THX-certified speakers [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Ace H
07-25-2004, 04:45 PM
What makes a speaker THX-certified?

07-25-2004, 05:25 PM
Miller & Kreisel:

N. Abstentia
07-25-2004, 07:42 PM
They buy the THX sticker from Lucasfilm and stick it on there. Oh, and they jack up the price by a few hundred bucks. That pretty much makes a THX certified speaker.

They also tend to have limited horizontal dispersion, which is why I'll never own a 'THX' speaker.

07-25-2004, 08:45 PM
Basically a speaker manufacturer (or electronics etc) will send a product to Lucasfilm. They will put it through a variety of tests and if it meets their criteria they will give it THX certification. If you are purchasing speakers I wouldn't base it solely on THX certification, if you are then you might as well buy some of the cheap THX certified computer speaker packages out there.

07-26-2004, 05:12 AM
It's actually a bit more compicated than N. Abstentia mentions above! As Chimera128 says, Lucasfilm do have to carry out their own tests on the equipment to be able to certificate it but, in the case of speakers, a stringent set of design specifications have to be met, that govern horizontal and vertical directivity, flatness of frequency response, applicable frequency range for each speaker and off-axis performance.
And the results? - well from the setups I've heard it really does give superb results with home cinema, but things can tend to be rather inoffensive and dull-sounding with music as a result of the carefully controlled frequency response.
In my own humble opinion - if you have a dedicated system for home cinema only, then you could do a lot worse than THX speakers, but if your setup is intended for multi-purpose and biased towards music, then they're not really worth the extra money.


N. Abstentia
07-26-2004, 08:30 AM
I saw some $14 THX computer speakers the other day. One thing comes to mind when I see THX..."big f'ing deal."

THX was pretty cool back in 1987. You could actually use it to determine if something was of higher quality back then, but now even the cheapest speakers meet and exceed THX specs.

07-26-2004, 12:31 PM
Aside from the limited horizontal dispersion, I think there are also requirements with the linearity in the response, SPL output, and the power handling. But, hardly anything that would give most decent speakers trouble to begin with.

I never thought much of THX's speaker program, since up until they came out with the Ultra 2 spec in 2002, they would not certify any direct firing surround speakers. They had to be dipoles to get the THX certification, and IMO that spec was outdated the minute the market shifted over to discrete 5.1 with full bandwidth split surrounds. And the THX certification was certainly no guarantee of decent sound quality. For example, B&W was a THX participant, and wound up producing some awful dipolar surround speakers that poorly matched the front speakers, yet still got the THX label. Going with a combination of timbre matched direct firing speakers from the same series produced much more cohesive and better overall sound quality. I think it says something that B&W no longer makes any THX certified speakers, even though their Nautilus 802 speakers (non-THX, BTW) are used in one of the mixing studios at Skywalker Sound.