Truly, the world of home theater surround sound systems has become incredibly advanced. If you have not been keeping up, then be ready for your mind to be blown.
Technology like room correction will wow you as it sets your home theater room up with the perfect sound calibration.
The best home theater room correction devices are the Audyssey MultEQ XT (8 measuring positions for equalization), MultEQ (6 points), and MultEQ XT32 (allows equalization of 2 subwoofers and other points), Yamaha Parametric Room Optimizer (YPAO) R.S.C., and Dirac Live.
Of course, each of these has its own unique advantages when it comes to creating the best sound setup in your home theater room.
While the work and science of speaker placement and design might never be eliminated, room correction devices can help to transform your home theater in their optimization of the perfect audio experience. Depending on what you are looking for, there are certainly options available. Let’s take a closer look.
What is Room Correction?
Before we begin taking a closer look at the best home theater room correction devices on the market, it is important that you understand what these devices are designed to do in the first place.
After all, it can be hard to select the most optimal device for your particular needs if you are unaware of what the different language and points of interest mean.
Room correction is an advanced technology that uses various measuring points in your room to equalize the sound waves and create an optimal audio experience.
Many room correction devices do this through the placement of a microphone in the room and sending audio signals around the room. Then, equalizing software uses a standard curve to help balance any imperfections.
As each home theater room varies from one room to another in many different ways, room correction devices help to alleviate some of the pain of having to place your speakers as perfectly as you would without the room correction device.
With that said, you will still have to pay attention to the laws of physics behind the scenes that make a sound system what it truly is.
However, with the inclusion of a room correction device, you can allow the automatic correction of various frequencies to adjust more appropriate and refined audio signals.
For example, you can allow the room correction device to modify mid-range and higher frequencies to clarify dialogue or more spiced up music that streams through your sound system.
In some instances, though, it is best to leave these frequencies as-is and focus more on the distorted low-frequencies that could be coming from your woofer or subwoofer.
In this case, you could use a room correction device to take the booming bass from a thud to a precise sound effect that embellishes the entire scene of your movie or audio track that you are streaming.
This can also help with the clarification of dialogue when there are various vocal tones used in the scene you are streaming.
And, considering that not all of us have the exact same inflections in our voices, regional accents, or general sounding voices, you can see how the enhancement (correction) of the various frequency ranges can influence the way your media will be perceived in your home theater room.
Best Home Theater Room Correction Devices
With that said, and a general understanding of how home theater room correction devices work, it is time to take a closer look at a few of the best home theater room correction devices on the market.
Truly, there are some wonderful devices out there. But, consistently, the devices included on this list are highly reviewed by professional and amateur users alike.
Let’s take a closer look at the best home theater room correction devices.
Audyssey MultEQ XT
Audyssey is a well-known name in the audio world, and specifically in the realm of room correction. After all, it was this company that heightened and advanced the technology behind room correction in the first place and brought it to life on various models.
There are three main models of this line of Audyssey’s room correction devices. Particularly, the original device is the Audyssey MultEQ (which will be discussed later down this list).
Then comes the Audyssey MultEQ XT- one of the most consistently reviewed top performers in terms of standard-use home theater room correction.
Next, the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 takes this line to the next level. For now, let’s focus on the Audyssey MultEQ XT.
The Audyssey MultEQ XT has become one of the industry staples when it comes to the best home theater room correction devices for your surround sound system.
This is because of a few different reasons, but one of them being that it is a more advanced version of the original product in this line, but it has more commonly-used features than its slightly more advanced “sibling”.
The Audyssey MultEQ XT is consistently rated high in its ability to equalize various frequency ranges throughout your home theater room.
Using 8 different measuring positions for equalization, this device is able to cast audio signals to a microphone test tone that automatically corrects audio distortion outside of a standard curve.
Many of the top audiophiles have reviewed this product and suggest using it with the Audyssey MultEQ Editor App that allows for manual adjustment to the automatic corrections that the device makes.
This allows the device to work as it should and then allows you to take it one step further and manually correct any adjustments that you are not in accordance with.
The Audyssey MultEQ XT’s predecessor is the original product in this line- the Audyssey MultEQ. While it is not as highly reviewed as the Audyssey MultEQ XT, the Audyssey MultEQ is still one of the best home theater room correction devices on the market.
Specifically, the Audyssey MultEQ uses 6 measuring points for audio equalization rather than the 8 measuring points that are otherwise used.
While this is (obviously) two fewer measuring points than the XT, this device is still able to capture a wide range of optimization points to allow for top-tier room correction.
Additionally, this device can also be used with (and is suggested to be used with) the Audyssey MultEQ Editor App to allow for manual corrections where the automatic room correction might sound great in theory but does not quite sound optimal in real life.
Through the use of this app paired with this room correction device, you can achieve the perfect room correction for your home theater.
Audyssey MultEQ XT32
The third product in this line is the Audyssey MultEQ XT32. Even from the progression of the model labels (names) of these devices, it is easy to tell that the longer these products are on the market, the more the company continues to develop its latest model.
Specifically, with the Audyssey MultEQ XT32, you will find professional-grade room correction that allows you to perfect your audio experience inside your home theater.
Since many audiophiles suggest a more strongly emphasized room correction for a subwoofer and all low-frequency audio signals (compared to higher or mid-range frequencies), this device is chosen for that reason.
The Audyssey MultEQ XT32 not only has a significant number of measuring positions for equalization, but it can also be used with a receiver to allow the equalization of two subwoofers.
Not all room correction devices are going to allow the correction of two subwoofers, so if you are using two subs in your home theater surround sound system, then this is definitely the best option for you.
However, not everyone is using two subwoofers in their watching movies. It’s the “.1” in a 3.1, 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system, so this is the only reason why this model is not ranked higher than its predecessor- the Audyssey MultEQ XT.
But, if you really want to optimize the bass that is carried throughout your home theater, then using this room correction device with your subwoofers is a game-changer.
Finally, just like the other models in this line, the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 can also be used with the Audyssey MultEQ Editor App to allow for manual adjustments to your room correction. The advanced level of room correction that this device can bring will not be hard to hear.
Yamaha Parametric Room Optimizer (YPAO) R.S.C
There are many different models of room correction devices, and the Yamaha line can work directly with any Yamaha receiver.
Specifically, if you are using a Yamaha receiver and looking for multipoint measurements for being able to equalize the sound for more than one seating position, then you are going to want to take a look at the YPAO R.S.C model.
Sure, there are other options available for room correction with Yamaha receivers, but the YPAO R.S.C is consistently rated the best in terms of performance, ability to make manual adjustments in the device’s settings, and the use of impulse response filters in addition to the speaker levels and parametrics.
So, if you are using a Yamaha receiver, you can opt for lower-quality room correction devices, but since this one sits at mid-range in price point but top-tier in terms of quality, the Yamaha Parametric Room Optimizer R.S.C is the way to go.
If you are looking for a more professional-grade room correction device, then you might consider going with the Dirac Live option as it is a top performer, but it is definitely more geared towards professional sound equipment than use in an average home theater.
Specifically, this room correction device requires the use of a Windows or OS X computer to be able to work. You will still be able to use target curves for the automatic adjustments of your audio signals and room correction, but you will be required to manually adjust the input and output with this device.
So, if you know what you are doing and are looking for a professional-grade home theater room correction device, then the Dirac Live is going to be one of your top options available on the market.
But, if you are looking for a more standard device that can be used by the average Joe or Jane, then you might want to consider other options on this list.
Either way, get ready to be knocked off of your feet by how these home theater room correction devices transform your audio experience forever.