Microphone placement?

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

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208 Comments

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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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.

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    Bhanu

    Also related to this is whether it is better to have speakers toed-in for measurements...

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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

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    Audyssey Labs

    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...

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    Luke

    Hi Joe,

    We do not have a solution for this, the mic signal will be significantly lower at high frequencies and so the filters will boost more than necessary. So Audyssey will think that your system is seriously lacking in the hi end and boost the Hi end. You will have a very bright sounding system.

    Again, which AVR do you have?

     

    Regards,

    Luke

    Audyssey Laboratories

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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

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    Yes, Audyssey automatically combines the measurements with the appropriate weighting.  That's why the measurement order doesn't matter (after the first one that has to be in the center).  If you want to give more weighting to the center line then you are doing it correctly: take more measurements there.

    Louder levels are fine as long as you are not clipping the mic input.

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    Audyssey Labs

    No, I am referring to the Audyssey Reference curve that Onkyo now calls Movie.  The Audyssey Flat curve is what Onkyo calls Music.

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    Owen Heuston

    That makes sense since the center is the closest speaker in relation to the listeneing position.  Problem is, I feel that I don't like the lower volume of the dialog setting because of the -6 setting.  Should I try playing with the reference level and see if that helps?

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    ajsuperman

    Thanks Chris, finished the full calibration.. is it ok if my speakers were set 40hz? or should i change it to 80hz(THX)?

    also i placed the mic on the 2nd row no more than 3ft but its not where the seating position is, should try placing the 4,5,6 mic on the real seating position even if its more than 3ft away? is it better to turn on dynamic eq or turned off?

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Sonny,
    The exact distance is not critical. Somewhere between 2-3 ft (1 m) is what we recommend.

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    Audyssey Labs

    @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.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Markus,

    Yes, that's the right idea.  If the couch is against the back wall, then you should make sure that none of the mic positions are closer than 50 cm from the wall. 

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    Audyssey Labs

    Yes, we recommend to always take all available measurements

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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

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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?

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    Bhanu

    I don't fully understand the comments.  "Too bright" and "cut off" seem opposite to each other.**

    Sorry for being a bit vague there.  I meant that the voice seems a bit shrieky sometimes and I tried to say that it could be because some of the midrange frequencies that give the voice a "fully body" might be cut off or missing.    At one point in the past I was heavily using bypass L/R a lot as I loved the Dynamic EQ (I usually put just on...not the day/night etc.)....but could not tolerate the voice in regular Audyssey.   With a recent recalibration in a hardwood room, I started listening in Audyssey flat.

    I will recalibrate with speakers toed-in.   I already notice significant imaging improvement with toe-in.   I had in the past avoided toe-in due to the "wife factor" as people sometimes refer to it -:)

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    Argifotini1992

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

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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?

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    Luke

    I was hoping that you have a AVR with Audyssey MultEQ Pro, you could calibrate with the Audyssey Installer kit with those AVRs, the Audyssey Installer kit comes with 75 foot of mini XLR cables that you could calibrate the system to more 100 feet away with no signal degradation. Audyssey Installer Program: http://www.audyssey.com/installers/installer-program

    The calibration is for the whole audio spectrum, but because the mic signal degrades over long runs and the hi frequency is what dimishes, you will have a overly bright calibration.

    We recommend the mono 3.5MM extension cable.

     

    Regards,

    Luke

    Audyssey Laboratories

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    Tomas Korber

    Chris - perfect. Thanks very much for your help with all of this. That's what i call a great customer support!! And congratulations again on a great system.

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    Joel Locsin

    Hi again Chris.  Been listening to calibrated settings for about a month, but I find BD video concerts somewhat bright, even with the Movie mode (w/c I understand already has roll-off at higher frequencies).  

    As a background, I did calibration with the mic on top of a firm pillow (as I don't have a tripod) on the couch, at ear level w/c is around 5" below the height of the backrest.  I reviewed this thread and read that you recommend I should put the mic slightly above the height of the backrest.  Perhaps I should do this, as the reflection from the backrest might be contributing to the brightness of high frequencies, is this correct?  As a consequence, I have to reduce Tone by -2db or -4db when I watch most concerts.  My room has some treatment, including the rear wall.  Should I perhaps remove the rear wall absorber during calibration so audyssey will adjust for lesser brightness caused by reflections from this rear wall?

    Any other tips on how to reduce this brightness?  Thanks.

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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

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    Audyssey Labs

    If you change the level of just the center speaker then you are changing the soundstage balance.  It's OK to do that, but I wanted you to know what it would do.  Remember, the –6 dB setting is just a relative number that is needed to bring this speaker in balance with the others.  The reference level can't be adjusted.  Perhaps you are referring to the Reference Offset Level? That is intended for something else: Dynamic EQ.  It tells it how much compensation to provide if you are listening to content (such as TV or Music) that is not mixed to film standard levels.  More info here: http://ask.audyssey.com/forums/84181/entries/73283.html

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    Audyssey Labs

    The Onkyo 818 has MultEQ XT32 so the resolution of the main channels is very high.  There is no real benefit in moving the crossover higher than the rolloff frequency of 40 Hz that was found.  

    The mic does not need to be in the seating positions.  It needs to sample the central listening area so you have done it right.

    Dynamic EQ should always be on because it adjusts for changes in human perception at listening levels below 0 dB reference.

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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

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    Audyssey Labs

    @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.

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