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New technology combats hi-fi 'sweet spot'

Most audiophiles will be well aware of the hi-fi 'sweetspot': that cherished listening position that provides the optimum stereo experience, usually only for one person!

Some speaker designs endevour to combat this by using wide dispersion drivers, but technology company AirSound has gone a step further.

Unique stereo reproduction

AirSound is said to be a unique new stereo reproduction system that provides an evenly balanced stereo signal from a single speaker cabinet. The technology returns to the founding principles of stereo sound and the work of British scientist Alan Blumlein in reproducing stereo signals as 'direct' and 'spatial' sound, instead of discrete left and right channel signals as in conventional systems.

It uses a single point source to produce stereo sound by combining speaker arrangements - there's a frontal mono 'main' signal speaker, plus two side-firing 'spatial' speakers.

The AirSound speaker accepts normal left and right channel stereo inputs, which are then processed internally by encoding amplifiers to produce the direct and spatial signals. These signals are said to mix in the air to produce a fully balanced stereo soundfield, which is perceived identically at all points in front of the cabinet, according to a spokesperson.

The technology is being unveiled for the first time at the forthcoming What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Show, on 2 - 4 November.