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Development of a modular system for speaker array prototyping

Authors Blamberger, S.
Year 2012
Thesis Type Audio Engineering project
Topic Spatial Audio
Abstract Small speaker arrays provide the opportunity to create acoustic environments with high spatial resolution. Hence, problems due to perceptual instabilities in spatial audio reproduction can be overcome. This precondition needs to be fulfilled in order to proceed with the evaluation of auditory direct manipulation designs, as limitations in 3D audio reproduction can influence the usability ratings. To avoid this problem, a modular prototype speaker array consisting of 48 speakers plus corresponding amplification circuits has been developed. This prototype uses small speakers and Class-D amplifiers that offer low power consumption and good efficiency. Furthermore, the modular design allows for creating numerous speaker configurations that may be adjusted depending on the actual application. An 8-channel amplification printed circuit board (PCB) has been developed and evaluated together with 2” broadband speakers. The results show that it is possible to achieve the desired prototyping flexibility together with a reasonable acoustic behavior. Furthermore, the work exemplarily deals with applications of the system, which include audio reproduction and the use as output platform for human computer interaction design.
Supervisors Marentakis, G.