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post #1 of 6 Old 02-26-2014, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig View Post

Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset - UPDATED FUNCTIONAL INFORMATION

 

 

Well, none of the 'new' understanding is supported by my measurements of the effect of RLO. I am using an Onkyo 5509 prepro and the measurements are taken with REW ver 5 and a calibrated UMM-6 microphone.

 

The first graph, A, shows the result when the MV is set to -10dB and Dynamic EQ is switched OFF.

 

 

 

The way we always understood RLO to work is like this: if Dynamic EQ is ON, there will be a boost, most noticeable at the LF end of the spectrum. This boost can be seen in graph B which was made with the Master Volume set at -10dB from Reference, as above. DEQ is boosting nicely to compensate for the reduced perception of bass when the SPL is lowered. In this graph, RLO is set to 0dB.

 

 

 

Now if we use a RLO of 10dB, our understanding has always been that it will 'trick' Audyssey into thinking that the Reference Level is no longer 0dB but -10dB. So, in other words, DEQ will cease to boost the LF now when the MV is set to -10dB, as this is now the 'new' Reference level.  It will appear that DEQ is switched off when the MV is set to -10dB and a RLO of 10dB is used. If this is the case, the graph showing the effect of DEQ ON, MV at -10dB and RLO at 10dB will be identical to the graph showing DEQ is off.  And look what we get - Graph C does indeed look exactly the same as graph A. In fact, when they are overlayed, they are so precisely the same that you can hardly tell there are two traces! You can see that there are by looking carefully at the trace and you can just see very small variations at 2kHz and 7.5Khz.  I have separated them by 0.5dB in graph D so that it can be clearly seen that there are two identical traces.

 

 

 

 

Graphs E and F show the same result but with a MV of -15dB and a RLO of 15dB. (I didn’t make graphs of the 5dB setting because I didn't want to use the test tones that loud here but there is no reason to believe that it would be any different from the other two results).

 

 

 

Graph G is the data shown above in Graph F but without the offset for clarity - the match is perfect. If you look very closely you can tell there are two traces at around 45-50Hz where once can just about make out the two colours.

 

 

 

 

It is difficult to reconcile these results with what we are being told now by Audyssey. It is also odd that this has been discussed on this thread hundreds of times, including many times when Chris K was a contributor here, and it has been in the FAQ since day one, but nobody has ever challenged the conventional wisdom on this. Indeed, this is the first time Chris K has ever commented that our traditional understanding is incorrect.

 

As I am no longer an active participant in this thread, I will not enter into any discussion on these graphs and findings. Maybe someone can take it up with Audyssey and seek clarification of why, if RLO works in the way outlined in batpig's post, the graphs do not support that view.  

 

For now, I personally am taking the view that RLO works exactly the way we have always thought it does. I will leave the FAQ answer as it is for now (the updated theory) pending any possible clarification from Audyssey in light of these measurements. If anyone else cares to corroborate these measurements with preout measurements, so much the better.

 

 

This is an addition to my earlier post with graphs which can be seen here.

 

I have conducted the additional measurements requested by batpig and the results are shown below. For additional clarity I have shown just the range from 20Hz to 400Hz as it is in the lower frequencies where the effect of DEQ is most easily observed.

 

Graph H is the 'baseline' trace showing a setting of -15dB on the Master Volume (MV) with Dynamic EQ (DEQ) off.

 

 

 

Graph J shows the MV still at -15dB but this time with DEQ turned on - RLO is set to 0dB for this graph. As expected, we see a nice bass boost as a result of DEQ.

 

 

Graph K shows the MV still at -15dB, DEQ on, but this time with a RLO setting of -15dB. As I showed before, this results in a graph which looks exactly like the 'baseline' graph, where DEQ was turned off. This is because we have now 'told Audyssey' that the Reference level is no longer 0dB but is now -15dB, so DEQ ceases to have any effect when Reference is reached. This is in line with our thinking for the past few years wrt to how DEQ works.

 

 

Because the traces overlap so perfectly it is difficult to see that there are two separate traces there. Those with keen eyes will observe that the traces are very slightly separate at 50Hz (this will just be a measuring anomaly - maybe the barometric pressure dropped very slightly for example between measurement sweeps. The difference is of no significance anyway but it serves to show that there are in fact two traces overlaid in Graph K). To make it perfectly clear lest anyone think I am cheating, Graph L shows the same data as Graph K but I have separated the traces by 0.5dB for the sake of extra clarity.

 

 

 

This is where it becomes more interesting. If our previous understanding of how RLO works is correct, then DEQ ceases to have any effect at Reference Level (as observed above where we have adjusted Reference Level to an effective -15dB). However, if one advances the MV beyond Reference Level, then DEQ actually works in reverse and attenuates the bass in order to preserve the perceptual effect when taking into account the way human hearing works. If DEQ is working as we have always supposed, then keeping the RLO of 15dB but advancing the MV to -10dB should show the bass being attenuated by DEQ.

 

Graph M shows a MV setting of -10dB, DEQ on, RLO still at 15dB. As we can see, DEQ is indeed attenuating the bass. Remember the black line is the 'baseline' with DEQ off. The green trace shows that DEQ is now reducing the level of bass by a few dB because by setting a MV of -10dB we have now advanced beyond Reference Level, which has been offset to -15dB with the RLO setting of 15dB.

 

 

 

Graph N shows the impact of further advancing the MV to -5dB (with DEQ on and RLO of 15dB still set, as above). Here we see a greater still reduction in the level of the bass frequencies, as we would expect.

 

 

Finally, for the sake of completeness, here is Graph P which shows all of the above traces combined into one graph, so that the relationships between them  can be easily seen.

 

 

My conclusion is that RLO works the way we have always said it works in this thread, at least in my Onkyo 5509. There may be different implementations of RLO in other AVR/processor brands and maybe someone with a Denon, for example, can carry out similar tests.

 

I see that Chris K has been asked for a view but, frankly, his reply makes no sense to me. When probed further he fell back on the 'secret sauce defence' so we will never get any further information from him unfortunately. The question for members to decide is, IMO, this: do you wish to rely on a view which is unsupported by any objective evidence and can be summarised as "this is how it works because I say so" or do you wish to rely on the objective evidence of measurements which clearly show the effect of RLO?  Each individual will have to form his own conclusions from what has been presented. For my part, FWIW, I continue to believe that RLO works in the way we have always said it works. I will continue to believe that until someone brings forward some proper evidence that it works in a different way.

 

WRT to the FAQ, I will amend the relevant answer to give both points of view and let the reader decide which one he wishes to adopt. I will add my graphs to a FAQ Technical Addendum and reference it in the main FAQ.

 

 

ORIGINAL FAQ ANSWER:

 

g)3. What is Reference Level Offset in Dynamic EQ?

While Dynamic EQ works very well for movies, which are mixed at a known level (‘'reference level'), music has no such standards and is mixed at the whim of the recording engineer. This can cause a potential problem for Dynamic EQ because Audyssey has no idea how loud the original content was meant to be heard at, or how loud it was mixed at. For this reason, with music, you may want to choose a Reference Level Offset.

There are three offsets from reference level that you can select when the content has not been mixed to known standards:

 

  • 0dB - Choose this setting for movies.
  • 15dB - Choose this setting for rock music, pop music and other music with very highly compressed dynamic range (that is, there is little difference between the softest and loudest parts of the content. Think Metallica!).
  • 10dB - Select this setting for Jazz etc where the dynamic range is wider and also for TV content as that is usually mixed at 10 dB below film reference.
  • 5dB - Choose this setting for Classical music and any content that has a wide dynamic range.

 

What Reference Level Offset does is 'tricks' Audyssey into thinking you are using a higher Master Volume setting than you really are. At 0dB on your Master Volume scale, Dynamic EQ does nothing at all. If you select a Reference Level Offset of 10dB, then this becomes the new 'reference' level: Dynamic EQ will now have no effect at a Master Volume setting of -10dB rather than at 0dB.

It's also worth mentioning that if you have raised the trim levels for your surround speakers or subwoofer for any reason after running Audyssey, you may want to consider trying a Reference Level Offset to tame the increased bass/surround boost because Dynamic EQ does not track those speaker/sub trim changes. In my own system, for example, I have raised my sub trim by +3dB and am also using a Reference Level Offset of 5dB. In my room, at my listening levels, this gives me the most satisfactory result.

Again, feel free to experiment with the different settings and choose the one that sounds the best to you. There are no right and wrong settings for Reference Level Offset.

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-15-2014, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Test of HTML anchors

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Wrap the [jumpto] tag around a link that will take the reader to another place within the post, as follows:

Code:

link to somewhere within the post

Then wrap the [aname] tag around the first word or phrase of the section you want the reader to jump to:
Code:

This is where you end up

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-16-2014, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Welcome to the Audyssey FAQ!

A. General Audyssey Issues

a)0. What is Audyssey?
a)1. What happens when I run Audyssey?
a)2. Why is dialogue from the centre channel difficult to hear or understand?
a)3. I keep reading about Reference Level'. What is it?
a)4. Reference or Preference - which is best?
a)5. How does Audyssey handle dipole and bipole surround speakers?
a)6. Is it possible to save and recall an Audyssey MultEQ calibration?
a)7. What are the Audyssey 'Movie' ('Reference') and 'Music' ('Flat') curves?
a)8. What is THX Re-EQ? Should it be on or off when using MultEQ?
a)9. Why are my high frequencies 'bright' or 'harsh' since running Audyssey?
a)10. How can Audyssey measure anything with those silly blips? Shouldn't they use sweeps like everyone else?
a)11. Where can I find help with the Audyssey Pro Kit?
a)12. What is the relationship, if any, between the Equaliser setting in my Onkyo/Integra AVR and Audyssey?
a)13. Will Audyssey work if I am using external amplification?
a)14. Which current AVRs have which version of Audyssey room correction?
a)15. Does Audyssey care what input signal type, processing or decoding method I use?
a)16. What does the term 'F3' mean?




A. General Audyssey Issues

a)0. What is Audyssey? ^

The word 'Audyssey' is often used as though Audyssey was just one thing. In fact, Audyssey have a collection of different technologies which aim to solve different audio or acoustic problems. These are described very briefly in this Answer and links are given to more comprehensive descriptions which you can find elsewhere in this FAQ.

Audyssey MultEQ.

The technology most discussed in the Official Audyssey Thread is Audyssey MultEQ. This is the Audyssey technology embedded in your AVR and which can be described as a 'Room Equalisation System'. Even here, the term 'MultEQ' cannot be used as a generic because there are different 'flavours' of MultEQ, which are discussed in detail elsewhere.

There is a complete FAQ section which explains the differences between the different flavours of Audyssey' room correction software. You will find it by clicking the relevant link at the bottom of this Answer.

Audyssey Dynamic EQ.

The way that human hearing works means that as the frequency of sounds changes, the loudness of those sounds gets greater or lesser. As the volume level is reduced, our hearing means that the high and low frequencies diminish more rapidly than the middle frequencies. You may have noticed how the bass, especially, 'disappears' as you reduce the volume level. Dynamic EQ was designed specifically to solve that problem. When Dynamic EQ is engaged, as you lower the volume away from 'reference' (ie master Volume of 0dB), Dynamic EQ continually adjusts the frequencies and surround levels to maintain the balance that the mixing engineer wanted you to hear.

Again, there is detailed information to be found by clicking the relevant link below.

Audyssey Dynamic Volume.

Dynamic Volume is an Audyssey technology which 'smooths out' the fluctuations between softer and louder sounds in your home theatre. If you are listening late at night and your movie contains a very wide dynamic range' (the ratio between the softest and loudest sounds in the content you are playing) you may have turned down the volume on the explosions in your movie, only then to find you have to turn it up again to hear the quieter dialogue. Dynamic Volume does it for you! See the link below for details.

Audyssey DSX.

Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX) is a proprietary Audyssey technology which lets you augment a standard 7.1 channel surround setup with two ‘Wide’ channels and/or two ‘Height’ channels. Two extra speakers expand the width of the soundstage (Wides) and/or two extra speakers expand the height of the soundstage (Heights), all of which is designed to help produce a more realistic and immersive listening experience. There is a complete FAQ section on DSX and you can find it by clicking the link below.

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a)1. What happens when I run Audyssey? ^

This is the process that takes place when you run Audyssey:

You place the mic at the Main Listening Position (MLP) and Audyssey will send a series of 'chirps' to each of your speakers and subwoofers in turn. On this first pass, Audyssey will detect how many speakers you have in your system, so it will attempt to ping non-existent speakers on this first pass only. For example, if you do not have rear surround speakers, Audyssey will attempt to ping them, will not find them and thus will ignore them on subsequent runs at the other mic locations.

You then move the mic to the next position from which you wish to measure. Audyssey now knows how many speakers you have and it will only chirp speakers/subs in your actual system on this, and subsequent measurements. Thus, Audyssey will now ping every speaker (including sub) in your system for each of the subsequent measurements.

There are a few small complications:


  • First, different versions of Audyssey use different maximum numbers of mic positions. 2EQ, for example, uses only 3 mic positions, MultEQ uses 6 and XT and XT32 use 8. But the principles outlined above still apply regardless of the number of available mic positions. Audyssey will still use the first mic position (only) to measure the speaker levels and distances and to 'discover' the number of speakers in your system.

    For all of the subsequent measurements after the first one, Audyssey will ping each speaker in the system, including the sub.
  • There is an additional issue with regard to XT32 systems which incorporate SubEQ HT (most of them). XT32 SubEQ HT-equipped systems have the ability to set levels and distances for two subwoofers independently, and then go on to EQ both subs as one, taking account of their interaction with the room and with each other. For these systems, on the first measurement at the MLP, Audyssey will ping one sub, then ping the other sub, then ping both subs together. In other words, for the first measurement in a dual sub system with XT32+Sub EQ HT, you will hear three separate lots of sub chirps. But for every subsequent measurement you make, you will only hear one sub chirp, which is both subs being pinged at the same time.


New users may wish to start with the 'Audyssey 101' to become familiar with the procedures and methods of Audyssey calibration. Always follow the advice in the Guides to the letter, even if you are not sure why. Both the 'Audyssey 101' and the FAQ have evolved over a considerable period of time with input from very experienced AVS members and most Audyssey setup problems stem from incorrect measurement procedures.

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2. Why is dialogue from the centre channel difficult to hear or understand? ^

This may be caused by Audyssey Dynamic EQ (See Reference Level Offset), centre speaker placement or room dynamics. First check that the centre speaker is working correctly and that the tweeter is connected and working. Pink noise test tones will be good for this. Put your ear close to the drivers and tweeter in your centre speaker (not too loud!) and check that they sound like they are working properly. If they are, then try the following before running Audyssey again:


  • Poor dialogue intelligibility is often the result of reflections in your room. Does your room look like it may fall into the 'reflective' category? If so consider adding room treatments, drapes, bookshelves etc to try to damp down the reflections. When you clap your hands in the room, does the noise continue to 'ring' for a brief moment? If so then your room is definitely too lively and this may affect dialogue intelligibility. Pay especial attention to the 'first reflections' from your speakers - side walls, floor, ceiling.
  • A simple way to locate the 'first reflection' points in your room is to have a friend hold a small mirror against the wall while you are seated in your Main Listening Position. Have the friend move the mirror around the wall until you can see the speaker in the mirror. The location of the mirror is a reflection point. Remember you also get first reflections from the floor and the ceiling!
  • Is your centre speaker in a cabinet or on a shelf? If it is, then pull it forward so the front edge of the speaker clears the front edge of the cabinet or shelf by an inch or so. This can make a huge difference.
  • Is your centre speaker angled so that it points towards your ears at the Main Listening Position? If not then angle it up (or down, depending on whether it is below or above the screen).
  • If your centre speaker is on the floor, then raise it up on some sort of stand. Again, angle it towards the Main Listening Position.
  • If you have a reflective coffee table between your centre channel and the Main Listening Position, consider permanently* removing it. These are often the cause of dialogue problems. Glass is especially bad. If you can't remove it, cover it with something to damp down the reflections - eg books or magazines. *Do not remove it for the calibration and then replace it afterwards!
  • If you have a hard wooden floor, consider a nice thick area rug to help damp down reflections from the floor.
  • It may be the source material which isn't mastered very well, so try a different source with known good dialogue reproduction (check some DVD or Bluray reviews).


If you have relocated the centre speaker at all, or made any other room adjustments, run Audyssey again and see if dialogue is now better. Remember you can raise the trim level for the centre channel by a few dB if you wish and it won't spoil your calibration at all.

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3. I keep reading about Reference Level'. What is it? ^

Reference Level is a standard defined for movie studio mixing rooms and commercial cinemas. Every studio mixing room and every movie theatre is calibrated to this same standard level - hence the term 'Reference Level'.
The standard calls for an average of 85dB when using band-limited (500 Hz to 2,000 Hz) pink noise at the Main Listening Position. The peak level is set at 20dB higher for a maximum per channel of 105dB in the satellites, and an additional +10dB for a maximum of 115dB in the Low Frequency Effects channel (the '.1' in DD/DTS 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1).
This means that when your AVR Master Volume control is set at 0dB, your satellite speakers are expected to play at a peak level of 105dB and your subwoofer is expected to deliver a peak output level of 115dB. This in turn means that your system at 0dB 'Reference Level' will, in theory, sound exactly as loud as every other calibrated system playing at 0dB, and also the same loudness as heard by the film mixing engineer in his studio.

I say 'expected to' above because in reality only the very best home theatre systems will be able to reach these levels without running into clipping or other forms of distortion. Fortunately, these levels are louder than most people can tolerate in a normal domestic environment and people usually set the Master Volume to something like -10dB to -20dB when listening to movies/music and to -35dB to -20dB for TV.
So how does this translate to your Audyssey calibration? Basically, when in calibration mode, your AVR sends a series of 75dB 'chirps' to each speaker and subwoofer in your system. (Audyssey tests for how many speakers you have in your system during the first measurement (only), although you may have to tell it how many subwoofers you are using - all of this is displayed on screen during the measuring phase.) Audyssey measures the actual Sound Pressure Level received by the calibration mic at the Main Listening Position (that is, the No 1 mic position). If the result at the Main Listening Position is, for example, 71dB for a particular speaker, then the AVR's trim for that speaker will be set at +4dB (ie increased by 4dB to achieve the same 75dB as the original 'chirps'). If the mic reads a Sound Pressure Level of, say, 77dB for another speaker, the trim value is set to -2dB (reduced by 2dB) and so on.
If the average band-limited pink noise level is meant to be 85dB at the Main Listening Position, then why are the Audyssey 'chirps' only 75dB?

Audyssey originally used an 85db test tone for the calibration, but received numerous complaints about how loud the calibration tones were (especially since many users performed the calibrations at night when their room was quietest), so Audyssey switched to using a 75db test tone for the calibration (perceptually half as loud and much more tolerable). Because your AVR knows that the Audyssey 'chirp' is -30dB from Full Scale' (-30dBFS), it makes no difference to the final result - 0dB on the Master Volume control will give a Sound Pressure Level average of the required 85dB, as mentioned above - in other words, Reference Level.

Finally, a word about internal test tones on your AVR and those you will find on external test discs. As I say above, on all Audyssey-equipped AVRs the test tones are band-limited pink noise recorded at 75dB (-30DBFS). The signals recorded on most external calibration discs are usually recorded at 85dB (-20dBFS). Both methods can be used successfully to calibrate a system. However, please note that when you play the internal test tones in your AVR, they bypass all Audyssey processing, including equalization.

To get some idea of whether your system is capable of playing at Reference Levels, you may want to play around with these Sound Pressure Level calculators - just feed in the data and they will tell you the Sound Pressure Level you can achieve in your room! If they all give different results, well, that's because there are a lot of relevant parameters and not all of them are necessarily included in every calculator. Just treat them as a guide.


  1. Calculator No.1
  2. Calculator No.2
  3. Calculator No.3


Clearing up some common misunderstandings about Reference Level

AVS member JHAz has kindly provided the following additional commentary:

"Reference level is a calibration not an SPL for any particular content. To repeat, reference level is a calibration. It is used for mixing movies so that every sound in the final sound track is at a specific SPL level when played back at Reference.

"Here's how it works. In the digital age, the maximum encodable level is called 0dBFS (full scale). Everything that is not at full scale can be described as some number of dB from full scale. Movie mixing rooms (and movie theaters, at least theoretically), are calibrated so that pink noise encoded at -20dBFS plays back at 85 dB in each speaker (surrounds are actually 82 but there are always multiples on a movie mixing stage and home calibration equal to the mains is appropriate).

"It was discovered by AVR manufacturers that their customers found 85 dB too loud to listen to a test noise, so they started using a different way to achieve the same thing. Using a pink noise signal encoded at -30 dBFS, home speakers are calibrated at 75 dB. It should be apparent upon reflection that these result in exactly the same calibration. A sound encoded at -40 dBFS will sound at 65 dB at reference level under either calibration approach. A sound encoded at 0dBFS would be 105 dB in the room. It's a bit confusing but you can't confuse sound pressure in a room - - dB SPL - - with the encoding levels of movies or other media.

"I tend to listen to movies well below reference. If I set my master volume at -20 dB, that means that a sound encoded at -20 dBFS on disk will sound 65 dB loud in my room, versus the 85 it would be if I were at reference.

"Now the last twist important for consideration of sub specs is that the LFE channel (the .1 in 7.1) actually can play louder than all the others. What happens is that after reading the digital data off the disk, the system turns it up 10 dB (so the whole LFE channel is encoded differently from the rest of the channels). Thus the LFE channel max, at reference, is 115 dB, and at my -20 dBFS master volume level, the LFE channel will max out at 95 dB.

"There are "rules" for movies as to calibration so that playback can be consistent with the artistic intent of the film's makers, in the calibration described above. There are no rules whatsoever that say how loud anything must be in a movie. Silent passages will be encoded as all zeroes digitally, and will be silent whether you play at Reference or far below. I've seen it said that dialog runs typically somewhere around the 85 dB SPL range, but that's far far from a hard and fast rule and some movies have it significantly lower. V for Vendetta is an example of a movie with much lower than normal dialog levels."

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4. Reference or Preference - which is best? ^

This is a topic which is always fiercely debated in the Official Audyssey Thread. The first thing to understand is that - at least with regard to Reference vs Preference - there are really no 'rights' or 'wrongs' as far as your home cinema goes. It is your equipment, paid for with your money and listened to with your ears. So if you prefer a little more bass after your Audyssey calibration, then turn up the bass trim in your AVR. And if you prefer a little less, then turn it down.

But before you do that, it is really important to understand the basic goal of the Audyssey technology:

Audyssey has been developed to solve room acoustics problems and the sound degradations they cause. The goal of Audyssey is not to shape the sound to your preference, but rather to shape the sound to Reference.
'Reference' is described more fully elsewhere in this FAQ - see the link at the bottom of this answer.

Audyssey does this by measuring your room and your speakers together, as a system, and then creates correction filters based on those measurements. The reference point for this acoustical correction is based on the only known standard: the mixing room calibration curve used in all film production sound mixing studios.

Assuming there are no problems during the calibration process, what you end up with is a Reference calibration. If you have some personal sound preferences, these are outside of what Audyssey is responsible for. Some people want more bass, while others complain there is too much bass. Some people want flat high frequencies, while others do not. These variances represent the difference between Reference and preference. To be fair though, you should listen to the original Audyssey settings for at least 2-3 weeks to better appreciate what the mixer intended you to hear. After that period, if you still wish to make adjustments (many choose not to after this period of adjustment), do so to suit your preference.

It is important to note that there are some Audyssey settings which are OK to change and which will not affect your calibration - eg the speaker trim levels. But equally, there are some settings that are best left alone - eg the distance settings which result from your Audyssey calibration. Please read the relevant sections of this FAQ to learn more about which settings are OK to change and which really should be left as they are.

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5. How does Audyssey handle dipole and bipole surround speakers? ^

Although Audyssey officially recommends that you use Dipole speakers for your surround channels if you mainly listen to movies, it actually makes no difference to MultEQ what kind of surround speakers you use. The calibration mic 'hears' the in-room response of the speakers and makes the appropriate corrections and adjustments. The mic has no way of 'knowing' what kind of speakers you are using.

Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's CTO, says this on their company website:

"We recommend using dipoles for the surrounds. The purpose of dipoles is to reproduce the diffuse ambient sound that one gets in a movie theater with multiple speakers playing the same content (and thus sounding diffuse)."

Whether you use Dipoles or direct radiators (monopoles) is entirely up to you, depending on your own preferences. Some people who listen to music a lot prefer to use monopoles for their surround speakers, but whatever you use, your Audyssey calibration will not be adversely affected.

If you want an in-depth look at the differences between these types of speaker, the article below is an excellent place to start.

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6. Is it possible to save and recall an Audyssey MultEQ calibration? ^

This is possible depending on the brand and model of AVR used.

For Onkyo units, follow this procedure:

You can save all of your Onkyo configuration settings, including MultEQ, by using the 'Store' and 'Recall' feature found in most (all?) Onkyo AVRs and Prepros. Use this technique if you have a known good MultEQ calibration you are happy with but you wish to experiment with, for example, different mic positions. First, Store your current settings. Then run MultEQ again and if you don't like the new calibration as much as the old one, simply Recall the old one. Note that you can only store and recall ONE calibration this way - the last one you saved.

To STORE:

  1. Push and hold Setup on the AVR (not the remote)
  2. While still holding Setup, push Enter
  3. Unit displays 'Setup store?'
  4. Still holding Setup, push Enter again
  5. Unit displays 'Setup storing'
  6. Unit then displays 'Complete'
  7. All your settings are now stored.


To RECALL:

  1. Push and hold Setup on the AVR
  2. While still holding Setup, push Return
  3. Unit displays 'Setup recall?'
  4. Still holding Setup, push Return again
  5. Unit displays 'Setup recalling'
  6. Unit then displays 'Complete'
  7. Unit then powers off into standby mode. Switch unit back on, your settings have been restored.


For Denon CI networking models only, follow this procedure:

15 seconds after clicking “Save” the 4520 (or other CI model) will power down and display “Saving” on the front panel. The save takes approximately 10 minutes, after which a message is returned to the browser window prompting you to save the configuration file to your local disk. Save the file, giving it a descriptive name, e.g. Config_mm-dd-yy.dat. Once the configuration file has been saved, the 4520 will power back on. One last step before you are finished: check to see if the saved configuration file is a “good one”. To do this, download a Hex editor program from the web (HxD is a good one, free at http://hxd.en.softonic.com/). Using the hex editor, open the configuration file. If it is a good save, you will see hex code in the file. If it is a bad save, the file will be nothing but zeros. Another alternative is to use Windows NotePad to open the file. In NotePad, a file with all zeros will appear as a blank file, while a good saved configuration will appear in NotePad to be filled with random characters. Note: leaving the network setting as “Always On” seems to increase the likelihood of a bad save. However, once you have verified that the network save has been successful, you should return the network setting to "Always On", because unless you do so, any other devices connected to the 4520's network hub will lose their network connection when you power off.

Network Load

After clicking “Load”, browse your local hard drive to the saved configuration file, and then click “Load”. The unit will power down with “Loading” displayed on the front panel. A typical network load takes approximately 6-7 minutes. After the load completed, the unit will power back on, and “Load Completed” will be displayed on the web screen. Note: if you get the web message “Load unsuccessful”, it’s probably because the network setting is “Always On”.

Edit May 2013: After installing a new Antivirus program (Norton AV 2013), I was never prompted to save the configuration file, perhaps because of the browser protection features of the new AV. After temporarily disabling the AV protection and re-running the network save, I was prompted to save the file as expected. If you experience a similar issue, try disabling the AV.

(Heartfelt thanks to AVS Member AustinJerry for the above Denon procedure notes)

Note for Audyssey Pro Installer-ready processors of any make: with the use of the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit you can (and should) save your mic measurement raw data file (as many files as you like, actually) on your PC. Rather than redoing an entire Pro calibration, you can call up that mic data file and use it to generate a new Audyseey Pro calibration at any time. For example, to change the satellite crossovers, or to create a custom curve, you simply call up a saved mic data file, calculate the filters in Pro and load them into the processor. See the Pro Installer kit thread for more info.

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7. What are the Audyssey 'Movie' ('Reference') and 'Music' ('Flat') curves? ^

Contrary to popular belief, a target curve that is flat from 20 Hz to 20 kHz is not always the one that will produce the correct sound. There are several reasons for this. One has to do with the translation required from a large movie theater to a smaller home listening room. The other reason has to do with the fact that loudspeakers are much more directional at high frequencies than they are at low frequencies. This means that the balance of direct and room sound is very different at the high and low ends of the frequency spectrum.

In a typical living room, the acoustical conditions require a flat curve up to a certain frequency, and then a roll-off. This roll-off allows the proper balancing of the direct and reverberant sound at high frequencies.

MultEQ creates filters that correct the frequency response of your speakers to a specific target curve. These target curves are called: Audyssey Reference and Audyssey Flat, or alternatively Audyssey Movie and Audyssey Music.

The Audyssey Reference/Movie target curve is designed to translate film mixing room conditions to the home listening room. This curve is flat to 4 kHz, has a slight roll-off from 4kHz - 10 kHz (-2dB @ 10 kHz), and another additional roll-off from 10 kHz - 20 kHz (-6dB @ 20 kHz). This curve should be used for listening to movies in most cases.

The Audyssey Flat/Music target curve has no roll-off. This curve should be used for movies if you are seated in the near field, if your room has a lot of high frequency absorption due to acoustic treatments, if your room is very small or highly treated or if you are using THX Re-EQ (which introduces its own roll-off).

Audyssey research has found that listeners in most home environments are seated in the reverberant field. The mixing of most films (in post-production studios) is completed with the recording engineer seated in the near field. As a result, it is usually beneficial to use a high frequency roll-off (Audyssey Reference/Movie curve) to tame brightness. However, if you have an acoustically treated room and/or are seated relatively close to the front speakers, you may be located in the near field. Therefore, it may prove beneficial to try listening without a roll-off (Audyssey Flat/Music curve) to see if there is an improvement in sound quality.

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8. What is THX Re-EQ? Should it be on or off when using MultEQ? ^

MultEQ works by creating filters that correct the in-room frequency response of your speakers to a specific target curve. These target curves are called: Audyssey Reference and Audyssey Flat, or alternatively Audyssey Movie and Audyssey Music.

Re-Equalization technologies affect the target curve selection.

In THX specification units you may find a control in the menus called Re-Eq. This applies a high frequency shelf cut filter. Because the Audyssey Reference/Movie curve also applies a high frequency cut (see link below for more details), when listening in THX mode with Re-EQ on, it is recommended to use the Audyssey Flat/Music target curve. This avoids applying a 'double cut'.

Some manufacturers have developed proprietary high frequency roll-off filters with various trade names; Denon Cinema EQ, for example. It is recommended to disable (turn off) such roll-off features so the Audyssey Reference/Movie target curve can operate properly.

The selection of Audyssey target curves is performed manually in some products (eg Denon, NAD, Marantz and some Onkyos) and automatically in others (eg some Onkyos). Consult your user manual for details of the method used in your unit.

To summarise: if you own a THX unit and are using MultEQ's Reference/Movie curve in a non-THX mode, Re-Eq should be OFF. If you are using a THX mode, Re-Eq should be ON and the Audyssey Flat/Music curve selected.

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9. Why are my high frequencies 'bright' or 'harsh' since running Audyssey? ^

This can happen if the main speakers are not ‘toed-in’ properly, or angled towards the MLP. In these circumstances, if the Audyssey mic is off-axis from the tweeters, Audyssey can boost the high frequencies in order to achieve the desired response. There have been anecdotal reports/speculation that XT32 is especially ‘sensitive’ in this regard due to its super fine resolution for correction. So, if your HF is too bright or even harsh after running Audyssey, and your speakers are not angled towards the MLP, try repositioning them and running Audyssey again.

It is also important to make sure that the mic is pointing directly up towards the ceiling and not at an angle as the latter can also induce bright HF as Audyssey tries to overcompensate for the incorrect 'grazing angle' of the mic. Please check the 'See Also' links below for more information on the all-important Audyssey mic technique.

Please note that some speakers are specifically designed to not be toed-in. Check your speaker manual to see if this applies to your speakers. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in these cases.

The following 'case history' from AVS Member D Bone is an interesting example of how experimentation and persistence can reduce harshness:

"I have a friend that owns an auto custom install shop, and although he doesn't specialize in home theater, he has forgotten more than I know. I was at his shop on other business and mentioned the issues I was having with Audyssey and he volunteered to come over and help.

He thought my L/R were toed in a little too much and moved them out to point to about 2 feet from my head, rather then right at me head. He liked everything else though, so that's all we changed. He brought some heavy moving type blankets for a better description, and we placed them over the leather couches and chairs. Then he asked me to place the mic where I normally do based on my detailed notes of my last calibration procedure, and he made a few adjustments, mainly in the height of the mic. We repeated that process for all eight locations, and he made small adjustments in either the height or the location, or both.

After we were done I showed him the results and I pointed out that the trims were low at 72.5 db when compared to my SPL meters. They were all balanced close enough, but all 5 were low and that was consistent to every other procedure that I have ran, in which case I raised the speaker trims by 2-3db so they were all 75db on my SPL. He said that he did not want to raise the trims since DEQ works off the MV setting for both surround envelopment and bass/treble enhancement and thought it could be a reason for the harshness and I would get a better result by leaving the trims where Audyssey set them

Those were the changes we made, and he thought the sound absorbing blankets were the biggest factor, followed by the mic adjustments and then the speaker trim settings & toe in adjustment..............Heck, I don't know, but I documented each mic placement so I can reproduce the result if needed."


You can find the original post and comments from other Members here.

It is also possible that your Audyssey mic might be damaged or faulty. This is harder to diagnose. If you have access to a different mic then you could use the other mic to run Audyssey again and see if the problem goes away - but be sure to use the correct mic for your AVR: see the link Do I have to use the mic that came with my AVR or PrePro? for more details. Alternatively, you could follow the suggestion below of AVS Member OldMovieNut and use REW with your Audyssey mic:

"If anyone is experiencing overly bright sound then they need to download REW, turn off Audyssey and run a response curve with their Audyssey mic. I think you'll see a huge HF rolloff. This is what I encountered with my Onkyo 3009. I compared the response with that of my mic from my 5007 and the difference was quite large. I re-ran Audyssey with the old mic and the brightness went away. The mic might have been defective from the start but I think the more likely reason is heat exposure. I believe the Audyssey mic is an electrect and when they are exposed to heat some of the permanent charge bleeds off and the first thing to be impacted is the HF response. Heat of 100 deg F can do this. My 3009 was shipped in the middle of July, right in the middle of this summer's heat wave. I know that the mic had to be exposed to temps in excess of 100 deg during shipping." (Thanks to OldMovieNut for this suggestion.)

There are other possible causes of overly bright HF, including particular amp/speaker combinations, and a room that is overly-reflective, but in those cases, the HF will sound bright regardless of whether Audyssey is used or not. Before repositioning speakers and running Audyssey again, try turning Audyssey on and off in your AVR or PrePro menus. If the brightness is still there even with Audyssey off, then it is not an Audyssey issue.

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10. How can Audyssey measure anything with those silly blips? Shouldn't they use sweeps like everyone else? ^

The Audyssey 'chirps' are sometimes the subject of misunderstanding as to their true nature and how they work. This is what Chris Kyriakakis, CTO of Audyssey Labs had to say in reply to this question:

"The 'silly blip' you hear is actually a fast sweep. It starts at 10 Hz and runs out to 24 kHz, but it weighs the frequency sweep logarithmically. In other words, the lower octaves get more energy than the upper ones. Sound familiar? In fact, if you take the time domain test signal (it's called a log chirp) and transform it to the frequency domain you will get the exact same spectrum as full range pink noise. During measurement, the initial chirp is approx. 75 dB SPL for a nominal listening distance and speaker sensitivity. The chirp repeats several times per speaker and this has the benefit of increasing the signal to noise ratio in the measurement. Also, Audyssey listens to the background noise in between chirps. If it's above the required minimum then it repeats the sequence of chirps at a higher level to make sure it gets meaningful measurements.

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11 Where can I find help with the Audyssey Pro kit? ^

MultEQ Pro Calibration is the next, and ultimate, step in Audyssey calibration. Using the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit, you can sample more points in your room (up to 32 as opposed to XT32's 8 for example), customise the sound more precisely to the specific problems in your room, and tailor the sound to your personal preferences. The kit comes with a professional-grade microphone and preamp that are calibrated to the highest industry standards for the most accurate measurements. Detailed help with Audyssey Pro is available in the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit Thread here on AVS which is dedicated to helping users who have progressed onto the Audyssey Pro kit. Just click the link for 'Further Reading' below.

There is also a dedicated, 'counterpart' FAQ to this one, designed specifically for users of Audyssey Pro. This Pro FAQ is hosted on the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit Thread and clicking here or on the link below will take you directly to it.

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12. What is the relationship, if any, between the Equaliser setting in my Onkyo/Integra AVR and Audyssey? ^

For Onkyo/Integra owners:

There are essentially two different EQ systems in your Onkyo/Integra AVR or AVP: Audyssey and the simple Graphic Equaliser found under the 'Equaliser' menu setting (Speaker Setup section). The latter, GEQ, is a simple 7 band equaliser (for each speaker in the system) - a very crude and primitive form of frequency adjustment. Your unit also has the far more sophisticated Audyssey MultEQ system which measures the speaker response and the room's influence on it and then creates thousands of 'filters' to adjust the response of the combined room + speakers so that it matches the 'Audyssey Target Curve'.

In all forms of 'consumer' Audyssey MultEQ, note that there is no way to view a 'graph' or any form of result of the Audyssey calibration. So when you go into the Equaliser menu, whatever may be shown there is nothing at all to do with Audyssey. If you have Audyssey enabled, it takes priority over the Equaliser settings. So you can set the 7 bands in the Equaliser any way you like and you can switch between the Equaliser and Audyssey. However, the two cannot exist simultaneously, so when one is enabled the other is disabled. If you have set up the Equaliser and have it set to On, then disabling Audyssey will automatically engage the GEQ settings. Similarly, if you switch Audyssey on, any settings in the GEQ will be automatically disengaged.

Update for Denon owners:

Things seem to work differently in Denon units and it is indeed possible to use Audyssey at the same time as the Denon 'Tone' controls providing Dynamic EQ is first turned OFF.

With Audyssey On, but DEQ off, an option appears in the 'Audio Adjustment' menu called 'Tone', that has three sub-options. The first option turns Tone Control on or off. If Tone Control is set to on, then bass and treble options are configurable. They are crude sliders allowing for an adjustment between -6 and +6.

If Audyssey is turned off, the Tone option disappears. Likewise, if Audyssey is on and DEQ is also on, the Tone option is no longer displayed.


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13. Will Audyssey work if I am using external amplification? ^

Yes, Audyssey works fine with external amps. Many Audyssey users run a prepro plus external amps or use the pre-outs on an AVR to run external amps. Audyssey doesn't care about the amps or where they 'live' and your calibration will be exactly the same as if you had a typical AVR with internal amplification.

Note that if you have an AVR that has been successfully calibrated by Audyssey and then later on an external amp is hooked up via pre-outs (if available), I would definitely suggest re-running Audyssey. The internal power stage of the AVR compared to the external amp may have a different gain structure which means even though the correction filters will not be affected, the reference level of 0 dB Master Volume setting will produce a different sound pressure level, thus throwing off Dynamic EQ.

Also note that should the external power amp have a user adjustable volume control or gain control (many have) it should be adjusted once prior to running Audyssey and never ever touched again. If the amp's own gain control is moved then the same issue described in the paragraph above will also occur. If, for some reason, you do need to change the gain control on the external amp, then run Audyssey again.

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14. Which current AVRs have which version of Audyssey room correction? ^

Here is a current list of AVRs and prepros with their associated version of Audyssey Room Correction. While I have endeavoured to ensure that the data is correct, prospective buyers are advised to check with the manufacturers' websites prior to purchase. This list is believed to be correct as at 10 October 2013. (Thanks to AVS Member GIEGAR for additional input)

AudysseyAVRVersions9.pdf 54k .pdf file

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15. Does Audyssey care what input signal type, processing or decoding method I use? ^

No. The input signal type and processing/decoding is totally independent of the room correction. It doens't matter if the sound came from a straight decoding of a Dolby Digital container, or was an analog 2ch signal converted to digital through a DAC and then matrixed to 5.1ch by Dolby Pro Logic with sprinkles and icing on top. All that matters is how the sound that comes out of your speakers interacts with the room.

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16. What does the term 'F3' mean? ^

This is a term you will come across several times in various answers in this FAQ.

A useful definition of F3 is: The roll-off frequency at which a driver's response is down -3dB from the level of its midband response. Mid-band response is basically an average level of the speaker's or cabinet’s overall output within the usable frequency range - which is almost certainly what Audyssey are referring to when they say that MultEQ ceases to create correction filters once it detects the -3dB response of the speaker.

Chris Kyriakakis, the CTO of Audyssey, described it like this:

"F3 is not an Audyssey term. It's a standard term in loudspeaker design. Every speaker starts to roll off (decrease) its output at a certain frequency depending on the size of the speaker driver and the enclosure. The F3 point is the frequency (in Hz) where the speaker response has dropped by 3 dB. It is a convenient way to compare the low frequency performance of speakers by having a point to look at. The AVR typically uses this frequency as the crossover point to the subwoofer. It assumes that the subwoofer response is rising at a similar rate and will take over below that frequency. Output is the level you hear at every frequency. So, yes, related to volume. Frequency is related to tone. Low frequencies are deep tones (bass)."

In a nutshell, Audyssey measures the frequency response which is picked up by its mic and once it detects the F3 of the speaker/room combination, it ceases to create filters below that point. The reasons Audyssey works this way are explained in other FAQ answers, which are linked below.

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