When it comes to home theatres, many factors come into play in making it sound awesome. It goes way beyond getting expensive and nice-looking surround systems.
There are other pieces to the puzzle that play quite an essential role in creating the big sonic picture we love and admire so much. One of those pieces is calibration.
Calibration is the secret source to an awesome-sounding home theatre system. Considering the fact that there are several factors that will come in the way of your home theatre sound—-I mean factors like room acoustic and others.
The major goal of calibrating the audio system in your home theatre is to get an even, and smooth frequency response at your major listening position(s).
You do not want an overly exaggerated bass, a dull high frequency or a weak mid frequency.
To enjoy audio, you need to sound as close to the original as possible. As a matter of fact, this is one of the beauties of high-fidelity audio systems.
Aside from getting just the accurate sound, you also want it to arrive at your listening position at just the right time—-not too late—not too early.
To achieve this accuracy, you will have to adjust your speakers for their frequencies, their distance from you, and their respective volume levels.
When talking about calibration, audiophiles are always presented with two options which can sometimes make choosing hard. These options are YPAO and Audyssey.
The Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) is undoubtedly one of the best speaker calibration tools in the market today. However, Audyssey is also a very strong contender and opposition.
This article will discuss these two tools side by side. It doesn’t matter if you are just getting into the high-fidelity audio world or you are a longtime audiophile, this article will give you all the info you will ever need about these two audio calibration tools.
All About YPAO
The Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer regularly referred to as YPAO for short is a calibration tool.
YPAO fine-tunes the amount of volume by detecting speaker connection, considering the distance, and the overall room capacity.
Yamaha had taken it upon itself to provide consumers with a remarkable listening atmosphere. The function of the YPAO is to provide a suitable acoustic parameter and volume balance.
What this means is that the sound from the speaker is perceived by the ears at the right moment and the entire frequency spectrum is replicated as accurately as possible by the speaker system.
This perfect balance and conversion are all made easy by the YPAO calibration tool. Before the 1990s, to have a perfect balance, you would need to study the manual process of calibration.
You would have to use the receiver’s remote control and by guesswork adjust the volume and delay of each speaker. The manual process is always tedious because it is always a rough fantasy of a perfect balance.
In 1990, Automated room calibration became critical due to an increase in channels offered. The AV receiver was developed from 4.0 to 7.1 and the timing, balance, and equalization needed extreme signal processing.
In 2003, the YPAO was invented for serious signal processing and maximum performance. All you need to do is simply plug the mic into your device and let the YPAO calibration process begin.
All About Audyssey
Audyssey helps optimize the performance of the sound system to produce an incredible surround sound.
By considering the room’s shape, size, and content, Audyssey puts together your home theatre to produce a measurable correct sound.
The Audyssey calibration has a companion mic known as MultEq that sends information to the receiver for optimization.
MultEq alongside Audyssey acoustic correction technology is found in almost all Denon AV receivers. The work of the MultEq is to identify the number of speakers and the type connected to the device.
It proceeds to match the phase of each channel. Whether the speaker is a satellite or subwoofer, it then determines the adequate frequency for each speaker.
As simple as this may sound, Audyssey automatically optimizes the system after any level difference and distance between all the speakers are determined.
Audyssey calibration also facilitates you to calibrate up to about 8 listeners in a room.
It does an averaging for the various sound spots. Since the first release of the Audyssey in 2004, the technology has handled a lot of problems in sound reproduction.
However, it is worth stating that it was first created in 2002 as a spin-off from the USC-integrated media systems centre. This media centre is in the National Science Foundation engineering research centre at the University of Southern California.
YPAO vs Audyssey
YPAO is made and manufactured by Yamaha. They were the first to create a room Eq for their devices.
Audyssey on the other hand has produced various room Eq and sound improvement technologies.
YPAO is found only in Yamaha products while the Audyssey is found in Denon, Marantz AVR, and sometimes Onkyo.
While Yamaha has been busy upgrading their YPAO, the Audyssey Laboratories have received stunning reviews on their Audyssey. Audyssey at some point was the only calibration tool that featured a filter and Eq for sub-woofers.
However, the recent and upgraded YPAO by Yamaha also features the Filter and Eq for sub. This particular reason and a few others that will be mentioned have over the years made YPAO a work in progress.
Meanwhile, the Audyssey is being noticed and regarded as the most common since it has been great from day one. Regardless, the sound produced from the automatic calibration of Audyssey is too tame.
It is likely a dead kind of sound as reviewed by some users and most times the Eq is just what gives it the edge over YPAO. However, the contemporary YPAO has really improved compared to the past “horrible” calibration.
The higher-end YPAO now can filter and Eq subwoofers although not like the Audyssey. The reason is that the YPAO mic does not measure below 31.5Hz. Some Subwoofers most times are only rated down to 35Hz.
And the other challenge is that while you have two options for Eq in Denon there’s only one Eq in Yamaha. This means that you can only have a mid-bass if the subwoofer is too low as you can not tweak the Eq differently.
Another great feature the Audyssey has over YPAO is that you can tweak the sub and the satellite speaker differently.
Nonetheless, Yamaha has a built-in parametric equalizer and can access all the distinct YPAO Eq settings. When also considering frequency, both YPAO and Audyssey have similar high frequencies.
YPAO and Audyssey both sound “clear” and bright. Oftentimes, the average listener can’t tell the difference.
|Product||Yamaha||Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo|
|Sub Eq||One Eq point for all the speakers.||Different Eq points for both satellites and sub speakers. |
Two Eq points.
|Eq adjustment frequency||80Hz||250Hz|
|Calibration distance||Measures and identifies a distance of about 12 feet from the mic and speaker||Measures and identifies a distance of about 5 feet from the mic and speaker|
|High range||Sound so bright||Sound so bright|
|Loudness curve||Applicable||Optional, can turn on or off|
|Imaging and steering||Great||Great|
|Setup||Very easy||Very technical|
|Overall sound||Balance (suitable low)||Thin (with highs)|
Pros and Cons of YPAO
|Has an overall balanced sound||May not work very well with subwoofers|
|Easy to use|
Pros and Cons of Audyssey
|Best dynamic range algorithm compensation||Not user friendly|
|Promising loudness compensation||Hard to setup correctly|
|Great with subwoofers|
YPAO, in Summary
YPAO is created by Yamaha and the calibrating tool is compatible with all Yamaha AV receivers. The calibration tools are in different grades and levels. Although they all do the same thing which is to optimize sound outcomes.
The main function of YPAO is to measure distance and equalize speakers. However, YPAO R.S.C (Reflective Sound Control) can compensate for the boomy sound that is produced when speakers are close to the wall.
This boomy sound is a normal occurrence due to the typical home theatre room setting. All the AVENTAGE AVRs such as the RX-V4A, and RX-V6A have the YPAO with R.S.C.
YPAO RSC and multi-point measure is another calibration level that sources for the user’s most regular spot. It is available in some Aventage AV receivers also, especially the RX-V6A.
The next levels are the YPAO RSC, multipoint and precision Eq, and YPAO RSC with 3D, Multipoint, and precision Eq. The higher the level, the more accurate and complete the parameter calibration result.
The great thing about all the YPAO calibration levels is that it is easy to use. Irrespective of the level that comes with your home theatre or your model, just plug the mic in and follow the instructions.
Audyssey, in Summary
Audyssey is a software tool developed by Audyssey Laboratories for users to be able to regulate calibration.
This calibration tool has been embraced by audio lovers as room equalization has been made easy through it. Users with home AVR that have Audyssey enjoy outstanding control over room equalization technology.
Audyssey also features detailed information about room acoustic and calibration. By evaluating the cut-off, frequency response, and speaker types, the user enjoys pure and unexaggerated audio across all frequencies.
The work of the Cut-off mode is to handle the target sound for all presets and channels. The highs and lows are adjusted to the balance level by the subwoofer level adjustment with a slow time rate.
However, Audyssey also enables users to have a final say by ensuring the manual option overrides calibration parameters. The overall approach used by Audyssey to improve audio has really solved a lot of challenges for some manufacturers.
Home theatre manufacturing companies that use Audyssey no longer worry about acoustic challenges. Audyssey calibration is compatible with Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Integra, Teac, and Tescam AVRs.
Buying Guide/Frequently Asked Question
Calibration is the process of fine-tuning your device to give you a better surround sound and atmosphere.
Most AVRs come with a built-in automatic setup. For example, Yamaha has YPAO, and Denon has Audyssey.
Both the YPAO serve the same function, using the same process although the sound reproduced is different.
All the calibration tools use a microphone to receive sound from the speaker in the room.
They Determine the speaker type whether it is satellite or sub, size and volume level, and distance between the listener.
Some even do a run-down check on the connection to see if the cables are correctly hooked.
When sending tones to the calibration mic remember to sit at the exact spot in your room while the mic is at Ear level for accurate results.
The W-1 warning displays if the wire is not properly hooked or is accidentally crossed.
Check and verify your speaker connection before proceeding to the YPAO setup.
The W-1 warning is an out-of-phase E-message and not an error.
Sometimes the booming sound that occurs due to the speaker being too close to the wall or furniture can warrant an out-of-phase warning during auto setup.
Yamaha has YPAO, Denon, and Marantz has Audyssey. There are both great room correction programs. YPAO and Audyssey also have great features for sound optimization.
But then, we must admit that people’s choices as to what they love differ from person to person. However, before we even get to that point, you may need to ensure that the setup is even correct in the first place.
And yes, the idea of calibration is to have a satisfactory sound reproduction, but the setup must be correct. While a lot of consumers are dropping positive reviews for Audyssey, YPAO has improved.
Regardless, it is so easy to set up the YPAO while Audyssey may require a bit of technicality.
Nonetheless, there are both standard and popular room corrections. In that, any of these tools you end up with, you won’t regret it as long as your setup is correct and your speakers are good.