Recently Mark Glazer, Principal Engineer at Harman Luxury Audio and Revel Loudspeakers gave an invited lecture to University of Rochester Audio/Acoustic Engineering Students. The students are part of the graduate acoustic and music engineering program that is overseen by Professor Mark Bocko, Distinguished Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering. By exposing the students to the fascinating engineering and science of loudspeakers, it is hoped the students will consider a future career in loudspeaker or audio engineering.
The 1-hour lecture gave an overview of what are the current best practices in designing a modern-day loudspeaker.
The proof of good loudspeaker design is ultimately judged on how good it sounds. Dr. Sean Olive (me), Acoustic Research Fellow at Harman International presented an overview of the science of evaluating loudspeakers, which included test results from a competitive benchmarking of the new Revel Concerta 2 M16 (designed by Mark Glazer) against three competitors. The results of the listening test results were generally predictable based on the set of anechoic measurements made of the different loudspeakers.
Following the lecture, we got a tour of the University's engineering facilities, which include some impressive 3D laser scanning tools for studying the vibrational modes of loudspeakers. We heard some very novel flat-panel loudspeakers with vibrational mode control developed by the Ph.D students and Professor Bocko, followed by presentations of research projects undertaken by the Masters and Ph.D. engineering students who are working in acoustics and audio-related research. Overall, the quality of acoustic and music research being done there is impressive. As always, Professor Bocko was a gracious host, and we look forward to a return visit (hopefully in the summer or fall months).
Mark Glazer's speaker design course slides are available here: