Is your sound system sounding its best?

Getting your home theater system to sound its best is extraordinarily complex. Most people are unaware of how much the room itself affects the sound of a system, but it can make the biggest difference. Audio calibration takes everything into account to ensure the best sounding system possible within your budget.

Beyond basic setup, we have two calibration packages you can have us perform on your system: a Basic Acoustic Calibration and a Complete Acoustic Calibration. See the bottom of the page for details on the differences.

We will never recommend changes or improvements to your system that won’t make a noticeable improvement in how it sounds. Our goal is to make the system you can afford sound its absolute best.

There are three elements to our Acoustic Calibration packages:

1) Acoustic Design Review (ADR)

We use a detailed 44-item checklist to inspect the different elements of your system, including speaker placement, seating location, room acoustics, and other elements. After the ADR is complete, we create recommendations (in the form of an ACP – see below) for things you can do either to your room or to your system to make it sound better.

The ADR includes a listening test to see how your system is performing prior to any calibration.

2) Advanced Calibration Plan (ACP)

This is a document that outlines the recommendations we are making for your system, and a plan for how to modify the system or the room so that the calibration can be completed.

The term “Advanced Calibration Plan” sounds very formal, but you can simply think of it as a list of recommendations we make for ways to improve the audio experience in your home theater.

Some of the recommendations will need to be completed by you before we can continue with the calibration. For example, the ADR may reveal that one of your speakers is damaged. These items will need to be corrected. Other items are optional, but if you decide to proceed with the recommendation it will need to be finished before the calibration continues. For example, a common recommendation in rooms with hardwood floors is to put an area rug between the front speakers and the listener.

3) Acoustic Calibration Review (ACR)

During the ACR we set up our sound analyzing equipment and tune your system. There are numerous steps to this process and it can take several hours. Depending on which calibration package you choose, we will perform different types of tests on your system.

In many cases, the ACR will take place in a separate appointment from the ADR. This will be especially true when there are items found in the ADR that need to be addressed, or that you choose to address.

Calibration Packages

Basic Acoustic Calibration

In this package, we will perform an informal ADR by looking for common design, placement, and equipment problems, and make recommendations for improvements if needed. We will then perform a basic ACR that will take 1-2 hours. 

The ACR will include:

  • Verification that all equipment (receiver, speakers, and amplifiers if appropriate) is functioning properly
  • Reference volume level calibration (that is, determining the receiver’s volume level setting for the industry standard “reference level”)
  • Speaker phase analysis and correction
  • Speaker delay timing adjustment
  • Relative speaker volume adjustment
  • Subwoofer level adjustment using an FFT frequency analyzer
  • Pre- and Post- calibration listening tests and demonstrations
  • A letter (sent to you within a few days of the calibration appointment) containing:
    • Informal ADR comments and recommendations
    • Receiver settings after calibration
    • Reference volume level setting
    • Frequency response plot of the system before and after calibration (taken from the primary listening position)

The basic calibration package deals only with a single listening position. Since the basic calibration package does not include equalization, dealing with multiple listening positions is not meaningful for anything other than speaker placement.

NOTE: If your receiver has an automatic calibration feature, such as Audyssey, we will use this automatic calibration and verify its configuration for a reduced fee.

Complete Acoustic Calibration

This calibration package adds three elements over a basic calibration: a formal and thorough analysis and report, equalization, and acoustic treatment analysis. These three items add significant complexity to the calibration. In addition to what’s listed above in the basic package, the ADR adds:

  • Extensive critical listening analysis
  • Room mode analysis
  • Optimal subwoofer placement analysis
  • Optimal listening position analysis
  • A formal 44-item checklist analyzing the design of the system

The ACR then adds:

  • Optimal speaker placement analysis
  • Room reverb and acoustic reflection analysis
  • Acoustic treatment analysis and recommendations
  • Near field frequency response analysis for each speaker
  • Off-axis frequency response analysis for main left & right speakers
  • System FFT analysis for system EQ response
  • Speaker placement fine-tuning, including subwoofer
  • EQ tuning to optimize system response (if available on the receiver). We will tune to your preferences if you know what you want.
  • A calibration report with all of the above information

We are an Audyssey Pro installer! If you have a receiver with Audyssey Pro or another Audyssey Pro device, we can calibrate it for you.

To learn more about the benefits of calibration, please see our Why Calibrate? page