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miniDSP 2.1 solution finder

dom_st

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Hello community,


i must admit i am kind of lost in the sea of dacs, streamers, interfaces, cables and connectors and hope you guys could help me with the correct selection of equipment.

I thought i have a pretty common requirement as in my ideal world, i would want to stream / cast natively from spotify and tidal to a pre-amp, without the requirement to install or pay for additional 3rd party apps such as Volumio (Pro), Roon etc. Ideally that device would have an additional HDMI ARC interface, so that i have the option to connect and control my TV volume.
I would also like the idea to have the option for a room correction through dirac or REW (sounds like a fun task to do) looking forward to Amirs next chapters on the "room accousitics for dummies" tutorial.
And of course I also need a Subwoofer out! :)

Currently I am using a 2.1 system connected to a Yamaha RX-V3800.

Below are the technical details of the meanwhile obsolete speakers i use.

2 x floorstanding passive loudspeaker (4 Ohm)
Rated power 380 Watt / dynamic 550 watts
Frequency response 37 - 24000 Hz ±3 dB
Efficiency 86.5 dB (1 Watt / 1m)
Overall dimensions 125 x 24.5 x 39/41 cm

1 x active subwoofer (with a line in option, don´t want to use the High Level Inputs.)
Frequency response 18 (?) - 125 Hz at -6 dB
with adjustable upper cut-off frequency 50 - 125 Hz

1704586262083.png




I tought it´s a easy task, just go to the miniDSP page, select one of their cool devices, order it together with one of the powerful and highly praised hypex amps, connect them through RCA or XLR and get lucky for the next 10 years!
But there are so many options and none seems to fulfill all of my requirements and it seems i would still need a third device and potentially another app in my chain, something like a WiiM ... or am i overlooking something?!

The miniSHDs come either with LAN or bluetooth (which i don´t want) or hdmi or a eight channel solution that i don´t really need with my 2.1 system.
And with the miniSHD flex comes a optional 2ch dirac license, is that sutiable for a 2.1 system or do i need to order a multichannel dirac license?

Is there a suitable USB to WLAN adaptor availbe for the Flex as there is with the minidsp shd? I assume that wouldn´t work as the USB input is only for audio purposes.
1704587558644.png


Wish they had a sort of wizzard on their homepage to guide me to the right product.

Or is there another option, ideally not priced over the miniDSP solutions, that i should check out?

Thanks in advance!

Cheers
Dom
 

D!sco

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Get a 2x4HD.
Hook your source to the DSP, the DSP to a stereo amp, and a third DSP channel directly to the amp.
Turn all settings on the sub as high as they’ll go or OFF. Let the DSP handle it.
Use REW to measure each speaker and sub individually with the microphone you should have or must buy.
Fuss with their location until they need the least correction.
Find where in the 40-100hz region they have decent overlap.
Set the crossover to LR2 or a higher order at that frequency for each driver.
Re-measure, check and correct phase in crossover; adjust crossover point and level match.
Correct FR and phase using REW and it’s AutoEQ, put results into miniDSP. (This can be automated)
Adjust AutoEQ preferences to taste.
Repeat REW and EQ adjustments until it sounds perfect.

Or you can buy DIRAC and it’ll do everything but plug in your devices and set up the mic.
REW luckily has some of the most comprehensive documentation I’ve ever seen, but it is by no means the turnkey solution DIRAC is.


EDIT: Totally missed that you want native streaming. The other streaming capable devices should follow similar steps. The 2x4HD is the least integrated besides the digi, which still needs a DAC.
 

Flexecutioner

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Not sure what's wrong with using Volumio for tidal connect if you want a built in streaming option. Even Kef's wireless all-in-one solutions use their own Kef Connect app.

A 2-channel Dirac license is fine for a 2.1 or 2.2 setup as long as you're willing to do the subwoofer integration yourself. You'll still get full range correction (or whatever window you want). You just won't get separate Dirac calibrations/crossovers for each of your subs & mains.

AFAIK, the flex HT line can't do Dolby decoding, so even their hdmi arc products can be limiting if that's one of your requirements.
 
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dom_st

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EDIT: Totally missed that you want native streaming. The other streaming capable devices should follow similar steps. The 2x4HD is the least integrated besides the digi, which still needs a DAC.
Thank you guys for your response and instructions.
I might also cross the HDMI requirement and use optical out of the TV instead.

Not sure what's wrong with using Volumio for tidal connect if you want a built in streaming option. E

Honestly, I just haven´t used it yet and generally i am not a huge fan of having additional apps that might be just an further root cause for a theoretical problem, when i already have the tidal and spotify app running on my smartphone.

I guess having three devices is almost inevitable.
Right now i am considering following options.

miniDSP SHD --> into sub and mains amp (nice but not perfect two device streaming solution)
Wiim Pro Plus coax out --> 2x4HD --> sub and mains amp (cheapest solution)
bluesound node coax out --> 2x4HD --> sub and mains amp (node being probably the worst quality streamer?)
Eversolo DMP-A6 coax out --> 2x4HD --> sub and mains amp (would be preferred if it had the HDMI interface, but i am not going to pay additonal 1k for the A8 just cause of the HDMI) :-D

I assume there is no difference, in terms of quality between using a 2x4HD or a miniDSP SHD for bass management?

Edit: OK so probably it´s better to replace the 2x4HD with a DDRC-24 as it seems to be the identical device but comes with a umik and dirac license.
 
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JustJones

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Wiim Pro Plus coax out --> 2x4HD --> sub and mains amp (cheapest solution)
The reason for the Pro Plus is a remote? The 2x4hd has a remote so you could get the WiiM Pro . 2x4hd has toslink or usb in not coax. The minidsp Flex HT has arc/earc but it doesn't do dolby and is about $300 more.
Honestly, I just haven´t used it yet and generally i am not a huge fan of having additional apps that might be just an further root cause for a theoretical problem, when i already have the tidal and spotify app running on my smartphone.
You can still use your phone. Volumio is the UI used on the SHD. You only need to activate Spotify and Tidal connect on the SHD you still use your phone.
You do not need to log into TIDAL directly from the SHD to use TIDAL Connect. You will instead log in from your computer of mobile device running the TIDAL app.
Spotify you install a plug in and it works basically the same as Tidal. Once you download and install and activate the plug in.
You do not need to log into Spotify directly from the SHD to use Spotify Connect. You will instead log in from your computer or mobile device running the Spotify app.

You can use the Volumio interface to use TIDAL or Spotify if you want.

That's basically how most devices like this do it though the Connect part might not need to be specifically activated.
 

D!sco

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might also cross the HDMI requirement and use optical out of the TV instead
Having only one remote is a big deal. Not everyone can tolerate all of the cheap audiophile remotes.
My buddy bought a bluesound powernode for that exact reason. It has a sub LR2 crossover that can work as high as 250hz. I wonder how much it would cost to have a PEQ chip installed... Instead he keeps upgrading his mains and uses the SVS app to manage the sub EQ. Now he's on some KEF LS50 Meta's, so no correction required. This guy, with extremely similar goals as yours, plans to get the miniDSP SHD and some over the top, showy amp someday.

but it doesn't do dolby
IIRC, the number one problem with using a miniDSP for your HT is that there's no surround decoder onboard any of those devices. It still requires an AV processor to output the correct signals. The chip is likewise proprietary, and often is made cheaply, against typical "ASR values" in SINAD and linearity. Otherwise you're stuck with what is essentially simple formuals like (L+R)/2=C for your center. So you end up with triple the boxes, since you have to add amplifiers after your huge and mandatory Marantz box or whatever brand claims $1000.

A lot has changed recently that I haven't 100% kept up on. Do let me know if I'm wrong about any of this.
 
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dom_st

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The reason for the Pro Plus is a remote? The 2x4hd has a remote so you could get the WiiM Pro . 2x4hd has toslink or usb in not coax. The minidsp Flex HT has arc/earc but it doesn't do dolby and is about $300 more.

You can still use your phone. Volumio is the UI used on the SHD. You only need to activate Spotify and Tidal connect on the SHD you still use your phone.

Ok this is again helpful, thanks! The mist clears slowly. :)

Mostly, I thought i´d go for the "pro plus" as it seems to have the slightly better technical specs over the "pro" and the price difference is not that much.

And regarding the miniDSP 2x4 or ddrc-24 i thought i could use it´s inputs, to connect TV and the Wiim to it?

1704649528023.png



I also assume it would be most reasonable to connect the Wiim through the toslink optical input of the DSP, but then i am back on how to connect my TV. :)
As my LG TV provides only a SPDIF/Toslink output (already occupied by Wiim on the DSP), a HDMI output (not available) and a 3.5mm jack plug, which i could connect to the analog inputs of the DDRC-24.

I think i got this now.

So after rethinking the options all i would need is a miniDSP flex HT, with a LAN interface instead of the provided Bluetooth option.
Any insiders here, knowing if something like that is planned for the near future? :cool:

Having only one remote is a big deal. Not everyone can tolerate all of the cheap audiophile remotes.
exactly.
So you end up with triple the boxes, since you have to add amplifiers after your huge and mandatory Marantz box or whatever brand claims $1000.
This is what i wanted to prevent, also from an esthetic perspective, i would end up with unmatching boxes in different sizes. I mean it´s sound over esthetics but, yeah.
 

JustJones

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Otherwise you're stuck with what is essentially simple formuals like (L+R)/2=C for your center
Depends on your TV and source.
The HDMI port on the Flex HT is an output. It must be connected to the eARC-compatible HDMI input port of a modern TV or similar device. The audio goes in the return direction (hence the name). You can not connect an HDMI output from (for example) a computer or blu-ray player to the HDMI port of the Flex HT.

For multichannel audio, the connected TV must support eARC and not just ARC. In addition, the source device connected to the TV must be able to output audio as multichannel linear PCM, as the Flex HT can not decode bitstream audio (e.g. Dolby/DTS). Finally, the connected TV must support pass-through of audio from connected source devices to its eARC port.

To me it makes more sense to use an AVR that has an EQ option for multi channel.


after rethinking the options all i would need is a miniDSP flex HT, with a LAN interface instead of the provided Bluetooth option

You could connect the TV through arc/earc and WiiM through coax . Have no idea about future plans. Their SHD products seem to be the streaming options.
 

jaakkopetteri

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It still requires an AV processor to output the correct signals.
Apple TV outputs multichannel LPCM, no chunky AVPs required
The chip is likewise proprietary, and often is made cheaply, against typical "ASR values" in SINAD and linearity.
Where'd you get this idea from? The DAC chips are not proprietary and MiniDSP doesn't make anything cheaply, except maybe the barebones 2x4.
Otherwise you're stuck with what is essentially simple formuals like (L+R)/2=C for your center. So you end up with triple the boxes, since you have to add amplifiers
The formulas aren't such a big deal especially considering OP's wishes (IMO) and even after adding amps it's still a way more compact solution than anything else
 
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dom_st

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The HDMI port on the Flex HT is an output. It must be connected to the eARC-compatible HDMI input port of a modern TV or similar device. The audio goes in the return direction (hence the name). You can not connect an HDMI output from (for example) a computer or blu-ray player to the HDMI port of the Flex HT.
If this is the case, then someone needs to fix the already confusing miniDSP page, hehe.
I mean eARC is a kind of bidirectional communication but.... why would i output my pcm through HDMI back to the TV?

1704652145990.png
 

jaakkopetteri

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If this is the case, then someone needs to fix the already confusing miniDSP page, hehe.
I mean eARC is a kind of bidirectional communication but.... why would i output my pcm through HDMI back to the TV?
It's not back to the TV, but from the TV to the Flex HT because the audio goes through a "return channel". Semantics :)
 

JustJones

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If this is the case, then someone needs to fix the already confusing miniDSP page, hehe.
I mean eARC is a kind of bidirectional communication but.... why would i output my pcm through HDMI back to the TV?

View attachment 340350
It's the same with sound bars or anything with arc/earc. The TV is the input the sound bar the output but the signal is bidirectional which is why the TV remote can control the volume on the sound bar but the sound goes from TV to sound bar. Input and output are the labels on the devices.
 

D!sco

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The DAC chips are not proprietary and MiniDSP doesn't make anything cheaply
A misunderstanding. I was referring to the decoders and their licensing. Atmos sells decoder licensing now, as of 2022. Having all the licensing was always part of the AVR package. It’s cool that it’s decentralizing! Relying on AVR manufacturers to do good work at a decent price was tedious at best. Cutting DAC costs or feature quality to pay for decoding licensing is a classic move to keep up margins on those old behemoths.
Apple TV outputs multichannel LPCM
That’s cool!
 

JustJones

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super confusing, but ok, when you know it you know it :)
It's a little less confusing on the AVR. You can connect a blu-ray to an input on the Denon and it will send the Video through the output of the Denon eARC to the input of the TV. I guess eARC is really input/output being bidirectional. I don't know if labeling these connections that way would be more or less confusing
 
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dom_st

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Eureka, i found it!!!

I feel like i solved the puzzle y`all can call me ph.d. master of cheap but fine solutions.

1704658815101.png
 
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dom_st

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Just ordered the Wiim, and now as i seem to have a Wiim the facts have changed!
I don´t need a streamer within the miniDSP range any longer.
So the flex HT that was already out, has gotten a second chance.
The miniDSP HT is really expensive in Europe 899€ vs. 599$ on the miniDSP homepage.
Add a mic and a dirac license and you are at the miniDSP SHD level.

1704665987728.png
 

jaakkopetteri

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The miniDSP HT is really expensive in Europe 899€ vs. 599$ on the miniDSP homepage.
800€ on SoundImports, but I would recommend just ordering from MiniDSP. Arrived in 4 days and cost 740€ with import fees
 

D!sco

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Be sure to follow up when you've got the kit!
 
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