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#704 - 12/30/01 01:19 AM m3 and m22 sensitivity

both the m3's and the m22's look like great speakers based on the reviews i've read. one thing i noticed is that their sensitivities are listed as 93db and 95db, respectively. in two reviews i've read, the m3's have been described as being closer to 89db, and in soundstage magazine's tests --> and they were rated at 86 db and 87.5 db, respectively.

is there something different about the testing methods used by axiom? are the 93 and 95 specs in-room rather than from an anechoic chamber ? i apologize if these questions are stupid--i'm a novice when it comes to this stuff--but as i understand it, a 3 db decrease in sensitivity requires twice the power to drive the speaker at the same volume. as a result, these differences seem significant.

thanks in advance for anyone's input on the subject, and keep up the great work, axiom!

also, is the m22 better than the m3 in every way, or does the m3 have some advantages (other than a lower price tag and smaller size)? i've read that the m3 has a slight mid-bass hump and is therefore better as a stand-alone monitor.

#705 - 01/01/02 08:58 AM Re: m3 and m22 sensitivity
Ian Offline

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 1155
Your conclusion on the sensitivity is correct. Our ratings are in room ratings and therefore are approximately 3 db higher than the anechoic ratings. As a side note we are going to start publishing both numbers in the near future. The rating of sensitivity even in the anechoic environment is a bit of an average estimate across the amplitude response. For speakers like the Axiom this can be done quite consistently within a few db due to the linear amplitude response of all of our models. It can become a very difficult task when trying to rate the sensitivity on non-linear speakers. All kinds of different methods have been used to get this number; using the sensitivity at 1KHz, using a mathematical average of a selection of frequencies, pink noise, etc. Probably the best method is a mathematical average of a large number of frequency samplings, though in reality if you were to compare a linear speaker and a non linear speaker with the same sensitivity rating using any of these methods, the non linear speaker would sound louder because your ear will focus in on those frequencies with the higher output. Hopefully all this has not just made it more confusing for you. Suffice it to say that the sensitivity of the speaker is not an exact science and really is only needed as a guideline to deciding how much power is required for your desired volume level in your listening environment.

As for the M3 and M22 comparison, there are a number of areas where the M22 will out perform the M3, the bass not being one of them. Bass response from these two models is very similar and I would rate them the same from the point of view of a stand-alone monitor.

Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer
Ian Colquhoun
President & Chief Engineer


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