Audio Calibration

Anthem Room Correction (ARC) System - Part 1


Conclusions to Part I

Eventually I did enough testing that I concluded that the ARC's red curve (acoustical room response before equalization) measurements were almost as accurate as my acoustic measurement system in producing frequency domain plots within the limitation of the 1/6 order smoothing limits of the Anthem display. One advantage of the system over my tools is that the response characteristics of up to eight speakers can be captured when making one set of measurements. The ARC system automatically moves to apply test tones to each speaker in the room. My room measurement system, which offers many more measurement functions than just the plots above, is about $600. For less than twice the price, Anthem gives you the ability to make accurate frequency response plots, provides the hardware to do the real time room correction, and tosses in a completely functional AVR.

To create an accurate post EQ curve, getting the pre-correction (red curve in the ARC PC plot) to be accurate is only a small part of the process, The algorithms that synthesize DSP filter coefficients are 90% of the engineering. How well these algorithms perform is reflected by the flatness of the independent acoustical measurements post-correction over a large set of speakers and rooms. While I am not showing all of these data, I can confirm the algorithms are robust. Again I note that no electrical room EQ system will produce results like we saw above if problems exist with the speaker's design or the speaker or listening seat is poorly placed.

I also listened to numerous other speakers, full range, and found the result, in single presentation mono (ARC ensures matched levels in and out of the system), and stereo, to be the best I have achieved using an electrical room correction system. Obviously, my subjective observations are somewhat biased by the measured results, and it is those measurements that are, to my knowledge being presented for the first time. I refer you to other reviews on the SECRETS site, of ARC, for other subjective assessments.