Room Acoustics

Shhh! Audyssey is Running! How Quiet Do You Have to Be?

Room correction systems can seem like a mysterious thing. They chirp, they thump, and then…voila! Everything is setup! It warns you to be quiet, but how quiet do you need to be when running something like Audyssey? Do you need complete silence? Can you even be in the room? Let’s explore.

What Is Your Room Correction Doing?

When you run your room correction, you’ll hear a lot of different sounds. The speakers will chirp and the sub (or subs) will thump. These sounds are designed to give the program information. It learns a lot including how loud the speakers are, how low (and high) they can play, and how flat the response is from each speaker. It uses the loudness to set the trim levels, how low/high they can play to set the crossovers, and the response to compare to the other speakers and to a target curve.

As you take more measurements at different locations, the program finds similarities and differences in the response. Any similarities can be addressed by the program. Differences cannot. For example, if all of your speakers have a peak (louder than expected volume) at 10kHz, the program can reduce the volume of that frequency.

What About the Silence?

Between the different chirps, there is a moment of silence. During these quiet moments, Audyssey and other room correction programs are measuring the background noise. Is there a ceiling fan or AC blowing? The room correction program will detect it and filter it out. The same is true for other background noises.

Does this mean you need to be absolutely silent during these quiet times? Well, it would be best, but not necessarily. You should try to stay quiet while Audyssey does its thing, but you don’t have to hold your breath or anything. We usually recommend that you download the Audyssey Editor App (LINK). This $20 app gives you more control over how Audyssey adjusts your speakers and allows you to control the setup from another room. You’ll want to check your receiver, however, to make sure it is compatible with the app. Only the most recent offerings are.

Do You Have to Leave the Room While Audyssey is Working?

Technically, no. You can be in the room. Just stand off to the side. You don’t have to be totally quiet as it runs, but you do want to make sure your body is not between the speaker that is playing and the Audyssey microphone. Your body can act as an absorber and attenuate the sound. This will skew that measurement so that your room correction has incorrect data.

Using Your Remote

If you have a hub-style remote (RIP Harmony), you can use that remote to control your system from another room. The remote is usually RF and WiFi-enabled so it can control the hub from anywhere in the house. We use our Harmony Elite remote from another room. We get the room correction ready to start, leave the room, and then start it. That way, we are completely out of the room and have no chance of skewing the results.

But What About if Something Makes a Sound?

We’ve had trucks drive by while we were trying to be quiet when running Audyssey. We’ve continued the measurements and got a result. We’ve then redone the measurements and listened again. In the end, if you aren’t dealing with a lot of sound, you should be fine. If you are worried, run it again. If it will give you peace of mind, it will be worth the extra time.

What about you? What do you do when you run your room correction? Let us know in the comments below!

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