Calibration Equipment at HARMAN’s Reference Room


Adaptive Room Correction and Optimization System (ARCOS)

ARCOS is an integrated software and hardware package that provides a new level of calibration accuracy in setting up a JBL Synthesis multichannel audio system. ARCOS utilizes a number of newly developed DSP algorithms, and measurement and analysis techniques to achieve unprecedented frequency response correction and loudspeaker performance in any room.

ARCOS represents the evolution of 20 years of room correction and speaker design for use within real, home theater environments. In all rooms, there are resonances that occur when an audio source, such as a loudspeaker, is played. These resonances, or room modes, emphasize some frequencies and attenuate others, which can be significant in magnitude. ARCOS compensates for these irregularities faster, with greater accuracy and comprehensiveness than has been available before, to achieve a target curve based on listening tests and hundreds of calibrated systems to provide extraordinary sonic realism. ARCOS also provides time delay correction; hence the signals from all the speakers arrive at the listener’s ears at the same time for accurate imaging, along with speaker-level calibration and additional benefits.

The JBL Synthesis ARCOS system builds upon the HARMAN Audio Test System (H.A.T.S.) hardware and software suite used worldwide by HARMAN acoustics and transducer research engineers for the measurement and design of loudspeaker systems. It also incorporates and improves upon the functionality of the JBL Synthesis SDEC digital equalizer hardware and software. ARCOS adds a new on-screen graphical user interface (GUI) and a fully integrated Wizard, which will take a user through SFM, EQ, system and preamp setup, speaker functional test, source DVD/Blu-Ray setup and listening test steps. The system’s DSP algorithms incorporate the findings of more than two dozen published research papers by HARMAN engineers.

One of the major benefits of ARCOS is its ability to calibrate larger areas of the room rather than an individual location, so more listeners can enjoy the sonic “sweet spot.” ARCOS utilizes eight microphones throughout the room to measure room and speaker acoustics, and supports the HARMAN Sound Field Management (SFM) system that minimizes seat-to-seat variation in bass response in a home theater system, uniquely available only from HARMAN.

ARCOS features multi-step AutoEQ that uses more than 200 bands of fully parametric digital equalization that can be adjusted from 1/100 octave to more than 4 octaves wide between 20Hz – 20kHz to correct for dips and peaks throughout the frequency range. AutoEQ can operate on an almost unlimited number of speakers and drivers and precisely match their frequency and tonal balance. After the system is calibrated, ARCOS displays the actual corrected room curve – not a calculated measurement as provided by almost all other systems.

As any installer knows, matching a subwoofer with the main speakers in a system can be difficult, especially with multiple subwoofers. ARCOS incorporates an exclusive AutoCurveSum process, correctly optimizing the subwoofers with the crossover blend of any number of main speakers by using a combination of delay and phase filters. ARCOS is the first product to incorporate AutoCurveSum and is also uniquely available only from HARMAN.

ARCOS incorporates a host of additional advanced features, including automatic speaker-level and distance calculations, 96kHz or 48kHz analog-to-digital measurement conversion (depending on the speed of the connected PC), a Java-based GUI for future expansion into multiple computer platforms, and the option to make the calibration process either totally automated or completely manual, if desired. Communication between the measurement hardware and the equalizer module take place over standard Ethernet cable, and ARCOS utilizes the HARMAN HiQnet® communication protocol for end-to-end connectivity and future expansion to other HARMAN systems.

JBL Synthesis ARCOS is only available to trained and authorized JBL Synthesis dealers or through JBL Synthesis Factory Calibration or Authorized ARCOS Master Calibrators. ARCOS is supplied with all necessary equipment needed to calibrate a JBL Synthesis multichannel audio system, including: hardware, measurement microphones, computer, software and accessories.

JBL Synthesis is part of the Harman Luxury Audio Group, therefore ARCOS is also available to systems that use Lexicon, Mark Levinson, or Revel products. 

For additional information, please contact Chris Robinson or Kevin Kent.