Why is low frequency not positional?

dr.nutter

Standard Member
Hi all.

Couldn't find a suitable forum topic for this, so I've stuck it in random chat....

What is the frequency that your ears stop being able to place bass sounds? And what is the reason that you can't???

Anyone know??

Cheers
Dave
 

Member 281695

Active Member
The human ears determine direction by time difference. A noise will reach one of the ears slightly earlier than the other (if it doesn´t come from straight ahead), and the phase difference makes it possible to decide from what direction the noise comes.
At lower frequencies, like subwoofers, the phase difference is very small compared to the wave length. This makes it much harder to decide the direction. :)
 

Alex D

Novice Member
I agree XTZ AB had a good explanation,

I was just going to go with the human ear being poorly engineered. But your explanation makes much more sense.
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
More relevantly, I believe it has more to do with delay and less to do with phase. :)
I wonder.

The distance between your ears is about 9" or 225mm. Thats about 0.00066sec delay or 0.66ms delay if you prefer. I'm pretty sensitive to lipsync errors, but loose the will to live when trying to narrow down the last 5ms which is an order of magnitude greater.

However, if it were purely down to delay, surely bass would be directional at all frequencies as delay is constant? Phase on the other hand, which varies with frequency relative to delay, is certainly more sensitive to increasing frequencies which are more directional.

Group delay is as a result of electrical phase and the resulting timing seems clear to me. So as phase is inseparable from delay, can directionality be attributed to one without considering the other?

If you see what I'm getting at.:confused:

Russell
 

IronGiant

Moderator
No, but can I trade mine in for a new set :D I seem to be completely deaf above 11kz and it's getting worse :thumbsdow, hence my interest in subwoofery :rotfl:

Dave
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member
No, but can I trade mine in for a new set :D I seem to be completely deaf above 11kz and it's getting worse :thumbsdow, hence my interest in subwoofery :rotfl:

Dave

Sorry - did you lot say something? ;) :D
 

Moviebuff

Well-known Member

Member 281695

Active Member
Thank´s Alex!
I agree with you to some extent that the human ear is in fact rather poorly enginered, at least compared to some animals....
For example, look at the sensitivity at different frequency and levels. At low levels, bass range and treble sensitivity is lower - the Fletcher - Munson graph. The other way around would have been much more convenient, at least for us hifi-nerds.
About the delay/phase difference issue, our sense of direction seems to be mainly dependent of delay. At voice range freq. this is no problem. But the lower the freq the more it turns toward a phase difference. In fact, calculating with the above mentioned 225 mm between the ears, we get: 0.225 meters/336 m/s equals about 0.00066 seconds. This in turns corresponds to roughly 1/0.00066 = 1500 Hz. Above this freq, more than one complete cycle will pass before a sound reaches the other ear (if it comes straight from one side). I would call this a delay.
Below, there are only parts of a cycle causing our sense of direction. I would call this a phase error. But this is my humble opinion, maybe just complete rubbish.

:)
 

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cribeiro

Novice Member
Is there any statistic regarding the correlation between head size and hi-fi interest? :rotfl:

Nicely put, XTZ AB. I read the title and was ready for some :lesson: writing, but I was too late :rolleyes: BTW, is that "air pressure" the magnitude on the ordinate axis? It looks similar to "luftdruck" in German...
 

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
One thing I did remember, is that the sense of directionality is not purely based on delay/phase as that would simply relay left or right information.

The Pinna of the ear (bits that stick out the side of your 'ead) has it's own set of resonant frequencies which, IIRC center on 3kHz. Some weird pseudo surround effects using two channel audio used to rely on creating sounds with a peak in the response at these frequencies to make sounds appear to be behind you, by emulating some of the extra resonances of the Pinna stimulated from behind.

It wasn't entirely successful (Try Living Color 'Stain'), but if you want to try something that will get any number of disapproving looks from your other half, turn your chair around and listen with your speakers behind you. The distances haven't changed and left/right information is still present, but you'll find it sounds very different and definitely behind you.

Russell
 

mattkhan

Distinguished Member
something like this should sort it (and described here)

now that's what I call personalisation. Incidentally I had thought in the past about the feasibility of producing a calibration file for my hearing and then feeding that into REW, it never got past the "idle chatter in my head" stage though.
 

cribeiro

Novice Member
^ I think I tried that SVS thing at one headphone meet! Or at least something extremely similar. It was with Stax, too, and it sounded excellent. The ultimate headphone surround experience.
 

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