The IE-35 Audio Analysis System gives me serious calibrator envy:
The IE-35 Audio Analysis System from Ivie is a second generation, calibrated, handheld audio instrument delivering a broad range of acoustical measurements displayed in stunning color. In-the-field functions include real time analyzer measurements (RTA), sound pressure level (SPL) measurements, seat-to-seat level variation measurements, strip chart recordings of sound level over time, polarity checking, oscilloscope measurements, Noise Criteria (NC/NR) measurements, a built-in signal generator, audio level volt meter, RT60 reverb and more.
I currently use an analog Radio Shack SPL Meter to balance my surround sound channels and subwoofer. I have never felt satisfied with the subwoofer’s volume and crossover in relation to the other 4 channels (I don’t use a center speaker, check back soon for an explanation). The Radio Shack meter’s needle jumps all over the place when I measure Avia’s Guide to Home Theater‘s subwoofer test tones. I get a very averaged result.
My home theater room must meet all wife-acceptance-factors (attractive furniture, window treatments and paint color) before I can consider meeting any acoustic requirements. Luckily, some of the WAF requirements lend themselves to better acoustics, like cushy seating and curtains.
The IE-35 runs a suite of audio analysis and signal generator tools through a microphone and RCA I/O rig that piggybacks onto a Dell Axim X51v Windows Mobile 2005 PDA. With this tool a calibrator geek like me could analyze nulls and exaggerations in his home theater or listening room all across the audio band. I could then rearrange furniture, build attractive sound absorbers or reflectors and bass tube traps. These adjustments could finally perfect my movie and music listening experience. Then I could stop the endless cycle of buying a new DVD player, preamp, loudspeaker, amplifier or subwoofer whenever I detect a sonic anomaly. But what fun would that be?
Though expensive (cheaper if you already own a Dell Axim), the IE-35 deserves a spot on any home theater or audiophile tweaker’s utility belt.