Once you have your speakers properly positioned, its time to start listening to them. Subjective listening tests can be made with reference material that you are familiar with; a favorite album, movie or other recording. Objective tests can be made simply with a smartphone app or more sophisticated acoustic measurement system.
Play some recorded material that you are familiar with through the speakers to see if the sound is what you expect. Adjust the tilt filters both directions to hear the different tonalities that are possible. It is also suggested that you listen to material you know actually sounds bad or has defects in the recordings. A truly neutral loudspeaker will reveal these defects clearly.
The whole point to a good loudspeaker is to get accurate representation of the sound, good or bad, so that mix decisions can effectively be made. Adjust the tilt filter to the setting you are most comfortable with.
For an objective test of the speaker’s response, you will need a metering system. This consists of a device that can measure the spectral output of the loudspeaker in real time and a source of pink noise that can be played back through the loudspeakers.
- RTA Spectral Analyzer
- Pink Noise Source
Dynaudio has created an iOS app with these tools built in so you can quickly test and calibrate your LYD speakers using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. In the Apple App Store, search for “Dynaudio Meter” to locate and download this free app.
You can connect the device directly to the speakers using a conventional headphone to RCA adapter. Play the pink noise from the Dynaudio Meter and adjust the level for a reasonable playback volume. If you wish to play pink noise from your computer workstation, a WAV file containing pink noise is available at:
Play the pink noise through one speaker at a time at a reasonable level (~80-85dBA) and place the iPhone or iPad at the listening position. Change the Sound Balance filter to see how the response changes the response curve in the RTA. Pink noise is a balanced level of noise across the entire spectrum. In the RTA display, the reading should be as level and even as possible.
If you notice excessive levels in the low frequencies, try setting the Sound Balance filter to Bright (B) and check the results. If the spectrum analyzer shows a greater degree of high frequencies, set the tilt filter to dark (D) and check the results.
Once you have the tilt filter set for the flattest response curve in the RTA, return to your reference material to see how it sounds. Through this process of objective tests with the RTA and subjective listening tests with you ears, you will arrive at the best setting for your Dynaudio loudspeakers.