The uncompromising THX standards and exclusive THX technology features deliver cinema volume and fidelity with no distortion.
Filmmakers and musicians take you on a journey, pulling you into the story and evoking emotions through dialogue, music and sound effects. THX Certified receivers, amplifiers and pre-amps are designed with exclusive home theater technologies and features to bring out every nuance of a storyline, with the raw power of a surround sound cinema experience or live recording session.
The Benefit of THX Certified Receivers:
- Crisp, clear sound fills your room: THX Ultra2 Plus, THX Select2 Plus and THX I/S Plus certification categories deliver amazing performances based on your room size.
- Powerful studio volume: Set your THX Certified receiver to “0” on the volume dial, and experience the exact Reference Level volume used in the movie theater.
- Effortless performance: THX performs more than 2,000 Bench Tests, to ensure that your receiver plays effortlessly with plenty of power and low distortion in your home theater.
- Loudness Control: THX Loudness Plus lets you catch every detail of a surround sound mix when the volume is lowered.
- Easily mix and match brands: With a single standardized bass configuration, you can easily and confidently use any THX Certified product together.
THX Certified AV receivers and pre-amplifiers feature a number of proprietary technologies, all designed to accurately present movie, music and game soundtracks in the home.
Many movie soundtracks are mixed in studios for playback in large cinema auditoriums with an array of speakers. When played on home systems, they may appear abrasive and edgy. Re-EQ establishes a more accurate tonal balance when enjoying movies in your home.
Your ears hear different tonal qualities in sounds coming from different directions. Timbre Matching restores the frequency balance between your front and surround speakers—ensuring seamless and smooth panning between the front to back of the room.
Boundary Gain Compensation (BGC)
Sitting near a wall may result in distorted bass response. BGC corrects the way low frequency sound is perceived when seated near a wall. This results in a more true and accurate bass response.
Adaptive Decorrelation changes one surround channel’s time and phase relationship with respect to the other surround channel, expanding the listening position and creating the same spacious audio experience at home as in a movie theater.
Other THX Receiver Technologies
THX Certified Receivers also feature THX Adaptive Speaker Array technology, which establishes surround sound modes for movies, music and games, and THX Loudness Plus for enjoying surround soundtracks at lower volume levels.
How THX Certification Works
From early design concepts to product rollout, THX works with its manufacturing partners at each step of product development. Every detail is meticulously mapped to the THX performance standards. And THX engineers spend countless hours testing and analyzing each product for sound quality, usability and interoperability.
The result of this collaborative process is a THX Certified receiver, amplifier or pre-amplifier designed from the ground-up to present your favorite movies, music and other games in 2.1, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound loud and clear at studio reference volumes.
5.1 Surround Sound Speaker Set Up
Sound is fifty percent of the entertainment experience. Great sound can really bring out the power of high definition video. And speaker placement is essential to experiencing the true impact of movies, music and games. THX offers speaker set up and positioning tips for 7.1, 5.1 and desktop speaker systems.
A 5.1 surround system has five discrete audio channels: Left, Right, Center, Left Surround, Right Surround and the Subwoofer.
- Front Left & Right Speakers (L & R): Place the Front Left and Right speakers at ear height, producing a 45° angle as viewed from the main seating position. This delivers a wide sound stage and precise localization of individual sounds.
- Center Channel Speaker (C): Place the Center channel speaker either above or below the TV. Then, aim the speaker either up or down to point directly at the listener. If you have a perforated projection screen, center this speaker both horizontally and vertically behind the screen.
- Surround Left & Right Speakers (SL & SR): Place the SL & SR speakers between 90° to 110° to each side and 2 feet or higher above the listener.
- Subwoofer (Sub): If you have two Subs, put them in the middle of opposing walls. If you have one, place it in the middle of the front wall.
7.1 Surround Sound Speaker System Set Up
A 7.1 surround system has seven discrete audio channels, Left, Right, Center, Left Surround, Right Surround, Left and Right Back, and of course, the Subwoofer.
- Front Left & Right Speakers (L & R): Place the Front Left and Right speakers at ear height, producing a 45° angle as viewed from the main seat. This delivers a wide sound stage and precise localization of individual sounds.
- Center Channel Speaker (C): Place the Center channel speaker either above or below the display. Then, aim the speaker either up or down to point directly at the listener. If you have a perforated projection screen, center this speaker both horizontally and vertically behind the screen.
- Surround Left & Right Speakers (SL & SR): Place the SL & SR speakers between 90° to 110° to each side and 2 feet or higher above the listener. The SL & SR speakers recreate the enveloping sound and intense special effects that you experience in the cinema.
- Surround Back Left & Right Speakers (SBL & SBR)*: The SBL & SBR speakers should be the direct firing type and placed together on the back wall. This allows the THX Advanced Speaker Array, or ASA technology to deliver its maximum effect. If the SBL and the SBR speakers can not be placed together, refer to your THX Certified Pre-amplifier or Receiver’s “THX Set Up” menu for alternative configurations.
- Subwoofer (Sub): There are a few variations for subwoofer placement, depending on how many subwoofers you have in your room. If you have four subs, place one in the middle of each wall. If you have two, put them in the middle of opposing walls. If you have one, place it in the middle of the front wall.
Dolby® TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio™ Set Up
If you use Dolby® TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio™, your back surround speakers should be separated to produce a 60° angle from the main listening position. In addition, you should go to the “THX Set Up” Menu in your THX Certified AV Receiver/Pre-amp and set the ASA Surround Back Speaker setting to “Apart (greater than 48).”
Why choose MK?
Very few loudspeakers recommended for home cinema were designed solely for delivering the best surround sound.
MK products are different, with every speaker being conceived and constructed solely for the specific role it must fulfil within a 5.1 system.
For Oscar winning producers, home cinema professionals and film lovers worldwide, MK loudspeakers continue to be the bench mark against which all other surround speakers are judged.
THESE ARE THE DESIGN CRITERIA THAT EVERY MK LOUDSPEAKER MEETS....
A PERFECT FRONT SOUNDSTAGE
The majority of a sound in a film will be reproduced by the centre channel making it the bedrock of any quality surround system. This speaker must accurately reproduce the sounds that humans are most familiar with and most critical at detecting - human speech.
In addition to reproducing sound accurately, the centre channel must blend in perfectly with the main left and right loudspeakers to create a seamless front soundstage.
The only way to achieve a perfect front soundstage is by using three identical speakers all placed in the same plane. A different size of speaker or one that is orientated horizontally between two vertically placed speakers will create a different quality and dispersion of sound no matter how carefully it has been designed.
All MK loudspeaker systems are designed to use identical speakers for left, centre and right (L/C/R) use. Any 5.1 system that is being designed for optimal performance should always start with 3 identical speakers at the same height, orientated vertically. In home cinemas where a projector is used, an acoustically transparent screen is essential so the centre channel can be placed half way or just above the centre of the screens height.
Where a plasma screen will be used the centre speaker must be placed on its side. In this situation a drive unit layout that places the tweeter above the mid-range drivers and not between them will provide the most accurate response. All MK front speakers are designed in this way.
ACCURATE RESPONSE - IN REAL ROOMS
An accurate loudspeaker may give poor "in-room" response for a number of reasons. The low frequency performance of a loudspeaker will be dramatically changed by being placed close to walls and corners. The best way to tune a speaker that plays bass to the room it is being used in is to move it away from walls and corners. While this approach is fine for the hifi enthusiast, moving speakers is impractical in the vast majority of studios and home cinemas.
MK pioneered the design and use of "satellite" loudspeakers that play no bass for use in recording studios in the early 1970's. With no low frequency output, satellite speakers can be placed against walls and boundaries or in free space with almost no effect on their performance.
The result is loudspeakers that are much more consistent from room to room. This approach also creates much smaller loudspeakers that are easier to place for optimal imaging - a critical point especially for centre channels.
CONSISTENCY FROM ROOM TO ROOM AND SEAT TO SEAT
In the vast majority of domestic sized living rooms, you'll hear more reflected sound from the room than direct sound from your loudspeakers. Because of this, the quality of reflected sound heard at the listening position plays a huge part in the perceived quality of any loudspeaker.
MK loudspeakers were developed for use in the tight confines of the recording studio. As the engineer moves from side to side behind the mixing desk, it is essential that the quality of sound remains consistent.
To achieve this, MK developed a unique Phase Focused crossover that provides remarkably smooth, off axis response. The result is that sitting directly in front of an MK speaker or off to the side produces a remarkably similar quality of sound. A consequence of this is that the direct sound from the speakers and the reflections from side walls will sound remarkably similar at the listening position.
This approach also avoids the narrow "sweet spot" of sound that most speakers produce. Listeners throughout larger control rooms and home cinemas will enjoy the best sound quality regardless of where they sit.
SMOOTH, DEEP BASS
Deep, accurate bass is one of the most difficult things to achieve in the homes and the studio. Modal frequencies dictated by the rooms' dimensions will create peaks and nulls in a systems bass response. The result is that even though a speaker system may be accurate, what you hear in the listening position simply will not be accurate.
Tuning a system to provide more even bass response requires either moving the speakers or moving the listening position - neither of which are practical in most rooms.
MK's solution to the problem was to redirect all the systems bass to one or more loudspeakers. As the human ear cannot detect where low frequencies come from, this bass speaker or subwoofer can be moved to smooth out the peaks and troughs created by your rooms' dimensions without having to move either the main monitors or the listener.
Multiple subwoofers can be used to further smooth in-room response and to increase the size of the area that provides the best quality of bass.
A 360 DEGREE SOUNDSTAGE
A surround system should be capable of creating a seamless, 360 degree soundstage.
Most loudspeaker systems recommend identical speakers for front and rear use. While this is convenient for the manufacturer, a different type of speaker is required for surround use to envelop the listener while avoiding distracting "hot spots" - or areas of excessively loud sound.
A speaker that can provide the pin point imaging required for a detailed front soundstage will draw attention to itself if used for surround information. This is particularly disconcerting in home cinema systems where listeners will often sit very close to the rear speakers. With more than one listener in the room, the problem deteriorates further as the relative listening distances between surround speakers varies so much from seat to seat.
In commercial cinemas, multiple surround speakers are used to create the envelopment required. In home cinemas a similar effect is attempted with the use of dipole or bipole rear speakers. These speakers do not fire sound at the listener but rely on sound being reflected off the side and rear walls.
This approach is effective in creating an enveloping rear soundstage but fails to reproduce the detail and localised sounds in today's discrete 5.1 soundtracks.
Where dipoles or bipoles are used with more than one row of seats, some of the listeners will not be sat in the "null" of the speaker. This means that with this type of speaker design, the speakers will once again act like a direct radiating speaker with all the inherent problems this creates.
MK rear loudspeakers are a patented Tripolar design which combine the detail and directional clues of a direct radiating rear speaker with the envelopment of a dipole.
The result is a far more even 360 degree soundstage throughout the room with no distracting hot spots.
Download the History & Philosophy of MK Loudspeakers (75kb PDF file)