Audio Accessories Misc
- Written by Tyler Stripko & Mark Vignola
- Published on 04 March 2013
Design of the XTZ Room Analyzer II Pro
XTZ was kind enough to send both Tyler and I XTZ Room Analyzer II Pro kits. What's inside the box is actually nothing ground breaking: DIY folks out there with an interest in room acoustics have been cobbling together set-ups similar to this for some time making use of free software like Room EQ Wizard (http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/). In the Room Analyzer Kit, XTZ has simply done the work for you, providing all of the hardware you need to get started, paired with a slick and highly capable software package.
The XTZ Room Analyzer comes in two flavors: a basic and a pro kit. Tyler and I were sent the Pro kit, which has a higher quality pre-amp and microphone, as well as a somewhat more extensive software package. More details on differences between the two can be found on the XTZ website.
Upon unpacking the box I was greeted with a sleek silver carrying embossed with a small XTZ logo that houses all of the components.
Inside this case you'll find a microphone, a USB pre-amp, a small microphone stand and all of the required cabling including several balanced audio cables and a Y-splitter allowing you to input a stereo signal into your system. The microphone that is included is not calibrated. XTZ informs us that the included microphone is accurate to +/1 1dB across the entire frequency band with a generic calibration file. While this is fairly accurate, we both feel that for the price, XTZ should include a calibrated mic.
There is no software included, only a manual on a USB thumb drive; the most recent version of the software is downloadable at the XTZ website. Unfortunately a serial number is required for download. This means that you can't experiment with the software unless you actually buy the kit. Other home theater calibration software, such as CalMan from Spectracal for video calibrations, allows users to download their software to play with, instead requiring a license activation to allow the software to interact with equipment; this would be a nice feature for XTZ to consider in the future.
Getting up and running with the RA is fairly straight forward. Everything is labeled and the nature of balanced audio cables means you can't really plug something in where it doesn't belong. Still I found it helpful to load up the PDF of the manual to make sure everything was in the right place.
I attached the RCA splitter to the input on the front of my Integra 80.2 Processor, attached everything to the pre-amp, then connected the pre-amp to the USB input of my computer.
While the connection is made to your stereo input, the test tones played for the L/R channels are identical. Tyler's setup was nearly identical to mine, connecting the RCA splitter to either the front panel stereo input of his Integra DHC-9.9 Processor or to the multi-channel analog input on the back panel to gather measurements for his surround channels.
From there it was time to fire up the software and roll up the sleeves.