How to Calibrate Sony HT ZF9

Morden

Well-known Member
Thought I'd create a post with how to calibrate zf9 effectivly

To do this you will need a soundmeter app on your phone or tablet and a tape measure.

1. Measure distances of soundbar, both rears and sub to where you normally sit when watching your TV.

2. Put bar on with at a volume you would normally listen at when listening to a 4k disk.

3. Whilst sitting where you normally watch TV, on SB using remote go to Home>>Setup>>Advanced Settings>>Speaker Settings>> Manual Speaker settings there 3 settings to change

4. Distance - Under this set distances for all speakers as you measured them. There are distances for front, L rear, R rear and sub in the menu.

5. Test tone - put test tone on then go to Level settings

6. Level highlight front SB and note the db level that the sound meter displays.

7. On the sound bar remote set the seperate volume control for rear and the seperate volume control for the sub to 5 (this gives you headroom to boost or lower from remote to fine tune when watching different sources)

8. Using Level menu on soundbar adjust the levels for both the rear Left speaker and rear Right speaker using the soundmeter to match db level you recorded on the soundmeter for the front speaker.

This should be done whilst the white noise is coming from the appropriate speaker, for which the soundmeter will display the decibel level.
What we are trying to acheive is to have all speakers have the same decibel level on the soundmeter.

9. After the 2 rear speakers have been set correctly, the sub speaker in level menu on soundbar should be adjusted. This can be set to either same db level showing on sound meter or lower.
I find the sub overpowering so I have mines set to -3.5 which in my room was about 15 decibels lower than the other speakers. But it depends if you have neighbours or not and your own preferences for bass.

You will never get true Atmos overhead from a soundbar, but you do get what can be described as a bubble of sound around you when listening to the soundbar when properly setup.

I also find that boosting rears improves atmos bubble effect when watching inputs that are not on a 4k disk or bluray disk. That's why calibrating them at volume of 5 lets you boost when required.

Hope this is of use
 
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chenks

Well-known Member
2. Put bar on with at a volume you would normaly listen at.

isnt this step a little vague? as "normal" volume levels can vary quite a bit depending on what you are watching and from what source.

if i'm watching live TV then the volume can be at one setting for non dd5.1 channel, but different for a dd5.1 channel.

and if watching a movie the volume can be different again, as you would generally have it higher when watching a movie than when watching live TV.
 

Morden

Well-known Member
isnt this step a little vague? as "normal" volume levels can vary quite a bit depending on what you are watching and from what source.

if i'm watching live TV then the volume can be at one setting for non dd5.1 channel, but different for a dd5.1 channel.

and if watching a movie the volume can be different again, as you would generally have it higher when watching a movie than when watching live TV.

Set the level at the loudest of the sources you watch and for a full range sound not stereo, preferably an atmos /dts x source.

I've updated that in the post, thanks.
 
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Palexr

Active Member
Morden said:
Thought I'd create a post with how to calibrate zf9 effectivly.....
Thank you for this, it has certainly helped me get more from the SB and rears. The only bit that confused me was:-

7 Set volume for rear and sub to 5 (this gives you headroom to boost or lower from remote to fine tune when watching different sources)

Wasn't sure how to achieve that? Is that increase the vol via the Subwoofer and Rears volume button on the handset for each of them independently in the settings menu? I guess it does as it seemed to work but just checking?
 
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Morden

Well-known Member
Thank you for this, it has certainly helped me get more from the SB and rears. The only bit that confused me was:-

7 Set volume for rear and sub to 5 (this gives you headroom to boost or lower from remote to fine tune when watching different sources)

Wasn't sure how to achieve that? Is that increase the vol via the Subwoofer and Rears volume button on the handset for each of them independently in the settings menu? I guess it does as it seemed to work but just checking?


Yes set the seperate volume controls for rear at 5 and the seperate volume for sub at 5.

I'll update that point.
 

Ken65X950G

Novice Member
In the past when I turned on my XBR65X950G and Z9F using the TV remote, the picture and the sound came on instantly. However, in the last month or so, it literally takes nearly 30 seconds for sound to come on. Was there a software update recently that changed the power on process? If not, is there something I can do to correct this? Not a huge deal, but annoying nonetheless, especially since it used to be instantaneous like the TV picture.
 

Cupp

Active Member
Hi there,

I have some questions about the calibration.

I have set the distances before I have used the soundbar, rears and subwoofer at 0.0 dB with 16 volume from the soundbar, 8 for the rears and 6 for the subwoofer. I was satisfied with the results, but once I found this thread I went on a quest to calibrate it.

First I used a phone app, however, at my usual volume, I found it extremely unreliable. I bought cheap SPL and once more found the SPL unreliable. I bought better SPL and tried again. The results were better, but still unreliable (volume at 14 with 0.0db, rears at 6 with 2.0db and subwoofer at 6 with -3.0db).

Both SPL and the app fluctuates at my usual volume (around 55db since I live in an apartment). I tried again, but this time I calibrated it to 75db. In this case, neither the soundbar or rears fluctuated (soundbar at 32 volume with 0.0db resulted in 74.5 to 75.1 db, rears at 6 with 2.5db resulted in 74.0db to 75.2db.)

My problem is the subwoofer. It still fluctuates. At volume 6, with -6.0db results in 67.0db to 81.0db. And it sounded too low. I'm not a basshed, but it lacked "punch".

Also the rears seem way too much, even if the result were consistent (it might be a question of habit).

Could someone share some tips?

SPL was set to dbC and slow (500ms).
 
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Morden

Well-known Member
Hi there,

I have some questions about the calibration.

I have set the distances before I have used the soundbar, rears and subwoofer at 0.0 dB with 16 volume from the soundbar, 8 for the rears and 6 for the subwoofer. I was satisfied with the results, but once I found this thread I went on a quest to calibrate it.

First I used a phone app, however, at my usual volume, I found it extremely unreliable. I bought cheap SPL and once more found the SPL unreliable. I bought better SPL and tried again. The results were better, but still unreliable (volume at 14 with 0.0db, rears at 6 with 2.0db and subwoofer at 6 with -3.0db).

Both SPL and the app fluctuates at my usual volume (around 55db since I live in an apartment). I tried again, but this time I calibrated it to 75db. In this case, neither the soundbar or rears fluctuated (soundbar at 32 volume with 0.0db resulted in 74.5 to 75.1 db, rears at 6 with 2.5db resulted in 74.0db to 75.2db.)

My problem is the subwoofer. It still fluctuates. At volume 6, with -6.0db results in 67.0db to 81.0db. And it sounded too low. I'm not a basshed, but it lacked "punch".

Also the rears seem way too much, even if the result were consistent (it might be a question of habit).

Could someone share some tips?

SPL was set to dbC and slow (500ms).


I would calibrate with rear and sub at a lower volume say 5 or 6.
That is a mid point and allows you to boost or lower both if required depending on content.

In what way your phone app unreliable?

I use an android app andfind it works well.
If your using the inbuilt white noise generator, none of the volumes should fluctuate.

-6db is very low unless you have neighbours.

And in menu for sound turn autovolume off.


It might be you have a faulty device if bass never gets loud, you should be able to feel the bass if at a high volume.

What content are you watching?

I watch streaming at around 23 to 25 main volume.
Streaming is generally quiter than a 4k atmos disk, which 'shakes' the house if at that volume, with something like tenet or overlord opening scene, unless I turn bass and main volume down.
 

Cupp

Active Member
I calibrated both rears and the sub at volume 6 and I used it between 14 and 18 main volume.

I did two calibrations, one at 16 main volume and there was some fluctuation. At 16, the soundbar (with dbc and slow) fluctuated between 54 to 57db, it isn't much, but it made it almost impossible to match the rears (which also fluctuated). For example, I can't tell if +1.5 or +2.0 on the rears matches the soundbar.

There was no fluctuation when I calibrated it at for 75db (main volume 32).

The subwoofer continued to fluctuate. Even if I calibrate it at 75db. I can hear the subwoofer, but the SPL fluctuated from 54 to 62db with a main volume of 16, and from 72 to 80db with a main volume 32 (EDIT: this at -6db).

You used C-Weighted in the app?

Like I said, I ain't basshead and can live with it as is, but since I went to the trouble, I would like to set it up properly. I also found several people online with the same problem with subwoofer and SPL meters (the values fluctuate).

And I'm happy with the soundbar. Get more satisfaction out of it then out of my 5.1 system in the living room. Just wanted to set it up properly, since there is no auto calibration on it.

And thanks for the help :)

2nd Edit: Subwoofer under a desk, in a corner.
 
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Morden

Well-known Member
I calibrated both rears and the sub at volume 6 and I used it between 14 and 18 main volume.

I did two calibrations, one at 16 main volume and there was some fluctuation. At 16, the soundbar (with dbc and slow) fluctuated between 54 to 57db, it isn't much, but it made it almost impossible to match the rears (which also fluctuated). For example, I can't tell if +1.5 or +2.0 on the rears matches the soundbar.

There was no fluctuation when I calibrated it at for 75db (main volume 32).

The subwoofer continued to fluctuate. Even if I calibrate it at 75db. I can hear the subwoofer, but the SPL fluctuated from 54 to 62db with a main volume of 16, and from 72 to 80db with a main volume 32 (EDIT: this at -6db).

You used C-Weighted in the app?

Like I said, I ain't basshead and can live with it as is, but since I went to the trouble, I would like to set it up properly. I also found several people online with the same problem with subwoofer and SPL meters (the values fluctuate).

And I'm happy with the soundbar. Get more satisfaction out of it then out of my 5.1 system in the living room. Just wanted to set it up properly, since there is no auto calibration on it.

And thanks for the help :)

2nd Edit: Subwoofer under a desk, in a corner.
No the app i use doesnt have that option, i went for most popular app, but more basic features.
 

chenks

Well-known Member
The one I have installed is called "Sound Meter", not sure which one you use
screenshot_20210305-192548-png.1471182
 

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Cupp

Active Member
I'm far from an expert, but I read we should use C-weighted, especially for subs. Maybe the explains the differences.

Also, most people online calibrate at a fix level (75, 80 or 85). It makes sense, specially since db is a logarithm scale.

Anyway, I order a third SP. I'll report back once I receive it and try to recalibrate.

Thanks for the help
 

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