Help - making sense of Audyssey Dynamic Eq and Volume

darrenhaken

Active Member
I've recently switched from a Sony STR-DN1080 to a Denon x3700 receiver.

I noticed that the centre channel and bass are much lower than the Sony and when watching a film I have to listen from around -15db to -20db in order to make out the voices (sometimes even higher). At lower volumes, it's very hard to hear the dialogue.

Having researched the problem it appears this is down to the huge dynamic range of movies and you ideally want to listen at reference.
It feels like if I played the movie at reference it would be way too loud - is this normal?

Options I have discovered are:
  1. Raise the levels of the subwoofer and centre speaker
  2. Use Dynamic EQ and/or Dynamic Volume
  3. Use the Dialogue Enhance feature (I haven't found this in the settings yet).

I have been experimenting with Dynamic Volume - Light and it made a huge difference to the dialogue but I am aware this compresses the audio.
I also tried Dynamic EQ and the bass definitely went up a notch but it seemed a bit overdone and the rear speakers seemed too dominant as well.

I'd really like to hear some input from the forum on what's the best approach.
 

shug4476

Active Member
How have you calibrated? Using the Audyssey mic?
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
There are two long threads about dynamic eq and dynamic volume on this forum which should answer your questions.


 

darrenhaken

Active Member
There are two long threads about dynamic eq and dynamic volume on this forum which should answer your questions.


Thanks I will read them.

Is that the route I should be going then to improve the dialogue or would you go the other way with changing the levels?
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
I don't use dynamic eq for the same reasons as you but I do use dynamic volume on "light"
 

shug4476

Active Member
I tried them both and hated them both. Ruined the whole listening experience.

What is the rest of your kit? Are you sure it isn't positioning/quality of the centre speaker?
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
The rest of my kit is Dali Opticon MK2 range of speakers, including the Vokal centre.

If I have the volume close to reference (say -10db) then the dialogue is fine. The trouble is the rest of the mixed track is very loud - sometimes too loud to handle.

If I had it say -25db the dialogue becomes quite low.
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
Got it. Under what conditions do you use it or not? Dynamic volume
I listen to movies, via Netflix and Prime mainly, at low levels (-50db or a little lower) and I find having dynamic volume on light is just enough to keep the dialogue from being drowned out by the rest of the soundtrack.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
I listen to movies, via Netflix and Prime mainly, at low levels (-50db or a little lower) and I find having dynamic volume on light is just enough to keep the dialogue from being drowned out by the rest of the soundtrack.
Thanks, that's helpful
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
It sounds to me that you may prefer it with the reference level offset in the dynamic EQ turned down. Do you have it at 0dB? My wife and I have found that 10dB offset works best for us, for example.
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
It sounds to me that you may prefer it with the reference level offset in the dynamic EQ turned down. Do you have it at 0dB? My wife and I have found that 10dB offset works best for us, for example.
Do you mean enable Dynamic EQ but have an offset of 10db?
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Our happy medium for the "irritating can't hear what people were saying" was dynamic volume off, then we played with the dynamic EQ offset and settled on 10dB.

Experiment though, it's each to his own. This is what we did:

Chose three different sources one TV in PCM, one TV in DD2.0, one film in Atmos.

Turned off dyn eq and dyn volume. Tried all three.

Then, tried all three in each combination of dyn eq and dyn volume.

Both agreed we didn't like dyn volume.

Thought some sources were better offset 5dB and some 15dB, settled on 10dB so that we don't have to mess around with it!
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
Our happy medium for the "irritating can't hear what people were saying" was dynamic volume off, then we played with the dynamic EQ offset and settled on 10dB.

Experiment though, it's each to his own. This is what we did:

Chose three different sources one TV in PCM, one TV in DD2.0, one film in Atmos.

Turned off dyn eq and dyn volume. Tried all three.

Then, tried all three in each combination of dyn eq and dyn volume.

Both agreed we didn't like dyn volume.

Thought some sources were better offset 5dB and some 15dB, settled on 10dB so that we don't have to mess around with it!
What does the offset actually do? The AVR says 10db is for music.

What didn't you like about Dynamic Volume?
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
I hate anything that reduces the dynamic range. Not saying that I wouldn't use it for night viewing if we had sensitive neighbours (for example); I see it as a night viewing mode.

How Dynamic EQ works, why it is there and the ref offset function are described in huge detail elsewhere on AVF. However, from the research I did ages ago, in my opinion the guidance for TV, music etc in the manual I would ignore. I would try each and decide on what you like.

On the Denon AVRs, it switches with each input anyway, so you could have Blurays automatically at 0dB for example and switch to your TV box with a different setting.

Also worth noting you have the xX700 series, where you can set two different presets for amp assign, speakers, Audyssey etc - so you could have different centre channel settings for each.

As an example of this, I have a rubbish centre speaker and find tweaking the curve for it on Audyssey app helped with hearing what people were saying. You could play with that too and you have the opportunity with your x3700 to have a different setup (preset 1 and preset 2) for different sources in the AVR.
 

jpn951

Novice Member
I take advantage of this feature. My room is way too small and reference level is just not feasible for the room my home theater is in.

In a nutshell, this is how I explain this feature:

What dynamic EQ does is enhance the audio in a way where you get the same punch and impact from listening at reference level but at a much lower volume.

When I didn't have dynamic EQ on and since I wasn't listening at reference level, the audio was clear and precise don't get me wrong, but it lacked punch and impact.

At reference level without the dynamic EQ, it came alive! but, if you're not listening at reference level, you're not getting the full impact.

So because my room is small, listening at reference level is extremely loud and very uncomfortable hence why I listen to my movies under reference level. But with this feature on, I get the full punch and impact of my audio but at a lower volume level.


Just my $.02
 

darrenhaken

Active Member
I take advantage of this feature. My room is way too small and reference level is just not feasible for the room my home theater is in.

In a nutshell, this is how I explain this feature:

What dynamic EQ does is enhance the audio in a way where you get the same punch and impact from listening at reference level but at a much lower volume.

When I didn't have dynamic EQ on and since I wasn't listening at reference level, the audio was clear and precise don't get me wrong, but it lacked punch and impact.

At reference level without the dynamic EQ, it came alive! but, if you're not listening at reference level, you're not getting the full impact.

So because my room is small, listening at reference level is extremely loud and very uncomfortable hence why I listen to my movies under reference level. But with this feature on, I get the full punch and impact of my audio but at a lower volume level.


Just my $.02
That's fantastic.

Do you also use Dynamic Volume? I'd love to hear your explanation of that!
 

jpn951

Novice Member
That's fantastic.

Do you also use Dynamic Volume? I'd love to hear your explanation of that!

I do not use Dynamic volume. However, I’ll explain what it does for me in my system:

As I said about Dynamic EQ about impact and punch?
The Dynamic Volume makes the impact and punch more pronounced. You have 3 settings, Light/Medium/Heavy. With each option you select, the more pronounced audio becomes (Dialogue becomes louder, clearer as well as ambience) But remember, I’m listening below reference level. If I wasn’t, this feature would over stimulate the sounds coming from my speakers and would become harsh and overpowering to your ears.
You don’t want that.

Because of my setup in a small room, Dynamic EQ works well for me because of my listening level (Less then reference level) since this option sounded best in my room, I did not feel the need to mess with Dynamic Volume.

If I had my theater in a larger room though, I would not use any of the Dynamic features because I would listen at reference level.

In my opinion, if you are going to be listening at an extremely low level (trying to not disturb others in your house or close to your theater but still wanting to hear dialogue) THEN, Dynamic Volume would be beneficial.

Just my opinion and observation. Take it as you will.
 
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jpn951

Novice Member
I've recently switched from a Sony STR-DN1080 to a Denon x3700 receiver.

I noticed that the centre channel and bass are much lower than the Sony and when watching a film I have to listen from around -15db to -20db in order to make out the voices (sometimes even higher). At lower volumes, it's very hard to hear the dialogue.

Having researched the problem it appears this is down to the huge dynamic range of movies and you ideally want to listen at reference.
It feels like if I played the movie at reference it would be way too loud - is this normal?

Options I have discovered are:
  1. Raise the levels of the subwoofer and centre speaker
  2. Use Dynamic EQ and/or Dynamic Volume
  3. Use the Dialogue Enhance feature (I haven't found this in the settings yet).

I have been experimenting with Dynamic Volume - Light and it made a huge difference to the dialogue but I am aware this compresses the audio.
I also tried Dynamic EQ and the bass definitely went up a notch but it seemed a bit overdone and the rear speakers seemed too dominant as well.

I'd really like to hear some input from the forum on what's the best approach.

To be honest, use any option you feel sounds better, to YOU.
It took me a long while to dial in my theater. It’s all trial and error, worst case scenario, you start from scratch, but that’s a rarity.

And by the way, try not to fixate on the volume compared to your other receiver. All receivers sound differently. Some receivers have more options to tweak to get that perfect sound. You just have to experiment with different features and tailor the sound to what you believe sounds the best to YOU.
 
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jpn951

Novice Member
The rest of my kit is Dali Opticon MK2 range of speakers, including the Vokal centre.

If I have the volume close to reference (say -10db) then the dialogue is fine. The trouble is the rest of the mixed track is very loud - sometimes too loud to handle.

If I had it say -25db the dialogue becomes quite low.

Hm.. sounds like not all your speakers are set to 75db at your listening position at reference level. Have you adjusted your speaker levels from your listening position with a db meter?

Even though I use multiEQ to setup my speakers, I go back and measure the distance of each speaker to my listening position then use a db meter to set all speakers at 75db at listening position at reference level.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Hm.. sounds like not all your speakers are set to 75db at your listening position at reference level. Have you adjusted your speaker levels from your listening position with a db meter?

Even though I use multiEQ to setup my speakers, I go back and measure the distance of each speaker to my listening position then use a db meter to set all speakers at 75db at listening position at reference level.


You shouldn't use physical distance measurements to set the distance settings. Sounds strange, but these settings relate to delay as opposed to distance. The receiver measures how long it takes the test tone to get to the mic in order to then calculate the delay. The signal path can influence this, especially relative to the time it takes the signal to output via devices such as an active sub that incly=ude their own integral signal processing:

Distance​

Seriously, how important can this be? You let auto-calibration take care of this for you, or if you’re feeling particularly hands on, you might whip out the tape measure, right? A word of wisdom: don’t underestimate the power of the distance setting in your A/V receiver. Obviously the primary job of the distance setting is setting a delay relative to your other speakers. Note, the distance reported by your receiver’s auto-calibration will be inclusive of any delay caused by signal processing happening inside the subwoofer (EQ, low pass filtering, etc.), which can add several feet to the distance per your tape measure. Above and beyond this, the distance adjustment functions as a phase control of sorts. Adding or subtracting a couple feet from the distance of your subwoofer is a viable way of getting rid of an ugly peak or dip around the crossover point. Again, to make the most out of this tool, one does need the ability to take measurements. Still, who would have ever thought such an innocuous setting could have that kind of power?



An AV receiver is far more adept at measuring the delay than you are using a tape measure. Tape measures do not measure audio delay.


The DISTANCE reference stems from the days prior to there being automated calibration systems when you had no option other than to measure the distance and then use the speed of sound as a constant to calculate what the theoretical delay should be. This is not as accurate as the modern day AV receivers measuring the actual delay though.
 
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jpn951

Novice Member
You shouldn't use physical distance measurements to set the distance settings. Sounds strange, but these settings relate to delay as opposed to distance. The receiver measures how long it takes the test tone to get to the mic in order to then calculate the delay. The signal path can influence this, especially relative to the time it takes the signal to output via devices such as an active sub that incly=ude their own integral signal processing:





An AV receiver is far more adept at measuring the delay than you are using a tape measure. Tape measures do not measure audio delay.


The DISTANCE reference stems from the days prior to there being automated calibration systems when you had no option other than to measure the distance and then use the speed of sound as a constant to calculate what the theoretical delay should be. This is not as accurate as the modern day AV receivers measuring the actual delay though.

“You shouldn't use physical distance measurements to set the distance settings. Sounds strange, but these settings relate to delay as opposed to distance.”

I understand that.

However the receiver takes these distance measurements and applies the appropriate delays right?

So, since the receiver measures how long it takes the test tone to get to the mic in order to calculate the delay, why would it be a bad thing to get a more accurate measurement from each speaker to your listening position when the receiver calculates the delay from your input of these measurements?

Sorry, that doesn’t make sense to me.

“An AV receiver is far more adept at measuring the delay than you are using a tape measure. Tape measures do not measure audio delay.”

Absolutely, the thing is, by measuring the distance from your speakers to your listening position, your not measuring the delay, the receiver applies the delay from the distance settings. Is that not accurate?

So, if the receiver applies the appropriate delay from the distance settings, then it would be more accurate if you were to physically measure then to have the receiver measure these distances for you.

Myself, I prefer a more accurate measurement.

to each their own.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Your linear measurement of distance is not a measurement of delay. The AV receiver would apply the delay associated with the distance you've entered as opposed to using an actual measu=urement of the delay it had measured. Your tape measure cannot account for any additional circuitry or audio processing that may be effecting the time it takes the audio signal to be output by the speakers.

Yes, the AV receiver will calculate the delayed relative to the distance you've entered using the speeed of sound to arrive at a result, but this doesn't take into account intemediry circuitry and or processing that may be influencing the actual yime that the audio is taking to reach you.

The AV receiver measures the actual delay while you are simply measuring distance and not the time it takes sound to reacj where the mic is.

No, using a tape measure is less accurate. An AV receiver can measurte exactly how long an audio signal took to leave the AV receiver and reach the mic's location. A tape measure cannot do that.

I can guarantee that if you've manually set the sub's distance using the measurements taking with a tape measure then the associated delay will be incorrect. A tape measure cannot account for any additional delay incurred by additional processing of the signal prior to it being output.
 
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jpn951

Novice Member
Your linear measurement of distance is not a measurement of delay. The AV receiver would apply the delay associated with the distance you've entered as opposed to using an actual measu=urement of the delay it had measured. Your tape measure cannot account for any adissional circuitry or audio processing that may be effecting the time it takes the audio signal to be output by the speakers.

Yes, the AV receiver will calculate the delayed relative to the distance you've entered using the speeed of sound to arrive at a result, but this doesn't take into account intemediry circuitry and or processing that may be influencing the actual yime that the audio is taking to reach you.

The AV receiver measures the actual delay while you are simply measuring distance and not the time it takes sound to reacj where the mic is.

No, using a tape measure is less accurate.
Look, I never said my physical measurement of distance was a measurement of delay. Your saying that, repeatedly. The receiver applies the delay from the distance settings as you stated.

By your logic, the receiver takes a more accurate measurement, In my experience, my receiver with MultiEQ did not. Not saying that ALL receivers are like this.

I would trust a physical measurement as opposed to the receiver doing it for me.
I have had my receiver do these measurements (Distances from speakers to listening position) and they were inaccurate. Then, the receiver applies the delay to these inaccurate measurements.

“Your tape measure cannot account for any adissional circuitry or audio processing that may be effecting the time it takes the audio signal to be output by the speakers.”

Correct, that’s what the receiver does.
The physical measurements are to guide the receiver to apply the appropriate delay.

What is an example of additional circuitry and audio processing? Are you talking about Fan noise, Central A/C Sound, other ambient sounds within the room with your speakers?

“ The AV receiver will calculate the delayed relative to the distance you've entered using the speeed of sound to arrive at a result, but this doesn't take into account intemediry circuitry and or processing that may be influencing the actual yime that the audio is taking to reach you.”

Well, as long as your speakers are facing the listening position with no obstructions, I don’t see how a physical measurement is not accurate, especially when my receiver in this case did not measure the speaker distances accurately.

“The AV receiver measures the actual delay while you are simply measuring distance and not the time it takes sound to reacj where the mic is.”

The receiver applies the delay from either physical measurements or using measurements from multiEQ. So, the delay the receiver accounts for IS
the time it takes sound to react to where the mic is or in this case, where the listening position is.

To say that a physical measurement is not accurate is false.

What is a receivers delay?
Isn’t it the measurement of distance and time it takes sound to react where the microphone/listening position is?
 
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