We’ve known about Sonarworks Reference for a long time but never got around to trying it out or reviewing it… but the time has come! Speaker calibration is routinely done in the analog domain in mixing and mastering studios, so how well does this digital processor work?
Sonarworks is much more affordable than its analog counterparts and is incredibly easy to set up. Our first speaker calibration took about 20 minutes and didn’t require any additional adjusting. We also tested our calibration with and without a stand and got very similar results – above all, good microphone placement is key for quality measurements!
While we didn’t have a pre-calibrated pair of Sennheiser HD650s, we were very impressed with the preset profile and it was easy to adjust to our liking.
Our Kali Audio LP-6es didn’t need much adjusting, but wow did Sonarworks Reference 4 make a difference! We love that the software calculates each speaker independently; our left speaker is approximately 0.4 dB quieter than our right overall … however our right speaker is brighter with more low mid frequencies. Sonarworks takes all of these elements into consideration, resulting in pristine optimal sound quality.
You can also easily switch between headphone and speaker profiles- perfect for all listening applications. We found the system-wide audio processing feature the most useful. You can quickly change presets from your menu bar and easily turn it on/off. Obviously this feature really shines when listening to audio, and we were delighted to hear the difference on YouTube and Spotify.
Now that we’ve tasted the forbidden fruit we’re not sure we can live without it. Sonarworks will indubitably become a crucial part of every studio we setup in the future. We can’t wait to create new calibrations in the future!
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