Wait! Why does my room need correcting?
The simple answer is that the greatest detriment to good sound is almost always the room itself. Your room might be a tricked-out home theater or a living room with carpet and thick drapes, or your room might have a lot of reflective surfaces, like hard furniture, glass, dividing walls or open spaces. Your unique room will affect the performance of your loudspeakers in a unique way. (This is especially true in the realm of bass response, which can sound boomy or go thin. It's bass response we'll be talking about here.) So, even if you have a professionally treated sound room, you'll want to use the Anthem Room Correction Kit to sonically (and scientifically) ensure that your equipment sounds perfect in your unique room.
But isn’t EQ a bad thing?
It's ancient audiophile folklore that "filters [EQ] are bad." You see, back in the analog days of audio, room correction systems were much less sophisticated and much less effective. Many people felt that those clumsy means of manipulating filters and curves resulted in less than perfect results. My how things have changed. Using a cutting-edge fusion of digital signal processing software and a specially-engineered calibration microphone, the Anthem Room Correction Kit "reads" a room's unique audio characteristics with incredible accuracy. Then ARC instantly optimizes equipment performance in response to that information. In other words, today's smarter use of more advanced digital filters and crossover technology means that EQ isn't such a bad thing anymore, after all.
How is Anthem Room Correction different?
It's sophisticated enough to produce real results that you can hear, easy enough to be used by anyone, and professional enough to allow you to customize the results if you want to. The Anthem Room Correction Kit is made up of proprietary digital signal processing software, and specially engineered hardware, that works with your PC or iOS device*. It was developed by the audio engineers at Anthem in conjunction with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada's premier research and technology laboratory. They did groundbreaking research into replicating the audio-lab performance standard in non-lab environments. Thus, ARC is able to accurately shape the acoustic performance of your speakers (especially in relation to low frequency effects), compensating for the possible negative effects generated by the unique characteristics of your listening space. Its advanced filter technology targets only these negative room effects, not the sound of your loudspeakers. By doing so, it gets as close as possible to the "lab-standard performance" you crave. The Anthem Room Correction Kit puts the power of the audio lab in your hands, so you can achieve perfect sound in your home. And you don’t need an engineering degree to use it!
Is it Easy?
Here's how simple it really is: Load the ARC software, set up the calibration microphone, run the program on your PC or iOS device*, then view and accept the results. Technology does the rest. ARC measures responses, and automatically adjusts equipment performance to suit your space. And that's it! ARC reduces the performance-robbing effects of room reflections and standing waves, and allows your audio equipment to perform flawlessly, realistically, naturally in your own unique space. When your audio performance is optimized to your room, you will actually hear the difference. Of course, you don't have to use it. But why wouldn't you?
What is ARC®?
Simply put, Anthem Room Correction (ARC®) technology instantly adjusts the audio performance of your equipment to suit your room's unique characteristics. It “tames” the resonances produced by reflective surfaces and other everyday obstacles, which can have negative effects on the sound radiating from your loudspeakers, especially the low frequencies. Removing the effects of these obstacles allows your audio equipment to achieve a more natural sound; to perform as close to the lab standard as possible.
On a more complex level, ARC is a proprietary digital signal processing software that works with a specially-engineered calibration microphone and your PC or iOS device* to quickly and easily optimize audio for your unique listening space. Anthem engineers developed the ARC system while researching how to replicate the audio-lab standard of performance in non-lab environments. This groundbreaking research was conducted in conjunction with the National Research Council of Canada, the Canadian government’s research and technology organization.
Anthem engineers realized that real world listening experiences had little in common with the controlled environment of the audio lab. That’s because the same loudspeakers sound different in different rooms. Performance is affected by a room’s unique characteristics and appointments; the size and shape of the room, its construction and furnishings. These obstacles cause standing waves, resonances, and reflections that can color the sound you hear. Imagine the sound waves coming from your speakers as ripples on a water surface. That makes it easy for you to understand how the ripples of sound bounce off any obstruction they encounter. You can immediately see the benefit of removing the obstacles.
ARC digitally compares a room’s acoustic signature to that of the lab standard. It measures the response of each speaker relative to the listening area. Then it uses advanced algorithms to eliminate the negative effects of the obstacles in the room, adjusting response and correcting phase effects. When ARC removes the obstacles, what’s left is the lab standard performance.
ARC also detects how much the room reinforces low frequencies due to its boundaries and pressurization. It automatically enforces optimal room gain, keeping bass response from sounding thin. ARC senses where each speaker’s low-frequency response declines and sets high-pass filters accordingly, ensuring natural-sounding levels of deep, well-blended bass.
ARC does all this, and more, instantly and automatically. The result is a replication of the lab standard right in your room, for “perfect” speaker performance in any listening space.
ARC is easy, the results are astounding
The ARC Kit is easy to use, and just a few simple steps can customize your loudspeakers for your unique listening space.
Each ARC-ready component comes with an ARC Kit, consisting of a Calibrated Microphone, a professional-quality mic stand, and high quality cabling. You will need a laptop running Windows 7 or later, and the latest ARC software downloaded from our web site.
Plug the kit’s custom Calibration Microphone into your computer and into your ARC-ready Anthem receiver, amp, pre-amp or your ARC-ready Paradigm speaker. Place the microphone at each of the listening positions in your room (a minimum of five, maximum of ten), and allow ARC to take a sound sample from each location.
The proprietary ARC software measures the difference between the speaker’s ideal lab-standard response, and their real-world performance in your room. Then, its sophisticated DSL accurately equalizes intricate crossover curves so that the performance of the speakers in your room meets the ideal lab standard!
Now you’re hearing exactly what our audio engineers intended you to hear: Pure, natural, transparent sound, no matter what challenges your room presents!
ARC Mobile Makes It Even Easier
ARC Mobile allows you to optimize your ARC enabled speakers by using either the internal microphone of the iOS device (for basic room correction) or an optional calibrated microphone*. Optional calibrated microphones, which connect via headphone jack, will be included with select products from Anthem, Paradigm, and MartinLogan. Please refer to the product user manual to see if it’s included.
The ARC Mobile app is available for free to iOS users on the Apple Store, and is now available in public beta for Android devices. The app supports Anthem’s STR Series (STR Integrated & STR Preamplifier), Anthem's MRX Series of AV Receivers (x10 & x20 versions), Anthem’s AVM 60 Pre-Amplifier / Processor, Paradigm’s Premium Wireless Series (PW AMP, PW 600, PW 800, PW Link, PW Soundplay, and PW Soundbar), and MartinLogan’s Wireless Ensemble (Verse, Forte, Unison, Bravado, and Cadence).
To download the ARC Mobile app for iOS, visit the Apple App Store here.
To download the ARC Mobile app for Android*, visit the Google Play Store here.
* Please note that Android phones require an USB OTG adapter to use the optional calibrated microphone, and many Android phones already come with these adapters.
Multiple applications of ARC for perfect sound
The award-winning technology behind ARC is used for many applications and among the following brands:
Use ARC with your Anthem Electronics
The unparalleled flexibility you expect from Anthem, the ultimate in home audio & video control, is taken to the next level with ARC, included with Anthem A/V Receivers and A/V Pre-Amplifiers.
Use ARC with your Paradigm Premium Wireless Speakers
Paradigm engineers have designed and built wireless loudspeakers that perform as well as traditional wired speakers. One of the secrets to achieving that performance is the inclusion of the ARC.
Use ARC with your Paradigm Subwoofer
When you design a subwoofer that plays lower and louder than any other subwoofer, room correction becomes an integral part of your performance matrix. Eliminating room obstacles with ARC eliminates muddying reflections and standing waves, to reveal more natural, more realistic, deep bass; the kind of bass that makes feeling believing. Please note that previous versions are marketed as PBK: Perfect Bass Kit. ARC software is backwards compatible with all PBK kits.
Use ARC with your Paradigm Hybrid Speakers
Hybrid speakers from Paradigm have active bass sections. For total control into your room, ARC is included to correct low-frequency anomalies for perfect bass integration.
Use ARC with your MartinLogan Wireless Ensemble Speakers
Miraculous performance from an unexpected source: a wireless audio streaming system. Select models in MartinLogan’s Wireless Ensemble feature ARC technology.
Use ARC with your MartinLogan Subwoofer
The ultimate performance subwoofers for use with the ultimate electrostatic loudspeakers, MartinLogan subwoofers feature the added performance bonus of Anthem Room Correction. Please note that previous versions are marketed as PBK: Perfect Bass Kit. ARC software is backwards compatible with all PBK kits.
Use ARC with your MartinLogan ESL Masterpiece Series Speakers
For the first time in an electrostatic speaker MartinLogan is introducing the integration of exclusive Anthem Room Correction (ARC) technology. By engaging ARC to control the low-frequency curve in relation to the output of the ESL panel, you will experience performance on par with MartinLogan’s audio test lab.