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Tech Corner: Cornered Audio Sound

Cornered Audio Speakers at Balthazar Bar, Denmark

The birth of Cornered Audio

Founder of Cornered Audio, Hans V Madsen, leant on his industry contacts to start prototyping his Cornered concept. It began as a response to a desire for a more aesthetically pleasing loudspeaker and soon became an obsession. Hans knew about the bass boost you get from positioning a speaker in a corner, but he uncovered other surprises.

The result: a range of aesthetic, commercial sound systems that are very pleasing to the ear. 

How does boundary interference bass boost work?

Placing a loudspeaker against the wall gives you a plus 3dB boost in the bass for every surface. This happens roughly from 160Hz and as far down as the room allows. So, to avoid a booming bass, Cornered Audio speakers design a roll-off in the bass, controlled by the Q value of the box, driver spacing and tuning. That’s standard. 

But Cornered Audio speakers also work to adapt some of the woofer’s design principles to tame things in the 100Hz region. In other words, we know how to make a woofer ‘non-hot’ in the 100Hz area, even in a compact cabinet. 

After working with early Cornered designs and placing them in various real-world environments, Hans noticed something else that surprised and pleased him:

“I was surprised at how little the room itself impacted the sound of the Cornered Audio designs — they’re pretty ‘room agnostic’. That was difficult for me to get my head around. But then I ran into a Mexican PhD engineer studying at our technical university in Denmark, who explained the phenomenon to me. He taught me that the sound emanating from the corner of the room makes the first reflection indistinguishable from the direct sound. Then, the second reflection comes late. It comes optimally late because it travels as far as you can in the room for the second reflection to bounce back. The result is a very neutral-sounding speaker.”

When a traditional rectangular loudspeaker is moved to the corners of the room, quite often, it’s not tilted towards the centre of the room; it’s just shooting straight out into the room from up against the wall. In that case, you get comb filtering from the side wall like you wouldn’t believe — especially at higher frequencies — which is a speech intelligibility problem. 

It doesn’t matter much at lower frequencies but isn’t enjoyable at high frequencies. When you look at the Cornered Audio design, it is angled into the room at 45°, the optimal way. If you angled it 50°, one wall would bounce more than the other. This is also why comb filtering in every Cornered Audio box is very low. It is more like an omni/point source in free space, pleasing to the ear.

Sound interactions

The way you perceive a sound in a space is by the reflections you hear — the brain looks at the direct signal compared to the reflected signals and then determines the depth. If you mess with those reflections — either because of a bad crossover design, a bad driver design or resonances in the cabinet — the brain has no information to work with and cannot build a picture of the room. The sound stage will collapse, and you won’t get a room-filling sound.

The room can play the same game. If your reflections from the room are not controlled, you can’t reproduce the space of the original recording. Some loudspeaker systems intentionally rely on an extra reflection, but in Hans’ view, unwanted or extra reflections are fatiguing because your brain constantly tries to interpret the music. 

The Cornered Audio strategy ensures the sound coming from the speaker and the sound created by the room aren’t messing with the original recording. Do that, and you feel like you’re being immersed in the sound in the space.

Wide and even dispersion

Another of the defining characteristics of Cornered Audio speakers is the wide and even dispersion. Sound pressure is remarkably even across a 90-degree axis from the vertical centre of the enclosures.

The result is achieved by the 90-degree shape of the enclosure, careful matching of the driver components and baffling.

 The evenness of dispersion allows very even sound pressure to be achieved with fewer speakers. It’s a key part of Cornered Audio’s signature room- filling sound.

It’s an impressive benefit that creates value. Money is saved that can be invested in system quality and performance. It’s a gain for installers and their clients alike.

There’s a Cornered Audio speaker for every application.

From the affordable Ci Series to the mid-scale yet dynamically impressive C Series and the exquisite sonic detail produced by the high-spec LS series. For venues of all sizes and solutions for indoors and out. There's a place for the beautiful sound and aesthetics of Cornered Audio Speakers.  

*The information in this blog is extracted from AV Technologies & Cornered Audio.

About Cornered Audio

Cornered Audio specialises in aesthetic sound – visually discreet speakers designed to deliver exquisite sound within beautiful spaces. With speakers for commercial installation, Cornered brings a unique approach that combines elegant design, discreet placement, and clever mounting to achieve exquisite, uncompromised sound. Full-sized drivers use the acoustic characteristics of corners to increase output and create uniform coverage throughout the listing area.

AP Tech is the authorised Australian distributor of Cornered Audio. Every Cornered Audio solution from AP Tech is backed by local warranty and support.

A. P. Technologies Pty Ltd, Andrew Paton October 23, 2023
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