Sonarworks Reference 4 - One DSP to rule them all.

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Andrew LB, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Andrew LB

    Andrew LB Maha Guru

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    I should start out by stating that ive never been one to use DSP's since they typically color the sound more than they correct. But yesterday when searching for info on speaker replacement in my Audi's B&O sound system, found an interesting article about a guy who entered a car audio competition with a 2007 Saab 9-3 where he replaced all the speakers with ones made by Dayton Audio (which nobody really considers high end), some inexpensive amplifiers, a decent sub.... and actually won the competition. The top competitors were running speakers from Accuton, Scan-Speak, and other insanely high end speakers. And he did it using Sonarworks Reference 4 to analyze and create an DSP profile which corrects the frequency responses of the speakers to achieve as close to perfect sound reproduction as possible.

    Here is the article: https://www.sonarworks.com/blog/product-news/car-audio-gurus-schooled-by-dsp/

    After some additional reading, i found that this software works not just for cars, but its true purpose is for calibrating studio monitors and headphones to compensate for the acoustics of the room you're working in. Its a bit like using a measurement mic to calibrate your audio software to how your speakers reproduce sound, but this software goes well beyond that.

    There are a few different versions. One is a phone app, another is their desktop headphone edition, and then the studio edition. You can do a simple demo of the headphone calibrated audio on their website here: https://www.sonarworks.com/reference
    And there is also a free demo for the more extensive packages.

    I've been listening to music, games, and movies the past couple days using the headphone edition demo on my Sennheiser HD650's and my heavily modded Little Dot MK3 amp using the HD650 profile and I'm quite amazed with the sound quality. Many people will agree that the HD650's while amazing headphones, have always lacked in the low frequency range. Well not anymore.

    Anyways, just wanted to throw this out there for you guys to check out. And since there is a free demo version you can download, it wont cost you anything to at least check it out.
    Here is the headphone version: https://www.sonarworks.com/reference/how-it-works-headphones
     
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  2. theoneofgod

    theoneofgod Ancient Guru

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    A very good piece of software. I'm surprised it doesn't have more of a following. I have a bunch of headphones ranging from budget to higher end and it works with quite a few of them.
    For example the Sennheiser HD 202 are nothing but bass to me, with a switch of a button makes them really enjoyable.
    I do wish they added more features to fine tune more. The mix knob and the bass and treble tilts are fine and all, it's just a bit limited in the grand scheme of things.
    I now only purchase headphones that are supported by it now (for the most part)

    I use it to calibrate speakers too, and it works a treat.

    I forgot to mention. Here's a free alternative: https://sourceforge.net/projects/hesuvi/
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020

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