January 5, 2013

You’re Smarter Than Your Receiver

No matter why type of audio equipment you buy, everything from speakers to microphones to a surround sound setup needs to be calibrated in some way.  Manufacturers bank on the fact that your bedroom, studio, or living room doesn’t look like the guy’s next to you, thus, if you have a home receiver of some sort it usually has options to make up for unusually short or large distances.  Nearfield monitors such as the KRK Rokit series generally do not need to be adjusted for acoustics like other speakers, since they are intended to sit close to the listener.  Any farther away and you lose the perspective and “sweet spot” from the equilateral triangle they form between you.

Once you go with midfield speakers or surround speakers for listening, that’s when attributes like delay need to be tested out.  Some speakers even come with programs to automatically adjust to whatever room you may be listening in.

Microphones are another story altogether.  Many of these mics come with some sort of auto-calibration setting to help you find the sweet spot as well.  However, auto-mic setups are nowhere near as good as a midfield monitor’s calibration software and you’re usually better of trusting your own ears.