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    Sound quality

Dr Sound explains distortion

Dear readers, here’s a new post from me, Dr Sound, or John-Erik Eriksson, as my real name is. It’s time for another exiting trip into the world of sound and acoustics, this time focusing on distortion.

The term distortion usually refers to a deviation from the original perfect form. In sound contexts this is a deviation from the perfect, desired sound curve. We recognize distortion from the bad speakers at drive-through restaurants or at bingo halls.

Distortion is a deviation from the perfect, desired sound curve.

During a teleconference distortion is very unwelcome since we want the sound to be as natural as possible. In music, distortion can for example give an instrument a certain character, but with speech, clarity is significantly degraded by distortion.

To avoid distortion, it's very important to work with the mechanical design of devices. Always employing sturdy and stable constructions to prevent distortion. Working with the electronics is also necessary. Signal to noise and dynamic properties must be extremely good, at least CD quality, for it to work at all.

In addition to this – truly good speakers are needed, with low distortion, so that echo cancellation for example, will work as intended.

Distortion is something we can leave to rock guitarists.

Do you want to hear me talk about noise and listen to some examples? Check out this video that covers it.