Ask Audyssey/Audyssey 101

Microphone placement?

Stefanie October 29, 2009

When calibrating my system with MultEQ, where should the microphone be placed?

 

Comments

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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

The MultEQ algorithms require acoustical information from multiple locations within the listening area in order to create the appropriate room correction filters for each loudspeaker and subwoofer in the system.  The first measurement is used to determine the distance and level of each speaker and it should be taken in the center-most position of the listening area.  After that, it is recommended to take 6-8 more measurements throughout the listening area.

  1. The order of the measurements after the first one does not matter
  2. It is very important to avoid extreme positions including up against the back wall or too far outside angle spanned by the front Left and Right speakers.  Taking measurements in these positions will cause MultEQ to make unnecessary adjustments
  3. Measurements should be at ear height with some small vertical variation
October 29, 2009 10:36 AM
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Dathon

Chris, I have read conflicting things about the mic placement and Audyssey set-up on several forums. Maybe you could please clarify?

1. Your PDF shows mic positions 1-3 on the seats of the couch. I assume you should use a boom arm for the mic and not place the tripod directly on the couch?
2. How sensitive is the mic? Will a boom arm or small tripod interfere with the measurements? Is it necessary to cover the tripod with a light piece of cloth?
3. If the couch back is slightly higher than ear level, should you raise the mic above the couch back so reflections from the back wall are captured?

December 05, 2009 03:56 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

  1. A boom arm or a tripod on the couch will work fine
  2. As long as the boom arm is not placed between the mic and the speaker it's not a problem. Smaller (rather than big bulky) tripods are better. There could be some issues with reflections at very high frequencies from the tripod especially if it is the type that has a large head for big cameras
  3. Yes, I would recommend raising the mic above the couch back to avoid reflections from the couch back that could interfere with the measurements

December 06, 2009 08:01 PM
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Sonny O'Hara

Chris: I have just looked at the pdf for 8 position mic measurements for the multi eq. The pdf does not show the relative distances between the mic positions. Are we talking 2 feet, 3 feet?

Please advise.

Thanks.

Sonny

December 12, 2009 05:48 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey
Hi Sonny, The exact distance is not critical. Somewhere between 2-3 ft (1 m) is what we recommend.
December 12, 2009 10:07 AM
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Wdmoore123

Hi Chris,

Regarding your comment  "Yes, I would recommend raising the mic above the couch back to avoid reflections from the couch back that could interfere with the measurements".  This appears to somewhat conflict with a response I received earlier from you a while back as follows:

My Previous Question:

  I have a leather chair located at the principle seating location and have located the microphone on a tripod at ear level.  Should I:
A.      Position the microphone at the seated position on the chair at ear height.  Note: The microphone is positioned such that it is approximately 10 inches horizontal from the back of the chair.   Secondarily, should the back of the leather chair remain bare or covered perhaps with sound absorption material (thick towel for instance).
                                                              OR
B.      Remove the chair and place the microphone at ear height at the seated position where the chair would normally be.


Your Previous Response:

"You should measure with method A and the chair in place.  After the first measurement, put the tripod on the floor and take measurements about 2' to the left and right of the central position.  Then take three more measurements about 2' forward of the first three.  The final two can be taken about 1' from the first measurement.  Other than the first position that must be in the center, the other measurements don't have to be precisely placed.  Just try to surround the listening seat so that the algorithm has enough info about what's going on in the listening area.  Don't go too far off axis or near walls."

At this time I am now wondering if it may be best to remove the chair to avoid the chair back reflections for the first measurement and perhaps place the chair back for the remaining measurements.  I am concerned with the option of taking the initial measurement when locating the mic several inches above ear level to clear the chair back height .  I believe the mic location may conflict with the proper distance measurement and introduce potential spatial frequency errors due to a higher than normal ear height mic location.  I can add that my current measurements performed with Option A above have resulted in precisely accurate distance measurements (within an inch or two).

Please comment and thank you again for your help.

Sincerely,
Wayne
December 22, 2009 02:19 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Wayne,

I don't think there is any conflict in the responses.  The importance of the chair reflections has been blown a little out of proportion in some of the online forums.  The effect (if any) is at high frequencies.  The distance estimation method that MultEQ uses relies on low frequencies and doesn't even see the reflections from the back of the chair.  Removing the chair, however, will most influence the low frequency measurements and so it's better to leave it in place.

December 22, 2009 04:59 PM
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Wdmoore123

Hi Chris,

Thank you for the response.  Just want to verify that you are recommending in my situation that while leaving the chair in place, the microphone should remain at ear level elevation and a few inches from chair back (per Option A above) as opposed to locating the mic above the back of the chair (though it appears that the mic would only require to be raised approximately 3 inches to clear the chair back height).  My speakers are position sensitive for precise time alignment though I wonder with the microphone being pointed at the ceiling, perhaps microphone height placement may not be as critical in terms of achieving precise ear level height frequency response.

Also when you state regarding chair reflections that "the effect (if any) is at high frequencies."  How would this typically affect the calibration result (i.e. more high frequency response or less high frequency response than expected , or other?).

Thanks for your time again,
Wayne

December 23, 2009 07:41 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Wayne,

What I was trying to say is that you will not see much difference between the two mic placements you are asking about.  It's not worth worrying about it.  The reflections from a nearby flat surface can have an effect on the smoothness of the very high frequency response.  But, I don't think this will be an issue in your case.

December 24, 2009 03:38 PM
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Sonny O'Hara

Hello Chris:

This is in regards to 8 position calibration of 3808. My room size is 24 by 18 ft and I sit at about 10.5 ft from the centre speaker and 7 feet from the rear wall. For measurements 8 and 9, whish of these would you recommend?

  • 1 foot forward to the front and side of the main sitting position

                                         versus

  • 1 foot backward and to the side of the main sitting position.

Could you please explain why you would recommend one over the other.

Thanks again.

Sonny.

 

January 04, 2010 02:21 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Sonny,

I would recommend taking the last two measurements (7 and 8) as shown in the diagram above.  This will give MultEQ more information about the area around the main listening position.  

January 05, 2010 07:45 AM
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Sonny O'Hara

Hello Chris:

 

Thank you for your response.In the diagram above, it looks like the surround speaker set up is as follows:

Dipole/Bipole for side surrounds and

Direct radiating speakers for the back surrounds.

 

In your opinion, what surround speaker set up works best for the Audyssey Multi eq with the Dynamic Volume? I am currently using same type speakers for both side and back surrounds. They are dipole/bipole switchable and I am currently using them in the dipole mode. If I have to, I can switch any of them to bipole mode. In addition I have 4 direct radiating book-shelf speakers that I am not using. I can wall-mount any of these and incorporate them into the surround system. All these speakers are from the same manufacturer and have the same tweeters. Your suggestion will be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Sonny.

January 06, 2010 06:38 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

MultEQ and Dynamic Volume do not depend on the type of loudspeaker used for surrounds.  The choice for these speakers is usually dictated by the content.  Most film content requires ambient and diffuse surround.  In movie theaters this is achieved with a large array of direct radiators on each side playing the same content.  But, in home theaters this is not practical and so dipole speakers are often used to achieve the same effect.

January 13, 2010 08:04 PM
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Don Price

Chris:

 

First of all, thanks much for providing your input here.  I am trying to figure out the ideal locations for microphone placement. I have 5 Niles Audio ceiling speakers that were custom installed for best location based upon my primary listening position (and are therefore fixed in place). My room is 21 ft. long X 11.5 ft. wide, with my center speaker being located above the TV, which is approximately where the FR speaker is in your diagram. My primary listening position is on the couch (which is along the wall (the 21 ft. dimension) in position 3 in your diagram. Should I place the microphone at position 3, with additional measurements to the left of right of position 3, and corresponding measurements in front of the first three positions?

Also, in an unrelated question, my receiver has Audyssey MultEQ. I am thinking about upgrading to a receiver with MultEQ XT. Do you think I would notice much difference in sound?   Thanks much for your advice.

January 18, 2010 07:17 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

I would recommend starting in the center most position of your listening area and then distributing the measurements around that point.  Try to avoid placing the mic too close to the wall as that will influence the low frequency measurements because of the bass build-up against the wall.  Since your speakers are in the ceiling it can be beneficial to tilt the mic back slightly so that sound from the speakers hits the mic at a grazing angle.

The main difference between MultEQ and MultEQ XT is the resolution of the filters that is much higher in MultEQ XT.  That becomes evident in the low frequency correction of the satellite speakers.  They have identical performance in the subwoofer channel.

January 18, 2010 07:31 AM
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Rick Ponti

Hi Chris -

I am new to this website / forum.  I recently bought a Marantz AVR (SR5003) that came with the Audyssey mic equipment (MultiEQ).  I am using Paradigm speakers (bookshelf, surrounds, and 10" sub)  I am in the midst of tweaking and trying different settings out to make sure I get the "best" sound possible.

I have downloaded and read several Audyssey articles that pertain to the setup and position of the mic.  I am running into conflicting reports of where to place the mic ... or I am just not understanding what is meant in the articles (different terminology).

What I have seen and read consistently states that you want to place the mic in the "center" of the "listening position".  I have also read that you want to place the mic in the "sweet spot" of the "listening area".  One Audyssey article I read states that you want to place the mic in the "sweet spot" regardless of where you will actually be sitting.  The "sweet spot" is being defined as the mic (and tripod that it sits on) forms the tip of an imaginary equal-lateral triangle with the front speakers forming the base of the triangle.

The reason I am posting to this forum is that I have a family room that is 15' wide x 19' long.  There is a half wall that divides the family room from the kitchen.  This is the wall my surround speakers sit on.  However, they are a little off axis to the front speakers.  In other words, they don't face the fronts dead on; they are shifted over a bit.  I would say that the left surround ends up facing the mid-point of the front speakers and the right surround is approximately 4 - 5ft off axis.

So, last night, I re-ran the Audyssey auto speaker setup.  My first position was in the "sweet spot" of the "listening area".  I did not place the tripod in the center of the couch where we will be sitting (listening position).  Instead, I placed the mic in the middle of the listening area ... forming a equal lateral triangle with the front speakers.  If you can visualize this, this meant that the surrounds were a bit off axis in relation to the front speakers and subwoofer. 

For the other five measurements, I went two feet to the right and two feet to the left of the first measurement and then took three measurements two feet in from of the first three (which meant I ended up being like 4 - 5ft away from the fronts and the sub).

So, what is the preferred method here?  Do I take the first measurement in the center of the couch for the first measurement and then work around that.  By the way, the couch is up against the half-wall which again is where my surrounds sit at approximately one foot above listening level.  Or, do I take the first measurement in the "sweet spot" with the mic (tripod) forming the tip of the triangle?

Finally, does it hurt to place some couch cushions or pillows on some of the reflective surfaces in the room (i.e. wall, glass doors to fireplace, etc...)?  Will that confuse the Audyssey speaker calibration?

Any advice and assistance will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time!

Thanks,

Rick

January 20, 2010 09:37 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Rick,

The delays and levels for each of your speakers are calculated from the first mic position.  So, we always recommend starting with the mic in the center of the listening area .  That position is usually defined as you mention above: at the tip of the triangle with the base of that triangle running through the two front speakers.  In an ideal system the triangle is equilateral (60° angles) and your speakers are at ±30° from the center.  But, in most home situations that can't always be the case.  So, it's best to start with the mic in the center of your seating area and then follow the pattern shown in the diagram above.

January 20, 2010 03:56 PM
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Rick Ponti

Thanks Chris!

To follow-up, I re-ran the Audyssey setup last night ... with the first mic position in the center of the couch.  All seemed to work well.  I measured six different positions.

 

The following are the measurements I received from the Audyssey calibration:

Speaker Distances:

Front L = 15.9 ft.

Front R = 14.6 ft.

Surr R = 3.5 ft.

Surr L = 3.8 ft.

Sub W = 17.9 ft.

 

Speaker Levels:

Front L =  +5.0 dB

Front R =  +3.5 dB

Surr R =  -0.5 dB

Surr L =  -0.5 dB

Sur W =  -7.0dB

 

Additional settings that I made include:

1. In the Manual setup, I changed the Front speakers from Large to Small;  The surrounds were already set to Small;

2. The LPF/HPF was originally set to 100Hz but I changed to 120Hz (should this remain at 100Hz);

3. For the HT-EQ, I have this set to OFF;

4. For the LFE Level, I have this at 0 dB;

5. Under Preferences, I have Audio = Main + Sub

6. For EQ Mode, I have that set to Audyssey.

 

So, again, this is a Marantz SR5003.  So, some of this is specific to it 's menu setup. For the speakers, I am using Paradigm Atoms, PDR-10 sub, and ADP-190  surrounds (di-pole).

I was wondering if any of this looks odd to you or if I need to change anything?  Should I adjust anything one way or the other?

Thanks again for all your help and advice.

Thanks,

Rick

January 21, 2010 05:59 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Rick,

This all looks fine.  I would leave the LPF/HPF at 100 Hz where it was found.  I know the notation is confusing, but in Marantz speak this is the crossover between your speakers and the sub.

January 21, 2010 06:08 PM
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Rick Ponti

Hi Chris -

Thanks for all your help on the setup of the Audyssey mic, placement, and resulting measurements. 

One thing that I wanted to confirm with you is the REV reading I get for my sub and right surround speaker.  Every time I run the Audyssey setup, the resulting display output shows a REV next to one the surround speakers and the sub.  I originally thought  I had the surrounds reversed on the rear of my Marantz AVR.  I was trying to determine what is left and what is right for surrounds.  I was told that you determine left and right for surrounds by facing the fronts ... so what is the left front speaker is the left surround.  Is this correct in determining what is left and what is right for surrounds ... or does it matter?  I know it seems like a simple question ...

Anyway, do I need to be concerned with the REV result?  All my speakers are set to the right polarity.  I have read that sometimes these readings can be ignored.

Again, thanks for all the help and info.

 

Rick

February 04, 2010 10:21 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Rick,

The polarity warning is just that: a warning to check the wiring.  If it's correct on both the back of the amp and the speaker then you can hit skip and proceed.  Some speakers have a driver with intentionally reversed polarity by design.

February 08, 2010 12:18 PM
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Juan Javier Esquivel

Dear Chris,

 

I am new Audyssey fan and I am waiting for my Installer Kit soon, I live in Mexico City and I wish to be a good installer and also to be a dealer here in Mexico City because no one now. I have some quesions, my english not good enough sorry, I have the same lay out for my home theater that you show us in yours, but It's not clear for me the follow:

 

a) If my back couch it higher than the listening position I have to put the mic with my tripod on the seat above the back couch or put the mic solo on the back couch?

 

b) Why all those measurement are only in the center and don't near to the chair besides?

 

c) The only difference with your lay out versus mine it's that, in the middle there is a table the couch or chiar are besides, If the first position it's critical and have to be taken in the center-most position of the listening area in my case where I have to put the mic on the table as the center position or the seat where I use to be seat more common or where?

d) I have an ONKYO 805 7.1 in a small room.

As my english it's not good, let me know maybe I can do it better next time.

February 28, 2010 01:19 PM
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Juan Javier Esquivel

My seat or furniture where I seat are leather.

February 28, 2010 01:23 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hello Juan,

The mic should be placed as close as possible to ear height.  If the back of the couch is high then reflections could affect the measurements if the mic is placed too close to it.  You can raise the mic a few cm to make sure it is just above the seat back or just keep the mic at ear height and move it forward so that it is not too close to the seat back.

The measurements are designed to collect information about the response of your speakers in the room.  It's best to avoid placing the mic in extreme off axis positions because that can give it misleading information about the off axis response of your speakers.

The first position should be in the center of the listening area.  Usually, that is where the main seat is.  If the seat is off to the side, we still recommend taking the first measurement in the center.

February 28, 2010 10:14 PM
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Owen Heuston

I have a question about the Audyssey 2EQ w/ Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume that is used in my Onkyo tx-sr608.  When I run the calibration of the speakers it, the distance is a little off,(after measuring the 3 seating positioins) say the left speaker distance is 1ft more than the right.  Is this down because it is taking into consideration the 3 listening positions that it calibrates for?  Also, if I want most of the bass frequencies to handled by paradigm PDR-12, what would I choose to set my speakers at say, so that they are considered small?

August 02, 2010 06:38 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

The distance is calculated from the first microphone position.  So, if it's not in the center of your listening area you may see differences between the L and R speaker distances.

If you want the bass to be sent to the subwoofer (a very good idea!), then you should set all your speakers to Small.  Onkyo doesn't use that term.  Just make sure that none of your speaker are set to Full Range and that each has a crossover frequency assigned.  80 Hz is a good starting point.

Make sure that the frequency knob on your subwoofer is turned all the way up so that it doesn't interfere with proper bass management that is best performed in the AVR.

August 06, 2010 04:59 PM
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Owen Heuston

Thanks Chris, I think my questions have been redundant and I apologize.  I really appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions, no matter how lame they are.

August 06, 2010 06:38 PM
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Argifotini1992

Hi Chris

I use the potitions from your pdf , sound it is OK , but I got no bass , why?

 

rgrds argi greece

August 13, 2010 11:02 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Argi,

I need a little more info.  What do you mean by "no bass"?  Is there no signal at all from the subwoofer?  Or is the signal too low for your preference?

August 13, 2010 11:08 AM
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Argifotini1992

Hi Chris

I mean in stereo program, and there is no bass with unit on, when I make bypass the signal  I got enough bass.I hope this help

August 13, 2010 11:27 AM
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Argifotini1992

Also when I see movie I got less bass.Always in comparison without audyssey treatment

August 13, 2010 11:31 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Argi, I will move this to email as it's easier to go back and forth.

August 13, 2010 11:33 AM
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Ram

Hi Chris,

I have a Denon AVR 1911 receiver which has MultEQ with Bose (Acoustimas 16 II 6.1 channel speakers) and I have a question about placing the starting position of the mic  based on my TV placement. As per your document, I have placed my TV on corner of my room ie., where you have shown the front right speaker.  I can not place my TV just opposite to the couch as I have a glass patio door. I would like to know what is your recommendation to measure those 6 listening positions. Can I still follow the 1-6 position per your document? or 1.2.3 as per the document and 4.5.6 in front of the TV.

With my existing calibration, I feel the Audi Dialogue is not more clear from the center speaker or front speakers

 I appreciate if you could guide me on this

Thanks

Ram.

August 25, 2010 03:56 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Ram,

Yes, I recommend that you still follow the same pattern.  But, in your case I would take the measurements at an angle to match the direction that your couch is facing (i.e. towards the right corner).  It's important to make sure that the speakers (especially the center) are facing the listener and are not pointing over your head or down to your feet.

August 26, 2010 12:13 AM
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Ram

Thanks Chris for your quick response. Actually, my couch is not facing at the same angle as the TV is placed. Couch is facing just opposite to the patio ie., not towards the right corner.  This is to avoid the cross gap between couch and the back side wall.  My center speaker is facing towards the left most listner of the couch and partially facing the center seat of the couch.  I have kept the center speaker at the back side of the TV using a stand which is half feet highter than the front speakers and just above the TV top.  It is bit over my head in fact. I have placed my acoustimas module at the back side of the couch to reduce vibrations pass on to my neighbour who is at the right side.

Given in this situation, I hope I can still follow your recomendations per your document. Also, do I have to remove the couch during the measurement as I have placed the acoustimas module at the back side of the couch.

Please advice. I appreciate your response as always.

August 26, 2010 08:00 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Ram,

In that case, you should use the recommendations in the diagram.  You should not remove the couch during the measurement.  

August 26, 2010 10:14 PM
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Matt Butler

Chris,

I ran the setup multiple times and find that although the settings seem fine, fronts are about -2 each and the rears are about -5 each, my blu ray films have most of the main sound coming from the rears. This seems strange since i am used to them being in the front with the rears shadowing them instead of vice versa. I am on a Denon receiver.

October 23, 2010 11:42 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Matt, are your surround speakers pointing to the listening are where the mic was placed?  If not, it's possible that their level was not properly set and they need to be turned down more.

October 24, 2010 07:32 AM
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Matt Butler

They are the older paradigm speakers that have speakers on the sides of the speaker box instead of one in front. It is supposed to send the sound towards the walls that way. So maybe since they are sending sound toward the mic, it is causing this?

October 24, 2010 07:49 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Matt, it sounds like they are dipoles and so they are designed not to send direct sound to the listening area.  But for them to work correctly the face with no drivers has to be pointing at the listener.  

The other explanation is that before calibration you may have been accustomed to lower surround levels and it now sounds different when the surrounds are calibrated to be at the same level as the other speakers.  

In any case, there is no harm in changing their trim levels from reference to match your preference.

October 24, 2010 07:54 AM
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Matt Butler

Ok, Well, I repositioned the speakers and Audyssey set my crossover in the rears at 100 hz and the center at 90 hz fronts at 80 hz. Upon my research it is recommended to have the speakers at 80 hz, is there a reason for this change, considering Audyssey originally programed them at 80 hz? and what does this change in frequency mean?

October 24, 2010 12:51 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

The crossover recommendation is based on the measurements in your room.  So, it's not surprising that the roll off frequencies changed as you moved your speakers.  For example, if the distance from the wall changed then it is expected to see a change in the roll off frequency.  That's the whole point of measuring and not going by the theoretical spec!

October 24, 2010 03:46 PM
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ryan daley

Hi im running a 7.1 speaker set up. I followed the microphone placement guide and here are my results, i have klipsch rc52 center: 150hz, klipsch rf52 fronts: full band, definitive bipolar bp1.2x surround: 100hz, klipsch kw15 sub: 80hz ,bose 301 surround back: 60hz. my reciever is the onkyo 805 and this reciever does not have a small or large setting my question is how do i know if my speakers are large or small? Onkyo recommends switching all settings to 80hz thx but after i ran the audyssey following the seat set up guide the sound does not sound that great using the 80hz thx mode.Should i run the audyssey setup again? the audyssey suggested results sounds better than the 80hz thx settings

 

November 04, 2010 10:37 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Onkyo uses different terms for Large and Small. In Onkyo products, Full Range is the same as Large. If there is a crossover frequency defined (e.g. 80 Hz or any other frequency) then the speakers are set to Small. That means that content below that frequency is being sent to the subwoofer.

Audyssey measures what your speakers are doing in your room and recommends a setting based on their placement. That's why it sounds better when you go with those settings.

November 04, 2010 10:46 PM
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ryan daley

before i found this site i was setting up the micphone on my couch with pillows that being said i read that with the audyssey set up i should have my subwoofer 3- 5 inches from the wall but klipsch recommends you to have it 6 -12in  from the wall. my sub is a 15in sub the ksw 15. when i ran the set up with the micrphone on pillows on my couch my sub would come up 20 ft away from my listening position thats was with the sub 6 to 12in from the wall but  my other speakers would come with acurate listening distance. when i ran it with the reccommended set up seat chart i got an acurate distance from my listening position which was 15ft. does it matter how far yor sub is from the wall? or was it the fact that i ran the set with pillows the first time instead of a tripod

November 05, 2010 01:01 PM
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Owen Heuston

Hi Chris, I have a question for you that I hope you can help me with.  When using the Audyssey 2EQ speaker calibration,  I have noticed that my surrounds are louder than my front speakers and seem to be louder than all my other speakers after the Audyssey calibration. Now it might be because they are 10 ft from me compared to the 14 ft of the fronts, but I thought the Audyssey calibration took this into account. My question is that if I try doing the level calbirbation(making the fronts louder, turning down the surrounds), will I be negating what Audyssey did?

December 01, 2010 05:38 AM
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Alex biwald

Quick question i  have a Onkyo 7.1 sound system it came with you companies mic and i was wondering how much should i turn the subwoofers  volume up like  half way or al the way up when performing the test?  and also i only have one main listing point it is on my bed i use phone books then put the mic on top to do the test is this ok? and also i connected DPLIIZ speakers so i am know running a 9.1 setup will those speakers be in the test to? And my rear speakers are super close to my ear about 12 inches would that effect anything? 

December 31, 2010 07:54 PM
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Wim Holthof

Hello Chris:

My  question is for 8 position calibration from my Denon AVR-3311.

I have  Front, Center, Wide and Surround small speakers and one Subwoofer. Your pdf gives 12 measurement. My primary listening position is the back couch direct on the back wall. Across from the back couch on both site a little couch.

How far must the mic. minimum from the back wall and what is the best measuement position.

3 measurement on the back couch, 3 two feet forwards and 2 measurement one feet between or

5 measurement on the back couch an 3 two feet forwards

Thanks,

Wim

January 04, 2011 07:42 AM
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Bhanu

Wim - Just went through this with my 3311.  After being dissatisfied with the sound for quite some time (but used DynEq), I tried the measurements to be almost in the sweet spot but still little back since my couch was to the wall.    So, in the above case what worked for me was 1 position right in the tip of triangle but a long triangle and then the rest with tripod on the floor in front the couch but mic coming up to the ear level.   I took 6 measurements.   So in summary...if your wall is right behind the couch...do not take any measurements on the couch.

February 07, 2011 04:34 PM
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Dag Johnsen

I am using a Denon A100 with XT32 in a stereo setup including subwoofers. Pro Kit.

I was wondering, would it be better to point the microphone towards the speakers instead of pointing straight up, since I only want to measure those two front speakers and do not need to consider sound from rear speakers?

I measure a difference in the treble of approxemately 3 dB when pointing the microphone in an angle of 15 degrees towards the center between the front speakers compared to straight up in sweetspot.

 

Dag Johnsen :-)

 

March 09, 2011 05:38 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Dag, No! Pointing the microphone in any direction other than the ceiling will give you very big errors in the measured response.  The microphone is calibrated for pointing up.  It makes no difference if you have 1, 2, 5, or 11 speakers.  The mic must always point up so that it properly accounts for sound from the speaker and sound reflecting from the room.

March 12, 2011 04:56 PM
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Jeff Coil

Hello Chris,  I have a dedicated acustically treated HT with two rows of seating.  The second row is on a 12 inch riser and the "ear positions" are much different.  Is there any standards to follow on this type of setup?  I want to maintain the sound quality of the second row and not just the primary seating position.  Any thoughts?  Thanks a bunch

 

Jeff

March 21, 2011 06:23 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Jeff,

I would recommend taking the measurements in the second row at ear height, but making sure that the mic is not too close to the back wall.  This may mean that it has to be placed forward of where the listeners heads will be in the back row.

March 21, 2011 07:12 AM
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Danus

Hello, I'm trying to use MultEQ in a bedroom setup.  I wanted to know if the 6 points used for a typical living room  sofa should be used when setting Audyssey for a bed?  It makes sense to run the first 3 measurements at the head of the bed at ear level but I'm trying to figure out if the remaining 3 should be near the "middle" of the bed (~1 meter away from the head) or somewhere else.  The bed is centered to the front speakers.  Thanks!

March 24, 2011 08:41 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Yes, I would recommend following the same pattern.  The basic principle is still the same: the algorithm needs to sample points around the listening area.

March 24, 2011 09:29 PM
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Bobby Lisanti

So Chris,

If I place the Mic right in front of my seat for position # 1 were talking around 2 feet forward from the actual seat will that make a big impact? or should I go back and take the Tripod and sit it on the seat? Also my bookshelf surrounds are about 2 feet above ear level on shelves should I point them in on an angle or straight ahead, there seems to be so many different takes on this?

Thanks,

Robert

April 20, 2011 11:06 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Robert,

The tripod should be on the seat for best results.  If that puts the mic 18" or closer to the back wall then move forward a little to avoid that.  

Surround speakers for movies are best when reproducing diffuse sound.  That's why dipoles are ideal for surrounds.  With direct radiators you don't really have much choice but to point to the listener.  Placing them up higher than ear height helps sound bounce around the room more, but not as well as dipoles achieve.

April 20, 2011 11:17 AM
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Bobby Lisanti

I will redo my setup, so I just want to make sure I understand correctly, if I place the tripod on the seat at "Ear" level how far from the back of the couch should it be? I have a leather recliner and sometimes my wife and I recline when watching movies and TV and suggestions with that?

Thanks in advance!

April 20, 2011 11:44 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

The general rule is: the mic should be exactly where your ears are when you sit, *unless* that places the mic within 18" of the back wall.  In that case, you should move it forward a few inches.  The rest of the positions should be as described in the diagram above.

April 20, 2011 11:52 AM
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Bobby Lisanti

Chris,

If you put the subwoofer level up all the way it will give you an incorrect reading? right?

I think I did that by mistake, I read somewhere my db level should be around -10db or less on the sub, My reading that I got was  -12db is this correct what is your suggestion?

Thanks,

Rob

April 29, 2011 08:07 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Rob, it's not a good idea to have the gain all the way up.  The AVR will run out level compensation range.  It shows -12 dB now, but that's all it can do.  Most likely it needs to cut more to bring the sub to reference level.  So, the midway point is more typical and sometimes you have to go even lower than that depending on sub placement.  Any trim value other than ±12 dB is fine.

April 29, 2011 08:14 AM
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Argifotini1992

Hi Chris

for your precious  help all these years , I would like to THANK YOU !

April 29, 2011 08:15 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

You are most welcome Argyri.

April 29, 2011 08:16 AM
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Bobby Lisanti

Chris,

So I ran it again and I got +0.5 for the sub setting after putting the gain ( Level ) on the third dot, although when I put Toy Story on it seemed a little loud ( the Sub cone was vibrating alot ) I just backed off on the level.

May 01, 2011 09:11 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Bobby, some of this may be personal preference.  The gain you are getting is right in the middle of the adjustment range of the AVR so you are fine there.

May 01, 2011 09:15 AM
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Bobby Lisanti

Thanks again Chris!

May 01, 2011 01:15 PM
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Silmott

Chris, I love how well Audyssey works with my home stereo.  Now I want to use it in my car and replace my Cleansweep with an Alpine PXE-H660.  I want to have it professionally installed, but suspect that most installers will just want to use the standard 4 positions since they won't need to drag out a computer to do more positions (though I could just recalibrate it myself later).  It would seem that more positions is preferable as it is with a home setup.  If so, do you have suggestions as to where the extra positions would yield the most benefit to the computations?  Also, is there an upcoming standalone unit that will incorporate XT32 instead of XT expected anytime soon?

May 04, 2011 09:50 AM
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Guy LaRochelle

Hello Chris

This is great information, thanks! One question... I have a Denon 3808 with Paradigm Monitor 5 as front speakers, 4 Micro for surround channels, CC-290 as center and PDR-10 as subwoofer. You mention in the document that all speakers should be set to "Small" otherwise no bass will be sent at all to the subwoofer... I find this a little strange as I seem to remember that mine are not set to Small but probably Large (although not full range I think) and I do get bass on my sub.

Anyway, with the kind of setup I have, do you still recomment to set the speakers to "Small" ?

Thanks!

May 20, 2011 02:18 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@Silmott   Yes, it's important to measure more positions so that the algorithm can capture the data from the car cabin.  Typically, the best results are obtained by taking a few more positions in the driver and passenger seat.  In other words, bias the front of the car more than the back seat.  We have not heard about any plans from Alpine on an upgraded processor for the car.

May 20, 2011 08:18 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@Guy The definition of Large and Small is as follows:

Large: Turn off bass management and don't redirect any bass to the subwoofer.  For 5.1 content only the separate LFE track will be sent to the sub.  For 2-ch stereo there will be no bass sent to the sub.

Exception: If you have set the subwoofer mode to LFE+Main then bass goes to the sub even for Large speakers.  However, this is a terrible thing to do because the bass is also sent to the speakers and you end up with boomy overlapping bass.

Small: redirect the bass below the crossover frequency to the subwoofer.  

Small is better because the MultEQ XT filters in the subwoofer channel have 8x more resolution.  That means that the bass response will be much smoother in the sub and so sending the bass there for reproduction will give you better performance.

May 20, 2011 08:22 PM
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Stephan Leroy Folkes

Hi,

this is not really the exact thread to ask this question but here goes. I have a Samsung HT-C6930W home theater system and was wanting to mount the back rear speakers. According to the booklet, it states that the speakers should be 70cm to 1m away from the listening position. I want to mount from (they're currently on stands) on the back wall but it would be about 1.2m to 1.5m distance away. To compensate the distance would it be best to set the delays and/or increase the db to make up for the longer distance? Or should I do what was recommended in the booklet? Thanks

July 15, 2011 07:55 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Stephan,

It doesn't matter what the distance is because you can compensate for it via the delay control (I assume your model has these).  You will have to do this for all speakers in the system because proper calibration starts with sound from all speakers and sub arriving at the same time.  After that you will also have to set the speaker levels because proper setup requires that all speakers and sub play at the same level as each other as you move the volume control up and down.  This is achieved by adjusting the level trims.  However, it does require an SPL meter and test tones to set the levels.

July 15, 2011 11:10 PM
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Stephan Leroy Folkes

@Chris

Thanks for that you just dissolved one of my concerns. I have another two questions however, I was thinking about placing the rear speakers the same height as the side surrounds at about 1.68m from the ground which is just over 2 feet above ear level. Do you think that would be fine as well? And what SPL meter would you advise me to purchase? Thanks in advance.

July 16, 2011 12:08 AM
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Argifotini1992

in my case I put the surround back little more heigher, and tweeter do not look straigth to my ears.

Also a spl meter from radio shack it will be OK ,

But wait for Chris answer. 

July 16, 2011 12:19 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

The Height of the Back Surround speakers is not that important.  Above ear level is recommended so that they are not easy to localize.  Any SPL meter will work for measuring the levels.

July 16, 2011 03:18 AM
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Stephan Leroy Folkes

Chris@

I have another question what do you recommend the width of the back rear speakers to be? Should they be in line with the front left and right speakers ideally to create a wider sound field? My left and right speakers are about 1.95m away from one another. I had one speaker in line before, (apart from the left rear speaker) just would like to know your opinion thanks again.

July 17, 2011 10:06 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Stephan,

There are varying opinions about this.  Dolby recommends wide spacing and THX recommends very close spacing.  Both make their own arguments.  In my opinion, the importance of the Back Surrounds is highly overstated.  It really won't make much difference how you space them so I recommend doing it based on whatever is easier for your room.

What really makes the biggest improvement to 5.1 surrounds sound is adding Wide speakers to the front.  Research in psychoacoustics has shown that this is the most important direction for expanding the soundstage.  The second most important is Height speakers up front.  Back Surrounds are a distant third.

More info here: http://www.audyssey.com/audio-technology/audyssey-dsx

July 18, 2011 12:08 AM
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Stephan Leroy Folkes

Hi Chris,

Thanks once again I actually did some research on that in the past and found it to be quite interesting indeed. But I'm skeptical about the height speakers. According to a few people and reviews like this; (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10220826-47.html) the reviewer said that it didn't make much of a difference and/or was difficult to hear. They made a second attempt though, but they got the same results. (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10230238-1.html) They did admit that maybe in the future height speakers may have their place though. However, there were other people that were impressed.

I have a few questions to ask you. I'll like to know your opinion on my side surround positioning, about wide speaker placement and about a rear center speaker. 

My side surrounds are not exactly in line with my seating area. (BTW if you haven't realized already I have a 7.1 set-up) They sound fine until I tilted them towards the listening area. In fact, they sound better however, they're about 50cm away from my seating area. Don't ask me how I placed them there LOL. Do you think it would be better to line them exacting with my seating area or leave them because they sound fine?

About the wide speakers I think it would be good especially it should create better panning between the sides and front speakers. But let's say I wanted to update my receiver for wide surrounds. Would they be between the fronts and sides in the middle? For an example, my sides are about 4ft away from the front left and right speakers. Would that mean the wide surrounds would be 2ft from the fronts and sides? If there needs to be more spacing, it wouldn't be much of a problem because I can rearrange my room for that.

Finally, would it make sense or be possible to have a rear center speaker in say a 10.2 set-up? instead of having 2 speakers as height speakers? Looking at the Audyssey positioning there's only one configuration for that set-up. Or do you think it would somehow have a negative effect altogether? 

I hope that wasn't too much for you and thanks once again.

July 21, 2011 05:35 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Re: surround speakers. They should really be dipoles... I know there is a big disagreement between the movie and music industry about this, but the fact is that 90% or more of surround content is movies.  Dipoles are better at creating the needed diffuse sound field that matches what you hear in a movie theater.  Pointing surround speakers to the listener causes them to be more localized and this is not desirable for surround content in film.

Re: Wides.  They need to be at ±60° relative to the center (0°).  This puts them twice as far apart as your front L and R speakers.

Re: Back Surround.  It's the least important direction.  Wides are the most important, followed by Heights and then Back Surrounds.  Keep in mind that only a couple of AVRs today support the capability to have all 11 channels.  Most are 7- or 9-channel products and the choice there is clear: no need for Back Surrounds.

July 22, 2011 07:10 PM
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Stephan Leroy Folkes

@Chris

Thanks for the reply. I disagree with the surround placement part and the rear speakers as well. But nevertheless people do have opinions and/or preferences regarding this anyway. According to something I read was that apparently majority of people preferred direct sound rather than diffused sound.

About the rear speaker part I like them when watching films, (even though not many are in 7.1) music and especially with games. Like when you open a door and you can hear it shut behind you and/or you hear footsteps and/or gunshots. In other words for me they create tension. I think we humans would be more tense with sound from behind us then anyway else. Think of it like playing in the playground and your playing a game of "it" and your trying to get away but, you didn't see one of your friends behind you. That right there is what I'm talking about I'll be more afraid of not seeing something behind me rather then any other direction.

Thanks for this discussion anyway if I have anymore questions I'll ask. Cheers.

July 22, 2011 11:40 PM
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Simsaladim

Chris,

 

What if the MLP is on the couch which is up against the back wall?.

What is the better option in your opinion?.

 

a. measure on the MLP which in my case puts the mic. at 25 cm. from the back wall, but exactly where my ears would be.

b. measure from a given minimal distance from the back wall, even if this is not where my ears will be?.

 

What does audyssey recommend being a "safe" distance from the wall?.

 

Thanks,

 

Dimitri

  

July 23, 2011 12:28 PM
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Patrick Williams

Hi Chris -  I'll be getting a pre/pro with XT32. It's a 7.1 system, but the 2 rear speakers will be mounted behind the couch where I listen from, on brackets facing up. They will be about 15 inches below the top of the couch, out of line of sight for the mic. I know this isn't optimum, but will it calibrate OK?

August 03, 2011 08:05 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@Simsaladim the best method is (b).  You should be at least 50 cm from the back wall to get away from the bass buildup that happens there and can influence the measurements.

August 03, 2011 09:53 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

@Patrick

You may have an issue because MultEQ may not "hear" the highest frequency range if the speakers are below the couch.  It will give you an error if that happens.  If you don't get an error then the data collected is fine.

August 03, 2011 09:54 PM
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Samuel fleming
I have an onkyo 807 that has multi eq and my home theater room is a small bedroom. I have space limitations so my listening area is right against the back wall and my surround left an right are pointed directly to my ears is this a good idea. I also see that it is not recomended to have the mic right on a wall when doing the test because of reflections so should i move the farther up even though thats not where i would sit, what do you think i should do. I need to know because i ran audessy like that and when bass hits in music like a kick drum instead of a nice smooth punch i sounds kind of like the sub is trying to make like a fake ehoe sound. So what should i do.
September 04, 2011 11:43 AM
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Alex0925

Hi Samuel,

I just wanted to share my experience with you as I am in a very similar situation to yours - also a small bedroom with a listening position on a couch which is practically against the back wall. It's perfectly OK that the mic will be placed ahead of your main listening position even though you wouldn't sit there because the main point is to make sure that you observe the minimum distance of 18' or 50 cm from all the boundaries in your listening area such as back wall, side walls and the back of the couch (if your listening position is on it, as in my case), and since most couches' backs are tilted the minimum distance should apply to the bottom of couch back, not the top, as it is further ahead - so you should measure 18' ahead from that line, and you better use a tripod for the mic as it is very convenient and it prevents mic signal distortion. As long as you observe these minimum distances there won't be any bass dips or peaks - the bass will sound precise as it should. And, yes, it's OK that your surround left and right are pointed to your ears, given the space limitations.

If you should have any further questions feel free to ask.

 

Cheers,

Alex

September 10, 2011 02:06 AM
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Samuel fleming
Thanks Alex for your responce ill re run audessey with the mic farther from the back wall today I think that is causing the problems with the sub the reflections are causing it to over correct the frequencies in the sub. Thanks again for the reply Alex.
September 10, 2011 07:55 AM
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Alex0925

You're welcome, Samuel, and one more thing: please, also make sure that there is at least 2 feet distance between your measurement positions, no matter if you take 3 or 6 measurements, otherwise Audyssey will take incorrect space measurements, and also, as already mentioned above, please, make sure that the mic is placed exactly at ear height.

Regards,

Alex

September 10, 2011 08:05 AM
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Samuel fleming
Alex I just finished running the test and the sound is awesome real big improvement, thanks for all the help. One question though do you think it would make more of a difference to bi amp or do front high modes because i have 2 free channels with my rti4 thanks man.
September 10, 2011 10:47 AM
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Alex0925

Samuel,

Yes it's worth trying to bi-amp your fronts because bi-amping gives you 2 advantages: firstly, it provides for separate amplification channels for your bass and treble and therefore reduces amplifier load, secondly, it improves your treble performance by using a separate amp for you bass, which requires more power that otherwise would be taken away from treble. If you do front highs I guess there's no point in bi-amping as it would have the same effect. Frankly, I don't think bi-amping will make a tremendous difference in sound quality, it's more of a power load issue. Actually, my fronts were bi-amped right from the start, so I can't tell the difference in the sound, but you definitely should try.

Regards,

Alex

September 11, 2011 09:18 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

I agree with Alex on the reasons for biamping, but the benefits are minuscule compared to the benefits of expanding the soundstage with Wides and/or Heights.

September 11, 2011 09:33 AM
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GianCarlo Bregaglio

Hello Chris,

I have an Onkyo TX NR809 with MultEQ XT.  My couch is identical to the diagram, but it is up against the wall.  I have a few questions:

1) Can mic position 4-6 be placed at ear height taking into account that listeners are sitting on the floor at those location?  Is that too much of a vertical difference compared to the mic height when taking measurements 1-3?

 

2) Where should I place the mic for position 7 & 8 being that my couch is against the wall?

 

Thank you for your time,

GianCarlo

 

 

September 26, 2011 02:08 PM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi GianCarlo,

We don't recommend taking measurements for people sitting on the floor.  I would keep the mic at the same height as the couch seats.

If your couch is up against the wall then take measurements 7 and 8 about 50 cm forward from where they are shown in the diagram.

September 26, 2011 06:55 PM
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Henrik Lange

Hi Chris.

I just got my hands on a Denon 2807 amp, and I'm going to set it up later today. :)

I have 2 quezstions about the audyssey system though.

First of - I got this unit second hand from a guy who mispaced tho original round, flat measuring mic. I've been able to get my hands on one of the new, more "pyramid" shaped ones - will I get a good enough result using that instead?

Second, I don't have a tripod to place the mic on. I do have a microphone stand though, but I was thinking - would it be a disaster if I where to just lay on the floor or couch or whatever and held the microphone in place with my hand, as long as I stay UNDER the mic- and not anywhere around it?

October 11, 2011 12:58 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Hi Henrik,

1. You MUST use the mic that comes with the unit.  Using the newer Audyssey mic will not give correct results because the calibration curve in the 2807 is expecting the old Denon mic.

2. It's not ideal, but you will get OK results by holding the mic.  You may have high frequency problems because of reflections from your hand or body...

October 12, 2011 03:53 PM
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mecedo

Hi. I have a question about mic. During measuring it is directed to ceil. Isn't better if mic is directed to wall with speakers? Of course then I have to reverse mic in pause when calibration changes from R channel to Surround R. High frequencies like 15kHz are very directional so if mic is directed to ceil then high frequencies after calibration are boosted by a few dB. As a result during listening music sound is hissing. If I use my method then sound is more natural. Am I right with my method?

November 10, 2011 01:08 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

Pointing the microphone to the speakers will give completely wrong results.  The microphone is calibrated for what is called grazing incidence and so it must point to the ceiling.  Microphones designed to point to the speakers are only useful when measuring speaker response in an anechoic test chamber.  In-room measurements require the microphone to point up and so a different calibration is used.

November 10, 2011 06:48 AM
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Andreas Jensen Gjellesvik

Hello. Yet another post about placement... For the record I'm using an Onkyo TX-NR809 (MultiEQ XT) and a KEF 3005SE system, bought just 2 weeks ago.

My couch is placed against the back wall, and before I knew about the 18 inch rule I took a 3 point measurement exactly where my ear was placed in the couch; 5cm above the couch back, 10cm from the wall. I had to remove the pillows to be able to place the microphone as I'm using a tripod. It reported the following crossovers: F 70Hz, C 60Hz, S 90Hz (5.1 system), and I was very happy with the results watching Transformers 3 right after.

After getting into the tech reading I found out that I'd measured wrong. Your recommendation is placing the microphone 45 cm from the wall, and giomania's (AVS forum) recommendation says 30cm minimum. I ended up taking the new measurement 35-40 cm from the wall. This time a 6-point measurement. It reported the following crossovers: F 80Hz, C90Hz, S 80Hz. I couldn't be bothered watching TF3 again, but I've watched different other movies and I have to say I'm not as happy with this result. Whether this is placebo or not I cannot know. I've taken this measurement multiple times and end up with the same configuration result.

My main question: if Audyssey is all about room correction for the listening position, why shouldn't I measure exactly where my ear is? After all; this IS where my ear is, and not 25-30 cm forward of that position. I understand there will be reflections from the back wall, but those reflections will still be there when I sit down to watch a movie. Isn't this what Audyssey is supposed to correct for? Or will there be too many other parameters with values way off if I do this? The way my system is calibrated now, while watching a movie, my head is actually never inside the "cube" where measurements were taken.

Side-note questions: Should I warm up the speakers/AVR before doing measurements (ie play 30 minutes of music)? Should I wait for the speakers to break in properly before I take any further measurements?

December 02, 2011 02:34 AM
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Chris Kyriakakis
Audyssey

The reason not to measure so close to the wall is that the info reaching the mic in these conditions is different from the info reaching your ears.  The crossover differences reported are very small so I don't think it would be an audible change.  

No need to warm up the speakers or wait for break in.  There are no measurable effects that would influence the results.

December 02, 2011 03:55 PM
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Andreas Jensen Gjellesvik

Ah, of course. I don't know why I didn't think about that. After all; the mic isn't shaped like my ear :)

Thanks a lot for clearing that up for me! Regardless; Audyssey is making extreme improvements in my very awkward living room.

December 03, 2011 01:01 AM
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