Focal speakers and auto-calibration

My Focal speakers are properly connected but appear as out-of-phase!

Many owners of Focal floorstanding speakers and compact models have noticed that the receiver identifies the speakers as out-of-phase during the auto-calibration process.

Enceinte compacte Focal Aria 905

Focal Aria 905 compact speakers with inverted dome tweeter.

This is a common phenomenon which speaker and home theater receiver manufacturers are well aware of. It is mainly caused by the fact that the home theater receiver?s auto-calibration program does not take into account the way the speaker?s filter was designed and cannot determine the exact placement of the home theater speakers.

Focal has reminded its customers that its speakers are designed and optimized to offer an outstanding hi-fi and home theater experience. In order to ensure the best results possible, the phase of the medium and high frequency ranges is optimized amongst all the speakers. This is especially important as it has been proven that the human ear is most sensitive to information within this range.

Recommendations from Focal for proper speaker calibration

If the amplifier identifies the speakers? phase as incorrect during the auto-calibration process of a Focal home theater speaker pack, the French manufacturer recommends a temporary phase inversion to ensure proper measurement.

First step – Invert the speakers? phase by inverting the polarity of their respective cables:
1/ Connect the + conductive wire to the – terminal.
2/ Connect the – conductive wire to the + terminal.

Borniers enceintes Focal Aria 905

Focal Aria 905 speaker terminals

Second step – Proceed with auto-calibration.

Third step – When the calibration process is complete, revert the speaker wires to the originally intended position:
1/ Connect the + conductive wire to the + terminal
2/ Connect the – conductive wire to the – terminal


The auto-calibration of speakers carried out by a home theater receiver via a microphone should be taken as a helpful tool or used for a first shot at calibration. It is not a flawless, 100% reliable solution.

The Yamaha RX-V683 home cinema receiver and its calibration microphone.

The Yamaha RX-V683 home cinema receiver and its calibration microphone.

An attentive post-calibration listening session is recommended as levels and distances may need to be adjusted. It is also important to check how the low-pass cutoff filters were adjusted during auto-calibration and determine which channel was attributed to each speaker (small/large). Verifying and, if need be,adjusting the subwoofer and center speaker?s levels is strongly recommended.

This post is also available in: French

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