When investing in home theater equipment, choosing the right sound equipment is imperative to bringing the cinema feel within the confines of your home. Doing this just got easier with Audyssey Dynamic Eq and Dynamic Volume.
Audyssey Dynamic Eq calibrates the room specifications of your home theater to achieve a higher quality sound perceived by the human ear. Dynamic Volume adjusts the loudness of your streaming media to eliminate the shock of a loud sound after a brief hush and the need to manually change the volume.
Of course, both of these enhanced audio features on your home theater equipment will permit for an incredible movie night in your home.
But, before you are able to gain the concept of what is happening (and mess with the settings of your device on the Audyssey app), you might want to take a closer look at what is really going on with the audio in order to gain a more clear picture.
What is Audyssey (for Home Theater)?
When looking for a high-quality home theater audio/video receiver, you will likely find that each brand has its own automatic speaker setup and some type of associated calibration system. Where Yamaha has its own version (YPAO), Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo (popular name brands) use Audyssey.
What is Audyssey for home theater?
Audyssey uses the room acoustics in any space to create a clear delineation in varying frequencies and reverberations (Audyssey Dynamic Eq) and volume level (Dynamic Volume).
This technology “corrects” the room acoustics by increasing and decreasing the bass and other tones to achieve a clearly perceived sound.
Audyssey for home theater takes your movie viewing experience (along with other media streaming) to an entirely new level.
Rather than hearing the flat tones of conversation on the screen (that could potentially be muffled by the live conversation in your room by your guests, Audyssey helps to denoise, dereverberate, and use precise voice recognition to enhance your home theaters quality of sound.
But, there are several different components with Audyssey, and it is important to fully understand what they do so that you can more accurately deviate from the standard settings and use those that work best within your space and within the confines of your media viewing needs.
To make the most use out of these incredible features (although they will naturally enhance the sound quality by their automatic calibration even if you do not change the settings), it is important to know what is going on.
Understanding the techniques is like knowing how to work a DSLR camera on manual compared to using the automatic mode with click and shoot features.
Both would produce a good photo, but adjusting the settings manually will allow you to capture and produce a more refined work of art. The same can be said about knowing how to work Audyssey features.
Using them appropriately, you can use the Audyssey bass extension technology to put your speakers to great use- optimizing the performance of any soundBars and other sound system equipment within your home theater. Let’s take a closer look at Audyssey Dynamic Eq and Dynamic Volume.
What is Audyssey Dynamic Eq?
So you get that Audyssey is a technology that enhances sound. But, in its scope, there are different divisions that are employed on various sound systems.
With Audyssey Dynamic Eq, your room acoustics and human voice perception are taken into account to affect the overall sound quality that is perceived by the human ear.
Here is a set up guide:
Audyssey Dynamic Eq works with the science behind human hearing and the physics that come with audio waves and varying tones, ranges, and frequencies.
Consider that humans do not have linear hearing. This means that when humans are listening to streamed audio at lower volumes, they tend to lose the bass and treble in reference.
How Audyssey Dynamic Eq works against this is that it will automatically shift the sounds (aka it will use the room calibration and reference level to adjust the perceived sound. This allows the human ear to hear tones that it would not otherwise hear in a standard sound production without Dynamic Eq.
Additionally, Dynamic Eq will adjust the audio to the standard film mix level of 0 dB, or it will reference the audio to an offset level including 5 dB (for audio with a wide dynamic range), 10 dB (for a wide dynamic range or for TV shows that are mixed at this level), or 15 dB for compressed dynamic ranges.
When this happens, you will be able to tell the difference in the sound of the audio as it will more closely resemble the audio that you would find in a cinema- the watching movies. It’s the “.1” in a 3.1, 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound that works with your home theater surround sound speaker system with multiple channels.
To be perceived as linear to the human ear, the bass and treble, for example, will be “turned up or down” in essence. This allows for the perceived audio to more fully be captured in your unique space.
Audyssey Dynamic Eq in Home Theaters
In your home theater, this technology is incredibly beneficial. Not only will it work to alleviate white noise and cast out the best performing audio in the market, but it will also work with the specific calibration in your room.
So, let’s say that you have a home theater that has an incredible soundbar is a long thin bar-shaped cabinet that has multiple speakers embedded inside. It works as a surround sound speaker system, carpeted floors, soundproofing wall fixtures, and thick-cushioned furniture. In this space, the audio would work with the sound-absorbing materials and the angles that the audio waves are perturbed.
Oppositely, if your home theater has an advanced surround sound speaker system on top of tile flooring with minimal rugs or carpeting and seems to echo a bit, then the Audyssey Dynamic Eq can work with this range of flowing audio and cast a smaller echo.
Using the calibration settings, this technology works to conform the audio that it is streaming to your space, settings, and specifications
Regardless of the volume (loudness) of the speakers, Audyssey Dynamic Eq is able to create the optimal sound for human consumption.
Audyssey Dynamic Eq takes into account both the room acoustics and human sound perception as the volume is lowered in order to produce the same sound effects for the viewer when the audio is quiet as well as when it is loud.
So, if you are blasting your favorite pump-up song as you prepare for your home workout, or you are enjoying a classical song while relaxing, this technology can help you to enjoy the deep and high tones of the audio at the perfect volume for listening and appreciating it.
What is Audyssey Dynamic Volume?
Audyssey Dynamic Volume, alongside its counterpart Audyssey Dynamic Eq works to produce the optimal sound for the human ear. However, understanding how Dynamic Volume works does not typically take quite as in-depth of an explanation.
This is because most people who own even a standard television understand how the basic principle of volume works: turn up to hear the louder sound, turn down to hear it quieter.
Fortunately, Audyssey Dynamic Volume makes it even simpler to choose the right volume for your movie night in your home theater.
How it works is by automatically adjusting the volume from different sources (music, movies, etc.) to make the output from the speaker system a standard (preset/preferenced) volume for the user.
You can set these presets or preferences to be able to select the volume that you like to hear as a user, and then you will no longer have to ask your family member to turn up the volume again. Who knew that Dynamic Volume would prevent familial disputes, right?
Audyssey Dynamic Volume in Home Theaters
We have all been there when watching certain films or TV shows when the audio from the soft, low conversation between two speakers quickly transitions to a fiery, loud explosion of music or action.
The adjustment can be so daunting in some movies that it becomes a challenge to constantly turn the volume up and down manually. However, in your home theater, Dynamic Volume will work to correct this.
Instead of being suddenly sent into a minor heart attack from the abrupt collision or fireworks in the movie you are watching, Dynamic Volume will automatically work to keep this sound as loud (or soft) as the conversation that was happening between two actors on screen.
You can think of Dynamic Volume as the more gradual climb to softer or louder volume- except you do not have to lift a finger to change the volume. Once you select your settings and preferences, the technology will default to the sound preferences that you have selected.
If you were to tell a person who lived during the time when you used to have to get off of the couch to manually change the volume or channel knob, then this technology would simply seem like a dream come true.
And even if you were not alive or using a television at that time, then you can understand how incredible this feature can be.
Dynamic Volume Levels
One notable concern that has been raised with Dynamic Volume is the muddled tones that it can create between dialogue when there is limited loud action that would otherwise break in.
Fortunately, Dynamic Volume can be set to various levels that allow the audio to be transformed a bit more minimally. This will help to bring out several of the undertones without overcasting the loudness or softness of the dialogue and making it difficult to distinguish between two voices.
If you are having concerns with Dynamic Volume making the dialogue on your shows or movies sound a bit muddled, then consider using Dynamic Volume at a ”Light” level. This will add the effects at a reduced impact, so you still get the benefits of this technology but at a less aggressive pace.
What to Do if your Receiver Does Not Have Dynamic Eq?
While it will likely not have the same effect, you can still achieve a comparable sound production on a few other types of technology incorporation. Particularly, Onkyo has IntelliVolume which essentially calibrates each speaker according to the other speakers in the sound system to produce the same outputs.
Other solutions if your AVR does not have Dynamic Eq include turning down the digital input from the source. You can turn it down to 10 dB and then turn the volume of the sound system up by 10 dB to counterbalance this and achieve the same level of sound.
While this is less compensation than Dynamic Eq is able to achieve, it can be a temporary solution until you are able to invest in a receiver with Audyssey Dynamic Eq.
What are the Optimal Audyssey Settings for Different Types of Audio?
For those who are unfamiliar with Audyssey settings and working with this high tech of a sound producer, it is important to understand a few of the basics. Then, you can use the Audyssey App to more closely refine the audio settings to your personal preference (depending on your home theater’s room specifications).
With that in mind, there are a few standard Audyssey Settings for Offset Levels depending on the type of audio you plan to consume. Using these as a guideline, you can adjust your settings and preferences to achieve the best overall sound quality in your home theater.
- 0 Db. This is the standard film mix level. This default setting is what you should generally use when you are streaming movies in your home theater.
Unless the movie that you are using has peculiar sound or the audio was not well mixed, this setting should function well. You should be able to enjoy the surround sound effects in your home theater through the Dynamic Eq at 0 dB.
- 5 Db. If you are looking to listen to audio that has a wide dynamic range, then you should test out the offset level of 5 dB first. This typically works best for those types of music like classical music that offers lower bass tones from the cello and higher notes from the flute or other orchestral instruments.
- 10 Db. The 10 dB offset level for your Dynamic Eq settings should be used when you are looking to use a wider dynamic range that tends to host a good amount of bass. Consider jazz music in this range- you will want to be able to hear the trumpet at the same pace as the deep bass.
- 15 Db. Using 15 Db as your offset level with your Dynamic Eq settings should be reserved for compositions that are more compressed in their dynamic range. This would include music like rock or pop that seem to be a bit more frenzied yet do not exceed extraordinarily high or low tones.
Of course, you can test these out with the music or movies that you plan on watching and see what works best for you. The beauty of this system is that it was designed to be user-friendly and allow for modifications, but if you do not know what you are doing, then the default settings work pretty well.
When you are using the Audyssey Dynamic Eq for your family movie nights in your home theater, for example, you should not have to worry about using offset levels. Instead, use the standard film mix level of 0 dB that is the standard setting for this technology.
Is Audyssey Worth It?
If you are on a tighter budget, then you might be looking for receivers that offer more simplistic capabilities and can simply do what you ask them to do without the bells and whistles.
Maybe you just want a receiver that will pair well with your surround sound speaker. But, if you are looking to invest in your home theater, then you might be considering going with a receiver that has Audyssey.
Is Audyssey worth it? Although there are a few other room correction options available on the market, Audyssey is the most readily available that offers the top features on the market.
You can choose an alternative like IntelliVolume when you are on a budget, but if you have the financial backing, then Audyssey will take your home theater to the next level.
When choosing the sound equipment for your home theater, you should consider how much of a difference this will make in your overall experience in this space.
While you have worked tirelessly to create a beautiful home theater to invite your family and friends to enjoy, do not skimp out on the sound and visual producing components of the room. These are what will impress or disappoint your guests the most.
With that said, going with a receiver that has Audyssey capabilities is going to be well worth the investment. Some audiophiles prefer more standard receivers, but those who are moving into the next era of audio and technology would not want to miss Audyssey Dynamic Eq and Dynamic Volume capabilities on their audio/video receiver.