Skip to main content

CES 2023: Dirac Live Active Room Treatment is ANC for your speakers

The massive convention halls of CES 2023 in Las Vegas are filled with blinding eye candy as far as you can see — everything from the latest TVs and computer monitors to smart projectors and more. But the Swedish digital audio processing masters at Dirac want you to know that the annual tech show is also loaded with things that sound amazing. To that end, Dirac today announced its Dirac Live Active Room Treatment, which it says works like active noise cancellation technology by using your home theater system’s own speakers to help clean up the sound in any room.

A Dirac Live Room Treatment-enabled speaker showing a soundwave graphic filling the room.

Anyone who’s ever set up speakers or a subwoofer in a home entertainment space will tell you that everything from the size of the room to its walls, floor, ceiling, and the objects in it can affect the sound — bass frequencies can cross and create an annoying boom, and sound can bounce all over the place, creating unwanted noise.

It’s a complement to its popular Dirac Live software-based sound-processing tech that includes Dirac Live Room Correction and Dirac Live Bass Control. whch have been available for AV components from Denon, JBL, StormAudio, Marantz, NAD, and others for years. The company says that its new Active Room Treatment feature differs in that it measures the sound of an entire speaker setup in the room, as a unified system, and enables “advanced spatial optimization” to use the system’s speakers against itself to “actively cancel out unwanted wavelengths originating from other speakers” (see the diagrams below). Hence the comparison to active noise cancellation. Dirac says that the more speakers there are in the system, the better the sound is optimized.

Dirac’s press release states that this new digital-processing feature will automatically reduce bass decay times so that listeners can “experience clear sound devoid of boomy, smeared bass — as if the room itself didn’t exist.” Traditionally, achieving this kind of room clarity can involve adjustments to the room itself, often with expensive and ugly sound-dampening panels on the walls and/or ceiling, as well as the potential to have to place subwoofers in awkward places to prevent crossover and boom. With Active Room Treatment, the idea is that this is done digitally and automatically.  

“Dirac pioneered digital room correction through our impulse response optimization technology found in our acclaimed Dirac Live Room Correction feature,” stated Mathias Johansson, Dirac’s chief product officer. “Now, 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.”

If you’re eager to get Dirac’s new tech into your home theater or listening room setup, however, you’re going to have to wait a bit. While their above-mentioned calibration products can be found and added to a range of brands, Dirac Live Active Room Treatment will be limited to processors and AVRs from French audio makers StormAudio and included free in units ordered after January 1, 2023, with a firmware update being delivered in spring 2023. For those with StormAudio products ordered prior to January 1, a license can be purchased for $299 at the Dirac online store, after the firmware update drops. The CES 2023 release did not mention whether the feature will be made available in other brands, but it’s likely it will.

Editors' Recommendations

Derek Malcolm
Contributing Editor – AV + Home Theater
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
CES 2020 audio predictions: Expect more noise-canceling headphones and 3D music
Sony WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds

CES is always full of mystery. That's what makes it so much fun -- and so terribly difficult to prepare for. That said, while we're always in for some surprises, it doesn't take a crystal ball to read at least some of the writing on the wall. When it comes to audio at CES 2020, we can predict the expansion of at least two major trends: True wireless earbuds and 3D immersive audio.

Easy guesses, you say? OK, I'll give you that, but let's dig a little deeper into both topics to give a preview of some of the biggest trends in audio that we'll see at the show in January -- and during the next year as well.
Cut the noise

Read more
Outfit your living room for surround sound bliss with ELAC’s new Debut 2.0 line
ELAC Debut 2.0

After encountering ELAC's Uni-fi UB5 bookshelf speakers -- the best pair of $500 bookshelf speakers we've seen to date -- and being wowed by the company's Argo B51 speakers at CES, it's fair to say that when ELAC releases new speakers, we pay attention. This week the company announced the Debut 2.0 line of home speakers, which builds on the original Debut lineup with new materials and technologies.

There are a total of nine new models in the line: two models of 2-way bookshelf speakers, two models of 2-way center speakers, two models of 3-way floorstanding speakers, two 2-way on-wall speakers, a concentric Dolby Atmos add-on speaker, and a 400-watt powered subwoofer. The bookshelf, center, and floorstanding speakers each come in two different sizes, letting you tailor them to your room. Paired with a Dolby Atmos-capable A/V receiver (which most are these days) you've got all you need for a truly awe-inspiring home surround sound system.

Read more
It still isn’t cheap, but this 77-inch LG OLED TV is $200 off today
The LG B2 OLED 4K TV in a living room.

It may not be a cheap deal by any means but if you've been considering buying a high-end and large OLED TV, you might like one of the TV deals that Best Buy has right now. Today, you can buy the LG 77-inch B2 OLED TV for $2,300 instead of $2,500. That means you save $200 which might not quite be 10% off but is still a good discount on such a pricey TV. You've probably already done all your research but if you still need a little more explanation about this TV, read on while we take you through it.

Why you should buy the LG 77-inch B2 OLED TV
You can't go wrong with an LG TV. It's one of the best TV brands around these days and it truly knows how to make the most of OLED technology. A big selling point here is its huge 77-inch display but it's packed with self-lit OLED pixels so you get infinite contrast, perfect blacks, and over a billion colors that add depth and make whatever you're watching look spectacular.

Read more