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Critical Distance Calculator

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Critical distance is the distance at which the reverberant sound field is equal in level to the direct sound from a sound source. For reverb times of less than 1.6 seconds, a listener could be up to 3.16 times critical distance from a sound source. For reverb times greater than 1.6 seconds, this multiplier gradually drops to a value of 1. This becomes critical in sound system design in reverberant spaces such as arenas. This calculation provides critical distance values an unaided voice with a Q (or directivity) of 2, and for a single loudspeaker with a selectable coverage pattern. Note that at very long reverb times (5 seconds) the critical distance is very short for unaided voice, and this affects speech communication.

Room length
in Feet

Room width
in Feet

Room height
in Feet

The 2kHz reverberation time in the room
(try different values to see the effect)

The rated loudspeaker coverage
Horizontal coverage Vertical Coverage Loudspeaker Q

This is the Critical Distance for an unaided talker
in Feet

This is the critical distance for
the loudspeaker coverage selected
in Feet

This information is provided with no warranty of its accuracy, or applicability, and any use made of this information is done so at the sole risk of the user.

Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc
323 - 901 West 3rd Street
North Vancouver, BC V7P 3P9
Phone 604 - 986 - 8181