THX has launched a new speaker certification scheme, designed to set and raise standards for packages aimed at smaller rooms.
The THX Compact Speaker System certification programme is aimed at packaged designed for rooms up to 1000 cubic feet (for example 13.5ft long by 10ft wide by 8ft tall), with a typical listening distance of 8ft or even less.
Previous THX certification schemes focussed on systems designed for rooms of 2000 cubic feet upwards.
The Compact System certification can apply to the number of speakers in the package, too - the scheme will rate packages from 2.1 (two speakers and a subwoofer) through 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 set-ups.
To gain certification, THX says a package will have to deliver: high output and low distortion for accurate sound reproduction (up to 105 dBC SPL); flat frequency response for better dialogue-clarity across a wide, optimised listening area; a low-frequency system crossover for consistent, lifelike audio playback with richness and depth; extended subwoofer low frequency output for enhanced bass performance with tailored equalisation for an overall smooth, well-balanced sound when combined with the satellite speakers.
The package must also integrate with current and future THX Select2 Plus or Ultra2 Plus Certified AV amplifiers and receivers (using standard THX 80 Hz crossover settings)
The first package to be certified under the new THX scheme is one based on MK Sound's M-7 speakers (pictured below); already a highly rated system (read our review here).
We wonder how many other existing and packages will apply to be certified, especially with THX's scathing statement that: "until now, the market for smaller spaces has been saturated by underperforming, highly promoted products – leading many people to believe that the best they could get was tinny sound, no bass, and limited upgrade options." Ouch!
We'll keep you posted on any future Compact System certifications.