Question: What is an Audio Anechoic Chamber?
Answer: An audio anechoic chamber is an acoustically designed room that negates echo and reverberation, and blocks out external sound. Generally, we hear sounds from several directions, by way of direct sound and sound reflected off of surrounding surfaces. Sound bounce is a natural anomaly and part of how we normally experience sound, so we don’t notice anything sounding “off.” When designing products that emit or capture sound, such as speakers or microphones, being able to perform true tests without the acoustic variables interfering is an important step in maintaining the high quality of audio products Audio-Technica excels at producing. This is why anechoic chambers are important to us in the audio industry: They allow us to conduct clinically precise testing for design and engineering purposes, as well as quality control evaluations of our microphones. Each of our chambers is designed as a room within a room, with an air gap of 50 cm all around and a floating floor suspended midair. The interior features wedge-shaped deflectors that absorb and gradually dissipate sound, negating sound that would otherwise bounce off surfaces. Anechoic chambers are the quiet places on the planet.
Above pictures are from an audio anechoic chamber used for engineering at Audio-Technica Corporation Headquarters in Machida, Japan.
Stepping inside of an anechoic chamber is surprising for many people as we are used to hearing sound bounce from our natural surroundings. Entering a room that negates sound, and hearing the direct sound of someone speaking or an almost haunting silence is a whole new experience. Anechoic chambers are so quiet – one of A-T’s measures -1 dB SPL (A-weighted) – some people even state they hear the blood flowing through their eardrums. Turn off the lights and you have either a quiet retreat, for some, or an eerie void, for others. Audio-Technica Corporation has many anechoic chambers of varying sizes in its facilities around the globe. Yet, due to their design, the sound within larger chambers is no different than that in the smaller chambers, which can really mess with your brain.
Audio-Technica utilizes anechoic chambers for testing our products, through a carefully calculated process with checks and balances to ensure the highest quality. Tests to determine microphone specifications such as dynamic range, sensitivity, and frequency response are among those conducted in our chambers. If you have further questions, feel free to contact the Audio Solutions Department.