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Onkyo AccuEQ Room EQ Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Onkyo AccuEQ room/speaker equalization. I tested it as part of the Onkyo PR-RZ5100 AV Processor which I recently reviewed. The capability may be different in different models.

The setup is too messy to show the picture of it. Indeed my listening room looks like a disaster area after I setup an entire new system to test this processor. So once again I am going to show you a picture of the room before this nastiness happened:



While the system calibrated both systems, for my evaluation of its accuracy, I focused on the Revel Salon 2 speaker to the left. The subwoofer is no longer there and was not used.

I sat through the calibration sounds and I must say, this thing plays more different types of sweeps/noise/ticks than all the systems I have tested combined! Seems like a hodgepodge of different schemes with their own excitation signals.

The mic is the dirt cheap puck that comes with the lowest of low end mass market AVRs.

I was surprised that the calibration was for one seat only! This is a home theater processor. That is rarely a singular activity. And it is not rocket science to measure multiple points and spatially average them. Maybe they are worried about patents or something. Such calibration is fine for single person listening to music or something but may make bass response much worse for other seats in the room. Fortunately there is some indirect mitigation as you see later.

There seems to be two subsystems here: an EQ and a room mode (called standing wave) filter. You can selectively turn each on.

All in all, the process worked smoothly and the AVP detected the room noise, set the volumes to something sensible, and found the right number of speakers.

Room EQ Measurements
To check what the auto eq system is performing, I thought I measure the system with all EQ off but using the Onkyo supplied microphone on my laptop. This way we are "hearing" what its internal algorithms are receiving. This is the results with no eq and with standing wave filters on:

Onkyo AccuEQ Standing Wave Response Measurements.png


We see a pretty sharp drop in high frequency response. I wonder if there is an internal calibration for this. For this test it doesn't matter as we are just interested in bass frequencies. There, visually only two changes are there in the two peaks. The AVP shows these filter settings. I went there (sorry no picture) and there are only three filters. Lowest frequency is 63 Hz which rules it out for a number of room modes. While the two peaks were detected correctly, the EQ level that was dialed in was just 1 db! The 105 Hz could have been pulled down good 4 to 7 dB. Likewise the 130 Hz one could have used 2 to 3 dB reduction.

Fortunately the filters can be modified after the fact which is a nice benefit over all or nothing systems in these products. So you could measure your room and dial them down more. Of course if your room mode is at lower frequency than 63 Hz, then you are stuck.

To see the effect of "speaker EQ" I turned on that mode ("AccuEQ ON") in addition to standing wave filter:

Onkyo AccuEQ all EQ Review and Measurements.png


This seems to be some kind of target wave which decided to roll off the two aforementioned room modes further which is a good thing. What is not a good thing is the dip that it inserted in the mid-frequencies. Why or why? Is it trying to emulated the mistaken idea in Audyssey EQ?

AccuEQ Room EQ Listening Tests
I performed all of my listening tests post calibration but prior to making or seeing the measurements. The standing wave effect was subtle but positive. The measurements show why: reduction of that high peak at 105 Hz even by just 1 dB has a good effect in reducing boominess a bit and allowing more details in the higher end spectrum to be heard.

Turning both modes on was mostly positive. Again, measurements show that the room modes were reduced further which helps fair bit. Sucking out the mid-range is not good of course so this is a bit of a mixed bag.

Conclusions
The Onkyo AccuEQ is a very limited system. Within its bounds, it rules with a super gentle hand when it comes to dealing with room modes. I would use it to find the peaks. Then plug in the mic into a laptop, feed its HDMI out to the AVR and run your own measurement and tune the level as needed.

The target curve system seems broken to me with the dip that it inserts in the response. Onkyo's marketing material does not show this by the way:



It also shows a heck of a lot more correction than what I saw. It does show the deficiency in the microphone high frequency response which can effect selection of target response.

Overall, I would take a couple of filters over no filters so if this is all you have, by all means try to use the standing wave correction. Otherwise select a different AVR/processor with more advanced equalization. Little is more important than this in audio, past a good speaker!

-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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daftcombo

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#2
Hi Amir and thanks!

Which resolution that system work with? The Q applied seems low.
Which Q would You apply for the two 105Hz and 130 Hz peaks?
 

thewas_

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#4
Could you also show the REW impulse and decay responses before and after correction?
 

stunta

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#5
The Integra pre/pro I own also has AccuEq and given its limitations, I quickly ordered a miniDsp 8-channel unit and turned AccuEQ off.

@amirm Is there any reason you can think of as to why they would limit it to 63Hz and above?

The EQ setting for each speaker (including subwoofer) ranges from 25Hz to 16KHz but the limitation I ran into was that it only allows +-6db adjustment.
 
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deafenears

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#6
Doesn't look like AccuEQ does much. Think we can get an overlay of both AccuEQ and Audyssey on the same graph for comparison? Also would be interesting to see Audyssey XT32 vs. the other versions of it.
 

vkvedam

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#7
Thanks for this @amirm, would you mind revealing your normal stereo gear driving those speakers? Would like to know what amplification you use, I can fairly guess the DAC side of things. Thanks, Ven
 

Robbo99999

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#9
Not very impressive results of this auto room EQ system, possible to get way better results using say miniDSP & REW along with some knowledge. Surprised to hear that the Standing Wave EQ part of the equalisation yielded a difference in subjective sound listening, looking at those miniscule changes in the graphs I would think that any difference heard was down to subjective listening bias when flipping the standing wave switch, which I guess was listened to before seeing the graphs....that would be my impression.
 

audioBliss

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#10
Anything in this tier of room correction is not very interesting but nonetheless I guess it's good to have it in black and white. Dirac, ARCOS, Room Perfect, Trinnov and stuff like that would be cool to see comparison to.
 
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#11
This should not really be advertised as proper correction. This is closer to an automatic 10-band equalizer that just balances the overall response.

Anything in this tier of room correction is not very interesting but nonetheless I guess it's good to have it in black and white. Dirac, ARCOS, Room Perfect, Trinnov and stuff like that would be cool to see comparison to.
Hopefully after a while, we can expect a Room EQ round-up when the most popular ones have been tested.
 

Mocs123

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#12
I agree, I'd love to see a comparison that included not Accu-EQ, Audyssey, YPAO, Dirac, and ARC. The general consensus is Dirac Live and ARC-Genesis are far superior to the other three and I imagine testing would validate that.

My Onkyo RZ830's Accu-EQ had me test multiple seating locations (I think it had me test 6) so it's odd that this more expensive processor did not. Perhaps they updated Accu-EQ between 2018 and 2019?

I'm also surprised that they give you the el-cheapo microphone on a $2K processor. I understand that on a $500 receiver, but not on a "high end" piece of equipment. My Anthem MRX300 Receiver came with an pretty decent microphone and a full height stand for ARC.
 

audioBliss

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#13
No one in their right mind would use an included microphone anyway which is why some of the more high end stuff doesn’t even ship with one. You get a pro to calibrate or you buy a good microphone from third party and do it yourself. No point inflating the price even more when most people who care already have a good microphone at home since years back.
 

MZKM

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#14
I agree, I'd love to see a comparison that included not Accu-EQ, Audyssey, YPAO, Dirac, and ARC. The general consensus is Dirac Live and ARC-Genesis are far superior to the other three and I imagine testing would validate that.

My Onkyo RZ830's Accu-EQ had me test multiple seating locations (I think it had me test 6) so it's odd that this more expensive processor did not. Perhaps they updated Accu-EQ between 2018 and 2019?

I'm also surprised that they give you the el-cheapo microphone on a $2K processor. I understand that on a $500 receiver, but not on a "high end" piece of equipment. My Anthem MRX300 Receiver came with an pretty decent microphone and a full height stand for ARC.
Does Genesis use FIR filters or a hybrid like Dirac?

I wonder how much these claims are just because of a better default target curve. So, if you can get Audyssey XT32 (with the app) to result in the same correction as Dirac, would the latter still come out on top?

Also, I never really understood how it corrects for impulse response. Does that mean that in the bass the arrival of their sound within 1 group delay cycle are delayed due to their longer reflection pathways?
 

Dj7675

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#16
While the scale is different on Amir's post calibration measurements it is still interesting to see how each eq system performed its room correction. It would be interesting to have all of the Room eq measurements on the same graph. It would be interesting if @amirm has post dirac measurements to see how Dirac handled eq in his room as well.
Lyngdorf TDAI-3400 RoomPerfect Focus Measurement.png
Audyssey Room EQ  Before and After Measurements.png
 
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#17
No one in their right mind would use an included microphone anyway which is why some of the more high end stuff doesn’t even ship with one. You get a pro to calibrate or you buy a good microphone from third party and do it yourself. No point inflating the price even more when most people who care already have a good microphone at home since years back.
Anthem does
 

Dj7675

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#18
No one in their right mind would use an included microphone anyway which is why some of the more high end stuff doesn’t even ship with one. You get a pro to calibrate or you buy a good microphone from third party and do it yourself. No point inflating the price even more when most people who care already have a good microphone at home since years back.
Room perfect systems also include microphone/boom as well.
 

North_Sky

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#19
Onkyo/Integra should or 1. Have stick with Audyssey MultEQ XT32 or 2. Go Dirac Live.
But we all know that already since pretty much the beginning.
That's for their EQ calibration implementation system.

As for their newer lines of receivers and pre/pros in regards to measurements on other aspects (distortion, DACs implementation, jitter, ...) they could improve there as well.

Because sound quality matters in our "Opera" music.
...Our music taste in life from our ears and soul; it's live or stay home. :)

And stay safe
 

Timbo2

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#20
My Onkyo RZ830's Accu-EQ had me test multiple seating locations (I think it had me test 6) so it's odd that this more expensive processor did not. Perhaps they updated Accu-EQ between 2018 and 2019?
Question - are you running more than two speakers? I'm wondering if it was because @amirm only tested this with a two channel config.
 
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