It used to be that the idea of calibrating a sound system was a mystical science that few attempted beyond flipping between preset modes on a stereo or surround sound receiver. These days, the process is a little better understood. All home theater receivers feature built-in calibration test tones, and many today offer auto room calibration programs such as Audyssey MultEQ or its competitors. Have you used these features to calibrate your home theater audio? If so, what results have you gotten?
Getting good audio in your 5.1 or 7.1 (or greater) home theater is a lot more complicated than just cranking up the volume. At a minimum, you need to make sure that all of your speaker channels are matched to the same volume level, which means using a sound level meter or an automated calibration program. The layout and nature of your room may also play a big role in creating sound reflections that will muddy your audio.
Auto room calibration programs such as Audyssey MultEQ will not only set the volume for each of your speakers, but will apply equalization to the signal that attempts to “correct” for deficiencies in your room. How well this works is a topic of some controversy in audio circles. Some users swear by it, while others believe that it does more harm than good.
I’ve attempted to use Audyssey MultEQ in my Denon receiver a few times, but I’ve never been satisfied with the results. The audio sounds too tweaked and flat to me. I prefer to calibrate manually using a sound level meter without any EQ. To be fair, however, my receiver is a few years old, and I believe that Audyssey has made improvements to its more recent chipsets.
How do you calibrate your audio? Or do you at all? Are you satisfied with the sound in your home heater?