Speaker Delay Calculator
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Whenever listening to your favorite music, you have the best experience if the audio transmission takes a suitable duration to travel from all your speakers. Timing is everything here. This speaker-delay-calculator guide provides all the information you need to determine the speaker delay, fix it, and more.

To calculate speaker delay, simply divide the distance from the source of the sound to the listener by the speed of sound. The result will be the time it takes for the sound from the speaker to reach the listener.

Read on to learn more.

What is Speaker Delay?

The term “speaker delay” refers to the time it takes sound to travel from a speaker to the intended listener or destination.  It’s measured in milliseconds (ms).

Speaker Delay Calculator

Audio Delay Calculator for Live Sound (Meters)

Audio Delay Calculator for Live Sound (Feet)

Why Calculate Speaker Delay?

We’ve said that timing is everything when it comes to sound transmission. If your loudspeakers have varied degrees of speaker delay, you’ll receive poor quality sound. Moreover, when the sound is not in sync, you may wrongly think you are receiving echoes.

Calculate Speaker Delay

In short, speaker delay can lead to the loss of the benefit of using multiple speakers. The echo-like sounds that you receive can also cause more confusion. So, calculating speaker delay can help you troubleshoot the issue, but you must use the correct formula.

Speaker Delay Formula

To find the speaker delay, you can use an online calculator. You provide the distance from the source speaker in meters and the speed of the sound in feet per second. However, since some of these online tools aren’t accurate, you can opt for a different method. Use the right speaker delay formula.

This is the formula: D=X/S*1000.

  • “D” stands for the delay in milliseconds.
  • “X” stands for distance from the speaker source to the listener in feet.
  • “S” stands for the speed of the sound in feet per second at standard temperature and sea level.

So, if you divide the distance from the speaker by the sound speed, you get the exact time it takes the sound to travel from the source to the right location.

You can use the formula to calculate the speaker delay for all your speakers. You can then compare the results to determine whether you should continue using the speakers or not. Some people also use advanced technological tools to fix these delays.

How to Calculate Speaker Delay?

From the speaker delay formula we’ve seen above, you might have seen almost everything you need to calculate speaker delay. However, for clarity, let us take a closer look at the exact process.  

Once again, this is the formula we will use: D = X / S * 1000.

To calculate the speaker delay, we start by determining the distance between two speakers in feet(X). So, arrange your audio system and position the speakers in their positions. After that, use your tape measure to determine the distance between these speakers.

Let’s say you get 50 feet. Record this.

Next, you need to determine the speed of sound. You don’t have to calculate this. It’s always 1126 feet per second at standard temperature and sea level. In other words, this is the figure you should use at standard temperature and atmospheric pressure.

The last step is to revisit the above speaker delay formula. We’ve used it to gather all the required raw materials. At this point, we should use it to calculate the speaker delay.

  • D = X / S * 1000
  • D=50/1126 *1000.
  • D=0.0444*1000
  • D=44 milliseconds (ms) delay between the two speakers below.

Note that the speed of sound may change from time to time depending on a wide variety of factors. So, you need to understand the speed of sound and the key factors that influence it to get the correct answer. Of course, you should feel free to use 1126 feet per second at standard temperature and pressure.

In the next section, we focus on all that you need to have in mind to understand the speed of sound in your current location.

Speaker Delay Table

Metres Delay in milliseconds   Feet Delay in milliseconds
5 14.6   20 17.9
10 29.2   30 26.8
15 43.8   40 35.7
20 58.5   50 44.6
25 73.1   60 53.6
30 87.7   70 62.5
35 102.3   80 71.4
40 117.0   90 80.4
45 131.6   100 89.3
50 146.2   110 98.2
55 160.8   120 107.1
60 175.4   130 116.1
65 190.1   140 125.0
70 204.7   150 133.9
75 219.3   160 142.9
80 233.9   170 151.8
85 248.5   180 160.7
90 263.2   190 169.6
95 277.8   200 178.6

Understanding the Speed of Sound

The speed of sound depends on the temperature and other factors. It’s approximately 343 meters per second at 20 °C. At 0 °C, the rate is around 331 meters per second.

Other than the temperature, the speed of sound depends on the medium through which the sound waves travel. In ordinary air, it has a weak dependence on pressure and frequency.

You can see that sound travels exceptionally slowly in the air from this. Consider that light travels in air at 299, 337 km (186000 miles) per second. If you think about sound, you see it is fair to say it crawls at 342 meters per second.

The slow speed of sound is responsible for the high frequency of echoes. It is more easily for sound to bounce back from a flat surface than light. As you get close to the surface, the echo becomes shorter. 

At the same time, the echo time lengthens as the distance between you and the flat surface increases.

We talked about the ideal way to measure the distance between the source speaker and the listener. If you are experiencing an echo, the space may be double. This is because the sound travels to the surface and returns to you.

Echoes from multiple speakers excellently illustrate how speaker delays can affect your listening experience. The message is often indistinct.

One excellent way to improve speaker system synchronization and intelligibility is using signal time delay units. Modern ones effectively use a full bandwidth digital processor that “holds up” the desired signals to the secondary speakers for a while until it is in sync with the source.

Some audiophiles opt for mono and stereo units. They might not be the best for individuals concerned that they are a bit fiddly to set up. You can use the standard time delay for the speakers’ chart to reduce this difficulty.

So, your speaker delay calculator is an effective tool for troubleshooting the speaker delay. It can also help you know the extent of speed variation and the possible way to fix it.

Conclusion

You are now equipped with all the details you require to calculate speaker delay and fix the audio problem. A good speaker delay calculator can help you a lot, as we’ve seen. However, with the right speaker delay formula, the right tips on how to calculate sound delay, and the new insight on the speed of sound, you are now moat likely better off than before.