Figures 4.31 and 4.32 as an example).
Figures 4.29 and 4.30 as an example).
Distance 3.5 m Distance 3.5 m 3.5 m
As a result, the interface allows you to Note that a Master / Slave pair of
swap the Speaker Role, to ensure
Level 5.0 dB Level 5.0 dB that BeoLab
Level 90s cannot share5.0the
dB same
the correct audio channel is Speaker Role. If you wish to send the
reproduced by the correct loudspeaker. same audio signal out of both
loudspeakers, this will have to be
Master Slave
arranged
(Right) using the source (Left)
device.
The selection of Left or Right for the
Master and Slave loudspeakers is done
in the Beam Control menu, shown in
Figure 4.28: Pressing the microphone Figure 4.1.
icon in the Beam Control menu starts
the Speaker Distance measurement
procedure.

4.4 Speaker Level

The sensitivity of any two BeoLab 90s


has been calibrated during their
creation to be within 0.2 dB of each
other at any third-octave frequency
band within their frequency range.1
However, there are cases where, due
1
Preliminary specification. Subject to change.

20
4.6.1 Selecting an ARC Zone the quality of the audio signal in the
original zone. For example, if you have
It is possible to create a number of two ARC Zones, one for the Sweet
Active Room Compensation Zones that Spot and the other for the Dining
Slave Master
(Left) (Right) can be recalled either manually, or Table, adding the Dining Table zone to
automatically as part of a Preset. the Sweet Spot zone will reduce the
quality of the ARC filtering in the sweet
In order to disable the active room spot location. This is due to the fact
compensation filters, simply de-select that some of the filtering required to
them in the menu. compensate for the rooms acoustical
Master Slave Slave Mastere ects in the dining area may not be
(Right) (Left) (Right) (Left)required in the sweet spot.

Figure 4.31: An example of a loud- Also note that changing Room


speaker configuration where the Mas- Compensation zones may cause a
ter loudspeaker should be assigned the
break in the audio signal as the BeoLab
Speaker Role of right.
90 updates its filters. This is normal.

4.6.3 Creating a new ARC


Zone

A new Active Room Compensation


zone can be created by pressing the
Figure 4.33: An example of a listening + icon in the Room Compensation
space showing four di erent overlap- Edit menu. (Enter the Room
ping ARC zones in red, purple, green, Compensation Edit menu by pressing
and yellow.
the three dots at the top right of the
Slave Master Room Compensation Select menu.)
(Right) (Left)
Room Compensation ... ... Room Compensation
Figure 4.32: An example of a loud-
Room Compensation Room Compensation
speaker configuration where the Mas-
ter loudspeaker should be assigned the Sweet Spot Sweet Spot
Speaker Role of left. Sweet Spot Sweet Spot
Sofas Sofas
Sofas Sofas
Entire Room Entire Room
4.6 Active Room
Entire Room Entire Room
Compensation Dining Table Dining Table
Dining Table Dining Table
+
For a general introduction to the
e ects of room acoustics on the sound +
of a loudspeaker, please read Appendix Figure 4.34: Selecting one or more Ac-
3: The Influence of Listening Room tive Room Compensation zones accord-
ing to your listening area(s) in the room.
Acoustics on Loudspeakers Note that it is possible to select more
than one zone simultaneously. Figure 4.35: Press the + icon in the
It should be noted that the acoustical Room Compensation Edit menu to cre-
behaviour of a room changes ate a new ARC zone.
considerably when windows or doors
4.6.2 Combining ARC Zones
are opened and closed. Consequently,
for optimal tuning, it is recommended ... This will start a procedure where you
Room
Multiple Compensation
ARC Zones can be selected will be guided through the process of
that ARC profiles be made for these
simultaneously to create a filter that positioning the microphone in di erent
cases, particularly if this change is
incorporates the measurements from locations to optimised the ARC filters.
made often (e.g. patio doors). Sweet Spot
all applicable areas of the listening Note that a total of 20 microphone
room.
Sofas placements can be used for all ARC
zones.
Note, however, that adding an extra
Entire Room
zone to a current one may compromise During the measurement procedure a
Dining Table
21
magnitude response plot is displayed, The Bass control is a global filter and
starting after the first measurement is therefore is applied to all Presets. It is
made. This shows an average of the also is independent of the settings of
individual measurement data from other equalisation controllers in the
each microphone placement, displayed system such as the Frequency Tilt,
at a resolution of 1/12-octave ranging Sound Enhance and Parametric
from 16 Hz to 8 kHz. Equaliser controls. The range of the
Figure 4.36: The Volume control (the ex-
controller is from -6.0 dB to +6.0 dB in
For additional guidance, please see terior circle) and the Mute control (the
icon in the centre of the circle). steps of 0.5 dB.
Appendix 5: Microphone Placement
Strategy when creating ARC Zones. 6

In order to unmute the sound, either 4

press the mute button again, or adjust


4.7 Volume 2

the volume.

Gain (dB)
0

The volume of the BeoLab 90 is Note that, if the volume setting of the
2

controllable from 0 to 90 in steps of 1 BeoLab 90 was higher than the startup 4

dB. Note that Volume Step 0 is a full volume when muted, then the volume 6

setting after unmuting will be the same


10 100 1,000 10,000
mute. Frequency (Hz)

as the startup volume.


In its default settings, BeoLab 90 has Figure 4.37: Magnitude Responses:
Bass controller. Note that this filter is
been calibrated to match the level of
applied to both loudspeakers simultane-
other Bang & Olufsen loudspeakers for 4.9 Tone Controls ously.
its Power Link and Wireless Power Link
inputs. Tables 7.1 and 7.3 show the The Tone Controls on the BeoLab 90
output level of the loudspeaker for consist of traditional Bass and Treble 4.9.2 Treble
various inputs and parameters. controls. These are global adjustments
that are applied to all Presets and to The Treble adjustment allows you to
Note that, although the Volume control
both loudspeakers simultaneously. change the relative amount of
of the BeoLab 90 is disabled for Power
high-frequency sound globally using a
Link and Wireless Power Link sources,2 It is possible to save and name settings high shelving filter with a fixed
the volume of the source is duplicated of the Bass and Treble controls as Tone turnover frequency of 8 kHz and a Q of
on the BeoLab 90 app. This is to ensure Control Profiles to be recalled later. 0.707. Note that the gain at the
that changes to a di erent source are These can be used, for example, where turnover frequency is one half the
matched. (See Table ?? for a full list of di erent members of the household maximum gain applied by the filter in
the features that are disabled for may have di erence preferences decibels. For example, when the gain
various Bang & Olufsen products.) each person can make their own of the controller is -4 dB, the gain at
For example, say you have a BeoVision personalised profile. Or you may have 120 Hz is -2 dB.
Avant connected to Power Link input a di erent timbral balance preference
for di erent styles of music, or for The Treble control is applied to a global
and a CD player connected to the
listening to movies and music. filter and therefore is applied to all
S/P-DIF input of the BeoLab 90. You
Presets. It is also is independent of the
start by listening to a CD at a high
settings of other equalisation
volume level, then switch to watching
4.9.1 Bass controllers in the system such as the
the television news at a low level (set
Frequency Tilt, Sound Enhance and
on the television). When you switch
The Bass adjustment allows you to Parametric Equaliser controls. The
back to listening to CD, the volume of
change the relative amount of range of the controller is from -6.0 dB
the BeoLab 90 will automatically have
low-frequency sound globally using a to +6.0 dB in steps of 0.5 dB.
been changed to the low setting of the
low shelving filter with a fixed turnover
television.
frequency of 120 Hz and a Q of 0.707.
The gain at the turnover frequency is
4.8 Mute one half the maximum change in gain
applied by the filter in decibels. For
example, when the gain of the
Pressing the mute button in the centre
controller is +6 dB, the gain at 120 Hz
of the volume wheel reduces the
is +3 dB.
volume to a fixed value of 0.

2
This restriction is made to prevent incorrect calibration of levels in surround sound configurations.

22
6 However, this may mean that, for
4
Advanced some sources and program materials,
2
there is a loss of synchronisation. For
example, in its longest latency setting,
Gain (dB)

0 Latency Mode High


2
the loudspeaker may be too late to
Parametric EQ Flat maintain lip synch with some
4
televisions or some multiroom
6

10 100 1,000 10,000


Loudness systems. This is why the latency of the
loudspeaker is user-selectable between
Frequency (Hz)

Figure 4.38: Magnitude Responses, Tre-


Frequency Tilt 0 two di erent settings.
ble controller. Note that this filter is ap-
plied to both loudspeakers simultane-
Sound Enhance 0
ously.
High
To achieve the highest possible level of
Sound Design
4.10 Advanced Controls audio quality from the BeoLab 90, the
Default internal digital processing must take
The Advanced Controls section gives almost 1/10th of a second in order to
the user an almost-surgical control Flat on-axis control the low-frequency behaviour of
over the timbral characteristics of the the system. This is selected by setting
Trigger the Latency Mode to High, thus
BeoLab 90 using a combination of
legacy Bang & Olufsen audio delivering the ultimate possible sound
Preset#
processing, standard equalisation tools quality from the loudspeaker.
found in professional studio However, there are cases where such a
equipment, and proprietary processing long delay in the loudspeaker will
Figure 4.39: The Advanced Controls
available only in this loudspeaker. menu. result in loss of synchronisation with
The Advanced Controls of the BeoLab other devices in the system such as
90 are the video (lip synch) or other
4.10.1 Latency Mode loudspeakers in a surround system. If
you are experiencing such problems,
Latency Mode In order to control the Beam Width of then the lower latency mode should be
Loudness the sound radiating from the BeoLab selected.
90, a customised Finite Impulse
Frequency Tilt The latency of the BeoLab 90 in High
Response (FIR) audio filter is selected
Sound Enhance for each woofer, midrange and tweeter. latency mode measured using an
These filters are applied to each of the analogue input is 100 ms.
Sound Design
DSPs 18 audio output channels.
Parametric Equaliser
However, in order to control the very
low frequency bands, it is necessary Low
for the woofers FIR filters to be very In some cases, a BeoLab 90 is
long. One implication of this is that it connected to a system that requires a
takes some time between the moment lower latency. One example of this is a
an audio signal enters the input of the case where the loudspeaker is
loudspeaker and the moment it exits connected to a non-B&O television or
the loudspeaker as sound. The lower in surround processor. A second example
frequency the Beam Width Control is is a non-B&O multiroom system that
extended, the longer the latency (or lacks the ability to adapt to di erent
delay) of the loudspeaker. loudspeaker latencies throughout the
This ultimately means that there is a network. Another example would be a
direct relationship between the overall multichannel loudspeaker setup with a
latency of the loudspeaker and its non-B&O surround processor and a
sound characteristics especially in mixture of di erent loudspeakers in the
the low frequency bands. One example configuration.
of this e ect is: the longer the latency, In this case, the overall delay of the
the tighter the bass. BeoLab 90 should be set to Low to
ensure synchronisation with other

23
loudspeakers in the system. Note that the Loudness toggle
4

3
(whether it is on or o ) is stored with
The latency of the BeoLab 90 in Low 2
the Preset, so di erent modes can
latency mode measured using an 1
have di erent settings.

Gain (dB)
analogue input is 25 ms.
0

Options On / O
1

Default On
2

E ects of Latency Mode on


3

Beam Width
10 100 1,000 10,000
12 Frequency (Hz)

10
Figure 4.42: Magnitude Responses, Fre-
Back

quency Tilt controller. Note that this fil-


8

Gain (dB)
6 ter is applied to both loudspeakers si-
multaneously. Black curves show the re-
Side

4
sult for positive slider values, red curves
show negative slider values.
2
Front

0
Beam Width
10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz)

4.10.4 Sound Enhance


Side

Figure 4.41: Magnitude responses of the


loudness function at various settings of
the volume control. The Sound Enhance setting is similar to
Back

the Frequency Tilt setting in that it


Frequency

Figure 4.40: Conceptual plot showing a ects the low and high frequency
the relationship between Latency Mode Note that, when connected to most bands with a single slider. Increasing
and a Narrow Beam Width over fre- Bang & Olufsen sources, the Loudness the Sound Enhance value will increase
quency. The black curve shows a High function in the BeoLab 90 will be the level of the bass and treble bands
latency mode. The red curve shows a disabled for the Power Link and
low latency mode. Note that the high while reducing the midrange.
frequency beam width is the same for Wireless Power Link inputs. This is Decreasing the Sound Enhance value
both latency modes. Only the beam because in these cases, the Loudness will have the opposite e ect and will
width of the low frequency bands widen function is performed by the source enhance the midrange.
for lower latencies. rather than the loudspeaker.
The Sound Enhance setting will have
no e ect on this audio signal at its
4.10.2 Loudness 4.10.3 Frequency Tilt middle setting.

Sadly, human hearing is imperfect. Frequency Tilt can be considered to be Note that Sound Enhance can have
One of the issues that we all su er a combination of Bass and Treble di erent settings for di erent Presets.
from is that our perception of the settings in a single parameter. When
The range of the controller is from -6.0
timbre or tone colour of a sound is Frequency Tilt is set to a low value, the
dB to +6.0 dB in steps of 0.5 dB. As
not constant with listening level. We low frequency content of your audio
can be seen in Figure 4.43, a controller
are less sensitive to low frequencies signal is increased and the level of the
setting of +6.0 will result in a
when they are played at low listening high frequency content is reduced.
peak-to-peak magnitude response
levels. In other words, if you are
If the Frequency Tilt is set to a high deviation of approximately 6 dB,
listening to music at a high level and
value, then the opposite will be true. however the maximum deviation from
you turn down the volume, you will
a flat response is only 3 dB.
notice that, the lower the volume, the The Frequency Tilt function will have
less bass you can hear. This is also true no e ect on the audio signal at its
of high frequencies, albeit to a lesser middle setting.
extent.
Note that Frequency Tilt can have
The Loudness setting in your BeoLab di erent settings for di erent Presets.
90s counteracts this e ect. As you
reduce the volume, the bass and treble The range of the controller is from -6.0
levels are automatically increased to dB to +6.0 dB in steps of 0.5 dB. As
compensate for your reduced can be seen in Figure 4.42, a controller
perception in the outer frequency setting of +6.0 will result in a
bands. peak-to-peak magnitude response
deviation of approximately 6 dB,
If you do not wish this setting enabled, however the maximum deviation from
Loudness should be set to OFF. a flat response is only 3 dB.

24
4.10.6 Parametric Equaliser series, and that frequencies may
4

3
overlap each other in cases where
2

1
For a general introduction to additional gain is desired.
Gain (dB)

equalisation, please see Appendix 2:


All filters in the Parametric EQ section
0

Introduction to Parametric Equalisers.


are implemented as minimum phase
1

filters.
2
In cases where a more detailed control
3
of the frequency response of the
4
In order to ensure phase matching of
loudspeaker is needed, a 10-band
10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz)
the two loudspeakers and therefore to
parametric equaliser is available. This
Figure 4.43: Magnitude Responses, maintain phantom imaging
Sound Enhance controller. Note that allows you to sculpt the timbral
characteristics, identical Parametric
this filter is applied to both loudspeak- balance of the loudspeaker with a high
Equaliser parameters are applied to
ers simultaneously. Black curves show degree of precision.
the result for positive slider values, red both loudspeakers simultaneously.
curves show negative slider values. When the gains of all ten filters in the
Parametric Equaliser are set to 0 dB,
the processing block is automatically Magnitude Response Plots
4.10.5 Sound Design disabled.
Low-Shelving Filter

At the end of the development process, Figures 4.44 and 1.10 are given as
The BeoLab 90 Parametric Equaliser
all Bang & Olufsen loudspeakers go rough maps of frequency as
has one low-shelving filter available
through a final tuning process where reference when using the Parametric
with a frequency range of 16.0 Hz to
the loudspeakers timbre is evaluated Equaliser.
500.0 Hz and a Q range of 0.35 to 1.
in di erent listening environments. In 1320.0 Hz The gain ranges from -6.0 dB to +6.0
order to achieve an optimised balance dB in steps of 0.5 dB.
880.0 Hz

between the on-axis frequency 660.0 Hz

response and the three-dimensional 440.0 Hz


6

power response, filters are included 330.0 Hz 4

in the signal path to give the 261.6 Hz


2
220.0 Hz

loudspeaker a final sound design.


Gain (dB)

165.0 Hz 0

The BeoLab 90 is no exception to this


110.0 Hz 2

55.0 Hz
as a result, it has a custom-tuned, 4

factory-default sound design for every 55.0 Hz 6

combination of beam widths, beam


10 100 1,000 10,000

Figure 4.44: Pitch vs. Fundamental


Frequency (Hz)

directions, and latency modes. frequency for reference purposes when


Figure 4.45: Magnitude Responses, Ad-
equalising.
However, there may be some specific vanced EQ, Low Shelving filter: Fc = 100
Hz, Gain varied from -6.0 to +6.0 dB, Q
cases where this tuning is not
= 1.
applicable. One example of this is a BeoLab 90s Parametric EQ consists of
case where the BeoLab 90 is used in a one low-shelving filter, one
listening room such as a recording high-shelving filter, and 8 reciprocal 6

studio where acoustical absorption has peak-dip (or peaking) filters with
4
been applied to the various surfaces. di erent frequency ranges as listed in
2
In this case, it may be preferable to Table 7.4. Each filter has a variable
Gain (dB)

0
use the BeoLab 90 as a studio Frequency, Gain, and Q.
2
monitor style of loudspeaker, where
The centre frequencies of all filters
the overall tuning is designed to
4

have ranges limited to 5 octaves in


deliver a flat magnitude response
6

order to optimise their signal-to-noise 10 100 1,000 10,000


when measured on-axis to the Frequency (Hz)

ratios while providing a wide range of


loudspeaker in a free field.
control. Frequencies are limited to ISO Figure 4.46: Magnitude Responses, Ad-
vanced EQ, Low Shelving filter: Fc var-
The Sound Design control allows you to 1/6th octave centres as listed in Table
ied from 16 to 500 Hz., Gain = 6 dB,
switch between these two tunings. It is 7.5. Q = 1.
currently planned that additional sound
The available Qs of the filters are
designs will be made available in
limited to the values listed in Table 7.6.
future software releases.

Note that all filters are implemented in

25
6 6 6

4 4 4

2 2 2
Gain (dB)

Gain (dB)

Gain (dB)
0 0 0

2 2 2

4 4 4

6 6 6

10 100 1,000 10,000 10 100 1,000 10,000 10 100 1,000 10,000


Frequency (Hz) Frequency (Hz) Frequency (Hz)

Figure 4.47: Magnitude Responses, Ad- Figure 4.49: Magnitude Responses, Ad- Figure 4.52: Magnitude Responses, Ad-
vanced EQ, Low Shelving filter: Fc = 100 vanced EQ, Peaking filter: Examples of vanced EQ, High Shelving filter: Fc var-
Hz, Gain = 6 dB, Q varied from 0.35 to Fc varied from 16 Hz to 32 kHz on one- ied from 500Hz to 16 kHz, Gain = 6
1. octave centres, Gain = 6 dB, Q = 1. dB, Q = 1.

Peaking Filters 6

6
The BeoLab 90 Parametric Equaliser
4

4
has eight reciprocal peak-dip or 2

Gain (dB)
2
peaking filters available. All peaking 0
Gain (dB)

filters have a Q value that ranges from


0
2

0.35 to 8.0 where the Q is based on a


2
4

bandwidth defined by the half-gain


4
6

points3 . The gain ranges from -6.0 dB 6 10 100 1,000


Frequency (Hz)
10,000

to +6.0 dB in steps of 0.5 dB. The


10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz)

peaking filters have a range of 5 Figure 4.53: Magnitude Responses, Ad-


Figure 4.50: Magnitude Responses, Ad- vanced EQ, High Shelving filter: Fc =
octaves with di ering limits as follows: vanced EQ, Peaking filters: Fc = 100 Hz, 100 Hz, Gain = 6 dB, Q varied from
Gain = 6 dB, Q varied from 0.35 to 8. 0.35 to 1.
Four low-frequency filters with a
range of 16.0 Hz to 500.0 Hz.
High Shelving Filter
Factory default settings
Three mid-frequency filters with
The BeoLab 90 Parametric Equaliser
a range of 250.0 Hz to 8.0 kHz. The factory default settings for the
has one high-shelving filter available
Parametric Equaliser parameters are
One high-frequency filter with a with a frequency range of 500.0 Hz to
adjusted to compensate for the timbral
range of 2.0 kHz to 63.0 kHz. 16.0 kHz and a Q range of 0.35 to 1.
e ects of the fabric-covered grille
The gain ranges from -6.0 dB to +6.0
covering the midrange/tweeter
dB in steps of 0.5 dB.
6
section. If you use your BeoLab 90s
without this grille, you should reset the
4 6
Parametric Equaliser filters to Flat,
2 4
thus setting the gain parameter of all
Gain (dB)

ten filters to 0 dB.


0 2
Gain (dB)

2 0

4 2

6 4 4.11 Triggers
10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz) 6

It is not necessary to manually select


10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz)
Figure 4.48: Magnitude Responses, Ad-
vanced EQ, Peaking filter: Fc = 100 Hz, Presets using the BeoLab 90 app. It is
Figure 4.51: Magnitude Responses, Ad-
Gain varied from -6.0 to +6.0 dB, Q = 1. vanced EQ, High Shelving filter: Fc = possible, instead, to have Presets
1000 Hz, Gain varied from -6.0 to +6.0 triggered to be selected automatically
dB, Q = 1. Note that this filter is applied using one of two possible external
to both loudspeakers simultaneously. controls: By Speaker Group (if you
have a Bang & Olufsen television such
as a BeoVision 11 or BeoVision Avant)
or By Source.

3
For more information on this, please see The Equivalence of Various Methods of Computing Biquad Coe cients for Audio Parametric Equalizers Robert Bristow-Johnson,
Preprint 3906, 97th International Convention of the Audio Engineering Society, November 1994

26
By Speaker Group connected to it. 2. Optimised for 2.0 Stereo listening
with only one sweet spot in the
If you have a pair of BeoLab 90s
centre of the sofa.
connected to a Bang & Olufsen By Source
television such as a BeoVision 11 or
Imagine you have a pair of BeoLab In this situation, you want the AV
BeoVision Avant as shown in Figure
90s connected to two non-B&O Surround processor to automatically
4.54, then it is possible to
sources as shown in Figure 4.55. select Preset 1 and the high-resolution
automatically trigger presets in
audio player to automatically select
tandem with the televisions Speaker
an AV Surround Processor Preset 2. In this way, there is no need
Group. This selection is done in the
connected to the XLR Line inputs. to manually change BeoLab 90
Speaker Group menus on the
The device is also connected to presets.
television, where you can select a
Speaker Preset number for the other loudspeakers to form a
BeoLab 90 as one of the parameters in multichannel (surround)
configuration for watching
Mixed systems
the Speaker Group. See the BeoVision
Technical Audio Guide for more movies. Note that is possible to trigger both by
information about this. a high-resolution audio player source and by Speaker Group in mixed
connected to the USB Audio systems such as that shown in Figure
Note that, in cases where a
input. 4.56. In this case, the BeoVision
multichannel loudspeaker
television is controlling the BeoLab 90
configuration includes more than one
In addition, you have configured two preset within its Speaker Group
pair of BeoLab 90s connected to a
Presets in your BeoLab 90s: parameters. However, the BeoLab 90
BeoVision television, it will be
can also have a preset that is
necessary to ensure that the Preset
1. Optimised for multichannel automatically triggered by the
numbers are the same for all pairs of
listening with a listening zone high-resolution audio player connected
BeoLab 90s in the system, since the
that encompasses more than one via USB Audio.
television sends out only one Speaker
listening position (e.g. the whole
Preset number for all loudspeakers
sofa).

27
Power Link
Digital Power Link

Figure 4.54: An example of a pair of BeoLab 90s connected to a BeoVision 11 using Power Link.

Power Link
Digital Power Link

Hi-Res USB-Audio
Audio Player

XLR
Power Link
AV Surround
Digital Power Link
Processor
Digital Power Link

Hi-Res USB-Audio
Audio Player

XLR
AV Surround
Processor
Digital Power Link
Power Amplifier
Hi-Res USB-Audio
Audio Player

XLR
AV Surround
Processor
Digital Power Link

Power Amplifier

Power Amplifier

Figure 4.55: An example of a pair of BeoLab 90s connected to two third-party sources: an AV Surround Processor using XLR and a
high-resolution audio player using USB Audio.

Hi-Res USB-Audio
Audio Player Power Link
Digital Power Link

Hi-Res USB-Audio
Audio Player Power Link
Digital Power Link

Hi-Res USB-Audio
Audio Player Power Link
Digital Power Link

Figure 4.56: An example of a pair of BeoLab 90s connected to one B&O source using Power Link and a third-party high-resolution audio
player using USB Audio.

28
Inputs ... Inputs ...

Inputs
WPL / WiSA WPL / WiSA Gain O

As can be seen on the connector panel 5.1 Inputs Selection


AUTOMATIC SENSE AUTOMATIC SENSE Detectio
shown in Figure 5.5, the BeoLab 90 has Automatic Automatic Max inp
a total of eight di erent audio inputs as
5.1.1 Automatic Selection
follows: Power Link Power Link Input im
Bang & Olufsen Proprietary XLR XLR
... ... Time-o
Inputs Inputs RCA
S/P-DIF S/P-DIF
Power Link (analogue)
RCA
WPL / WiSA WPL RCA
/ WiSA Gain Offset
Wireless Power Link (digital)
MANUAL SENSE
AUTOMATIC SENSE AUTOMATIC MANUAL
SENSE SENSE Detection threshold -7
Digital inputs FigureOptical
5.2: The priority of automatically-
Optical
Automatic Automatic Max input voltage 2
selected sources can be changed by re-
S/P-DIF (or coaxial) Power Link arranging
Power Linktheir order.
USB-Audio USB-Audio Input impedance 5
XLR XLR
Optical Time-out
USB Audio
S/P-DIF 5.1.2 Manual Selection
S/P-DIF
RCA RCA
Analogue inputs There may be cases where you prefer
MANUAL SENSE MANUAL SENSE
to manually select an input. In this
Optical Optical
XLR (or balanced line) case, you can drag the input into the
USB-Audio Manual Sense list at the bottom of
USB-Audio
RCA Phono (or unbalanced line)
the Inputs menu screen. In this case, a
signal on one of these inputs will not
Wireless inputs Figure 5.1: The Input Select menu.
be automatically detected by the
BeoLab 90 and must therefore be
WiSA switched on and o manually.
Selection Priority
The technical specifications for these Note that it is possible to manually
If the BeoLab 90 is set to automatically
can be found in Inputs. select inputs without the App using the
detect an input signal, then it may be
BeoRemote 1 remote control. For a
necessary to customise the
It is possible to enable an audio source description of how to do this, including
prioritisation of the sources. For
connected to an input either manually instructions on setting up the
example, if you have a CD player
(via the BeoLab 90 application) or BeoRemote 1, please see Section 19.
connected to the S/P-DIF input and a
automatically, as described below.
turntable connected to the XLR input,
and both sources are playing, this 5.2 Individual Input
parameter allows you to determine
Parameters
which source should win and be
played by the BeoLab 90.
Note that not all controls are available
This prioritisation can be personalised for all inputs.
by changing the vertical order of the
inputs on BeoLab 90 application in the
Input Select menu (press the ... icon 5.2.1 Re-naming
at the top right to enter the edit
mode). It is possible to re-name the inputs
labels in the BeoLab 90 application by
entering the edit mode of the Inputs
menu, selecting an input, and then
press-and-hold the name of the input
at the top of the screen.

This personalised name (i.e. CD


Player or Turntable, for example)
will be displayed throughout the
BeoLab 90 application.

29
floor, it may be necessary to increase In order to maximise the
... RCA the Detection Threshold in order to signal-to-noise ratio of your audio
make the BeoLab 90 less sensitive. system, the BeoLab 90 gives you the
option to change the Maximum Input
Gain Offset 5 dB Range -76 to -46 dBV
Voltage for the the XLR and RCA line
Resolution 3 dB
Detection threshold -76 dBV inputs. The datasheet for your audio
Factory Default -76 dBV
source should indicate its maximum
Max input voltage 2.0 V See Figure 5.4 for a graphic output level. The value in the BeoLab
representation of the the detection 90 application should be set to match
Input impedance 50 k threshold relative to the signal this value.
strength.
Time-out 5 min. If the source has a higher maximum
Note that the Detection Threshold output level than that which is set in
parameter is not available for the the BeoLab 90 application, this may
Figure 5.3: Rename an input by pressing Power Link input, since the cause distortion due to clipping of the
and holding its name in the Input menu
loudspeaker is automatically turned on signal at the loudspeakers inputs.
and o by the Power Link source.
If the source has a lower maximum
5.2.2 Gain O set Note that, for the USB Audio, S/P-DIF output level than that which is set in
and Optical digital inputs, the the BeoLab 90 application, this will
You can change the relative levels of Auto-detection control is used instead cause your maximum output of the
the individual inputs using the Gain of the Detection Threshold. loudspeaker to be lower, and the
O set parameter. For example, if you output noise floor to be increased.
have a particular source that has a
lower output level than the others, its 5.2.4 Auto-detection Options 2.0, 4.0, 6.5 V RMS
Gain O set can be increase to Factory Default 2.0 V RMS
compensate, making it appear to have The BeoLab 90 can be set to
Note that the Maximum Input Voltage
the same level as your other audio automatically turn itself on by
parameter is only available for the XLR
sources. detecting the presence of a signal on
and RCA line inputs.
its digital inputs by setting the
Range -12 to 12 dB
Auto-detection to ON. However, this is
Resolution 1 dB
slightly di erent from the detection of 5.2.6 Time-out
Factory Default 0 dB
analogue signals, since the digital
Note that the Gain O set parameter is inputs are triggered by the presence of In cases where the automatic signal
not available for the Power Link and a any non-zero signal on the digital detection is used to turn the on BeoLab
Wireless Power Link inputs. audio stream rather than a signal 90, the Time Out control can be used
above a user-defined level . to determine the length of time the
Options On / O loudspeaker continues to be powered
5.2.3 Detection Threshold up after the audio signal has stopped.
Factory Default On

The BeoLab 90 can be set to Note that the Auto-detection It may be necessary to increase the
automatically turn itself on by parameter is only available for the USB length of this time if you listen to
detecting the presence of a signal on Audio, S/P-DIF and Optical inputs. music with an extreme dynamic range.
the XLR and RCA line inputs. However, For example, a quiet passage in a
depending on your source and/or the Note that, for the XLR and RCA piece of music may be below the
style of music you typically listen to, it analogue inputs, the Detection detection threshold. If the duration of
may be necessary to make the Threshold control is used instead of the that passage is longer than the Time
detection more or less sensitive. This Auto-detection. Out value, then the loudspeaker will go
can be done using the Detection into standby mode while the piece is
Threshold control. playing.
5.2.5 Maximum Input Voltage
For example, if you listen to music with Options 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 Minutes
a large dynamic range, it may be Di erent audio sources have di erent Factory Default 15 Minutes
necessary to lower the Detection maximum analogue output levels.
Note that the Time-out function is not
Threshold to make the BeoLab 90 more Typically, a maximum level from a
available for the Power Link, Wireless
sensitive to the presence of quiet line-level RCA output is 2.0 V RMS,
Power Link and WiSA inputs.
signals. Conversely, if you have an however, di erent manufacturers
audio source that has a higher noise occasionally choose to deliver a higher
output level on some models.

30
BeoLab 90 BeoLab 90
turns ON turns OFF

Audio level at input


Audio Signal

Detection Time Out


Threshold

Time

Figure 5.4: The Detection Threshold and Time Out parameters

5.2.7 Input Impedance pair of loudspeakers such as BeoLab for the gain of the loudspeaker. This
5s or BeoLab 90s via a S/P-DIF digital also means that the volume of the
If the BeoLab 90s RCA Line input is connection. Since the BeoSound 9000 BeoLab 90 (set by its remote control)
connected to a devices headphone does not apply volume regulation to would be reflected on the user
output that uses a Class-D amplifier, the S/P-DIF output, the volume setting interface of the audio source or
there may be instances where this must be sent separately on the Power software player.
causes the noise floor to rise audibly. Link cable and applied to the audio
However, this external control of the
This is caused by the input impedance signal inside the loudspeaker instead.
BeoLab 90 may not be desirable in all
of the BeoLab 90 being much higher
This parameter on the BeoLab 90 situations. For example, it is very easy
than that which is expected by the
allows customers to use the volume to instantly change the volume of a
headphone amplifiers designer. In
control of a Bang & Olufsen source software audio player to maximum,
order to correct this problem, the input
(sent via a Power Link connection) and which will be surprisingly loud with a
impedance of the RCA input can be set
apply it to an audio signal coming into BeoLab 90 if the change was
to a low value of 50 .
the BeoLab 90 via its S/P-DIF input. accidental. It also may be preferable to
However, if the input impedance of the set the BeoLab 90 to a static (e.g. low)
Note that, in order for this option to
RCA input is set to 50 and it is volume setting and to have an
function properly, the S/P-DIF input
connected to a devices standard independent adjustment on the source
must be assigned a higher priority than
low-impedance line output, this may device. In these cases, the USB Volume
the Power Link input in the Selection
have a detrimental e ect on the signal. Enabled should be set to Disable.
Priority.
For example, the maximum possible Options Enabled / Disabled
output level will be reduced. In some This function is also independently Factory Default Disabled
cases, incorrectly setting the input available for signals on the Optical
impedance to 50 may also cause input. Note that the USB Volume control is
distortion of the audio signal. only available for the USB Audio input.
When the volume of the BeoLab 90 is
Options 50 , 50 k controlled by an external Power Link
Factory Default 50 k source, the volume wheel in the 5.3 Connection Panels
Note that the Input Impedance control BeoLab 90 application is greyed out
is only available for the RCA line input. and will not respond to touch The connection panels on the Master
commands. It does, however, display and Slave BeoLab 90s are slightly
the volume setting assigned to the di erent in that audio signals can only
5.2.8 Control Volume of BeoLab 90 by the Power Link data be connected to the Master
S/P-DIF (or Optical) signal. loudspeaker. The audio signal
input using Power Link Options Enabled / Disabled
connections from your source devices
should be connected to the Master
Factory Default Disabled
Bang & Olufsen audio products that are loudspeaker. The only audio input on
able to send the audio signal on an the Slave loudspeaker is the DPL or
S/P-DIF output additionally send the 5.2.9 USB Volume enabled Digital Power Link input.
volume setting on the data connection
included in the Power Link cable. This is When the BeoLab 90 is connected
used for various reasons. One primary using USB Audio to an audio source,
example of this is current customers you have the option of using the
who connect a BeoSound 9000 to a sources volume as an external control

31
MIC / IR POWER LINK LEFT XLR RIGHT OPTICAL

DPL DPL DPL /


USB USB
ETHERNET
AUDIO 5V 0.5 A

If you are familiar with XLR connectors,


LEFT RCA RIGHT S/P-DIF
you will notice that the push-button
lock is missing on the XLR input. This is
intentional and has been done to help
MIC / IR POWER LINK LEFT XLR RIGHT OPTICAL to minimise rattling artefacts when
playing at higher sound pressure
levels.
DPL DPL DPL / DPL DPL DPL /
USB USB USB
ETHERNET ETHERNET
AUDIO 5V 0.5 A 5V 0.5 A

For specific information regarding the


various inputs, please see Inputs.
Figure 5.5: Audio connection panel Figure 5.6: Audio connection panel
Master loudspeaker. Analogue inputs Slave loudspeaker. Note that the only
are shown in blue. Digital audio con- audio connectors on this loudspeaker
nections are shown in red. Utility con- are for the Digital Power Link connection
nections are shown in black. to the Master loudspeaker.

DPL DPL DPL /


USB
ETHERNET
5V 0.5 A

32
System

6.0.1 About 6.0.3 Startup Volume connected through the same fuse or
circuit breaker, it is possible that the
The About menu allows access to The Startup Volume control allows you simultaneous demands of both
information regarding the loudspeaker to determine the volume level when loudspeakers will exceed the allowable
as well as the audio signal it is the BeoLab 90 wakes as a result of a current through the circuit breaker,
currently playing. Select the Speaker detected signal, or is manually turned causing it to trip and stop power the
Info, and then either the Input on. loudspeakers. In order to reduce the
Signal to display detailed information likelihood of this happening, it is
Range 0 90
about the input audio signal or recommended that the two BeoLab
Resolution 1 dB
Temperatures to display the current 90s are connected to two di erent
Factory Default 42
temperatures of the loudspeaker power circuits.
drivers. Note that the Startup Volume
In cases where it is not possible to
parameter is not available for the
connect the BeoLab 90s to separate
Power Link and Wireless Power Link
6.0.2 Max Volume inputs. Also note that the Startup
power sources, the Power Enhance
feature should be set to Disabled. This
Volume may be overridden by the
The Max Volume control allows you to will reduce the maximum allowable
volume control from Power Link (if
determine the limit of the volume current demand of the loudspeakers on
enabled for S/P-DIF or Optical) or a USB
control. the AC mains, thus reducing the
Audio volume control (if enabled).
possibility of losing power as a result of
Range 0 90
high listening levels. Consequently, the
Resolution 1 dB
6.0.4 Power Enhance maximum sound pressure level of the
Factory Default TBD
loudspeaker will be automatically
Note that the Max Volume parameter is At very high listening levels, BeoLab 90 limited in order to limit the maximum
not available for the Power Link and can demand a very high current from power consumption.
Wireless Power Link inputs. the AC Mains supply. In cases where
Options Enabled / Disabled
more than one loudspeaker is
Factory Default Enabled

33
Tables

7.1 Loudspeaker Sensitivity 7.3 Parametric Equaliser

Input dB SPL Max Input Level Setting Type Range (Hz) Filters
Power Link 88.0 6.5 V rms (Fixed) Low Shelving 16.0 500.0 1
XLR, RCA 88.0 6.5 V rms Peaking (LF) 16.0 500.0 4
XLR, RCA 92.2 4.0 V rms Peaking (MF) 250.0 8.0 3
XLR, RCA 98.2 2.0 V rms Peaking (HF) 2.0 k 63.0 k 1
High Shelving 500.0 16.0 k 1
Table 7.1: Unweighted Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of the BeoLab
90 at 1 m in a free field (200 Hz 2 kHz). Input signal strength: Table 7.4: Frequency ranges of Parametric EQ filters.
125 mV rms. Volume Step: 90. All other parameters set to Fac-
tory Defaults. Note that the input signal strength on the XLR
input is measured between pins 2 and 3.
Band Frequency (Hz)
Ultrasonic 31.5k 35.5k 40k 45k 50k 56k 63k
Input Output Treble 16k 18k 20k 22.4k 25k 28k
USB Audio, S/P-DIF, Optical 92.3 dB SPL 8k 9k 10k 11.2k 12.5k 14k
Wireless Power Link 92.3 dB SPL 4k 4.5k 5k 5.6k 6.3k 7.1k
WiSA TBD Midrange 2k 2.24k 2.5k 2.8k 3.15k 3.55k
1k 1.12k 1.25k 1.4k 1.6k 1.8k
Table 7.2: Unweighted Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of the Beo-
500 560 630 710 800 900
Lab 90 at 1 m in a free field (200 Hz 2 kHz). Input signal: -30.0
dB FS. Volume Step: 90. All other parameters set to Factory 250 280 315 355 400 450
Defaults. 125 140 160 180 200 224
Bass 63.0 71.0 80.0 90.0 100 112
31.5 35.5 40.0 45.0 50.0 56.0
7.2 Volume Control Infrasound 16.0 18.0 20.0 22.4 25.0 28.0

Table 7.5: ISO 1/6th octave-spaced centre frequencies (in Hz)


Volume Step Output
of Parametric EQ filters. Frequency Bands are given for approx-
90 92.3 dB SPL imate information only.
89 91.3 dB SPL
88 90.3 dB SPL
. . Filter Type Q values
51 53.3 dB SPL Low Shelving 0.35, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0
50 52.3 dB SPL Peaking 0.35, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0, 1.4,
49 51.3 dB SPL 2.0, 2.8, 4.0, 5.6, 8.0
. . High Shelving 0.35, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0
2 4.3 dB SPL
Table 7.6: Available Q values of Parametric EQ filters.
1 3.3 dB SPL
0 -1 dB SPL

Table 7.3: Unweighted Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of the audio


signal from a BeoLab 90 at 1 m in a free field (200 Hz 2 kHz).
Input signal: -30.0 dB FS. Note that these values consider only
the output level of the audio signal and assume that thermal
protection has not been engaged.

34
Features

8.1 Resonance-based Sound hit with an impulsive signal such as a system.


Design kick drum. If the song that the band is
An audio filter has an e ect on the
playing is not in A (major or minor), but
behaviour of the signals magnitude
in B-Flat instead, then there will be a
A very large part of the sound tuning of (how loud it is at a given frequency)
dissonance between the notes played
the BeoLab 90, like many other Bang & and/or its phase (a type of measure of
most often in the song, and the note
Olufsen loudspeakers, is based on the amount of time it takes a given
that is singing along with the kick
acoustical measurements performed at frequency to get through the filter).
drum. This can contribute to the
many locations around, above and Since the BeoLab 90 uses digital
loudspeaker sounding muddy (to use
below the loudspeaker. instead of analogue filters, we are able
only one word...).
to choose the characteristics of each
This is why the measurement-based filters phase response independently
portion of the filtering of all current of its magnitude response. For
Bang & Olufsen loudspeakers is example, a filter can be implemented
primarily designed to counteract the to have a minimum phase or a
natural resonances in the system. So, linear phase (the two most common
for example, if one of the woofers in responses) characteristic, regardless of
the BeoLab 90 has a natural resonance the magnitude response it is required
at 110 Hz, then that resonance is to deliver.
mirrored with an equal, but opposite
The phase response of each filter in
phase behaviour in the Digital Signal
BeoLab 90s processing chain have
Processing engine. The total result of
been individually tailored according to
the filter in the DSP and the behaviour
its particular function. For example,
of the woofer is that there is no
some of the crossover filters have been
unwanted ringing in the entire system.
implemented as linear phase filters.
This, in turn, means that the
Most filters in the Active Room
loudspeakers response is controlled
Compensation algorithm are
not only in the frequency domain but in
implemented as minimum phase filters
the time domain as well.
(since room resonances have a
Figure 8.1: The first BeoLab 90 pro- This is only possible with an extensive minimum phase characteristic). The
totype undergoing acoustical measure-
set of measurements of each Beam Width Control filters have
ments in The Cube.
loudspeaker drivers mechanical and customised phase responses that are
acoustical behaviour and a dependent on the particular
One of the important aspects of these custom-created set of filters for it. frequency-dependendent
measurements is to find the behaviour characteristics of the individual
of the loudspeaker in time. For loudspeaker drivers that they control
example, if a sound is sent to the 8.2 Phase-Optimised Filtering and are therefore neither minimum
loudspeaker, and then stopped phase nor linear phase.
suddenly, does the loudspeaker also Like all audio devices, in order for the
stop, or does it ring at some BeoLab 90 to deliver its level of sound
frequencies (in exactly the same way performance, filters are used in the 8.3 Automatic Bass
that a bell rings when struck). Ringing Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Linearisation (ABL) and
in the time response of a loudspeaker Generally, an audio filter is a device Thermal Protection
is an indication that it has a resonance that changes the overall response of
a frequency at which it wants to the the audio signal. In the case of Almost all loudspeakers in the Bang &
move. This resonance has a BeoLab 90, these are used for various Olufsen portfolio (including BeoLab 90)
detrimental e ect on the overall sound reasons such as controlling the feature Automatic Bass Linearisation or
of the loudspeaker, since it smears relationship between the di erent ABL. This is an algorithm that was
sounds in time. loudspeaker drivers, acting as patented by B&O in 1991 and is
crossovers to distribute the correct custom-tuned for each of our products.
For example, if you have a loudspeaker
signals to the tweeters, midranges and Its purpose is to ensure that, when the
that has a natural resonance at 110 Hz
woofers, and optimising the overall physical limits of a component of the
(a Concert A to musicians) then it will
magnitude response of the total loudspeaker are reached (for example,
naturally ring at that note when it is

35
a woofer is approaching its maximum of adjustment depends on the custom-built anechoic chamber to
excursion, or a power amplifier is close particular component that is ensure that its performance matches
to clipping) the loudspeaker either approaching its limits. As a simple the master reference loudspeaker. This
prevents that limit from being reached, example, if a tweeter voice coil is automated measurement is performed
or the transition to that limit is calculated to be approaching its limit, using 18 microphones (one for each
softened (depending on the then its gain is reduced to attempt to loudspeaker driver) where small
component in question). protect it from destruction. di erences in the responses are found
and custom correction filters are
In addition, BeoLab 90s processing It is important to state that this does
created and loaded into the Digital
continually monitors the individual not mean that the BeoLab 90 is
Signal Processing. This ensures that
temperatures of many internal indestructible but it does make it
each loudspeakers third-octave
components including: very di cult to destroy.
smoothed response matches that of
More information can be found in the master reference loudspeaker
Individual loudspeaker driver within 0.2 dB between 20 Hz and 20
Appendix 6: ABL - Adaptive Bass
magnets kHz.1
Linearisation.
Power Amplifier modules
DSP circuit boards
8.4 Thermal Compression
Power Supply circuit boards
Compensation
Using this information, combined with
BeoLab 90s processing includes
the power that the amplifiers deliver to
automatic compensation for changes in
the loudspeaker drivers, the
loudspeaker driver response as a result
temperatures of many more
of internal changes in temperature.
components within BeoLab 90 are
calculated using customised thermal For more an in-depth discussion of this
models of the loudspeaker. feature, please read Appendix 7: Figure 8.2: An early prototype in the
Thermal Compression Compensation. anechoic chamber at the end of the
If the temperature of a component BeoLab 90 production line where ev-
inside the loudspeaker approaches its ery loudspeaker is measured and cali-
thermal limit (the temperature at brated.
8.5 Production Cloning
which it stops working due to
overheating) the signal processing of
Every BeoLab 90 that leaves the
the BeoLab 90 adjusts the signals to
production line is measured in a
protect the component. The exact type

1
Note that these values have not yet been finalised.

36
Technical Specifications

9.1 Total System

Note: Total System measurements performed with Sound Design set to Flat on-axis and Active Room Compensation disabled.

Frequency Response XX Hz - xx kHz (-10 dB, ref. 200 Hz - 2 kHz)


Frequency Range XX Hz - xx kHz (-10 dB, ref. 200 Hz - 2 kHz)
Sensitivity see Section 7.1
Maximum SPL XX dB SPL (C) @ 1 m, on-axis
Self Noise (Digital input) XX dB SPL (C) @ 1 m, on-axis
Self Noise (Analogue input) XX dB SPL (C) @ 1 m, on-axis

9.2 Preamplifier and Processor Section

In order to simplify comparison of BeoLab 90s technical data to other products, the information in this chapter has been divided into
three sections:

Preamplifier and Processor, equivalent to a surround processor, preamp or receiver


Power Amplifiers
Loudspeaker Drivers

BeoLab 90

Stereo Preamp Power Amps Loudspeakers

Figure 9.1: A block diagram of the BeoLab 90 showing the comparative sections in terms of competing devices.

9.2.1 Overall Specifications

Note: Hardware-only measurement. All filters and equalisation bypassed or removed from signal processing for measurements.

Digital input to DAC outputs

Frequency Response 0 Hz to 40 kHz (+ 0 dB, -1 dB)


Frequency Range 0 Hz to 75 kHz (+ 0 dB, -3 dB)
THD+N 0.004% (997 Hz, -1 dB FS, 22 Hz 20 kHz)
Dynamic Range 122 dB (A) (997 Hz, -60 dB FS, 20Hz 20kHz, AES17)

Analogue input to DAC outputs

Frequency Response TBD (+ 0 dB, -1 dB)


Frequency Range TBD (+ 0 dB, -3 dB)
THD+N TBD (997 Hz, -1 dB FS, 22 Hz 20 kHz)
Dynamic Range TBD (A) (997 Hz, -60 dB FS, 20Hz 20kHz, AES17)

37
9.2.2 Inputs

Analogue Inputs
Analogue-to-Digital Converter

Note that the same ADC model is used for all analogue inputs.

Model Texas Instruments PCM4220


Sampling Rate 192 kHz (fixed)
Resolution 24 bits
Frequency Response 10 Hz 80 kHz (+ 0 dB, -0.2 dB)
Frequency Range < 2 Hz 85 kHz (-3 dB)
Dynamic Range (Typical) 122 dB (A) (997 Hz, -60 dB FS)
Dynamic Range (Worst-case) 117 dB (A) (997 Hz, -60 dB FS)
THD+N 0.001% (997 Hz, -1 dB FS, 22 Hz 20 kHz)
Channel Separation 100 dB (20 Hz to 20 kHz)
Passband Ripple 0.001 dB

Power Link

Connector RJ45
Input Impedance 100 k
Audio Channels 2
Maximum Input Voltage 6.5 V RMS
Features 5 V control voltage for On/Standby
Power Link Data support
Sensitivity 125 mV RMS produces 88 dB SPL (1 m, on-axis, free-field)

XLR Line

Input Impedance (Single-ended) 50 k (Fixed)


Input Impedance (Balanced) 100 k (Fixed)
Maximum Input Voltage 2.0, 4.0, 6.5 V RMS (Selectable)
Features Di erential and impedance balanced

Pin configuration

Pin 1 Audio ground


Pin 2 Positive signal input (hot)
Pin 3 Negative signal input (cold)

Note that the XLR connector casing (or shell) is connected to the chassis ground of the BeoLab 90 for shielding.

RCA Line

Input Impedance 50 , 50 k (Selectable)


Maximum Input Voltage 2.0, 4.0, 6.5 V RMS (Selectable)

Digital Inputs
Sampling Rate Converter

Note that the SRC is applied to all digital inputs.

Model Texas Instruments SRC4392


Output sampling rate 192 kHz (fixed)
Output word length 24 bits
THD+N 0.000014% (f=997 Hz, 0 dBFS, 22 Hz 40 kHz, unweighted)
Dynamic Range 138 dB (f=997 Hz, -60 dBFS, 22 Hz 40 kHz, unweighted)
Passband Ripple 0.008 dB

38
S/P-DIF

Supported Format Linear PCM


Sampling rate Standard sampling rates up to 192 kHz
Word length 24 bits

Optical Connector

Supported Format Linear PCM


Sampling rate Standard sampling rates up to and including 96 kHz
Word length 24 bits

USB Audio Connector

Supported Format Linear PCM


Sampling rate Standard sampling rates up to and including 192 kHz
Word length 24 bits

Wireless Power Link

Supported Format Linear PCM


Sampling rate Standard WiSA sampling rates up to and including 96 kHz (48 kHz standard)
Word length 24 bits

WiSA

Supported Format Linear PCM


Sampling rate Standard WiSA sampling rates up to and including 96 kHz
Word length 24 bits

9.2.3 Digital Signal Processor

Model Analog Devices ADSP-21489


Number 2
Instruction Rate 400 MHz
Sampling rate 192 kHz (fixed)
Notes 32-bit floating point

9.2.4 Digital to Analogue Converters

Note that these specifications include the analogue stages that follow the DAC outputs.

Model Texas Instruments / Burr-Brown PCM1798


Audio Channels 18
Sampling rate 192 kHz (fixed)
Word length 24 bits
Frequency Response 0 Hz to 40 kHz (+ 0 dB, -1 dB)
Frequency Range 0 Hz to 75 kHz (+ 0 dB, -3 dB)
THD+N 0.004% (997 Hz, -1 dB FS, 22 Hz 20 kHz)
Dynamic Range 122 dB (A) (997 Hz, -60 dB FS, 20Hz 20kHz, AES17)
Channel Separation 110 dB (20Hz 20kHz, AES17)
Level Linearity 1 dB (at -120 dB FS)

39
9.3 Power Amplifiers

9.3.1 Tweeters and Midrange Sections

One amplifier per loudspeaker driver

Model Bang & Olufsen ICEpower AM300-X


Peak Voltage 50 V
Peak Current 20 A
Peak Power 780 W (into 3.2 )
Frequency Range < 2 Hz > 100 kHz (+0 dB, - 3 dB)
THD+N 0.02% (20 Hz 20 kHz, 100 mW - 300 W, 4 , AES17)
Features DualLoop3 - ICEpowers third-generation Class-D topology
Custom-modified for BeoLab 90

9.3.2 Woofer Section

One amplifier per loudspeaker driver

Model Heliox AM1000-1


Peak Voltage 100 V (Software-limited, Hardware capable of 150 V)
Peak Current 40 A
Peak Power 3125 W (into 3.2 )
Frequency Range < 1 Hz > 20 kHz (+0 dB, -3 dB)
THD+N 0.05% (20 Hz 20 kHz, 100 mW - 1000 W, 4 , AES17)
Features Unified Class-D (UCD)
Custom-modified for BeoLab 90

9.4 Loudspeaker Drivers

9.4.1 Tweeters

Model Scan-Speak Illuminator D3004/602000


Number 7
Nominal Impedance 4
E ective Diameter 30 mm
Features Textile dome diaphragm
Symmetrical drive, SD-2 motor
Non-resonant aluminium rear chamber

9.4.2 Midranges

Model Scan-Speak Illuminator 12MU/4731T00


Number 7
Nominal Impedance 4
E ective Diameter 86 mm
Features Under-hung neodymium motor design

40
9.4.3 Front Woofer

Model Scan-Speak Revelator 32W/4878T00


Number 1
Nominal Impedance 4
E ective Diameter 260 mm
Features Paper sandwich cone with patented foam filling
Symmetrical drive motor

9.4.4 Woofers

Model Scan-Speak Discovery 26W/4558T00


Number 3
Nominal Impedance 4
E ective Diameter 212 mm
Features Anodised aluminium cone
Fibre glass dust cap

9.5 Power Supply

Power Consumption
Low-Power Standby < 0.5 W
Network Standby <2W
Low-level audio / Idle Approximately 150 W continuous
Sustained Max Average 250 W
Peak > 18,000 W (Duration < 1 ms)

9.6 Digital Power Link

Technology Audio Video Bridge (AVB)


Sampling Rate 192 kHz (fixed)
Bit depth 24
Features Includes proprietary B&O data channels for inter-loudspeaker communication

41
FAQ

10.1 Multichannel system signal path contains a significant change in timbre of the loudspeakers.
setup amount of digital signal processing
There may also be instances where a
(DSP) which is performed on linear PCM
Bang & Olufsen source automatically
signals, a conversion of DSD to PCM is
In cases where you use more than one changes the latency mode of the
required somewhere in the audio
pair of BeoLab 90s in a configuration, BeoLab 90s in order to preserve lip
chain. Placing this conversion process
there are some recommendations that sync or synchronisation with multiroom
ahead of the loudspeakers inputs
should be followed in order to facilitate systems. This will also have a
gives the user the option to choose his
daily use. potentially audible e ect on the audio
or her preferred filter for the process.
quality of the loudspeakers.

10.1.1 Bang & Olufsen


10.3 Does BeoLab 90 support
television as source
DXD?
As described in Section 4.11.0.1, a
current Bang & Olufsen television can DXD is not currently supported by
automatically switch BeoLab 90 BeoLab 90, since its digital inputs will
Presets as part of the Speaker Group not operate at sampling rates above
function. However, it should be noted 192 kHz.
that a given Speaker Group in the
In order to play DXD files on the
television sends only one Speaker
BeoLab 90, the audio signal will either
Preset value on its Power Link outputs
have to be downsampled to 192 kHz
to all loudspeakers connected to the
(maximum) or converted to analogue
television. This means that the preset
in advance of sending the signals to
identification numbers in all BeoLab
the loudspeakers input.
90s must match for a given
configuration corresponding to a
Speaker Group in the television. 10.4 Why does the BeoLab 90
sound di erent when
10.1.2 Third-party device as Im watching television?
source
Some features of the BeoLab 90 are
When using a third-party multichannel disabled when they are connected to
device as a source for more than one current Bang & Olufsen sources. This is
pair of BeoLab 90s, each Master-Slave to ensure that similar audio processing
pair of loudspeakers should be is not performed twice. There are
configured correctly for a given source. cases, however, where although two
The resulting parameters should be processes are similar, they are not
saved to a Preset that is then triggered identical. For example, it may be the
by the appropriate input. See Section case that the bass or treble
Triggers for more information. adjustments in the BeoLab 90 do not
have the same frequency responses as
those in the audio source. For more
10.2 Does BeoLab 90 support information about this, please see
DSD? Section 11.1.

It may also be the case that the


DSD and DSD over PCM (DoP) are not adjustment of some of these
currently supported by BeoLab 90. In processors are di erent in the
order to play DSD audio files, it is loudspeakers and the source. For
therefore necessary to convert to PCM example, if the bass is increased in the
in the audio player before sending the loudspeakers, and then disabled
signal to the loudspeakers. because the Power Link input is
Note that, since the BeoLab 90 audio chosen, there will be a resultant

42
Troubleshooting audible echo relative to other 11.5 Loudspeakers never
loudspeakers in the system. shut o
11.1 Some features in the
BeoLab 90 application 11.3.2 Surround Processors 11.5.1 Analogue sources
are disabled
When a BeoLab 90 is used with an Adjust the Detection Threshold higher
older Bang & Olufsen surround as described in Detection Threshold to
When connected to many Bang &
processor (such as the BeoSystem 3 or a higher value to prevent it from
Olufsen sources via Power Link or
earlier devices) or a third-party detecting noise on the input cable.
Wireless Power Link, some features in
surround processor, the loudspeakers
the BeoLab 90 may be disabled. This is
Latency Mode should be set to Low in
to avoid errors such as mis-calibration
order to reduce the delay time of the
11.5.2 Digital sources
of the volume setting with other
BeoLab 90 to a minimum. If the
loudspeakers in a surround S/P-DIF and Optical
Latency Mode is set to High and if it
configuration or duplication of
is impossible to adjust the expected
processing (e.g. turning up the Bass Ensure that the signal on the digital
loudspeaker latency in the surround
controller twice: once in the source connection either shuts down, or
processor, then the BeoLab 90s
and once in the loudspeaker). transmits a digital black signal. The
latency will be high enough that they
BeoLab 90 detects any non-zero signal
See Table ?? for a list of the features appear to produce an audible echo
on these digital inputs and will turn on
that are disabled for various Bang & relative to other loudspeakers in the
automatically as a result.
Olufsen products. system.

It may be possible to trick some


surround processors into compensating USB Audio
11.2 Lip Sync problems
for BeoLab 90s latency in High
To be written
Latency Mode by adding 27.2 m (89.2
When used with an older Bang &
feet) to their actual distance from the
Olufsen television (BeoSystem 3-based
listening position. This value 11.6 The BeoLab 90
or earlier) or a third-party television,
corresponds to a 79 ms latency. application doesnt work
the Latency Mode of the BeoLab 90 is
not automatically controlled by the When used in Low Latency Mode, 9.3
source. Consequently, the Latency m (30.5 feet) should be added to the Ensure that the Digital Power Link
Mode should be set to Low to ensure actual distance from the listening cable between the Master and Slave
synchronisation with the video signal. position. This value corresponds to an loudspeakers is connected.
This can be done manually using the 27 ms latency.
Ensure that the loudspeakers and the
app (see section 4.10.1), or set as the
device are connected to the same
default for the preset triggered by the
11.4 Loudspeakers dont turn network.
audio input connected to the television.
on automatically
11.7 Loudspeakers are
11.3 Echo problems If the BeoLab 90s are set to recognise distorting
the Wireless Power Link / WiSA input,
11.3.1 Multiroom audio then all cabled inputs are disabled.
The Maximum Input Level as described
systems in Maximum Input Voltage may be set
If a cabled source is not in the list of
signals set for auto-detection as to too low a value to be compatible
When a BeoLab 90 is used with a with the audio source.
described in Auto-detection, then it will
third-party multiroom system, the
not automatically turn on the
loudspeakers Latency Mode should be
loudspeakers.
set to Low in order to reduce the 11.8 Loudspeakers are noisy /
delay time of the BeoLab 90 to a It is possible that the Detection too quiet
minimum. If the Latency Mode is set to Threshold, described in Detection
High and if it is impossible to adjust Threshold, is set to too high a value to
If the source has a variable output
the expected loudspeaker latency in detect the signal.
level, then the best strategy for gain
the multiroom system, then the
management is to increase the
BeoLab 90s latency will be high
sources output level to maximum and
enough that they appear to produce an
use the volume control of the BeoLab

43
90s. This will ensure the lowest known as DSD over PCM) or PCM override the Optical input and the
possible noise floor of the overall signals at higher sampling rates (e.g. latter will not be heard.
system. DXD at 384 kHz) there will be no audio
output from the loudspeaker.
It is also important to ensure that the 11.14 Automatic switching of
Maximum Input Level as described in inputs not behaving as
Maximum Input Voltage is set to the 11.12 S/P-DIF input not expected
correct value for the source device. working
Using too high a setting will result in an
elevated noise floor. If you are using the Automatic input
The S/P-DIF input will only accept PCM selection, there may be cases where
See Input Impedance on Input signals up to 192 kHz. the loudspeaker does not behave as
Impedance you would intuitively expect due to the
If your source is outputting DoP (also
Time out parameter of the currently
known as DSD over PCM) or PCM
selected source. This is best explained
11.9 USB Audio source too signals at higher sampling rates (e.g.
by giving examples.
DXD at 384 kHz) there will be no audio
quiet
output from the loudspeaker. Take the case where you are playing
audio from two sources, a CD player
Setting the USB Volume to Enabled If the volume control of the S/P-DIF
connected to the S/P-DIF input and a
may solve this problem (See USB input using Power Link has been
turntable connected to the XLR input
Volume enabled) enabled, then it is important to set the
(via an RIAA preamplifier), and let us
priority of the S/P-DIF input higher than
Increase the input gain of the USB assume that the S/P-DIF input has a
that of the Power Link. If this is not
Audio input. higher selection priority than the XLR
done, then the Power Link signal will
input. In this case, the loudspeakers
override the S/P-DIF input and the
will play the CD signal. If you then
latter will not be heard.
11.10 USB Audio source too press STOP on the CD player, the
loud loudspeakers will not switch to the
11.13 Optical input not signal on the XLR input (the turntable)
Setting the USB Volume to Disabled working until the S/P-DIF inputs time out
may solve this problem (See USB duration has passed. (See Section
Volume enabled) 5.2.6 for a detailed description of the
Note that the Optical input will not
Time-out parameter.)
Decrease the input gain of the USB accept sampling rates above 96 kHz
Audio input. due to unreliability of an optical digital This behaviour would also be true if
audio connection at higher sampling you were first playing a signal on the
rates. CD player, you press STOP, and then
11.11 USB Audio not working you start playing a signal on the
If the volume control of the Optical
turntable. Again, until the S/P-DIF
input using Power Link has been
The USB Audio input will only accept inputs time-out duration has passed,
enabled, then it is important to set the
PCM signals up to 192 kHz. the signal on the XLR input (from the
priority of the Optical input higher than
turntable) will not be automatically
If your source is outputting DoP (also that of the Power Link. If this is not
selected by the BeoLab 90.
done, then the Power Link signal will

44
Appendix 1: Recommendations for Critical Listening

12.1 Loudspeaker
Configuration

The BeoLab 90 provides you with an


extremely wide range of parameters
that can be used to adjust the timbral
and spatial presentation of your
recordings for various listening rooms,
loudspeaker placements and listening
positions. However, it is always best to Figure 12.3: An optimal placement for
the loudspeakers with respect to adja-
start with an optimal configuration in
cent walls. Note how the distance be-
your listening room. Figure 12.2: A perfect loudspeaker tween each loudspeaker and its clos-
configuration with BeoLab 90s. Both est side wall are identical, and that the
First consider the relationship between loudspeakers are aimed at the listening distances from the loudspeakers to the
the loudspeakers and the listening position. The distance from the listen- front wall are also matched.
ing position to each loudspeaker is the
position itself. The two loudspeakers same as the distance between the two
and the listening position should be the loudspeakers.
three corners of an equilateral triangle.
This means that the distance from each
loudspeaker to the listening position If possible, the height of the listening
should be the same as the distance chair should be set so that the
between each loudspeaker. (See the listeners ears are level with the centre
exact position for measurements in of the vertical beam, shown in Figure
Figure 12.1.) This also means that the 12.1. This point is 108.6 cm above the
loudspeakers will be 30 away from floor.
the front, centre location, directly in
The next consideration is symmetry
front of the listening position. Figure 12.4: An less-optimal placement
within your listening room. It is
for the loudspeakers with respect to ad-
commonly recognized that the best jacent walls. Note how the distances
stereo imaging will be achieved if the from the loudspeakers to the front wall
Beam Origin Centre
for Front listening configuration (the triangle are matched , however, the distance be-
tween each loudspeaker and its closest
formed with the listener and the two
side wall are not identical.
loudspeakers) is placed in leftright
centre of the room. Therefore, the side
walls will both be the same distance
from the listening position, and the
loudspeakers will have the same
distance to its adjacent walls. This is to
Figure 12.1: The centre of the sound say that the distance from the left
beam in the vertical plane is level with a loudspeaker to the left wall is the same
position between the bottom two tweet- as the distance between the right
ers and the top midrange driver as
shown (at a height of 108.6 cm from the loudspeaker and the right wall. The
floor). distance to the front wall (behind the
loudspeakers) should be the same for Figure 12.5: Another example of a less-
both loudspeakers, but certainly does optimal placement for the loudspeak-
Secondly, the two loudspeakers should not have to be the same as the ers with respect to adjacent walls. The
be toed-in by 30 . This means that distance to the side walls. distances from the loudspeakers to the
they should be slightly rotated so that front wall are matched, however, the
right loudspeaker and lacks a side wall
they are both facing the listening
nearby.
position. This is shown in Figure 12.2.

45
Compensation). However, the sound of This will also help to reduce the overall
any loudspeaker can be optimised by reverberation time of the room.
improving the rooms acoustics.

One of the main acoustical problems in 12.3 Loudspeakers


listening rooms is that of room modes
or resonances. These occur because
For critical or serious listening
the room behaves very much like an
sessions, it is recommended that the
organ pipe, naturally singing at
upper fabric frame be removed from
specific frequencies that are
the loudspeakers high speaker section.
Figure 12.6: An example of a worst-case determined by the dimensions of the
placement of loudspeakers with respect room. Without professional acoustical Note that the factory-default setting for
to the listening room. No two distances
treatment, these resonances are the Parametric Equaliser parameters
between a loudspeaker and an adjacent
wall match each other. almost unavoidable. It is preferred to provide a compensation for the upper
ensure that the resonances in the fabric frame. Therefore, if the frame is
rooms three dimensions (length, removed, then the equaliser should be
It should be noted that the primary width, and height) do no overlap each set to flat (thus setting the gain
casualty of poor loudspeaker other. This means that the better values of all ten filters to 0 dB). See
placement in a listening room will be listening rooms have complex Parametric Equaliser for information on
the spatial representation of your relationships between these three how this is done.
recordings. The precision and accuracy dimensions. For example, a worst
of the stereo imaging, as well as the case for a listening room would be a
sensation of envelopment from the cube, where all three dimensions are 12.4 Source Devices
recording will be adversely a ected by identical, thus all resonances have the
early reflection patterns that are not same frequencies. A next-worst case is When connecting an audio source to
matched for the two loudspeakers. one where a dimension is a multiple of the BeoLab 90, there are some basic,
This problem is minimised by using another, for example, a room that is general rules that should be followed in
BeoLab 90s narrow beam width, 9m x 6m x 3m. In a best case, the order to get the optimal performance
however, even this mode can benefit ratios of the rooms dimensions would from your system. Note that these are
from correct loudspeaker placement in have non-simple values (e.g. 1 : 2.16 : general rules so there are exceptions.
the room. 2.96 so, as an example, 3m x 6.48m
x 8.88m).1 If possible, the source should be
Finally, it is recommendable (but
certainly not required) that the A second issue in many listening rooms connected to the BeoLab 90
loudspeakers be positioned a minimum is that of hard, reflective surfaces using a digital audio connection.
of 1 m from the closest walls. The particularly in locations where the If the source device has a volume
Active Room Compensation algorithm sound from the loudspeaker is directly control it should be disabled and
will compensate for changes in the reflected to the listening position. the BeoLab 90s volume control
BeoLab 90s timbral response caused There are two ways to alleviate this should be used instead
by adjacent boundaries. However, problem: absorption and di usion. In If the source has two analogue
placing the loudspeakers slightly order to absorb a sound wave so that it outputs: one volume-regulated
distant from reflective surfaces will does not reflect o a surface, an and the other at a fixed level, the
reduce these boundary e ects, and absorptive material such as fibreglass fixed-level output should be used
therefore also reduce the amount of insulation or acoustical foam must be
compensation that is required by the If you are connecting a source
placed on the surface, or in the path
ARC filters. using a line-level analogue input
taken by the reflection. A reflection can
(RCA or XLR), check the source
be di used by making the reflective
devices datasheet to find its
surface irregular. For example, placing
12.2 Listening Room a bookcase at the point of reflection
maximum output level and set
Acoustics will help as a di usor if the books are
the value appropriately on the
BeoLab 90 (See Maximum Input
arranged in random heights and
Voltage). If the maximum output
The BeoLab 90 has two features that depths.
of your device is greater than the
can overcome some detrimental
Finally, it is wise to absorb the sound BeoLab 90s maximum possible
e ects of the listening rooms
waves that would be reflected o the setting (6.5 V RMS) then it is
acoustical behaviour (Beam Width
floor (e.g. with carpet or a rug) and recommendable that the source
Control and Active Room
ceiling (using absorptive ceiling tiles). devices output level is reduced if
1
See Room dimensions for small listening rooms by Dr. Trevor Cox for a good introduction to this topic.

46
possible, either within its own Use cables with good shielding (or order to ensure that the optical
settings or using an external screening) to reduce RF (Radio receiver on the BeoLab 90 has an
attenuator. Table 12.1 and Figure Frequency) interference on the audio adequate signal at its input, the light
12.7 show the necessary signals from external sources. attenuation on the cable should be
attenuation to reduce various minimised either by using short cables
When connecting the XLR input to the
voltage levels to 6.5 V RMS. or high-quality optical fibre.
XLR output of a source device, use
twisted pair (preferably bonded-pair) Traditionally, many people have
Max Output Attenuation or starquad cables to ensure the best claimed that optical digital signals are
7.0 V RMS -0.64 dB possible matching of low-frequency less reliable than electrical connections
9.0 V RMS -2.83 dB magnetic interference noise at the (such as the AES/EBU and S/P-DIF
11.0 V RMS -4.57 dB di erential input. This will ensure the protocols) due to higher levels of jitter
13.0 V RMS -6.02 dB highest possible common mode caused by the limitations of the rise
rejection and lowest noise floor. Note, and fall time of the LED in the
Table 12.1: Examples of minimum at-
however, that the use of starquad transmitter. The BeoLab 90 uses a
tenuation required to externally con-
vert the Maximum Output Levels from a cable construction generally has a very-high-quality sampling rate
source device to 6.5 V RMS at the input higher inherent capacitance than a converter at its input for all digital
of the BeoLab 90. twisted pair cable of the same length signals which attenuates the jitter of
and will therefore have a higher loss of incoming sources, thereby reducing
0 high-frequency signals over longer this concern considerably.
1
cable runs.
2

12.5.3 S/P-DIF cables


3
4 Avoid ground loops when connecting
Attenuation (dB)

audio devices to each other.


5
6
7
When connecting a source to BeoLab
8 In order to reduce magnetic inductance
90s S/P-DIF input, it is recommended
of interference (typically 50 Hz or 60
9

that a cable with a 75 impedance is


10
11
Hz hum) from power cables on the
12 used. This will ensure that there are no
audio inputs, it is also good practice to
6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
Maximum Output Voltage (V rms)
reflections of the signal on the cable
physically separate signal cables and
Figure 12.7: The minimum attenuation which may increase the level of jitter at
mains cables as much as possible. In
required to apply to a source with a the input of the BeoLab 90. Note that
given Maximum Output level to reduce cases where these cables must cross
this recommendation is particularly
it to 6.5 V rms in order to prevent clip- each other, it is recommended that
ping the BeoLab 90 analogue inputs. true for longer cable runs. It should,
they cross at a 90 angle.
however, be stated that the sampling
For a thorough guide to installation of rate converter at the digital inputs of
12.5 Cable recommendations high-end audio equipment, Audio the BeoLab 90 is very e ective at
Systems Design and Installation by attenuating jitter artefacts caused
Philip Giddings is highly recommended. either by the signal source or problems
There are innumerable beliefs and
Although this is book intended for in the cabling.
opinions, both founded and unfounded,
installation of audio devices in
regarding cables used for connecting
recording and mastering studios, the
audio devices. The following is a small 12.6 AC mains cables
practices and recommendations
set of recommendations that are based
detailed therein are also applicable to
on common practices for wiring
consumer-level audio equipment. It is highly recommended that an
professional audio systems such as are
additional device used to filter the AC
found in recording and mastering
power from the mains (sometimes
studios. Decisions regarding the 12.5.2 Optical cables called an audiophile mains filter or
specific the brand or construction of
power purifier, for example) not be
the cables used for connecting BeoLab It is recommended that high-quality used with the BeoLab 90. This is
90 are left to the readers preferences. optical cables are used for the BeoLab because the internal power supply of
90, particularly for longer cable runs. the BeoLab 90 has a custom-designed
This is due to the fact that there is filter that reduces noise on its AC
12.5.1 Analogue cables
attenuation (dimming or loss of light mains input. This filter has been
intensity) of the optical signal on the optimised for the time-variant current
In order to ensure that the noise floor
plastic or glass fibre in the cable. This demands of the BeoLab 90, making a
of analogue sources is as low as
attenuation is proportional (in dB) to generic external filter redundant (at
possible, the following guidelines are
the length of the cable. Therefore, in best) or detrimental (at worst) to the
recommended:

47
performance of the loudspeaker.

Similarly, it is unnecessary to use a


so-called exotic or audiophile
mains cable for the BeoLab 90.

48
Appendix 2: Introduction to Parametric Equalisers

Almost all sound systems o er bass 13.1 Filter Type 6

and treble adjustments for the sound 4

these are basically coarse versions of a The Filter Type will let you decide the 2

more general tool called an equaliser

Gain (dB)
relative levels of signals at frequencies 0

that is often used in recording studios. within the band that youre a ecting. 2

Once upon a time, if you made a Although there are up to 7 di erent


4

long-distance phone call, there was an types of filters that can be found in
6

actual physical connection made


10 100 1,000 10,000
professional parametric equalisers, the Frequency (Hz)

between the wire running out of your BeoLab 90 contains the three Figure 13.2: Example of a low shelving
telephone and the telephone at the most-used of these: filter with a negative gain. Frequencies
other end of the line. This caused a big below approximately 80 Hz have been
problem in signal quality because a lot a ected.
Low Shelving Filter
of high-frequency components of the
signal would get attenuated along the High Shelving Filter
way due to losses in the wiring. Note that the low shelving filters used
Peaking Filter
Consequently, booster circuits were in the BeoLab 90 define the centre
made to help make the relative levels frequency as being the frequency
of the various frequencies more equal. 13.1.1 Low Shelving Filter where the gain is one half the
As a result, these circuits became maximum (or minimum) gain of the
known as equalisers. Nowadays, of In theory, a Low Shelving Filter a ects filter. For example, in Figure 13.1, the
course, we dont need to use gain of all frequencies below the centre gain of the filter is 6 dB. The centre
equalisers to fix the quality of frequency by the same amount. In frequency is the frequency where the
long-distance phone calls (mostly reality, there is a band around the gain is one-half this value or 3 dB,
because the communication paths use centre frequency where the filter which can be found at 80 Hz.
digital encoding instead of analogue transitions between a gain of 0 dB (no Some care should be taken when using
transmission), but we do use them to change in the signal) and the gain of low shelving filters since their a ected
customise the relative balance of the a ected frequency band. frequency bands extend to 0 Hz or DC.
various frequencies in an audio signal. This can cause a system to be pushed
This happens most often in a recording 6
beyond its limits in extremely low
studio, but equalisers can be a great 4
frequency bands that are of little-to-no
personalisation tool in a playback 2
consequence to the audio signal. Note,
Gain (dB)

system in the home. 0


however, that this is less of a concern
The two main reasons for using
2 for the BeoLab 90, since it is protected
equalisation in a playback system such
4 against such abuse.
as the BeoLab 90s are personal
6

10 100 1,000 10,000


preference and compensation for the
13.1.2 High Shelving Filter
Frequency (Hz)

e ects of the listening rooms


Figure 13.1: Example of a low shelving
acoustical behaviour. filter with a positive gain. Frequencies In theory, a High Shelving Filter a ects
below approximately 80 Hz have been
Equalisers are typically comprised of a gain of all frequencies above the
a ected.
collection of filters, each of which has centre frequency by the same amount.
up to 4 handles or parameters that In reality, there is a band around the
can be manipulated by the user. These centre frequency where the filter
parameters are transitions between a gain of 0 dB (no
change in the signal) and the gain of
the a ected frequency band.
Filter Type
Gain
Centre Frequency
Q

49
6 is a ected most (it will have the Gain this question is the gain of the filter
4 of the filter applied to it) and adjacent this is the amount by which is signal is
2
frequencies on either side are a ected increased or decreased in level.
less and less as you move further
Gain (dB)

The gain of an equaliser filter is almost


0

away. For example, Figure 13.5 shows


2
always given in decibels or dB1 . This is
the response of a peaking filter with a
4
a scale based on logarithmic changes
centre frequency of 1 kHz and gains of
6 in level. Luckily, its not necessary to
6 dB (the black curve) and -6 dB (the
understand logarithms in order to have
10 100 1,000 10,000

red curve). As can be seen there, the


Frequency (Hz)

an intuitive feel for decibels. There are


Figure 13.3: Example of a high shelving maximum e ect happens at 1 kHz and
really just three things to remember:
filter with a positive gain. Frequencies frequency bands to either side are
above approximately 8 kHz have been a ected less.
a ected. a gain of 0 dB is the same as
6 saying no change
4
positive decibel values are
6
2 louder, negative decibel values
Gain (dB)

4
0 are quieter
2

Adding approximately 6 dB to the


Gain (dB)

2
0

2
4
gain is the same as saying two
4
6
times the level. (Therefore,
subtracting 6 dB is half the level.)
10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz)
6

Figure 13.5: Example of two peaking fil-


10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz)

ters. The black curve shows a filter with


13.3 Centre Frequency
Figure 13.4: Example of a high shelving a positive gain, the red curve shows the
filter with a negative gain. Frequencies reciprocal with a negative gain. The
above approximately 8 kHz have been centre frequency of this filter is 1 kHz. So, the next question to answer is
a ected.
which frequency bands do you want
to a ect? This is partially defined by
You may notice in Figure 13.5 that the
Note that the high shelving filters used the centre frequency or Fc of the filter.
black and red curves are symmetrical
in the BeoLab 90 define the centre This is a value that is measured in the
in other words, they are identical
frequency as being the frequency number of cycles per second2 , labelled
except in polarity of the gain. This is a
where the gain is one half the Hertz or Hz.
particular type of peaking filter called a
maximum (or minimum) gain of the reciprocal peak/dip filter so-called Generally, if you want to increase (or
filter. For example, in Figure 13.4, the because these two filters, placed in reduce) the level of the bass, then you
gain of the filter is -6 dB. The centre series, can be used to cancel each should set the centre frequency to a
frequency is the frequency where the others e ects on the signal. low value (roughly speaking, below
gain is one-half this value or -3 dB,
125 Hz). If you want to change the
which can be found at 8 kHz. Note that BeoLab 90 uses reciprocal
level of the high frequencies, then you
peak/dip filters.
Some care should be taken when using should set the centre frequency to a
high shelving filters since their a ected high value (say, above 8 kHz).
frequency bands can extend beyond 13.2 Gain
the audible frequency range. This can
13.4 Q
cause a system to be pushed beyond If you need to make all frequencies in
its limits in extremely high frequency your audio signal louder, then you just
bands that are of little-to-no In all of the above filter types, there
need to increase the volume. However,
consequence to the audio signal. are transition bands frequency areas
if you want to be a little more selective
where the filters gain is changing from
and make some frequency bands
0 dB to the desired gain. Changing the
louder (or quieter) and leave other
13.1.3 Peaking Filter filters Q3 allows you to alter the shape
bands unchanged, then youll need an
of this transition. The lower the Q, the
equaliser. So, one of the important
A peaking filter is used for a more local smoother the transition. In both the
questions to ask is how much louder?
adjustment of a frequency band. In this case of the shelving filters and the
or how much quieter? The answer to
case, the centre frequency of the filter peaking filter, this means that a wider
1
The B is a capital because its named after Alexander Graham Bell.
2
This is literally the number of times a loudspeaker driver will move in and out of the loudspeaker cabinet per second.
3
Note that, although the term Q is used throughout this manual and the BeoLab 90 application for both peaking and shelving filters, this is incorrect. To be technically correct,
the term S (or shelf slope) should be used for shelving filters.

50
band of frequencies will be a ected. 10

This can be seen in the examples in


Figures 13.6 and 13.7. 5

Gain (dB)
0
6

4 5

2
10
Gain (dB)

0 10 100 1,000 10,000


Frequency (Hz)
2

4 Figure 13.8: Example of low shelving fil-


6
ters with a Q of more than 1. The black
10 100 1,000 10,000
curve shows a filter with a Q of 1 for ref-
Frequency (Hz)
erence, the red curves shows the a filter
with Qs of 2, 4, and 8. The centre fre-
Figure 13.6: Example of two low shelv- quency of this filter is 1 kHz and the gain
ing filters. The black curve shows a fil- is +6 dB.
ter with a Q of 0.35, the red curve shows
the a filter with a Q of 1. For both filters,
the centre frequency is 1 kHz and the
gain is +6 dB.

2
Gain (dB)

10 100 1,000 10,000


Frequency (Hz)

Figure 13.7: Example of two peaking fil-


ters. The black curve shows a filter with
a Q of 0.35, the red curve shows the a
filter with a Q of 8. For both filters, the
centre frequency is 1 kHz and the gain
is +6 dB.

It should be explained that the Q


parameter can cause a shelving filter
to slightly di erently than a peaking
filter. When the Q of a shelving filter
exceeds a value of 1, the gain of the
filter will overshoot its limits. For
example, as can be seen in Figure 13.8,
a filter with a gain of 6 dB and a Q of 8
will actually have a gain of over 10 dB
and will attenuate by more than 4 dB.

This over- and undershooting of the


filters magnitude response is the
reason the Q of the high shelving and
low shelving filters in the BeoLab 90s
parametric equaliser have been limited
to a maximum value of 1.

51
Appendix 3: The Influence of Listening Room Acoustics on Loudspeakers

A room comprised of large flat


reflective surfaces with little acoustical
0

absorption has a very di erent 5

acoustical behaviour from a recording

Gain (dB)
or mastering studio where the final 10

decisions about various aspects of a


15
recording are made. Consequently,
this must have an e ect on a listeners 20
10 100 1,000 10,000

perception of a recording played


Frequency (Hz)

through a pair (assuming stereo Figure 14.2: Distance to loudspeaker =


reproduction) of loudspeakers in that 2 m. Distance to wall = 1 m. Wall is per-
room. The initial question to be asked fectly reflective and the loudspeaker is
Figure 14.1: The sound arriving at a lis- perfectly omnidirectional. The red line
is what, exactly, are the expected
tener from a loudspeaker in a room with is the magnitude response of the direct
e ects of the rooms acoustical only one wall. Note that the sound ar- sound. The blue line is the magnitude
behaviour in such a case? The second rives from two directions the first is response of the reflected sound. The
is if the room has too much of an directly from the loudspeaker (in red). black line is the magnitude response of
The second is a first reflection o the the combination.
e ect, how can I improve the situation
wall (in blue).
(e.g. by adding absorption or changing
the physical configuration of the You can see that, at the very low end,
system in the room)? The third, and Lets start by assuming that you have the reflection boosts the level of the
possibly final question is how can a a loudspeaker that has a magnitude loudspeaker by a approximately 5 dB
loudspeaker compensate (or at least response that is perfectly flat at least (or almost two times the level) at the
account) for these e ects? from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. We will also listening position. However, as you go
assume that it has that response up in frequency, the total level drops to
The e ect a rooms acoustical
regardless of which direction you about 15 dB less before it starts rising
behaviour has on a loudspeakers
measure it in in other words, its a again. As you go up in frequency, the
sound can, at a simple level, be
perfectly omnidirectional loudspeaker. level goes up and down. This
considered under three general
The question is, what e ect does the alternation actually happens at a
headings:
wall reflection have on the measured regular frequency spacing (e.g. a notch
response of the loudspeaker? at multiples of 200 Hz) but it doesnt
Early Reflections
look regular because the X-axis of the
Very generally speaking, the answer is
Room Modes plot is logarithmic (which better
that you will get a higher level at some
Reverberation represents how we hear di erences in
frequencies (because the direct sound
frequency).
and the reflection add constructively
and reinforce each other) and you will What happens if we move the wall
14.1 Early Reflections get a lower level at other frequencies further away? Well, two things will
(because the direct sound and the happen. The first is that the reflection
Early reflections, from sidewalls and reflection work against each other and will be quieter, so the peaks and
the floor and ceiling, have an influence cancel each other out). What is notches wont be as pronounced. The
on both the timbre (tone colour) and potentially interesting is that the second is that the spacing of the peaks
the spatial characteristics of a stereo frequencies that add and the and notches in frequency will get
reproduction system. Lets only think frequencies that cancel alternate as closer together. In other words, the
about the timbral e ects for this you go up the frequency range. So the e ect starts at a lower frequency.
article. total result looks like a comb (as in a
comb that you use to comb your hair, For example, take a look at Figure 14.3.
if, unlike me, you have hair to comb).
For example, take a look at Figure 14.2.

52
So, what happens in the case where
the loudspeaker is more directional or
0 0

5 you have some absorption (better 5

known as fuzzy stu ) on your walls?


Gain (dB)

Gain (dB)
10
Well, either of these cases will have 10

basically the same e ect in most cases


15 15
since loudspeakers are typically more
20
10 100 1,000 10,000
directional at high frequencies so you 20
10 100 1,000 10,000

get less high end directed towards the


Frequency (Hz) Frequency (Hz)

Figure 14.3: Distance to loudspeaker = wall. Alternatively, fuzzy stu tends to Figure 14.7: Distance to loudspeaker =
2 m. Distance to wall = 3 m. Wall is per- soak up high frequencies. So, in either 2 m. Distance to wall = 0.25 m. Wall
fectly reflective and the loudspeaker is of these two cases, youll get less high is absorptive and/or the loudspeaker is
perfectly omnidirectional. The red line directional at high frequencies. The red
end in the reflection. Lets simulate
is the magnitude response of the direct line is the magnitude response of the di-
sound. The blue line is the magnitude this by putting a low pass filter on the rect sound. The blue line is the mag-
response of the reflected sound. The reflection, as shown in Figure 14.5, nitude response of the reflected sound.
black line is the magnitude response of 14.6 and 14.7 which have identical The black line is the magnitude re-
the combination. sponse of the combination.
distances as the simulations in Figures
14.2, 14.3, and 14.4 for comparison.
Conversely, if we move the wall closer, What you can see in all three of the
we do the opposite (the problem gets 0 previous plots is that, as the high
worse, but at a higher frequency), as frequency content of the reflection
can be seen in Figure 14.4. 5
disappears, there is less and less e ect
Gain (dB)

10
on the total. The bottom plot is
basically a proof of the age-old rule of
0
15 thumb that says that, if you put a
5 loudspeaker next to a wall, youll get
Gain (dB)

more bass than if its farther from the


20
10 100 1,000 10,000
Frequency (Hz)

wall. Since there is not much high


10

Figure 14.5: Distance to loudspeaker = frequency energy radiated from the


2 m. Distance to wall = 1 m. Wall is ab-
15

rear of most loudspeakers, Figure 14.7


sorptive and/or the loudspeaker is direc-
20
10 100 1,000 10,000 tional at high frequencies. The red line is a pretty good general representation
Frequency (Hz)
is the magnitude response of the direct of what happens when a loudspeaker is
Figure 14.4: Distance to loudspeaker = sound. The blue line is the magnitude placed close to a wall. Of course, the
2 m. Distance to wall = 0.25 m. Wall is response of the reflected sound. The
exact behaviour of the directivity of the
perfectly reflective and the loudspeaker black line is the magnitude response of
the combination. loudspeaker will be di erent but the
is perfectly omnidirectional. The red
line is the magnitude response of the general shape of the total curve will be
direct sound. The blue line is the mag- pretty similar to what you see there.
nitude response of the reflected sound.
The black line is the magnitude re- 0 So, the end conclusion of all of this is
sponse of the combination. that, in order to reduce undesirable
5
artefacts caused by a wall reflection,
Gain (dB)

you can do any combination of the


So, if you have a room with only one
10

following:
wall which is perfectly reflective, and 15

you have a perfectly omnidirectional


loudspeaker, then you can see that 20
10 100 1,000 10,000
move the loudspeaker very close
to the wall
Frequency (Hz)
your best option is to either put the
loudspeaker (and yourself) very far or Figure 14.6: Distance to loudspeaker = move the loudspeaker farther
very close to the wall. That way the 2 m. Distance to wall = 3 m. Wall front the wall
is absorptive and/or the loudspeakers
artefacts caused by the reflection are
is directional at high frequencies. The sit very close to the wall
either too quiet to do any damage, or red line is the magnitude response of
have an e ect that starts at too high a the direct sound. The blue line is the sit farther away from the wall
frequency for you to care. Then again, magnitude response of the reflected put absorption on the wall
sound. The black line is the magnitude
most room have more than one wall,
response of the combination.
the walls are not perfectly reflective,
However, there is one interesting
and the loudspeaker is not perfectly
e ect that sits on top of all of this
omnidirectional.
that is the fact that what youll see in a

53
measurement with a microphone is not move, the wave moves slower on it.
necessarily representative of what
The air in a pipe behaves exactly the
youll hear. This is because a
same way. If you pluck the air in the
microphone does not have two ears.
middle of a pipe (say, by clapping our
Also, the direction the reflection comes
hands, or coughing, or making any
from will change how you perceive it. A
noise at all) then the sound wave
sidewall reflection sounds di erent
travels along the pipe until it hits the
from a floor reflection. This is because
end. Whether the end of the pipe is
you have two ears one on each side Time (sec)
capped or not, the wave will bounce
of your head. Your brain uses the
back and travel back through the pipe Figure 14.8: The concept of the e ect
sidewall reflections (or, more precisely,
in the opposite direction from whence of a room mode and Active Room Com-
how they relate to the direct sound) to
it came.1 As the wave bounces back pensation. See the associated text for
determine, in part, how far away a an explanation.
and forth o he two ends of the pipe, it
sound source is. Also, since, in the
also settles down (just like the guitar
case of sidewall reflections, your two
string) into something called a
ears get two di erent delay times on Figure 14.8 shows the concept of the
standing wave. This is the pipes
the reflection (usually), you get two e ect of a room mode and how its
equivalent of the skipping rope
di erent comb-filter patterns, where dealt with by Active Room
behaviour in the string. The result is
the peaks in one ear can be used to fill Compensation. The sound coming out
that the pipe will resonate or ring at
in the notches in the other ear and vice of the loudspeaker is shown on the top
a note. The longer the pipe, the lower
versa. When the reflection comes from plot, in black. The response of the
the note because the speed of the
the floor or ceiling, your two ears get loudspeaker and a single room mode is
sound wave moving in air in the pipe
the same artefacts (since your two shown below, in red. You can see there
stays the same, but the longer the
ears are the same distance to the floor, that the room mode keeps ringing at
pipe, the longer it takes for the wave to
probably). Consequently, its easily one frequency after the sound from the
bounce back and forth. This is basically
noticeable (and its been proven using loudspeaker stops.
how all woodwind instruments work.
science!) that a floor or ceiling
There are two audible e ects of this.
reflection has a bigger timbral e ect Whats interesting is that, in terms of
The first is that, if your music contains
on a loudspeaker than a lateral (or resonance, a room is basically a big
the frequency that the room wants to
sideways) reflection. pipe. If you pluck the air in the room
resonate at, then that note will sound
(say, by making sound with a
louder. When you hear people talk of
loudspeaker) the sound wave will move
14.2 Room Modes uneven bass or a one-note-bass
down the room, bounce o the wall, go
e ect, one of the first suspects to
back through the room, bounce of the
blame is a prominent room mode.
Room modes are a completely di erent opposite wall, etc. etc. (Of course,
beast although they exist because of other things are happening, but well The second is that, since the mode is
reflections. If you pluck a guitar string, ignore those.) This e ect is most ringing along with the music, the
you make a deflection in the string that obvious on a graph by putting some overall e ect will be muddiness. This is
moves outwards until it hits the ends of sound in a room and stopping particularly true when one bass note
the string. It then bounces back down suddenly. Instead of actually stopping, causes the room mode to start ringing,
the string, bounces again, etc. etc. As you can see the room ringing and this continues when the next bass
the wave bounces back and forth, it (exactly in the same way that a bell note is playing. For example, if your
settles in to a total result where it looks rings when its been hit) at a frequency room room rings on a C#, and the bass
like the string is just bouncing up and that gradually decays as time goes by. plays a C# followed by a D then the
down like a skipping rope. The longer However, its important to remember room will continue to at C#, conflicting
the string, the lower the note, because that this ringing is always happening with the D and resulting in mud. This
it takes longer for the wave to bounce even while the sound is playing. So, for is also true if the kick drum triggers the
back and forth on the string. You can example, a kick drum thump comes room mode, so you have a kick drum
also lower the note by lowering the out of the speaker which plucks the plucking the room ringing on a C# all
tension of the string, since this will slow room mode and it rings, while the through the track. If the tune is in the
down the speed of the wave moving music continues on. key of F, then this will not be pretty.2
back and forth on it. The last way to
lower the note is to make the string In order for the loudspeaker to
heavier (e.g. by making it thicker) compensate for the e ect of the room
since a heavier string is harder to mode, it has to not only produce the

1
Whether the pipe is closed (capped) or open only determines the characteristic of the reflection there will be a reflection either way.
2
Do a search for tritone or diabolus in musica.

54
signal it should (shown in black) but it the modal frequencies section on Sound Design, the final
must also produce a signal that place your loudspeaker in a node tuning of every Bang & Olufsen
counter-acts the ringing in the room a location in a room where it
loudspeaker (including the BeoLab 90)
mode. This is shown in the lower plot does not couple to a problematic is voiced in at least four rooms with
in blue. As can be seen there (most mode (however, note that one very di erent acoustical behaviours
easily in the ringing after the signal modes node is another modes
ranging from a very dead living room
has stopped), the loudspeakers antinode) with lots of absorptive and di usive
compensation signal (the blue curve) is surfaces to a larger and very live
the mirror image of the rooms sit in a node a location in a space with a minimalistic decorating,
misbehaviour (in red). If you add room where you do not couple to and large flat surfaces. Once we have
these two curves together, the result is a problematic mode (see warning a single sound design that is based on
that they cancel each other out, and above) the common elements those rooms,
the result is the black curve. use room correction DSP software we test the loudspeakers in more
such as ARC in the BeoLab 90 rooms to ensure that theyll behave
If you would like to calculate a
well under all conditions.
prediction of where youll have a
problem with a room mode, you can 14.3 Reverberation The second solution is BeoLab 90s
use the following equation: Active Room Compensation which will
correct the e ects of boundaries
Reverberation is what you hear when
metric version: (walls) and room modes on the timbre
you clap your hands in a big cathedral.
frequency = 172 / (length in m) of the loudspeaker at the listening
Its the collection of a lot of reflections
position(s). Using measurements of the
imperial version: bouncing from everywhere as you go
characteristics of the loudspeaker at
frequency = 558 / (length in feet) through time. When you first clap your
the listening positions, the ARC
hands, you get a couple of reflections
algorithm then creates a filter that is
This calculation will produce the that come in separated enough in time
used to undo these e ects. For
fundamental frequency of the room that they get their own label early
example, if the loudspeaker is close to
mode in Hz for the dimension of the reflections. After that, there are so
a wall (which will generally result in a
room represented by length. Your many reflections coming from so many
boosted bass) then the filter will
most audible modal problems will be at directions, and so densely packed
reduce the bass symmetrically.
the frequencies calculated using either together in time, that we cant
Similarly, ringing caused by room
of the equations above, and multiples separate them, so we just call them
modes will be actively cancelled by
of them (e.g. 2 times the result, 3 reverberation or reverb (although
both BeoLab 90s. That way, the loss in
times the result, and so on). youll often hear people call it echo
the filter and the gain due to the room
which is the wrong word to use for this.
will cancel each other.
So, for example, if your room is 5 m
wide, your worst-case modes (for the Reverb is what you get when you have
The third solution is unique to the
rooms width) will be at 172 / 5 = 34.4 a lot of reflective surfaces in your room
BeoLab 90 Beam Width Control. This
Hz, as well as 68.8 Hz, 103.2 Hz and so but since its so irregular in time and
allows you to customise the relative
on. Remember that these are just space, it just makes a wash of sound
levels of the direct sound and the
predictions but theyll come pretty rather than a weird comb-filter e ect
reflected sound at the listening
close. You should also remember that like we saw with a single reflection. So,
position. The result of this is that, even
this assumes that you have completely although it makes things cloudy its
if you have acoustically reflective side
immovable walls and no absorption if more like having a fog on your glasses
walls, the BeoLab 90 can still deliver
this is not true, then the severity of the instead of a scratch, or a soft-focus
an accurate and precise representation
actual problem will vary accordingly. e ect on a kitschy photograph of a
of the spatial presentation of your
field of flowers.
stereo recordings.
Sadly, there is not much you can do
about room modes. There are ways to
manage them, including, but not 14.4 Solutions
14.5 Conclusions
exclusive to the following strategies:
As weve seen, if your listening room is
Of course, this section does not cover
make sure that the three normal, you have at least these three
everything there is to know about room
dimensions of your listening basic acoustic problems to deal with.
acoustics. And, of course, you cant
room are not related to each Each problem has a di erent solution...
expect a loudspeaker to sound exactly
other with simple ratios
The first solution has already been the same in every room. If that were
put up membrane absorbers or started for you. As is explained in the true, there would be no such thing as a
slot absorbers that are tuned to

55
good concert hall. A rooms
acoustical behaviour a ects the sound
of all sound sources in the room. On
the other hand, humans also have an
amazing ability to adapt in other
words you get used to the
characteristics of your listening room.

However, there is no debate that, due


to many issues (the first two that come
to mind are frequency range and
directivity) two di erent loudspeakers
will behave di erently from each other
in two di erent rooms. In other words,
if you listen to loudspeaker A and
loudspeaker B in a showroom of a
shop, you might prefer loudspeaker A
but if you took them home, you might
prefer loudspeaker B. This would not
be surprising, since what you hear is
not only the loudspeaker but the
loudspeaker filtered by the listening
room. This is exactly why, even with
automated room compensation
algorithms, some fine tuning will be
necessary to achieve a sound that best
suits your room and your tastes, which
is why the BeoLab 90 interface includes
additional tuning tools including a
10-band Parametric Equaliser.

56
Appendix 4: Loudspeaker Directivity and Distance Perception in Stereo Imaging

15.1 Distance Perception in image. This e ect is true not only for instead of wall absorption, but the
Real Life the direct sound of the instruments e ect at the listening position is the
arriving at the microphone pair, but same. This is the case with BeoLab 90
also for the acoustic reflections o the when its Beam Width is set to Narrow.
Go to the middle of a snow-covered
various surfaces in the recording
frozen lake with a loudspeaker and a The conclusion is that, in order to get
space. So, if the recording engineer
friend. Sit there and close your eyes an accurate and precise representation
has been paying attention, the
and get your friend to place the of the spatial properties in a stereo
distance information (the relationship
loudspeaker some distance from you. recording, you should try to minimise
between the direct sound and the
Keep your eyes closed, play some the levels of the early reflections from
reflections) has been captured in the
sounds out of the loudspeaker and try the sidewalls in your listening room.
recording. This means that when you
to estimate how far away it is. You will However, this means that you are
listen to the recording, you not only
be wrong (unless youre VERY lucky). optimising the sound for the sweet
can tell where the instruments are
Why? Its because, in real life with real spot on-axis to both loudspeakers.
from left to right, but also their relative
sources in real spaces, distance When listening with friends, it may be
distances.
information (in other words, the necessary to widen the loudspeakers
information that tells you how far away Beam Widths.
a sound source is) comes mainly from 15.3 Combining the Two
the relationship between the direct
sound and the early reflections from
So, we know that early reflections tell
walls in your listening room. If you
your brain how far away the sound
dont have any early reflections, then
source is. Now think to a loudspeaker
you dont have any distance
in a listening room:
information. Add the early reflections
and you can very easily tell how far Case 1: If you have a listening room
away it is.1 that has no sidewalls, then there are
no early reflections, and, regardless of
how far away the loudspeakers are, a
15.2 Distance Perception in a sound source in the recording without
Stereo Recording early reflections (e.g. a close-miced
vocal) will sound closer to you than the
Recording engineers have a basic trick loudspeakers.
for controlling the apparent distance to
Case 2: If you have a listening room
a sound source in a stereo recording
with early reflections, and the
using the so-called dry-to-wet ratio
loudspeakers are less directional such
in other words, the relative levels of
as BeoLab 90s with their Beam Width
the direct sound and the reverberation.
set to Wide or Omni, then the early
To be honest, this is a bit of an
reflections from the side walls tell you
over-simplification, but its at the level
how far away the loudspeakers are.
of knowledge one would typically have
Therefore, the close-miced vocal track
if one were just starting out recording a
from Case 1 cannot sound any closer
budding rock band in a garage.
than the loudspeakers your brain is
Many classical recordings are made too smart to be told otherwise.
with a pair of microphones. An
Case 3: If you have a listening room
instrument that is on the left side of
with sidewalls and therefore early
the pair will produce a sound that is
reflections, but the loudspeakers are
slightly louder or slightly earlier in the
directional such that there is no energy
left microphone than in the right
being delivered to the side walls, then
microphone. This means that, when
the result is the same as in Case 1.
you sit in the sweet spot and listen to
This time there are no early reflections
the stereo recording, you will hear that
because of loudspeaker directivity
source on the left side of the stereo
1
This has been proven in various listening tests. For example, go check out Psychoacoustic Evaluation of Synthetic Impulse Responses by Per Rubak & Lars G. Johansen as a
starting point.

57
Appendix 5: Microphone Placement Strategy when creating ARC Zones

As is discussed in Active Room


Compensation, it is possible to create
settings for di erent ARC Zones (or
listening areas). This is done by
placing a microphone in three di erent
locations within the zone and Figure 16.2: Recommended micro-
performing an ARC measurement at phone placement height shown in gray.
each position. This section gives some
recommendations regarding where to
place the microphone for the 16.1.3 Doors and Windows
measurements. Figure 16.3: Recommended ARC micro-
phone placements (in red) for a single
Doors and windows in the listening listening position.
room should have the same position
16.1 General information during the measurement as when the
room will be used for listening. So, if 16.3 More than one listening
16.1.1 Microphone you normally listen to music with the
position
Orientation and Holder doors closed, then they should also be
closed during the measurement
procedure. This is because opening a If an ARC Zone consists of more than
The microphone should be securely
door or a window can have a one listening position (e.g. a sofa) then
held (e.g. on a camera tripod or
significant e ect on the acoustical the measurement should be performed
microphone stand), pointing upwards
behaviour of a listening room. once for each position. Figures 16.4
as is shown in Figure 16.1.
and 16.5 show a examples of zones
If doors may be opened or closed for consisting of many possible listening
di erent listening situations (e.g. patio positions. The microphone should
doors leading from the living room to placed at three positions (at
the outdoors) then two di erent ARC ear-height) distributed roughly evenly
Zones should be created separately for throughout each zone to create the
the two di erent scenarios. ARC filter for each situation.

Figure 16.1: Recommended micro-


phone orientation.
16.2 One listening position

If an ARC Zone consists of only one


It is not recommended that the listening position, it is recommended
microphone be hand-held due to the that the three microphone positions
length of the measurement procedure are:
and the fact that the microphone
should not move during the the location of the listeners
measurement. Extraneous noise head, as shown in Figure 16.3
caused by holding the microphone may Figure 16.4: Recommended ARC micro-
phone placements (in red) for a multiple
also a ect the measurement accuracy. on each side of the listening
listening positions.
position (approximately 30 cm
from the centre of the listening
16.1.2 Height position). One placement should
be slightly forward
The height of the microphone should (approximately 20 cm) and the
be roughly the same as the height of other should be slightly behind
the listeners ears. Thus for example, if (approximately 20 cm).
all listeners are seated, the
microphone should be roughly 100
As mentioned above, the microphone
120 cm above the floor.
should be placed roughly at ear-height.

58
BeoLab 90 app instead of duplicating
measurements. An example of this is
shown in Figure 16.6.

Figure 16.5: Example ARC microphone Figure 16.6: An example of avoiding


placements (in red) for a passive listen- duplicate microphone placements when
ing and background music situations at ARC Zones overlap. The sweet spot
a dining table. zone is measured using the microphone
placements shown in red. The other lis-
tening positions on the sofas are mea-
Note that, in cases where there is sured for a second ARC Zone using
overlap between di erent ARC Zones, the microphone placements shown in
blue. These two are combined by se-
the measurements can be combined
lecting both in the interface to com-
by combining ARC Profiles in the pletely cover the entire area.

59
Appendix 6: ABL - Adaptive Bass Linearisation

17.1 A General Introduction the power supply is operating small torture chamber roughly the size
to ABL within its limits, and of a clothes closet, put on some dance
nothing (not the power supply, music (or modified pink noise) and turn
the amplifiers, or the voice coils) up the volume. While thats playing,
Almost all loudspeakers made by Bang
is getting so hot that the were continually monitoring the signal
& Olufsen include Adaptive Bass
loudspeakers behaviour is that were sending to the loudspeaker,
Linearisation or ABL. This includes not
altered. the driver excursion, the demands on
only our stand alone loudspeakers
the electronics (e.g. the amps, DACs,
(the BeoLab series) but also our
This is what is meant by linear its power supply, etc.) and the
docking loudspeakers and televisions.
fancy word for predictable. In temperature of various components in
The only exceptions in the current
addition, it should be stated that if we the loudspeaker, along with a number
portfolio are our passive loudspeakers,
were listening to loudspeakers at high of other parameters.
headphones, and the BeoLab 5.
levels daily, we would get increasingly Armed with that information, we are
There is no one technical definition for bad at our jobs due to hearing loss. able to know how those parameters
ABL, since it is in continual evolution
So, we do the tuning at a listening level behave with respect to the
in fact it may change from product to
where we know things are behaving characteristics of the music that is
product as we learn more and as
remember that we always do it at the being played (e.g. how loud it is, in
di erent products require di erent
same calibrated level every time for various frequency bands, for how long,
algorithms. Speaking very broadly,
every loudspeaker so that we dont in both the short term and the long
however, we could say that it reduces
change sound design balance due to term). This means that, when you play
the low frequency content sent to the
shifts associated with equal loudness music on the loudspeaker, it knows:
loudspeaker driver(s) (e.g. the woofer)
when the loudspeaker is asked to play contours. (If you tune a loudspeaker
loudly but even this is partially when its playing loudly, youll wind up how hot it is at various locations
inaccurate. with a loudspeaker with less bass than inside,
if you tuned it quietly. This is because what the velocity of the air in the
It is important to note that it is not the youre automatically compensating for port is (if it has a port),
case that this replaces a loudness di erences in your own hearing at
function which may (or may not) be the loudspeaker drivers
di erent listening levels.)
equalising for Equal Loudness Contours excursions,
(sometimes called Fletcher-Munson After that tuning is done, then we go amplifier demands,
Curves). However, since (generally) back to the measurements to see
power supply demands,
the bass is pulled back when things get where things will misbehave. For
loud, it is easy to assume this to be example, in order to compensate for and so on. (The actual list varies
true. the relatively small cabinet behind the according to product these are
woofer(s) in the BeoSound 8 / BeoPlay just some typical examples...)
When we are doing the sound design A8, we increase the amount of bass
for a loudspeaker (which is based both that we send to the amplifiers for the So, when some parameter gets close
on measurements and listening), we woofers as part of the sound design. If to a maximum (e.g. the amplifier starts
ensure that we are operating at a we left that bass boost in the tuning to get too hot, or the woofer is nearing
listening level that is well within the when you turn up the volume, the maximum allowable excursion) then
linear behaviour of the loudspeaker loudspeaker would go up in smoke or something will be pulled back.
and its components. (Typically, the at least sound very bad. This could be
sound design is done at a standard What is pulled back? It depends on the
because:
playback level where a -20 dB FS product and the conditions at the time
full-band pink noise produces 70 dB (C) youre playing the music. It could be a
the woofer is being pushed or
at the listening position.) band of frequencies in the bass region,
pulled beyond its limits, or
it could be the level of the woofer. In a
This means that because the amplifier clips or
worst-case-last-ditch situation, the
the power supply cannot supply loudspeaker might even be required to
the drivers (usually the woofers) more current or shut itself down to protect itself from
arent being asked to move too something else. you (or the guests attending your
far (in and out) party). Of course, there is no
the amplifier is operating within So, after the tuning process is guarantee that you cannot destroy the
its limits complete, we put the loudspeaker in a loudspeaker somehow but we do our

60
best to build in enough protection to demand are on the current conditions still benefits from the inclusion of ABL
cover as many conditions as we can. (voice coil temperature, for example) in its processing. This is due to the fact
This is similar to the fact that the seat that the BeoLab 90s sound design
How is it pulled back (i.e. how quickly
belts in my car dont know why the car resulted in a frequency range that
and by how much)? That also depends
is stopping quickly maybe its extends to approximately 10 Hz1 .
on the product and some decisions we
because I hit the brakes, maybe its Playing at high listening levels, such a
made during the sound design process,
because I hit a concrete wall the seat low frequency extension would result
as well as what kind of
belts just lock up when theyre asked in over-excursion of the woofers if ABL
state-of-emergency your loudspeaker
to move too quickly. Your woofers were not included in the loudspeakers
is in (some people are very mean to
voice coil doesnt know the di erence processing. However, it should be said
loudspeakers...).
between Eminem and Stravinsky with a that whereas a typical Bang & Olufsen
Note that all this is done based on the bass boost it just knows its hot and it loudspeaker will have an ABL operating
signals that the loudspeaker is being doesnt want to get hotter. at frequency bands from approximately
asked to produce. So it doesnt know 100 Hz and down, the BeoLab 90s ABL
whether youve turned up the bass or only operates below approximately 20
17.2 ABL and BeoLab 90 Hz.
the volume it just knows youre
asking it to play this signal right now
and what the implications of that In spite of BeoLab 90s massive power
reserves and four capable woofers, it

1
This value is to be finalised at a later date.

61
Appendix 7: Thermal Compression Compensation

18.1 Introduction components. For example, the voice goes. (This is a normal behaviour for
coil, since its a coil, acts as an most resistors.) If the voice coil
Note: Some of the figures in this inductor. Since it is a thin bit of wire, it resistance changes, then the whole
section are taken from BeoLab 5 also has some resistance to the flow of system behaves di erently, since it
measurements. These will be replaced electrical current through it, so its also isnt the only component in the circuit.
with data from the BeoLab 90 as soon a resistor. A simple version of this So, as we change the temperature of
as possible. breakdown is shown in Figure 18.1. the voice coil, the total response of the
loudspeaker changes.
Take a woofer and put it in an
Voice Coil Voice Coil Energy Losses in Inertia of Mass of Springiness of
Resistance Inductance Suspension Moving Parts Suspension

appropriately-sized cabinet, connect it Sadly, the temperature of the voice coil


isnt only dependent on the room
Amplifier

to an amplifier. Set the room


temperature to 20 C. When everything Electrica Components Mechanical Components
temperature as it seemed to be in the
in the room is the same temperature, beginning of this discussion. As soon
Figure 18.1: A simplified version of the as you start playing sound using the
measure the woofers on-axis actual electrical and electrical analogies
magnitude response. loudspeaker, it starts heating up. The
of mechanical components in a loud-
speaker driver. louder the signal, the hotter it gets. So
Turn up the room temperature to as you play music, it heats and cools.
100 C. When everything in the room is The speed with which it heats up and
the same temperature again, measure This shows the components of a cools down is dependent on its
the woofers magnitude response once moving coil dynamic loudspeaker as a thermal time constant a big woofer
more. very simplified circuit . If these with a large voice coil and magnet will
components dont look familiar to you, take longer to heat up and cool down
You will notice that these two dont worry, its not that important for (and therefore have a longer thermal
measurements look very di erent but now. Some components in the circuit time constant) than a small tweeter.
why? are actual electrical things (like the
resistance of the voice coil, shown in This raises at least four questions:
When you read a magazine review of a
loudspeaker, it will include a red) and others are analogies
electrical representations for a How much does the temperature
measurement of its frequency
mechanical component in the system vary when I play music?
response (more accurately called its
magnitude response) which shows (such as a capacitor representing the How does the response of the
(ignoring many things) how loud spring of the surround and the loudspeaker change with
di erent frequencies are when they spider). temperature?
come out of the loudspeaker assuming If you know how each of these How much does the response of
that they all came in at the same level. components behaves, and you know the loudspeaker change with
Unfortunately, this is only a small part the correct values to put in for a given temperature?
of the truth. loudspeaker, and you know how to do What can we do about it?
We can explain a loudspeaker drivers the right math, then you can come
electromechanical characteristics by close to getting a prediction of the
breaking it down into di erent response of the loudspeaker that 18.2 Voice coil temperature
components (both actual and youre modelling with the circuit.
analogical). For example, the However, if you just put in one value A typical loudspeaker driver is, give or
suspension (which is comprised of the for each component, then youre take, about 1% e cient. This means
surround and the spider) can be assuming that they never change in that approximately 1% of the power
thought of as a spring. The electrical other words that youre dealing with a you push into the loudspeaker from the
analogy for this is a capacitor. If you linear system. amplifier is converted into sound. The
take all of the moving parts in the remaining 99% is lost as heat almost
The problem is that this assumption is
loudspeaker driver, they all add up to a all of it at the voice coil of the
incorrect. For example, the voice coil
mass that has to be moved the loudspeaker. So, the louder your
resistance the amount that the wire
electrical analogy for that mass is an music, the hotter your voice coil gets.
in the voice coil resists the flow of
inductor (since an inductor has some Of course, if you have a way of cooling
current through it when the
electrical inertia). Some of the it (for example, by using other parts of
loudspeaker driver is not moving
components are not an electrical the loudspeaker as a radiator to your
changes with temperature. The hotter
analogy they are real electrical listening room) then it wont get as
the wire gets, the higher the resistance
hot, and it will cool down faster.

62
For example, play pop music that has driver with changes in temperature.
been mastered at a high level and play So, the curve at the top is the change
it at maximum volume on a BeoLab 90 in the woofers magnitude response
whilst monitoring the temperature of (which is 0 dB at all frequencies in
the voice coils. What youll see if you other words no change) when the
do this is something like the Figure loudspeaker is playing at the same
18.2. temperature at which it was measured
(lets say, 20 C or room temperature).
As the temperature of the voice coil
increases above that temperature, you
can see that you lose output in two
Figure 18.3: The temperatures of the
magnets of the loudspeaker drivers in a frequency bands on either side of a
BeoLab 5 as a result of playing pop mu- bump in the response that bump is
sic at full volume. The X-axis is the time at the resonant frequency of the
in minutes.
loudspeaker driver.

So, the louder you play, the more low


18.3 Loudspeaker response end you lose, apart from a peak in the

Figure 18.2: The temperatures (in C)


changes response (which also rings in time) at
of the voice coils of the front woofer in the resonant frequency of the driver.
a BeoLab 5 as a result of playing pop So, now the question is what does this
music at full volume. The X-axis is the
0.5

change in temperature do to the 0 + 0 C

time in minutes. 0.5 + 20 C

response of the loudspeaker driver?. 1 + 40 C

Sensitivity (dB)
1.5 + 60 C

As I mentioned above, the thing that + 80 C

As you can see in Figure 18.2, while


2
+ 100 C

changes most in the model shown in


2.5

playing music, the woofer varied from


+ 120 C
3 + 140 C

Figure 18.1 is the loudspeaker drivers


a maximum temperature of about
3.5 + 160 C

voice coil resistance. For those of you


+ 180 C
4

200 C down to about 110 C. 4.5


with a background in reading electrical
10 100 1,000
Frequency (Hz)

This means that the worst-case circuits, you may notice that the one
Figure 18.4: Sensitivity of BeoLab 90s
variation in temperature of the woofer shown in Figure 18.1 has some reactive front woofer vs. the change in temper-
was about 90 C whilst playing music, components in it which will result in a ature of its voice coil.
and 180 C above room temperature resonance at some frequency. For
(which well assume is 20 C). those of you without a background in
reading electrical circuits, what this 18.4 The solution
Unfortunately, this temperature cannot
means is that a loudspeaker driver (like
be measured directly, since we cannot
a woofer) has some frequency at which
put thermal sensors directly on the Interestingly, everything I said above is
it wants to ring if you thump it with
drivers voice coils. Instead, we true for every moving coil loudspeaker.
your thumb, thats the note that you
measure the temperature of the So, if youre the kind of person who
will hear ringing a little like a bell with
loudspeaker driver magnets, and use believes that the only proper
a low pitch.
that real-time data input in addition to loudspeaker is one where you have
the signal that were sending to the As the voice coil resistance goes up, its nothing but a loudspeaker driver (in a
drivers to calculate the temperatures resistance increases, and we generally cabinet of any kind, or not) and an
of the voice coils based on thermal lose sensitivity (i.e. level or loudness) amplifier and no active filtering, then
models of each of them. As you can from the woofer. In other words, the youll have to live with the kind of
see in Figure 18.3, the magnet hotter it gets, the quieter it gets. unpredictable behaviour that you see
temperature reacts much more slowly. However, this only happens at the above. However, since a BeoLab 90
These measurements were taken at frequencies where the resistor is not knows the temperature of the voice
exactly the same time as the ones overridden by another component coil of its loudspeaker drivers, and
shown in Figure 18.2. say the mechanical resonance of the since it has been programmed with the
woofer or the inductance of the voice curves like the one shown in Figure
coil. 18.4, we can actively linearise its
response, making it much more
The total result is shown for various predictable.
temperature di erences in Figure 18.4.
Notice that these plots show the In essence all we need to do is to take
change in magnitude response of the Figure 18.4, flip it upside down and

63
make a filter that undoes the e ect applied to the appropriate
of temperature on the loudspeakers loudspeaker driver. The other
response. For example, if the woofers woofers and the other drivers
voice coil gets 160 C above room have di erent behaviours and
temperature (where we originally should be processed with their
measured it), it drops 3.2 dB at 20 Hz, own correction curves. In other
the BeoLab 90 knows this and adds 3.2 words, this filtering can only be
dB at 20 Hz. In order to do this, the done because the BeoLab 90 is
processing of the BeoLab 90 includes a an active loudspeaker with
set of filters (one for each driver) independent filtering for each of
whose response varies in time with the the 18 loudspeaker drivers. Figure 18.6: The gains (in dB) applied to
temperatures of the the drivers. The the signals sent to the woofer in a Beo-
temperature-dependent filters for the Lab 5 as a result of playing pop music
front woofer are shown in Figure 18.5. 18.5 Some extra information at full volume. The X-axis is the time in
minutes.
4.5

4
+ 180 C
You should be left with at least one
3.5
question. I said above that, as the These curves in Figure 18.6 show the
+ 160 C

+ 140 C
3

2.5
+ 120 C
music gets loud, the woofer heats up, gains applied to the front woofer in a
Gain (dB)

+ 100 C

2 + 80 C
so you lose output, so we add a filter BeoLab 90 at the same time as the
that compensates by putting more
1.5 + 60 C

1 + 40 C measurements shown in Figures 18.2


0.5 + 20 C
signal into the driver. However, this and 18.3 were being made. In fact, if
means that the problem is caused by
0 + 0 C

0.5 you look carefully at Figure 18.2


the signal being too loud, and the
10 100 1,000
Frequency (Hz)
around the 5 minute mark, youll see
result is that we make the signal that the temperature dropped which
Figure 18.5: Magnitude responses of
the compensating filter for BeoLab 90s louder. is why the gain in Figure 18.6 increases
front woofer vs. the temperature of its (because it can!) in response.
voice coil. However, there is one more trick up
our sleeve. Appendix 6: ABL - Adaptive Now, dont panic. The BeoLab 90 isnt
Bass Linearisation describes BeoLab messing about with the gains of the
Its important to note three things here. 90s Thermal Protection algorithm. This drivers all the time. Remember that
means that the DSP brain knows the this test was done at full volume
This can only be done because temperature of the drivers and, in a which, for a BeoLab 90 is extremely
we know how the response of the worst-case situation, turns the levels loud. The gains shown in Figure 18.6
woofer changes at di erent down to protect things from burning are a last-ditch e ort of the
temperatures (this behaviour up. So, if we go back to the example of loudspeaker to protect itself from a
was found as part of the a BeoLab 90 playing at full volume, very mean customer (or the very mean
development process). lets see whats happening to the children of a customer who is away for
signal levels. the weekend). This is the equivalent of
This can be done because the
loudspeaker brain (the DSP) the airbags deploying in your car. You
knows the temperature of the can guess that, if the airbag is outside
voice coil in real time as youre the steering wheel something
playing music significant has occurred.

This particular filter shown in Many thanks to Gert Munch for his help
Figure 18.5 should only be in writing this section.

64
Appendix 8: Control of BeoLab 90 using the BeoRemote 1

19.1 Introduction 19.2 Input Selection BL90 Input BR1 Display


Automatic Music
RCA Line-In
The BeoRemote 1 can be used instead It is possible to manually change the
XLR A.Mem
of the smartphone application to input selection of audio sources using
S/P-DIF CD
control a number of parameters on the the BeoRemote 1. In addition, the
Optical NET Radio
BeoLab 90. The usage and setup of display of the remote control can be
these are described below customised to reflect your particular So, for example, if the BeoLab 90 is in
setup. Automatic mode and you playing
Note that, in order to control the
signals on both the S/P-DIF and the XLR
BeoLab 90s with the BeoRemote 1,
inputs simultaneously, you will hear
two things must initially be configured. 19.2.1 Source Selection
the S/P-DIF signal if it has a higher
Firstly, the infra-red receiver (also
selection priority. Press MUSIC and
known as an IR Eye) must be If you press the MUSIC button on the
select A.MEM to switch manually to the
correctly connected to the Master remote, you will see a number of
XLR input. Press MUSIC and select CD
BeoLab 90. Secondly, the BeoRemote sources listed there that are scrollable
to switch to the S/P-DIF input.
1 must be set to the BeoSound using the UP/DOWN buttons, and
product on its display. In addition, the selectable using the GO button on the
BeoLab 90 must be paired to the remote control. Firstly, you will need to 19.2.2 Customising the Input
BeoSound product (since there are customise this list as follows: Names
multiple BeoSound options).

1. press LIST It is possible to re-name these inputs


19.1.1 Customising the on the BeoRemote 1s display so that
2. Scroll down to SETTINGS and you do not have to remember the
Product Name press GO mapping. This can be done as follows:

It is possible to customise the product 3. Scroll down to MUSIC sources


name displayed on the BeoRemote 1 and press GO 1. Press LIST
(for example, to read BeoLab 90
4. Select SHOW and press GO 2. Scroll down to SETTINGS and
instead of BeoSound). This can be
press GO
done as follows: 5. Use the GO button to place a
check mark next to the following 3. Scroll down to MUSIC sources
1. Press LIST items in the following list. (It may and press GO
also be helpful to remove the
2. Scroll down to SETTINGS and 4. Select RENAME and press GO
check marks next to the items
press the round GO button
that are not in the list.) 5. Select the item you wish to
3. Scroll down to ADVANCED and - NET RADIO rename and press GO
press GO
- MUSIC 6. Type in the new name for the
4. Select PRODUCTS and press GO - LINE IN item

5. Select RENAME and press GO - CD 7. When you are done, scroll all the
6. Select the item you wish to - A.MEM way to the right of the list of
rename and press GO letters and select the CHECK
MARK to store.
Now press the MUSIC button and you
7. Type in the new name for the
should see these 5 items in a scrollable
item
list on the screen of the remote. These Now, when you press the MUSIC
8. When you are done, scroll all the 5 are mapped to the inputs of the button, you will see the labels you
way to the right of the list of BeoLab 90 as follows: have entered instead of the default
letters and select the CHECK ones listed above.
MARK to store.

65
Index

ABL, 31, 56 phase response, 31


about, 29 filter Q, 46
active listening, 3 filter, high-shelving, 45
active room compensation, 5, 17 filter, low-shelving, 45
Adaptive Bass Linearisation, 56 filter, peaking, 46
ADC, 34 filter, reciprocal peak/dip, 46
Analogue Inputs, 34 formats
analogue-to-digital converter, 34 DXD, 38
ARC, 5, 17, 54 frequency tilt, 20
audio formats
gain, 46
DoP, 38, 40
gain o set, 26
DSD, 38
gain, equaliser, 46
DSD over PCM, 40
gain, filter, 46
DXD, 40
automatic bass linearisation, 31 Hertz, 46
high shelving filter, 45
background music, 3
high-shelving filter, 22
bass, 18
Hz, 46
beam direction, 4
beam direction control, 15 imaging, 3, 11
beam width impedance, input, 27
control, 4, 11 input
narrow, 11 auto-detection, 26
omni, 13 detection threshold, 26
wide, 12, 15 gain o set, 26
BeoRemote 1, 61 impedance, 27
BeoVision television, connection to, 22 maximum input voltage, 26
renaming, 25
centre frequency, 46 time-out, 26
cloning in production, 32 volume control, 27
coaxial digital (S/P-DIF), 35 input selection
converter, digital to analogue, 35 manual, 25
priority, 25
DAC, 35 input, labels, 25
dB, 46
decibel, 46 latency, 19
Digital Inputs, 34 level, 16
digital signal processor, 35 lip synch, 39
digital to analogue converter, 35 loudness, 20
distance, 15 low shelving filter, 45
DSP, 35 low-shelving filter, 21

maximum input voltage, 26


early reflections, 48
menu map, 8
echo, 39
microphone placement, 54
edit mode, menu, 9
minimum phase, 21
enhance, power, 29
modes, room, 50
equaliser, parametric, 21, 30
mute, 18
Fc, 46
Optical, 35
features, 31
optical digital (Optical), 35
features disabled, 39
Optical, volume control via Power Link, 27
filter
high-shelving, 22 parametric equaliser, 21, 30
low-shelving, 21 passive listening, 3
peaking, 21 peaking filter, 21, 46

66
phantom imaging, 11 speaker group, 22
power enhance, 29 speaker level, 16
Power Link, 34 Speaker Preset, 22
preset, 9 speaker role, 16
creating, 9 specifications, technical, 33
edit parameters, 9 SRC, 34
rename, 9 stereo imaging, 3, 11
selecting, 9
preset automation, 22 technical specifications, 33
production, 32 temperature, 29
protection, thermal, 31 thermal compression compensation, 32, 58
thermal protection, 31
Q, 46 threshold, detection, 26
time-out, 26
RCA, 34
treble, 18
re-name inputs, 25
trigger, 22
reciprocal peak/dip filter, 46
reflections, early, 48 USB Audio, 35
reverberation, 51 volume, 27
role, 16
room modes, 50 volume
control, 18, 30
S/P-DIF, 35 maximum, 29
S/P-DIF, volume control via Power Link, 27 startup, 18, 29
sampling rate converter, 34
sensitivity, 16, 18, 30 Wireless Power Link, 35
signal detection, automatic, 26 WiSA, 35
sound design, 20, 31 WPL, 35
sound enhance, 20
speaker distance, 15 XLR, 34

67