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June 2017 Giveaway

Frequency Response / Frequency Range

From inSync reader Kevin T. comes the following question (which qualifies as both a WFTD and a TTOTD): What is the difference between frequency response and frequency range as it pertains to studio reference monitors?

Kevin, first of all, thanks for the question! According to the Unabridged inSync Master Dictionary (which we make up as we go…): Frequency Range is the actual span of frequencies that a monitor can reproduce, say from 5 Hz to 22 kHz.

Frequency Response is the Frequency Range versus Amplitude. In other words, at 20 Hz, a certain input signal level may produce 100 dB of output. At 1 kHz, that same input level may produce 102 dB of output. At 10 kHz, 95 dB, and so on. A graph of all the frequencies plotted versus level is the Frequency Response Curve (FRC) of the monitor.

When you see a Frequency Response specification for a monitor, the manufacturer is telling you that for a given input signal, the listed range of frequencies will produce output within a certain range of levels. For example: 20 Hz to 20 kHz +/- 3 dB. For these frequencies, the monitor will output signals that are within a 6 dB (+/- 3 dB) range. This does not mean that the speaker won’t reproduce frequencies outside this range, it will! But frequencies outside the range will be more than 3 dB off from the reference level. For further information, see also May 5th’s inSync Word For The Day, “Flat Response”, available in the inSync Archives.

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