• For an equalization solution, the miniDSP is
about as compact and easy to use as they come, provided you're willing
to do a bit of program installation and know how to use software such as
Room EQ Wizard.
• Because of its two-input and four-output
configuration (other configurations are also available), the miniDSP 2x4
will allow you to run and EQ up to four subwoofers in your system, even
if your AV preamp or receiver only has one or two subwoofer outs.
The miniDSP's plug-in or app-based
interface is rather ingenious and
allows it to change easily to your needs, as well as making it virtually
• The various apps or plug-in GUIs are very clearly
and intelligently laid out, making the need for in-depth instruction
somewhat null and void. However, miniDSP and its designers have clearly
aimed the product at the enthusiast with a DIY spirit and a fairly
robust working knowledge of topics such as EQ, crossovers, etc. Low Points
I didn't like that there was no onboard way of indicating whether or
not the upload had taken affect. Something as simple as a red/green LED
would've been appreciated.
• I didn't like that the plug-in I used
for subwoofer equalization rounded up to the nearest whole frequency
value and, as was the case with Q and Gain, the nearest half value.
There are options available out there that cost about the same as the
miniDSP and that interface with REW, and yet don't do this. Is the PEQ
21 plug-in better than nothing or even better than some onboard EQs that
are all the rage among subwoofers these days? Yes, absolutely. It just
isn't as good as my reference.
• While miniDSP claims their products
interface seamlessly with REW, I didn't find this to be the case, as I
continually had to manually enter my REW figures into the PEQ 21
plug-in, instead of simply importing an already saved file. Hopefully
this is just a temporary bug that has an easy solution. Regardless, I
was always able to manually enter in my filters and achieve suitable
results and performance that way, so it's not like you're going to be
left out in the cold. Competition and Comparison
starting to dive into the concept of outboard and/or specialty subwoofer
equalization, so my experience with comparable products is somewhat
limited. This said, I have no qualms about suggesting that the miniDSP
and its PEQ 21 plug-in are every bit as good as, if not better and more
flexible than, the low-end EQ you'll achieve through Audyssey
. Now, is it
as automatic as Audyssey? No, but if you're one to get your hands
dirty, as they say, then the miniDSP may be worthwhile. For me, it still
falls a bit short of the performance of my Behringer Feedback Destroyer
, which for roughly the same money is a bit more robust and easier to
use as a subwoofer EQ. Then again, you can't upload other plug-ins to
the Behringer, making the miniDSP far more flexible, not to mention
compact. Since I was only evaluating the miniDSP as a subwoofer
equalization device, I feel it comes in second place to my Behringer.
However, as a broader equalization/tuning tool, it takes the cake, for I
feel as if I've only barely scratched the surface of what it can do.
more on these topics, as well as subwoofers in general, please check
out Home Theater Review's Subwoofer Review page
miniDSP is one of those rare finds that I'm coming across more and more
these days since the advent of our forum, in that it's a product that
does more than one would expect, given its modest asking price of just
over $100. Granted, I demoed it to only a small fraction of its true
potential. The miniDSP is a more or less like a Swiss Army knife for
home theater and two-channel enthusiasts. As a subwoofer EQ, it's quite
good, though I have encountered better; as a somewhat future-proof
speaker system "tuning fork," it may have no equal. If you fancy
yourself a DIY'er with an adventurous spirit, the miniDSP and its host
of download-friendly plug-ins are ready and waiting.Additional Resources
• Read subwoofer reviews
from Home Theater Review.
• Visit HomeTheaterEquipment.com
to discover more gear like the miniDSP.