Entertainment Center: Home Theater Audio Calibration

Entertainment Center: Home Theater Audio CalibrationMany of us have always been concerned about video output, wanting it to be as perfect as we can make it. So, while our main concentration has been on what we see, audio basically took a back seat. For those of us who own a home theater system, however, we need to also think about the audio output. This means that, although we do make manual adjustments to our sound system, we also need to take the time to calibrate the sound we hear. By doing this, we will enhance the audio experience and allow it to share in our quest for the best total movie experience.

While this is the goal of the home entertainment system, I must admit that I fall into the category of believing that video is more important than audio. I have a 5.1 home theater system, but never any real motivation to set it up perfectly. As a result, I spent a very small amount of time trying to harness its capabilities for the best audio performance. Unfortunately, I know for a fact that I am not alone here as many of my friends and family are like me and push the audio aspect of the home theater system to the back seat. I can even remember one family member who bought a rather expensive Bose home theater system and was not able to display two of the speakers because his wife felt the speakers were intrusive and took away from the way she had decorated the living room.

For me, this is sometimes a problem since, as I have mentioned numerous times, my son-in-law owns a company in Shreveport, LA, that specializes in the installation of various home theater systems, security cameras, and high-end televisions as well as the installation of satellite TV for one of the major satellite companies. His components consist of very high-end audio receivers as well as high-end ceiling and wall speakers. His installations usually result in only the bass speaker, which sits on the floor, being in view of the people watching the screen. He has repeatedly offered to update my system, but I have been leary to have this done as it is a costly and time-consuming process.

However, I know that when he installs home theater systems for others and the speakers are connected to the receiver, he calibrates the sound. To do this, he places a microphone where the viewers of the home system will be seated, and uses the calibration settings that are built into the receiver. After the calibrations are finished, he can then manually adjust the sound coming from the speakers to fine tune the audio experience.

But for many of us, our inexpensive audio receiver may not have auto-calibration built in. But before you run out and buy expensive calibration meters to set up your home theater audio system, you may wish to consider using calibration applications that you can install on your smartphone. Whether you have an Android smartphone or are using an iOS-powered smartphone, applications are available to help you calibrate and fine-tune your audio output.

I installed the application for my Android-powered Nexus 7 called Sound Meter. This free application measures surrounding decibel levels and I found the application very useful in calibrating my home theater receiver and speaker output. For those who have an iPhone, there is also a free application available called The Real SPL Meter.

No matter how you decide to calibrate it, if you want the best sound from your home theater system, take the time to install a software application that will measure your decibel output and then use it.

Comments welcome.

Source: TECHNEWS Daily

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • Guest

    You know, the sound meter application isn’t accurate until you calibrate it? Oh the irony, if someone attempts to calibrate their home system with a non-calibrated application.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ric.shanahan1 Ric Shanahan

    I used an inexpensive Radio Shack SPL meter and a tripod to calibrate the audio of my HTS years ago. Took about half an hour. Never regretted doing it. Now, as to video calibration…