Wha'ts Phase?

When you look at a sinewave, it starts at zero, goes up, back to zero and then down and back to zero. If you were to make a copy of the same wave and slide it to the right along the same zero line, you would effectively be changing the phase of the waves in relation to each other. At 180 degrees of phase shift, the zero points will line up, but one wave will be going up from zero and the other will be going down. They will basically be an exact mirror image of each other. If you were to add them together they would cancel out perfectly.

Since sound takes time to travel from the speaker to your ear, the differences in distances of the different speakers in your car will arrive at your ears at different times. Since phase is moving the signal in relation to time, the different distaces traveled from the different speakers to your ears will change the relative phase of the sounds coming from each speaker. Because the time it takes for a wave to make a full cycle is dependant on frequency, each frequency from each speaker will have a different phase relationship at your ears. Some frequencies will be in phase and will add together, some will be out of phase and will cancel each other out. Try the phase switch in both positions and see which has the better sound. The best setting is different with each install so you have to decide with your ears what the best setting is for your situation.

 
Thanks for the input. I get it now. Let me ask you though. Is time correction feature kind of like phase? I'm gonna play around with it and see which one sounds better.

 
phase .... i thought it meant u can hook your subs up inverted but leave the wiring normal *instead of having to remember to switch the pos/neg* and just flick the phase button on the amp/w/e to fix it ....... im a dummy :S

when i switch the phase on my abahn amp for my subs i cant hear a dif, i leave it at 0

 
phase .... i thought it meant u can hook your subs up inverted but leave the wiring normal *instead of having to remember to switch the pos/neg* and just flick the phase button on the amp/w/e to fix it ....... im a dummy :S
when i switch the phase on my abahn amp for my subs i cant hear a dif, i leave it at 0
180 degree phase is the same as switching the polarity

 
may be a dumb question, but...how would you know when some frequencies are cancelling out - or if it's supposed to sound like that (if you were inside the car and don't have any good home audio equipment)?

for example, subwoofer placement - is phase the affecting cause?

 
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