Introduction to Sonawall (SRT) Sound Reflection Technology

Utilizing the principles explored by Allison Snell and Carlsson  SonaWall speakers furthermore combine the modularity of satellite speakers with integration on the wall. These tiny sPod satellites were created to integrate sonically with the back wall. By using the rear wall as a reflecting surface the listening experience is enhanced greatly and the listening position is extended in a natural way. The body of the midrange is also improved by this coupling. This allows the tiny satellites by enhancing their lower end to integrate with a selection of subwoofers.
SonaWall offers a selection of powered subwoofers available with built in power for the satellites. A variety of interfaces for various inputs and a remote control are combined in the system.
The satellites mount to the wall with wide separation and a broad continuous image is provided. This placement and the unique angling of the “sPod” satellites virtually erase the wall behind the speakers by using that wall for sound support. Delayed wall reflections that would normally create midrange comb filtering are eliminated. Instead the sound is coupled immediately to the wall and smoothly enhances the forward radiated portion with that portion that would normally escape and be returned much later to interfere. Reflected sound enhances the perceived quality of the program material. The very highest frequencies are delivered directly from the sPod driver and when auxiliary tweeters are optionally incorporated in the sPod (SpodPlus) also into the ambient to raise the total radiated power. These complex enhancements raise the art of sound reproduction to new higher levels.

SRT

The Close Coupling Process

The SonaStudio 2.1 and SonaPlus 2.1 uses a coupled boundary concept to transform the listening wall into a virtual wall of sound. This boundary concept was originally explored in microphone design. The sPod is operating like such a microphone in reverse. The sound waves in the room are coupled to and appear to be mirrored from the wall. The large expanse of wall contrasted with the tiny size of the sPod enables this performance. Expensive high energy magnet technology also enables this small sPod size to be achieved.
Close coupling from the small geometry sPod maintains smooth frequency response in the coupling process to a higher frequency than conventional speakers would when placed near a wall. Because of the size and shape of the driver and sPod package, and the intimate wall position the sound becomes directional enough at the highest frequencies and wavelengths long enough at lower frequencies to largely avoid comb filtering cancellations. The sound transitions from reflected to direct, rather than being both directed and reflected at all frequencies. This is done by wide and remote spacing of the sPod mounting positions which emphasizes the coupled aspect of the sound over most of the frequency range up to about 5,000Hz and then transitions to direct sound enhanced by a virtual wall mirror above that frequency to achieve exceptional separation. Residual reflected sound that does occur at the highest frequencies is further dispersed by the large expanse of reflecting wall to the other room walls rather than the listening position. Here the wall dimensions are many wavelengths. This further enhances the sound.


Reflecting Process Graph

This is also a reflecting process which provides various listening positions a stereo image because the sound naturally maintains a more even distribution over varying angles. If you are closer to one speaker for instance more of the sound will pass you into the room whereas the more distant speaker reflects more of its total sound to you. In comparison to other technologies the sPod is superior in distributing the sound better to more listening positions. In-wall speakers do not reflect from the surface in which they are mounted and the coupling process therefore covers only lower frequencies and you then hear the speaker more than the wall. Conventional freestanding and stand mounted speakers also transition at a lower, midrange frequency thus calling attention to them also. Comb filtering here begins at a low frequency affecting the midrange sound with cancelled frequencies.  Often objectionable specific in-the-room audiophile speaker positions and corresponding specific listening positions are then required for best performance. The SonaStudio system by contrast uses minimal room space and maximizes listening freedom. The SonaStudio 2.1 is a three piece system and uses a central subwoofer and amplification unit with the sPods.

Setup

For maximum coverage use the largest expanse of wall available. Measure the typical listening distance from this wall and locate the center position. Each Pod will typically be positioned about seven feet high and twice as far apart as the distance from the listening position to the mounting wall. If this is impractical reduce these typical distances to fit the architecture. A more intimate listening system can also be reduced to the point of becoming a computer speaker setup. Keeping similar proportions is recommended. Alternately having the sPods asymmetrically mounted to suit an offset position among others may all be tested to accommodate virtually any room or listening arrangement. Even though the setup is altered substantially the advantages of the SonaStudio 2.1 may still be enjoyed. The wall is the essential element.


Reflecting Process Graph