New standard addresses loudspeaker performance

1 min read

A new standard for measuring loudspeaker sound levels has been published by the US Audio Engineering Society.

Known as AES75-2022, “AES standard for acoustics: Measuring loudspeaker maximum linear sound levels using noise,” the new standard will provide a practical and cohesive procedure for the prediction of loudspeaker performance.

According to an online report by the AV Network, AES75 was developed by the AES Standards Committee’s SC-04-03-A Task Group.

“The work of the drafting group was deliberate and thoughtful as they carefully refined the standard,” said AES standards chair Bruce Olson. “AES75 will no doubt join the most impactful standards that the Society has published in its long history of providing the audio industry with critical tools for analyzing the performance of audio equipment and ensuring interoperability.”

Until now the predictive evaluation of loudspeaker performance based on published specifications has led to challenges because of inconsistencies in both measurement procedures and in how measured parameters are reported.

Roger Schwenke, who co-chaired the task group, told the AV Network that until now “reading an SPL number on a datasheet often inspired more questions than answers regarding test signals used and procedures for measurement. Most important to the end user is how the loudspeaker will perform with typical audio signals and whether the numbers can be compared apples-to-apples with numbers from one datasheet to another.

Schwenke, a senior scientist and innovation steward at Meyer Sound, went on: “AES75 addresses these issues by providing a detailed procedure as well as a specific test signal, M-Noise, whose RMS and peak levels as functions of frequency have been shown to better represent typical program material.

“Furthermore, AES75 is designed to be independently verifiable, using analyzers and microphones typically used by audio professionals. By being independently verifiable, AES75 provides system specifiers and users a much more enforceable metric to use in quotes and architectural specs.”

According to the AV Network report, the M-Noise test signal was arrived at through an analysis of hundreds of music selections spanning all genres by Meyer Sound. The test procedures cover performance measurements of both self-powered and externally powered loudspeakers.