What does anyone think about THX Certification? Seems a pretty demanding set of standards that could embarrass.
Welcome to the fun…
You might want to look at THX’s site for the expalnation…
They have a couple of good videos that explai the THX Certification process
Have a look!!
THX cert hasn’t really enjoyed that much traction in the audio realm. The reason: it’s ultimately a scheme where one has to pay to be ‘certified’ to display the THX cert logo on a product. Personally, I’ve also usually thought of THX as a visual standard (rightly or wrongly). In that respect, Dolby has usurped THX IMHO. Dolby Cinema is eye-popping. Atmos is outstanding (as theater sound goes).
I’ve never really considered it applicable to 2-channel audio…only to multi-channel formats used for movies.
I’ve looked at THX’s process and understand it. I can understand why you would have to pay to play, doing that kind of testing takes time, people and equipment. Ultimately you end up with a benchmark standard to be compared to which would even the playing field among all the manufacturers. You could see for yourself what makes the mark and what doesn’t instead of relying on reviews of so called experts and company hype. It would be just a place to start.
My HT amp has THX positions. The THX amp I have is dead quiet at idle compared to other amps of the time period. The HT preamp should be able to have THX settings but the amps work fine at other voltage input settings.
That’s always been one of the problems with industry “standards”, like THX…no manufacturer wants a level playing field, nor should they. Standards organizations strive to turn products into commodities, and no manufacturer wants to compete in a commodity market.
A commodity? I don’t agree. Once you have a standard set then the only way to go is “up”. Advances in technology will drive increased standards refining the process. Where would our space programs, medical equipment and military equipment be if there were no standards to be met? I don’t believe that THX is just a scam to make money. Makers submit their stuff for evaluation because they think it can cut the mustard. I kind of think of them as the “Underwriters Laboratories” of the HiFi world. They just give me an unbiased evaluation which I can put in my toolbox to make a choice. Either get better at what you do or die.
Standards don’t tell the whole story though. Our passion is the advancement of the art in music reproduction. Listening is the other half and when the hair on your neck stands up you know you have arrived or at least got a little closer.
As a consumer, if you see value in the THX certification, I guess I’m not discouraging you from considering it, I’m just not convinced it’s relevant for serious audio gear.
For entry level equipment, perhaps being able to certify that your gear meets a minimum Standard is a selling point. For “enthusiast level” audio equipment, I’ve never heard anybody include THX certification in the discussion of things that matter.
On the topic of commoditization, and nothing to do with DSP / sound systems, THX, Roon, Dolby etc.
Companies want to sell, and want to sell as much as they can. Some companies decidedly address a certain market segment in their field. Others do address more than one segment with their products. A third type is companies that move across segments and / or stretch their segments. PS Audio is a good example of the ability to cover more than one market segment.
If I were a manufacturer of anything, I would look at certification from these perspectives:
- Is it a legal requirement? Can I sell without it?
- Is it a nice-to-have thing? Would it help me sell more to existing customers and encourage new ones?
- Is it a tech thing that would allow me to stretch my sales to a new category of customers / users, i.e. expand the segment or move into a new one?
- With regards to all the above, what is the forecasted cost/benefit? Cost = (staff + technical knowledge + hardware + software + licensing & IP rights + time lost in implementation rather than dashing the product to market)
I remember the days where you could go on down to Sears and buy a 1000 watt “peak power” console stereo which in reality only produced maybe 10 watts RMS max volume at some horrendous distortion level. Power output claims got to be so outrageous that the FTC had to come in and set a standard which just about everyone who makes a power output claim has to abide by now. I’m not sure that buyers even think about that standard, it is something they take for granted. I just see THX as setting a bar which consumers can use if they like in the buying process.