Research & Development: NRC Research

For more than two decades, the National Research Council (NRC) in Ottawa, Canada, researched the nature of the relationship between how speakers sound and their measurable characteristics. In hundreds of scientifically controlled double-blind listening tests with all different types of music, both novice and experienced listeners were asked to grade speakers on their sound. Speakers were then grouped by listener preference and measured.

NRC researchers analyzed the results and concluded that there was a direct correlation between good sound and good measurements in three principle areas (see below). They further concluded that, in order of priority, all listeners clearly favor:

  • Flat midrange
  • Smooth total energy response
  • Low distortion

These landmark findings are the foundation upon which all Paradigm speaker design is based.

Flat Midrange

The highest-scoring speakers did not emphasize any one midrange frequency, unwanted resonances were well controlled.

Smooth Total Energy Response

The best scoring speakers dispersed sound uniformly — on-axis and off-axis frequency response curves were smooth and similar.

Low Distortion

The speakers with the highest scores also exhibited very low levels of distortion.