Just like Dolby Digital, The THX Experience

What is THX in a nutshell?

THX is a set of specifications, it’s comes fromStar Wars DVD cover George Lucas, the producer of “Star Wars” and was developed after “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” to enhance the experience of movie watching, George hired an audio scientist by the name of Tomlinson Holman to look into ways of improving audio capabilities from the movie set to the theatre and from there THX was born.

THX stands for Tomlinson Holman’s eXperiment.

THX also includes a sets guidelines for room acoustics, reverberation time, background noise, and noise isolation to ensure that every detail of the sonic presentation is accurately delivered the way the filmmaker intended. But it’s not just about sound. THX sets standards for viewing angles, projectors and onscreen lighting levels, to make sure that the best possible image is THX diagramalways displayed.  It is designed to be played at a reference level, these are just the basics and can get very involved.

What is Reference Level?

Reference Level is a specific loudness (when turning the volume up, the volume will reach “0” and keep going +1, +2 ect, “0” is reference level for all THX Certified Receivers) where no detail in the audio is lost and no artefacts like audio clipping or distortion is introduced, the system can be driven at this level without any effect at all. This level of loudness could annoy your neighbours and some family members so at times it is you may necessary to turn the volume down below reference level.

Listening to below Reference Level.

It maybe necessary to listen to a movie below reference level so as not to annoy other people around you in other rooms, doing so at times is a must but you as the viewer experiencing the movie will suffer, when lowering the volume you also lower the bass, the surround effects, and then the experience. To combat this problem THX has come up with THX Loudness Plus. How loudness plus works is when you adjust the volume below reference level, the surround speakers are changed automatically so detail in the audio is preserved and you still can experience the all the effects at any volume setting.

What types of THX certifications are there?

THX have a number of certification and there based on room size;Marantz Receiver

THX Select2 – this requires a room size of 56 cubic meters with a viewing distance of three to three and a half meters.

THX Ultra2 – this requires a room size of 85 cubic meters with a viewing distance of three and a half meters, THX Ultra2 is a 7.1 extension of the original THX Ultra specification.

THX I/S Plus Systems – Certified Systems (AV Receiver + Speaker Bundle) have the power to fill a small home theatre or room where the viewing distance from the screen is 1.8 to 2.5 meters.

Why use THX certified speakers?

There are many categories of THX certification when it comes to speakers, but reasons to choose any certified speaker over a stock stand speaker system is;

  • Crisp, clear sound fills your room: THX Ultra2, MK Sound SpeakersSelect2 and Multimedia speaker certification categories deliver amazing performances based on your room size.
  • Intelligible dialogue and ambient sounds: THX Certified Front Speakers feature Controlled Directivity, both vertically and horizontally for the best audio experience wherever you sit.
  • Smooth panning from your TV: THX Certified Surround Speakers feature THX Technologies to ensure the best possible playback experience.
  • Powerful studio volume: THX Reference Level delivers studio volume and fidelity with low distortion and noise.
  • Easily mix and match brands: With a single standardized bass configuration, you can easily and confidently use any THX Certified product together.

THX Video games

Some video games are produced in THX, the results will speak for itself when playing an action game with effects from the sides and behind, it’ll make your head turn.


There are many sound systems on the market and they are NOT all created evenly, so serious considerations need to take place of your requirements of your new home theatre system, is the room dedicated for the home theatre or are you using your lounge room? Are you willing to spend a minimum of twenty thousand dollars and of course much more if required to product the correct environment? Do you want to create an experience or just make some noise? Lots of thought needs to go into a system before even thinking of starting, and consulting an expert that will come out to your home is an absolute must.