Forget Bass Traps, Dirac Elevates Room Acoustics Digitally

Sweden’s Dirac is kicking off 2023 CES with a remarkable new technology that builds on and refines the acclaimed Dirac Live digital room-correction tool built into AV components from more than 20 brands.

Dirac Live Active Room Treatment uses advanced digital processing to improve room acoustics by reducing bass resonance and room decay times to produce clean, tight bass. “With Active Room Treatment we are moving beyond traditional room correction to actually reduce bass decay times digitally, without needing bass traps or thick layers of wall absorption,” said company founder and chief product officer Mathias Johansson. The result, he adds, is an improvement over what is possible with current Dirac Live processing.

Dirac explains the processing this way:

“The technology leverages Dirac’s expertise in MIMO mixed-phase impulse response correction technology to enable spatial optimization, whereby all speakers in a sound system cooperate with each other to accomplish what passive acoustic treatments struggle to achieve. With decay times reduced digitally and automatically, listeners experience clear sound devoid of boomy, smeared bass — as if the room itself didn’t exist.

“Until now, managing bass response and room reflections required physical sound dampeners to be installed on the walls or other areas. In contrast, Dirac Live Active Room Treatment works much like the popular Active Noise Cancellation technology, using the system’s own speakers to actively cancel out unwanted wavelengths originating from other speakers. This is achieved by measuring the entire setup as a unified system, instead of targeting each speaker individually, and applying advanced spatial optimization to the entire system based on the needs of each unique room.

“In many listening spaces, like home entertainment rooms, it can take a long time for bass to decay — or stop bouncing around the room — resulting in ringing or booming. Dirac Live Active Room Treatment automatically evaluates and adjusts the bass characteristics of the entire system, leveraging the strengths of each speaker to make up for any shortcomings in other speakers. This effectively turns passive speakers into active support units, strengthening the overall system.”

Dirac Live Active Room Treatment is said to improve sound performance in any listening area and complements the company’s existing room-correction tools Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control. It can be used in any system with more than one speaker, with progressive performance enhancements based on the total speakers in the system, according to Dirac. The more speakers a system has, the greater the effect of the spatial optimization.

“Passive treatments for controlling low-end resonances have been around for years, but they’re not necessarily effective and require physical changes to the listening area, so most people don’t use them,” Johansson said. “Dirac Active Room Treatment is the only solution available that reduces room decay time for a much clearer and tighter bass.”

The room-correction tool will appear first in StormAudio products. It will be included, at no additional fee, in all StormAudio processors and AV receivers ordered in 2023 and can be added to existing StormAudio AVRs through a firmware update expected to be released in the spring and with the purchase of a $299 license from Dirac’s online store.

jeff-henning's picture

While I have a great deal of respect for Dirac and their tech, there are a few problems with this system:

• All of your surround speakers will need to be full-range or...

• You will need to have at least 4 subs and space them through out the the room and...

• If you have 4 subs, your pre/pro will need to have 4 independent sub outputs

While this system will help with low end problems, it still won't take care of room reflections above 300Hz.

The bottom line is that this tech will help with low bass resonances under very specific conditions, it doesn't obviate the need for acoustic treatment.