XTZ Sound Room Analyzer II Pro Measurement Kit Review

Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by admin, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    With kits like XTZ’s Room Analyzer II Pro, it’s easier than ever before for consumers to analyze the acoustics of their room and make the needed adjustments. While the main draw with this kit is the automatic room analyzer and ability to simulate PEQs, there is a suite of other features built in as well, like an RTA and speaker-alignment function. Ultimately, if you are looking for a way to gain more insight into how your speakers interact with your room and what to do to fix any issues, the XTZ Sound Room Analyzer II Pro kit is probably the easiest method out there.
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    Discuss "XTZ Sound Room Analyzer II Pro Measurement Kit Review" here. Read the article.
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  2. jliedeka Audioholic General

    jliedeka
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    Under hardware, you mention an XLR output for sending test tones to the receiver. I would like more information about what to do with that. My receiver doesn't have XLR inputs. Also, that sounds like a single channel so do you need to move it around for all the speakers?

    Jim
  3. Cliff_is Audioholics Content Manager

    Cliff_is
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    Sorry, I should make that section more clear. They provide a cable that has an XLR plug on one end, and a single RCA connection on the other. They also provide a y-adapter so you can feed a mono signal to both the left and right channels. In short, you don't need an AVR with XLR connections. I performed this review using the auxiliary input on the front of my Denon AVR-X4000.

    I'm not sure what you mean by moving it around for all of the speakers.
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  4. GFOViedo Audioholic

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    How does this kit compare to using a calibrated microphone from Cross Spectrum Labs and using REW (free software)?
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  5. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    Once you get past the sometimes complex (but not always) setup with a mic, soundcard, and REW I would expect that they perform similarly, with the edge going to REW IMHO. IME once you have the setup complete, REW is every bit as easy to use as the other systems and has almost all of the features the others have and more.

    The downside is that if you don't have a dedicated laptop for REW and measurement stuff, your settings have the possibility to get messed with which can cause headaches. As far as the program stability, I've been using REW for a couple years now and haven't had any issues, even with beta versions.
  6. ReUpRo Full Audioholic

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    Cliff, this is a very good writeup. I appreciate that you did not hide any shortcomings of XTZ software.

    [Rant]It does read like you are making excuses for every issue you call out. If a free software like REW surpasses XTZ on many of its usability issues, the developers have just become lazy. That the interface looks like an antiqued Java front end for a client-server stack, is proof positive.[/Rant]

    The only egregious flaw with XTZ is the lack of measurement below 16Hz. In the DIY community innumerable applications can reach below that. Even the SV Sound or Funk Audio subs can do it with sufficient authority to warrant measuring down to 10Hz or even 5Hz.

    I respectfully disagree with you regarding XTZ bring the easiest. IMHO, REW, USB Mic, HDMI audio to receiver/pre-pro is the easiest. It also happens to be the cheapest. The only problem is that the USB mics have a noise floor around 40dB and this could impede some measurements. Needless to say, if one doesn't have HDMI, this is not an option.

    The statement regarding XTZ requiring the least up front effort and understanding the audio concepts, prior to taking a measurement, is a bit silly considering the advanced nature of the questions that Omnimic, Holm Impulse, REW, SoundEasy, XTZ, et al, are the answering.

    All things said, I really liked reading your writeup. This is the first AH article in a while that I read through entirely without skipping anything.
  7. jliedeka Audioholic General

    jliedeka
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    Cliff, thanks for the follow-up. The reason I was asking about moving it around was so that all speakers could be EQed, not just left and right. I'm planning to try REW as soon as I get a decent microphone.

    Jim
  8. JohnnieB Senior Audioholic

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    I'm new to room correction, and quite frankly the math baffles me. Is REW an easy system to use for beginers, or someone who doesn't quite understand what they are doing? I'd like to see what i'm working with as far as sound and learn more about it. I need a system that is going to walk me through it, and teach me along the way. Any other suggestions on which system or software for dummies would be appreciated. BTW the XTZ review was helpful, even to someone like myself, who doesn't know much about room correction.
  9. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

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    None of the systems are really for someone who doesn't quite know what they're doing. I can't speak about the other systems, but the nice thing about REW is the large online help community. Over at Home Theater Shack, they have the dedicated REW forum where the created and designer hangs out and answers questions people have about the software. Personally I don't think REW is hard to use, but setup can sometimes be a tricky. If anyone wants to get into measurements and is thinking about REW I always tell them to read the manual first. It will give you an idea of where you're headed.

    http://www.roomeqwizard.com/REWV5_help.pdf<style id="pageBrightnessCustomCSS">body{zoom:150%;}</style>
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  10. Cliff_is Audioholics Content Manager

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    lol, maybe it does sound like excuses. It's hard when writing these reviews to balance between being too critical or too accommodating.

    I definitely agree with you that none of these programs are particularly easy to understand or run without some prior knowledge. It even took me a bit to get used to XTZ. The reason I think XTZ is the easiest isn't necessarily because of the interface, which needs some work, but because it comes with all the equipment you need and requires next to zero configuration. The USB mic/HDMI route with REW is great, but it still requires a used to piece together a system. It may not be a big deal for someone who has done it before, but is extra work. I also like the built-in tone generator in XTZ, something that I wish Omnimic had and I know REW has.

    For quick measurement to set the PEQ on my Emotiva X-ref10, or level and distance on my Denon. I use XTZ. For speaker measurements I still use OmniMic because of the added curve adjustments. I might venture into using REW again in the future.

    Thanks!
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  11. Cliff_is Audioholics Content Manager

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    Johnnie, it's a tough thing to figure out. Like some of the other forum members have said, no system is particularly easy to use. Running each piece of software isn't too difficult, it's knowing how the read the results. I tried to write this review in a way that would help someone who just purchased the kit to understand how to use it.

    If it's something you are interested in, you just need to jump in and start trying to figure it out. Even writing this review was a learning process for me. You can always ask for help on some of the forums. I might even suggest asking AVRant a question. Rob and Tom (the hosts of AVRant podcast) are pretty good at giving advice.
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  12. agarwalro Audioholic Ninja

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    That makes sense. There is some value in the assurance that everything is guaranteed to work together. Another thing is that if something doesn't work, a buyer only need to make inquiries at one source for all troubleshooting.
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  13. JohnnieB Senior Audioholic

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    Thanks for the replies e-one.
  14. Mr_Owlow Enthusiast

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    Hi, a user from Sweden here. I've used the software for a while, and though I can't claim to be an expert, I understood the XTZ Room Analyzer II just fine, and the few snags I hit was helped by the FAQ on the site and their help when I e-mailed info @ xtz.se they responded quickly with great advise.
  15. XTZ USA Audioholics Approved Vendor

    XTZ USA
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    Thanks for great review. If anyone feels that something is unclear and would like to give this great product a try. Please let me know and I will help you out.
  16. Auditor55 Audioholic

    Auditor55
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    The best thing about REW and what makes it superior to the others is that its FREE!!
  17. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    The only problem is that REW has a much higher learning curve and setup can be difficult because it involves an outboard soundcard/USB mic and a mic. Otherwise REW is awesome and so is the online support community.
  18. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    Try using REW when you have a Mac with an audio interface with multiple input channels. What a nightmare!
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  19. fuzz092888 Audioholic Warlord

    fuzz092888
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    I do ;) and yes it is
  20. Auditor55 Audioholic

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    I rather take a few hours learn to REW than spending $350 dollars on some hardware that you not going to use that much. Also, you do need a soundcard with REW, however you can use the mic on your SPL meter. I'm assuming almost all HT enthusiast have a SPL meter.

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