Technology & Engineering

Floating Anti-Diffraction Grilles

"Speak clearly. Take your hand away from your mouth and speak up. Talk right into the microphone. Project!"

All that stuff that gets in the way causes diffraction, which changes the quality of your voice. Sound radiates outward in a wave, not in a direct straight line. So it bumps into things on its way to your ears. Bumping sound waves can smear sound or create ghost images and echoes, much like white light diffracting through a prism splits into colors. The fewer things a sound bumps into, the less diffraction will distort the sound.

Maybe it didn’t occur to you, but there's something right in front of your speaker drivers that could potentially cause lots of diffraction distortion: your speaker grilles! This kind of obvious thing occurs to us, though, because we’re skilled audio engineering professionals. It's our job. If you don't consider the way the grille interacts with the sound being generated right next to it, you risk incurring diffraction distortion before your sound gets even a few inches from its source. 

So Polk changed the way speaker grilles are designed. In our traditional loudspeakers, we limited the grille structure, and used stronger materials, so that our grilles are lighter and more durable. We designed a special mesh that floats in front of the drivers. The mesh appears solid, but actually allows over 75% pass-through. Sound waves have virtually no impediment, and so diffraction distortion is minimized. In our built-in, in-wall, and in-ceiling speaker models, our grilles have no edge, floating over the driver, and virtually disappearing into your decor. We enhanced our innovative, zero diffraction mesh design to insure moisture resistance in built-in environments.

Polk loudspeakers never sound boxy, and minimize performance robbing diffraction, with innovative Floating Anti-Diffraction Grille designs.

This article was last modified on Jul 10, 2012

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