Technology & Engineering

Timbre-Matching

Any way you say it,  matching the speakers’ timber in your multi-channel sound system is important for sustaining realistic surround-sound effects.

When a speaker in your system is not timbre-matched to the other speakers in your system, you are compromising the potential of the surround sound experience. The transmogrification of sound from one speaker to the next highlights the hand-off between speakers because of differing sonic characteristics. Thus, a jet plane flying from left to right across your movie screen may, with a severe case of Surround Fluctuation, go from sounding like a jet plane (ERRRRRRRRRRRR!) to sounding like a biplane (GAH-GAH-GAH-GAH-GAH) as it passes from one non-timbre-matched component to the next.

The best home theater audio systems avoid the problem by using speakers that feature identical drivers and tweeters. Polk makes this easy by professionally matching the components in our speakers within each speaker series. Plus, many of our built-in in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, as well as our special application speakers, are timbre-matched to our complete speaker lineup. So you can complete a system using traditional speakers as your front stage (LCR) by adding built-in surround speakers.

FYI, the word “timbre” can be pronounced either as “tamber” or “timber,” and refers to the musical “color,” or tone quality, of a sound.

This article was last modified on Jul 10, 2012

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