Microphone placement?

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

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208 Comments

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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

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    Jason Johnson

    That's easy enough. Thanks.

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    Pjmurphy2

    Nevermind.

    After rereading, you put the (1m) as a translation for 3ft.  I read it as "...1m is what we suggest." 

    Sorry for wasting your time.

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    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

    Check out our How to MultEQ guide

    Download measurement locations PDF

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    Bobby Lisanti

    Thanks again Chris!

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    Markus

    So just to clarify, when using a boom stand that brings the mic to ear height, a single free-standing couch (not against the back wall)  for 2-3 persons with low back (nothing blocking sound from the back to the ears) and 8 mic points, your recommendation for best results is...

    a) Position 1 = center of head at main listening position

    b) Position 2 & 3 = approximately 2' to the left and the right of position 1

    c) Position 4, 5, 6 = approximately 2' in front of 1, 2 and 3

    d) Position 7, 8 = approximately 1' from each other and in the back of position 1

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Mike, the best place for the mic after calibration is back in its box to protect it from the elements.  The mic is not used while listening to content.  Only during calibration.

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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.

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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.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Yes, Dynamic EQ works with this setup just fine.  The distances should be left as found by Audyssey.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Bill,

    You should take the measurements in the area where most of the listening is done.  So yes, take them around the treadmills.  Stay away from the floor at all costs!  You can get a mic extension cord at Radio Shack or other places.  We recommend no longer than 25' extensions.  It's a simple mono minijack cable (female to male).

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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.

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    Luke

    Hi Joe,

    I would recommend moving the AVR into the room, calibrate and move the AVR back.

     

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    Tomas Korber

    Oh, and one last question while am at it: The manual says to have the test-tones play at your 'normal' average listening level. i find it easier to measure when playing them a bit louder (less problems with background noise... i just make sure to adjust the mic-preamps so that the microphone level is still in the OK area as required by the software). is that OK (playing test-tones at louder volume than usual music litening) or will it affect the measurment-accuracy?

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Tim, all you have to do is keep the mic about 12-18" away from the wall.  The general pattern shown in the diagram can still be followed with a slight shift forward of all the positions.

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    CÜNEYT OCAKLILAR

    Thanks Chris, suggestion accepted. :)

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    Audyssey Labs

    Mic is ACM-1H

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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?
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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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    Markus

    Hi Chris,

    In your "How to MultEQ" guide at http://www.audyssey.com/sites/default/files/attachments/onesheet_howtomulteq.pdf mic position 1 is not where I would expect the listeners head. On a normal couch with no high back the head is probably closer to point 7 and 8. Is there a reason for this?

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    Marc

    The Denon AVR-1713 includes MultEQ XT but only offers a maximum of 6 measurements in its initial setup. After initial setup, one can go back and do 8 measurements.

    Is it worth the effort to go back and do the full 8 measurements in a smaller room?

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    Audyssey Labs

    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.

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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

      

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    John Orlando

    Hi Chris,

    Is it possible to use audyssey with a wireless speaker kit for fronts and center. I have a projector so my denon avr is in the rear of my living room along with all of my equipment. I rad audyssey setup and my fronts and center always measures distance at 27.5 ft when they're really around 7.5 ft from the mic position 1. My surround speakers and sub measures just about right.

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    Audyssey Labs

    Hi Kevin,

    The order of the measurements makes no difference after the first one.  

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