Simple audio system tuning


Why HouseCurve?

I installed some ceiling speakers in my kitchen and couldn’t get them to sound right. Most of the solutions I tried, such as my amplifier’s built-in room correction, were designed around creating a perfectly tuned single listening location. This was problematic for a kitchen as there isn’t a “listening location”. It’s a listening area. I was quite happy to trade a single perfect sounding location for acceptable sound throughout the kitchen. I created HouseCurve for this use case: capturing an average in-room response and tuning the audio system to a reference curve. I was quite happy with the results, so I decided to make HouseCurve available to others.

Where can I use HouseCurve?

HouseCurve currently supports two channel audio systems. If you can connect HouseCurve to the audio system, it will work. I have used it for tuning home stereos, televisions and cars.

HouseCurve shows me how my audio system sounds, but how do I tune it?

It depends on your audio system and where it is located. Here are some basics: The most direct way to tune your system is to adjust the equalizer or bass/treble knobs. If you have a subwoofer, then you can also adjust the volume, phase and lowpass frequency. Move your speakers closer to a wall to increase low frequencies. Drapes and bookshelves (with books on them) can reduce high frequencies through absorption / diffusion. Make one small adjustment at a time and use HouseCurve to see the effect. Over time, you’ll learn what works for your system.

Why isn’t a flat reference curve included?

I discovered through trial and error that a “flat” in-room frequency response sounds way too “bright”. Admittedly this didn’t square with what I thought I knew about tuning an audio system. I believe I was confusing the on-axis anechoic frequency response of a speaker, which is ideally flat, with in-room frequency response, which is what you hear in the real world. I thus decided to exclude a flat curve because folks like myself would have chosen it and been disappointed. But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself: Flat Reference Curve.

I found the following quite useful for understanding house curves:

Want to be a tester for HouseCurve?

Are you an audio geek and willing to provide feedback on HouseCurve? I can provide access for free via Apple’s TestFlight app. To sign up, send an email to HouseCurve support.

I have a question and/or feedback, where do I send it?

Feedback and questions are welcome, please send to HouseCurve support.