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HELP SAVE HOME AUDIO - This application from Creative Labs seeks to patent the general idea of optimizing audio output in a multi-speaker audio systems! Help narrow US patent applications before they become patents HERE

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before Dec, 2010 that discusses:

  1. Comparing performance characteristics among multiple speakers; and
  2. Designating a master speaker with or without manual intervention; and
  3. Including a bi-directional transceiver on each speaker.

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. Only one piece of prior art per answer below. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual

EXTRA CREDIT - A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria to the question above AND where the performance characteristics of each speaker are determined by ALSO uses frequency response, maximum sound level, gain, or speaker location, OR where the master speaker contains a microphone as well as speaker

HINT - Did Dynaudio Air do this? Did any PA's in livesound have automatic setup and calibration based on one of the particular speakers?

TITLE: METHOD FOR OPTIMIZING REPRODUCTION OF AUDIO SIGNALS

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] A method for optimizing audio output in a multi-speaker audio system. The multi-speaker audio system includes a number of speakers, each of which contains a bi-directional transceiver. The performance characteristics of each speaker is measured. The characteristics are compared with one another. One speaker is designated a master speaker.

  • Publication Number: US 20120148075 A1
  • Assignee: Creative Labs, Inc.
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating December, 2010

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A method for optimizing reproduction of audio signals from an apparatus for audio reproduction with the apparatus for audio reproduction having a variable number of speakers, the method including: 1. Determining performance characteristics of each of the variable number of speakers;

  1. Comparing performance characteristics of each of the variable number of speakers with each other; and

  2. Designating a master speaker from the variable number of speakers either with or without manual intervention;

  3. Wherein each of the variable number of speakers includes a bi-directional transceiver.

In English this means:

  1. The performance characteristics of each speaker is measured.
  2. The performance characteristics are compared with one another.
  3. One speaker is designated a master speaker.
  4. Each speaker in the system contains a bi-directional transceiver

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to the Dec, 2010.

You're probably aware of ten pieces of art that meet this criteria already... separately, the applicant is claiming a method using all of the steps above and and where performance characteristics of each speaker are determined by frequency response, maximum sound level, gain, or speaker location. Extra credit would include systems that do all of the steps above and also involve a one of these methods of measuring performance characteristic of the speakers in the system.


A "schematic diagram" of each speaker from the Applicant


What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.


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Thanks for participating in AskPatents. What you are looking for on Ask Patents is called a Prior-Art-Request. It will be easier for the Ask Patents community to help you find prior art for US20120148075A1 if you edit your question to conform to this template: meta.patents.stackexchange.com/a/146/1767 . Thanks for participating. –  Micah Siegel Jun 18 '13 at 16:02

4 Answers 4

James has a good point, I think. I've been using Audyssey MultEQ for a while and their technology dates back to 2002:

http://audyssey.com/about/company-timeline and http://audyssey.com/audio-technology/faq#faq_multeq

The differences to the patent in question:

  • Audyssey brings a separate microphone because it wants to measure your listening position, not what the sound is at the speakers. Building the microphone into the speaker is IMHO obvious for the sake of simplicity, but probably won't get good results.

  • Audyssey does not designate one speaker as master (whatever that means) but identifies appropriate cross-over frequencies and speaker dimensions (small, large) for appropriate control of 2.1-7.1 systems.

I still think this would be good prior art. Probably even patented, too, though.

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The following is quoted from the Onkyo TX-604 Users Manual with a copyright date of 2006 Page 38

http://filedepot.onkyousa.com/Files/own_manuals/TX-SR604_674_En.pdf?CFID=2679429

With the supplied speaker setup microphone, the Audyssey2EQ function can measure the number of speakers connected, their sizes, crossover frequencies, and the distance from each speaker to the listening position and calculate the optimal speaker settings for your listening environment automatically. Before using this function, connect and position all of your speakers.

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Article (dated 2006 December 7th) about receiver with Yamaha's YPAO specifically mentions speaker distance checks.

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