This is only Genelec’s first stab at the problem, but the idea’s time has clearly come: help people place speakers correctly by giving them an app on their phone that helps them solve the problem. For pros and consumers alike, it seems a phone could be the perfect device.
Speaker maker Genelec has released SpeakerAngleApp for iOS and Android. Features:
- Angle matching for stereo and surround.
- Applies generically to all speakers (of course), despite the Genelec name.
- Rotate each speaker, and you can watch the app display angles and rotate the display.
- Number boxes and color coding provide feedback for setting up recommended angles in different combinations and pairs.
- Includes tutorial on angling generally, as well as instructions for the app.
This only really scratches the surface of what’s possible. A hilarious review on Google Play for the Android version notes, “Would be cool to add some other features, like maybe a db meter, or more help with speaker placement and distance to listening position etc. Right now it kinda feels like I paid $0.99 for a “how-to” on making a triangle.”
Of course, a level is a pretty simple tool, too, and it’s still useful. (Or a t-square, which typically costs more than a buck and only helps you make a right angle.) But there are other directions to go with these sorts of apps. Audio meters and automatic sound-based calibration are one idea. Other automatic tools are a potential development soon, too. I heard a presentation at the Game Developers’ Conference a few years ago in which a researcher described work on exactly calibrating headphones by taking pictures of the wearers’ ears.