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Are We at the Turning Point of the Digitally Controlled Speaker Era?

TiFi Speakers

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In the world of audio, there has been a subtle revolution, with analog technology progressively shifting towards the digital realm. As the creator of TiFi, which stands for Timing Aligned speakers (www.tifi.ee/en/), it has been possible to navigate this path rapidly.

TiFi Speakers are all 3D printed. 3D printing offers unprecedented freedom in designing speaker cabinets but encounters a challenge when it comes to the required volume for bass. The best solution, without creating additional problems, is to use DSP to control each loudspeaker separately and assist a little in reproducing the lower end of the bass.

Facing reality, all major speaker manufacturers include smaller active speakers and even more soundbars in their portfolios, with very low-frequency bass and linear SPL where the entire sound profile is assembled through digital processing. Additionally, devices capable of controlling each loudspeaker are already available on the market with very good price-to-quality ratios. Currently, these are sold under the name "AV receivers", but if we delve into the possibilities, using the same hardware to control loudspeakers separately is only a matter of programming.

I have not witnessed an industry where digital control is introduced and then completely recedes. It is always the case that digital control is introduced, and then it proliferates even more rapidly and more affordably.

The development of TiFi's next models now stands at a crossroads. Should time and resources be dedicated to developing analog-crossover, timing-aligned speakers (such as smaller bookshelf speakers, multi-channel speakers, etc.), or will these options become obsolete within a couple of years, and each loudspeaker will be controlled separately during sound reproduction?

So, my conclusion is, it will happen anyhow. However, I have no clue whether it will be a few years or a few decades. Any discussion on the matter is welcomed. Is there point at all to introduce some analog crossover time-aligned speakers to the market or there is no point?
 
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TiFi Speakers

TiFi Speakers

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Post landed here on dealers forum, but replies are still welcomed. One historic sample was cassette vs CD. This was pretty rapid. From the other end high tech audio is also high investment and should live long. So, if purchased today 20 000 USD speakers you want to live with these hopefully decade, not that next year these would be obsolete. Or from third point of view, is it about listener generations?
 
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TiFi Speakers

TiFi Speakers

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Curvature

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dtaylo1066

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I wonder in the future if speakers will be a viable business, as our digital world has most younger generations wearing earbuds through much of their lives. It was not that long ago that the component and term "head phone amplifier" did not exist.
 

AdamG

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I have read: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s-reviewer-with-commercial-endorsement.18155/ , but found no place to register. Please refer, would be happy to.

PS Should have asked the question without background. Now it seems background is dominant and question seems not important. Good lesson for next time...
Send a PM to me and we can start the registration process. Until completely please refrain from posting any further.

Send the PM to @AdamG please.
 
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TiFi Speakers

TiFi Speakers

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younger generations wearing earbuds
So true, however they also watch movies. So it seems along the way, that stereo is diminishing, but multiway is still living.

Started to wander, even if multiway speakers are with passive crossover, they are today digitally controlled. All todays AVR's do some kind of measurements and optimization (unfortunately not commonly specified, what exactly they do). Then they apply corrections with DSP. Of course, compared to speaker specific DSP, it is basic, but we can say that in this field the train has left the station and very soon we have AVR, where instead of X channels you can define X loudspeakers. With this small living room multiway becomes fully digitally controlled. This results AVR's to be more expensive, and speakers cheaper. Right now it seems to be matter of how much of the whole AVR market are the audiophile's or small service companies interested in this, to give reason for making different soft AVR-s.
 

olieb

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Should time and resources be dedicated to developing analog-crossover, timing-aligned speakers (such as smaller bookshelf speakers, multi-channel speakers, etc.), or will these options become obsolete within a couple of years, and each loudspeaker will be controlled separately during sound reproduction?
The market (and the industry) seem quite conservative in many aspects in my impression. Bookshelves will certainly be there for some more years and so will speakers with passive crossovers. Many people ("consumers") are rather used to the amplifier - speaker box paradigm.
On the other hand I can imagine panels ( or tapestry?) of Mems with (digital) electronics that self-calibrate to the room and listening position, but that will take some time I suppose.
For the time being I guess it will be more future proof to develop active speakers with dsp (like Kii Three or Swissonic A305 to name just two from the ends of the price scale).
 

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Frequency response, last of pictures for every product.
Are your measurements anechoic?

if not, here are two examples by DIYers using different measurement techniques to get full polars of speakers:



Here's a guide to measure and generate the spinorama measurements we care about here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ents-spinoramas-with-rew-and-vituixcad.21860/

If you can upload the required measurements as csv or txt, we have members who can generate the plots for you.
 
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TiFi Speakers

TiFi Speakers

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Are your measurements anechoic?
Thank you for suggestions, this forum is great place not only to learn, but get specific guidelines also.

About TiFi measurements: CTA-2034-A states, "Measurements should be made in a reflection-free environment – a qualified anechoic chamber or outdoors." The last is used. However, as stated in notes at homepage, measurement distance is 0.5 m (not 1m or 2m) as all models loudspeakers are real close to each and it helps in some other regards. Graph is not adjusted to 1m. Base is raised from ground 0,6 m, but I have not excluded ground reflections from graph.

There are three reasons why full CTA-2034-A measurements are not done and why I am still hesitant what and how to present.
- First is time and (and seasonal) limitations.
- Second is making sure that every presented measurement is done correctly, with precision and methodology. So I have done about 6000 measurements to reach three models, but present I dare only 6, so not good yet on methodology for measurements:) Of course majority of them are about shaping waveguides or other specific issues.
- Third reason as speakers with open access to DSP and all buttons of amplifiers, one can adjust a lot with these speaker kits. So, presented is my view, but have not decided yet how to handle this freedom for customers where finger click away there is just next profile available. With spinorama it is clear, it can and should be done based on one sample profile and is just waiting for the season and fixtures. But a lot of the rest will be matter of customer decision SPL vs THD or SPL vs lowest end and low end THD etc. So, no clarity in my mind how to present it all in the way I can understand myself and customers as well.
 
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Curvature

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Thank you for suggestions, this forum is great place not only to learn, but get specific guidelines also.

About TiFi measurements: CTA-2034-A states, "Measurements should be made in a reflection-free environment – a qualified anechoic chamber or outdoors." As startup the last is used. However, as stated in notes at homepage, measurement distance is 0.5 m (not 1m or 2m) as all models loudspeakers are real close to each and it helps in some other regards. Graph is not adjusted to 1m. Base is raised from ground 0,6 m, but I have not excluded ground reflections from graph.

There are three reasons why full CTA-2034-A measurements are not done and why I am still hesitant what and how to present.
- First is time and (and seasonal) limitations.
- Second is making sure that every presented measurement is done correctly, with precision and methodology. So I have done about 6000 measurements to reach three models, but present I dare only 6, so not good yet on methodology for measurements:) Of course majority of them are about shaping waveguides or other specific issues.
- Third reason as speakers with open access to DSP and all buttons of amplifiers, one can adjust a lot with these speaker kits. So, presented is my view, but have not decided yet how to handle this freedom for customers where finger click away there is just next profile available. With spinorama it is clear, it can and should be done based on one sample profile and is just waiting for the season and fixtures. But a lot of the rest will be matter of customer decision SPL vs THD or SPL vs lowest end and low end THD etc. So, no clarity in my mind how to present it all in the way I can understand myself and customers as well.
Those adjustments for LF EQ are fairly simple, in my mind, since LF are more or less omnidirectional and the customer can use whatever profile they think is best suited. Many other manufacturers present LF EQ profiles as on-axis measurements with different curves.

It's the MF/HF measurements showing directivity that are the most pertinent to understanding the sound of your speakers.
 
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TiFi Speakers

TiFi Speakers

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Finally everything is simple after it is done... As right now no consistent measurements of all angles, I should not speculate on results. But at looking on speakers a lot can be concluded and some comments can be added.

Poseidon is horizontally omnidirectional and I have made HF waveguide in a way it limits vertical distribution a little, so overall result is less harsh and HF reflections do result less mess of ceiling and floor reflections.
Helios is more a less like traditional speaker, as analog to some changing profile front baffles in the market. Tweeter has very nice quite even profile, so result is horizontally very even. Vertically also quite usual, but as there is some distance between speakers it is not so even in vertical plane, having some dip around 2000 Hz
Elf is most interesting. Profile is not the best compared to others horizontally, if you just take 30 degrees and extend the difference, then this is it. However out of about 20 different people comparing the speakers in listening test, Elf has 18 votes and Poseidon with Helios have both one. If I take audiophile/musicians among test listeners, then preference is shared equally over three models, some like slightly softer sound and more bass of Helios and Poseidon and some the precision of Elf.

Here is Elf straight (green) and horizontal 60 degrees off axis (brown), measured indoors, with 5 ms right gate.
1708175592549.png


Of course these comments do not replace full spinorama measurements, but just give some general idea what is what.
 
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