Professional Audio Calibration

What does a high end audio system sound like? Is the quality of sound dictated by the equipment, the room acoustics or is there more? No one would think of driving their high performance car without having the engine properly tuned and yet many people do not realise that the same requirement exists for their audio systems.

The reason anyone buys a high end audio system is plain enough, we all love music and movies. Unfortunately the truth is that many people are not enjoying their sound systems despite the fact that they use high quality equipment. In fact many high end audio systems do not even sound good and in many cases are actually annoying to listen to.

Audio calibration is not optional; it is an integral part of any system. This is because the room itself is as much a component in an audio system as the amplifier or the speakers. Many rooms are subject to problems especially at low frequencies where standing waves within the room can impact on the smooth frequency response of audio equipment.

It is important for every high end audio system owner to be aware that proper set-up and calibration of audio equipment is essential for good results.

A full audio calibration involves two stages:

1. Acoustic Design Review

The Acoustic Design Review is a qualitative measure of the system and begins with a survey of the home theatre in person. The ADR reviews every relevant element of the system in the context of the desired acoustical goals. Storm Front will listen to and analyze the systemís response in the room and then we will perform a basic calibration in the process. Finally Storm Front will produce a report containing a concise list of recommendations.

Click here to see an example of an ADR

2. Acoustic Calibration Review

The Acoustic Calibration Review is a quantitative measurement of the performance of the system. Storm Front conducts the ACR using a real time analyzer (RTA) and an energy time analyzer (ETA). The basic data provided by the ACR includes:

  • Evaluation of equipment hookup, layout and functionality
  • Measurement of individual speaker response in near field
  • Measurement of system response at listening positions
  • Plot of reverberation in the room (Energy Time Graph)
  • Measurement of Ambient Noise
  • Low frequency analysis including dimensional analysis
  • Qualitative listening and pre-calibration adjustment
  • Basic calibration

The ACR also involves critical listening to judge performance and this combined with the analysis is used to create an objective review of the actual performance of the system and the room itself.

The ACR process is required to properly calibrate a system, providing an objective profile of that system before and after calibration. Depending on the ACR findings, a basic calibration may not be enough if room or equipment problems are significant. Click here to see an example of an ACR

Contact Us

Stephen Withers
Managing Director

01225 811739



Storm Front
Manor Farm Cottage
Wadswick Lane
SN13 8JB