Originally Posted by Faceless Rebel
I have a strange problem. If I follow the Audyssey's automatic settings for speaker channel levels and turn Audyssey on with Dynamic EQ, in games on PS3 and 360 the surround channels are deafeningly loud compared to the front and center channels. When I turn Dynamic EQ off, all channels are balanced. But I hate turning Dynamic EQ off because then my subwoofer disappears because it becomes so soft. For some reason this doesn't happen with movies, only with games. I've been manually turning the surround channels volume lower when playing games but is there something I can do to fix this? Running the Audyssey calibration again didn't do anything.
This is because of how video games are mastered, and it often doesn't mesh well with Dynamic EQ. Dynamic EQ is designed to work with content mixed to a specific reference level, specifically movies, which is the "some reason" you mention. The way Dynamic EQ works is by boosting the bass and surrounds as the volume drops below "reference" volume, but in order for this to work it needs to know what the reference volume is. Audyssey does this by calibrating your volume dial so that "0" becomes "reference" volume with film content.
The problem is that some content, music and video games especially, are not mixed to any consistent reference, so Dyn EQ may have undesirable effects as you have observed. Video games have their own issue in that all channels are really at the same volume, for example if you are playing an FPS and you are facing a certain point source sound and then pan right, the sound will pan to your surround speakers and should remain at the same volume. When Dynamic EQ boosts your surrounds, this causes the volume to "jump" as it hits your surrounds.
One way to correct for this is the Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset (Audio Adjust > Audyssey Settings). Try setting video games to 10 or 15dB offset, this changes the refernece level that Dyn EQ is working towards. You may find that it still isn't good enough, in which case you may have no choice but to turn off Dyn EQ with video games. You can use the manual tone controls when Dyn EQ is turned off, so since the bass will sound weak with Dyn EQ off, just fire up the "bass" a bit and it should help.
Incidentally, this "refernece level offset" is useful for other non-film sources as well. If you find weird effects like boomy/bloated bass or overwhelming surrounds when watching cable TV or listening to music, this is because Dyn EQ is being more "aggressive" then it should; setting the offset to 10dB can really help in these situations.