When shopping for home theater products, you may notice the THX or THX Certified label affixed to home theater receivers, speakers, Blu-ray disc players, and PC and pre-packaged audio systems. But what does THX mean for you and your home theater and why did we at Enclave choose to partner with THX to certify our Enclave Audio CineHome Pro 5.1 surround sound system. We’re incredibly proud to have developed the first WiSA Certified wireless home theater audio system to be awarded THX certification.
Let's explore the significance of “why THX” in the following:
- A Brief History of THX.
- What THX Certification means.
- THX Certification Product Categories.
- Where Enclave Audio Fits In.
A Brief History of THX
George Lucas founded THX as a branch of Lucasfilm, in partnership with Tomlinson Holman. The goal was to develop standards for movie theater performance. This program evolved into a certification program for both commercial cinemas and consumer home theater products.
THX gets its name from both Tomlinson Holman (the Tomlinson Holman Experiment) and is also a nod to George Lucas's first full length theatrically released film "THX 1138".
In 2002, THX was sold to Creative Technology Limited, which resulted in the implementation of THX certification for computer-related audio products. In 2016, ownership was transferred to Razer, Inc. where it led to the development of THX Spatial Audio.
What THX Certification Means
The most visible example of THX certification is the “Deep Note” trailers that play in many movie theaters. If you see one of the trailers, this means the theater is certified to produce the best possible sound and image quality for movie viewing. Consumer home theater products can also receive THX Certification by meeting specific quality performance standards.
The steps that THX employs to certify products include:
- A Prototype of the product is developed to meet provided THX specification requirements.
- The THX testing stage begins.
- If the prototype product meets THX specifications it is awarded THX certification for its product category.
- The product is mass-produced implementing the THX Certification standards.
- Sample products from the assembly line are re-tested to ensure the THX standards have been met during the production process.
Once all of the above steps are complete, the product maker is allowed to post the THX Certified Label in their information and marketing materials for the specific product.
NOTE: THX Certification isn't free, a fee must be paid to enter a product into the THX Certification Program.
THX Certification Product Categories
THX has several certification categories for audio and video products:
Video: TVs, video displays, and projectors that are optimized for the best video quality possible for both viewing video and movie content.
Multimedia Products: THX Certified Multimedia Products are designed and engineered for the best audio performance for PC gaming and Desktop multimedia applications.
Ultra2: This certification is given to home theater receivers and amplifiers optimized for performance in a large room size of 3,000 cubic feet or more.
Select2: This certification is given to home theater components optimized for medium-sized rooms, up to 2,000 cubic feet in size, with a 10–12 feet viewing distance from the screen.
I/S Plus: This certification category is for products commonly referred to as "home-theater-in-a-box" or "home theater systems" which are Integrated Systems that include an AV Receiver/Control Hub Speaker Bundle optimized for a smaller room where the viewing distance from the screen is 6–8 feet.
How THX Fits in with Enclave Audio
The Enclave Audio CineHome PRO 5.1 has been certified in the I/S (Integrated System) Plus Category. It has, as mentioned previously, the distinction of being the first wireless integrated home theater system to be THX Certified.
This means the system provides the necessary power output, frequency response, low distortion level, and subwoofer/speaker balance to fill its room size category with great sound (regardless of surround sound format), and also provides any needed adjustments to fine-tune its performance – according to THX specifications.
As part of the testing procedure, THX places the system in an acoustic chamber to make sure the frequency response of the speakers is uniform at any listening position and that the system is able to output the sound levels needed to fill the room.
Measurements are made using standardized test tones as well as movies and other content samples known for demanding soundtracks to make sure the speakers in the system sound natural and unstressed even at higher volume levels.
The “0” position on a receiver's or control hub speaker level settings option is designed to meet the THX Reference Level specification. The THX Reference Level takes into account the ability of the system to drive the speakers without clipping or distorting from any input source.
When adjusting the speaker levels for your room, each speaker setting below 0 (or -) is lower than the reference level, while settings above 0 (+) are higher than the reference level. The level can be set differently for each speaker as needed for specific room dimensions and acoustics.
Once the levels are set, the main volume control raises and lowers the volume of all the speakers together, while keeping the level relationship between each speaker the same.
Enclave Audio and WiSA
The CineHome Pro 5.1 is also WiSA Certified. This means it provides a 5.1 channel surround sound listening experience with the use of wireless speakers, capable of delivering 2x CD-quality sound at 1/10th the latency of Bluetooth without speaker wires.
As part of the WiSA certification, the CineHome Pro speakers employ WiSA developed technology and can work with other WiSA certified transmitters if you have a WiSA Ready TV. WiSA technology supports the following capabilities:
The CineHome PRO is packaged with a transmitter hub that connects to any TV that has an HDMI-ARC or optical connection. Each speaker is powered by a custom-designed Class-D amplifier with a WiSA receiver module so that each speaker just needs AC power to form a connection with the CineHub transmitter
Once the speakers are placed and the CineHub is turned on, a simple setup process detects the speakers and you’re ready to enjoy a THX Certified experience right from your couch. With the CineHub Remote App, you can further customize your experience by adjusting the individual speaker levels, and calibrating distances to your optimal sitting position so that you can get the most out of your system.
The Bottom Line
With both THX and WiSA certifications, the Enclave Audio CineHome Pro 5.1 system provides the consumer a quality, flexible, home theater system solution to complete the TV and movie viewing experience.