Microphone placement?

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

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208 Comments

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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

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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.

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    Milan Bodlovic

    Thank you for your suggestion.

    Mic was placed at ear level as suggested by measuring instructions, this would put mic above tweeter level by maybe 5 inches, I can try new measurement with mic positioned at tweeter level and see what values EQ system calculates this time.

     

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    Roman Smolkin

    Thanks Chris.  So do you think I should put all 4 of my new Energy Take speakers in the front two as regular left right and two as high/wide left right.  And then put my old Sony satellites in the back for surrounds?  Or would it be better to put two of the Energy's in the back and my old Sony's as front high or wide?  Or would it basically not matter?  Is it a bad idea to even keep two of my old speakers in the mix with better ones?  My couch is right against the wall, so there isn't any room behind it, and my primary spot is not in the center of it but off to the right cause I can stretch out my feet there.  Lastly, how wide would you put the wides?  Should I also put them higher or just wider?

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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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.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Rob,

    I mean the center with respect to the L and R speakers.  In most cases, this is the main listening position.  But, sometimes people use an off center position.  We recommend not using that as the starting point unless there will never be another person listening to the system.  The delays and levels are calculated from the first mic position so if you start off center it will really skew this for all other positions.

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    Andreas

    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?

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    Audyssey Labs

    I recommend a tighter measurement pattern to avoid going to far to the sides as shown in the attachment.

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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? 

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    Alex0925

    Thanx, Chris, that makes sense to me, I just wanted to make sure that small pieces of furniture not obstructing the mic signal line do not cause incorrect measurement and setup of Audyssey EQ, and specifically, do not result in unnecessary bass cut, as was the case with placing the mic within 50cm range from walls.

    Many thanx for your clarification!

    Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year to you!

    Regards,

    Alex

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    The lighter/cheaper the better.  The idea is to not have any large surfaces right next to the mic. The couch is OK, it's not close enough to the mic tip to cause a problem.

    The other thing to make sure is that you are not taking measurements too far off to the sides.  The same thing will happen.  The pattern shown here should be followed.  If the back wall is very close to the back of the couch then measurements 7 and 8 should move forward.

    Lowering the mic typically takes it off the center axis of the speaker and there it will see a high frequency roll off.  That will result in a high frequency boost. 

    Finally, try using the Movie target curve.  We have found that it is the most applicable for most rooms because of the high frequency roll off that better translates the content made in a low reverberation studio.

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    Argifotini1992

    Hi Chris

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

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    Neilson

    I explained the way I ran my calibration which I got from you on facebook.  I honestly looked around to try and explain why to this gentleman why you dont sit in the seats that you are calibrating, but couldnt really find a great answer other than your body,hands,etc.. causing reflections. 

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    Roddis Larsen

    You say that if the sofa is up agains the wall the mic placement should be shifted forward 30-40cm. Should I change the distance setting after calibration then or do I leave it as is?   

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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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.

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    Milan Bodlovic

    Hi Chris,

    I have Marantz receiver NR1402 with Audyssey EQ and KEF Q spakers in 5.1 configuration, room is about 5*6meters , front L/R speakers are floor standing model 2,5 meter apart. Primary seating position on about 2/3 back of room in front of centre speaker (quite normal setup).

    Audyssey setup went well and all parameters measured by system  -  number of speakers, distance and so on looks OK, after calibration speakers are set as small with 80 Hz crossover.

    When I first played some music in this system I was really happy with subwoofer integration and most of things system did. Sound of high frequencies , lets say from 5kHz up, on the other hand was pretty "bright" - "in you face", unusual.

    I checked what system did to speakers and it set left, right and centre level to -7dB and in  MultyEQ it set f50m 60Hz to aprox. 2kHz +/- 0,5dB boost /cut but in range from 5kHz it applied boost from +4dB to +6dB. I repeated measurement several times (slightly different mic placement, turned down plasma screen that make some noise,  removed 2 chairs to see if they make problems for mic...) and it pretty much gives same results.

    Surround speakers are set by system +2dB level and in EQ they receive only modest boost up to 1dB in 16kHz in same range.

    Could such strange boost in high frequencies be because of microphone placement or some other error during measuring. I have read all documents regarding this and applyed all suggestions and rules,.

    I know this is very general question to have definitive answer but still I am puzzled by results. Some people suggest it is because of KEF UniQ mid/hi drivers in strange configuration Audyssey system is not measuring correctly - but it makes no sense to me - driver is a driver...

    I would not object to what system produced as result if treble range did not sounded really unnatural to me and several other people. 

     

    Any suggestion is welcome.

    Best regards,

    Milan

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    Alessandro Gradilone

    Hi Chris,

    I have just one listening position and wonder if I should place the mic in this position only or instead stick to the general rule and place it in 8 different positions. I mean to use 8 measurements anyway, but thought on doing all those 8 measurements with the mic placed in the same (only) real listening position, perhaps moving the mic about 20cm each way just to make sure it reads all acoustic information of that only listening position. Would that optimize the results of audyssey in that only real listening position? Or would you instead recommend I move the mic to 8 different seating locations despite being not real listening positions?

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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.

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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.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Polarity warnings are just warnings.  No need to worry about them if you have checked the wiring. They have no effect on the calculations.  

    Large or Small is not an Audyssey determination.  It comes from NAD.  Audyssey follows their rules.  The roll off is calculated from all measurements combined. So, if you are not placing the mic in the same exact positions every time it is expected to see differences.  In any case, I recommend setting to 70 Hz so that more content is sent to the sub where the Audyssey filters have higher resolution.  The measurements are quite accurate.

    Not sure about Dynamic EQ sounding bass heavy. If the speaker levels are left as calculated it will be calibrated to film levels.

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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.

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    Andreas

    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.

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    Kingyu

    Fully understand! Thank you very much!

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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

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi,

    A blanket has no effect at all on the bass frequencies that build up near the wall.  So, it won't make any difference to the measurement.  I would suggest leaving the system as you have it now: if you have good results why change them? :-)

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    Neilson

    Chris. When you say movie setting, are you referring to the thx movie setting?

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    Audyssey Labs

    You are most welcome Argyri.

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