Should I Upgrade My AV Receiver for Better Room Correction
You’re getting pretty serious about your home theater. You’ve gone from big TV to soundbar to full surround sound speaker system. You’re pretty happy with your system overall but you love the feeling of upgrading. That endorphin hit when you buy something new, hook it up, and experience the difference is pretty intoxicating. Now you are looking around your room and wondering what you can upgrade next. This leads you to your AV receiver. You bought this unit pretty early and it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. What about that? Can you upgrade your AV receiver for the better room correction and hear a difference? Let’s discuss!
Before we begin, let’s talk about room correction in general. Room correction is an excellent tool for users. It basically does two things – speaker setup and EQ. As we’ve discussed, your correction program doesn’t control the speaker setup portion. The EQ side of the process is what is so important about room correction. What it does is measure what is coming out of your speakers and compare it to what it knows SHOULD be coming out of your speakers. It then applies as much EQ as it can to make those two things match. How much EQ it can apply is highly dependent on your room and how you have your system set up. This means that upgrading your AV receiver for better room correction will only make sense if you can actually HEAR the upgrade. What will affect whether or not you can hear the difference? Well…
In A Room With Acoustic Treatments
If you really want to hear the increased power of better room correction in an AV receiver upgrade, you’ll have to add room treatments to your space. Provided you’ve already added acoustic panels to your room, you will probably be able to hear the difference in a better or more powerful room correction program. If you have a treated room, then upgrading your room correction program with a new AV receiver will likely be audible.
In An Untreated Room
If you haven’t treated your room, you are much less likely to be able to experience any difference. This is because your room acoustics are playing so much havoc with your sound that your room correction can’t apply very much if any EQ. If you upgrade your AV receiver, the better room correction will sound the same simply because it can’t apply any more EQ to your speakers.
Going From Nothing to Something
If your old AV receiver had NO room correction at all, then upgrading your receiver will likely result in an audible improvement. Even in an untreated room, you should hear a difference. Will this be because your receiver properly set your distance and trim levels or will it be because of the room correction EQ? We can’t say. But going from no room correction to some room correction will likely result in an audible improvement.
Upgrading From Bad to Great Room Correction
Regardless of your room (treated or untreated), if you are upgrading from bad room correction to good (or great) room correction, you should hear an improvement. Again, we can’t say if this will be because of properly setting up your speakers or because of the EQ. There have been some pretty poor room correction solutions out there (AccuEQ, Audyssey 2EQ, etc.) that have done little to your actual sound. They could usually set up your speakers properly but do little else that was positive. If you upgrade to something much better, you are likely to hear an improvement. How much will depend on your room’s acoustics.
The effectiveness of the room correction provided by your AV receiver will be highly dependent on the acoustics of your room. The better your room acoustics, the more effective your room correction can be. You can improve your room by adding acoustic panels. If you’ve already done this, then upgrading your room correction with a new AV receiver will likely make an audible difference. If your room acoustics aren’t very good, then even the most powerful (and expensive) room correction isn’t likely to make much of a difference. Sure, something is better than nothing (or poor room correction). But upgrading from decent room correction to the current state-of-the-art room correction isn’t likely to be audible.