Terms & Definitions

K&W Audio has compiled this Terms and Definitions page to unveil the esoteric language of those afflicted with our disease! We assume you know what a CD or Bluray player is…Tape for the middle of those broken glasses sir???


Bi-Wiring (Does not refer to a person’s sexual versatility) The ability of a loudspeaker to accept two sets of cables from an amplifier (or occasionally vice versa). One set is for the high frequency unit(s), the other set for the low. This increases dynamic range by preventing current fluctuations caused by power demands from the woofer.
CAT5 Category 5 cable. An Ethernet cable standard defined by the Electronic Industries Association and Telecommunications Industry Association (commonly known as EIA/TIA). CAT5 is the fifth generation of twisted pair Ethernet cabling and the most popular of all twisted pair cables in use today.
Component Cable A video cable where the signal that has been split into two or more components. In popular use, it refers to a type of analog video information that is transmitted or stored as three separate signals, Red Green and Blue.
Composite Cable The single yellow video connection found on older video devices. Not as good as S-Video, Component and HDMI.
DVI A single connector intended to carry both Audio and Video. Now replaced to a lage degree in favor of HDMI. This format has 3 different connectors with 2 modes possible for each connector. DVI-D (only digital audio signal is included), DVI-A (only analog audio signal included), DVI-I (both analog and digital audio are included).
Ethernet cable Used to transmit data at high speeds over a local area network (LAN). Most home network devices, including game consoles, use what’s called a CAT5e cable.
Firewire A high performance networking standard based on a serial bus architecture similar to USB.
HDBaseT A new A/V standard designed by Samsung, Sony, LG and others to replace the HDMI cable over conventional CAT5/6 cable. Unlike HDMI, which merely transfers uncompressed audio and video data, HDBaseT uses what it calls 5Play: the transfer of audio and video data, plus 100BaseT Ethernet, and even power, plus control signals.
HDCP High – Bandwidth Digital Content Protection. Better known as why do I have a black screen?
HDMI HDMI was first introduced in 2003, and stands for high definition multimedia interface. It is a cable that transfers audio, video and some control commands over a single cable.
HDMI 1.0 Created to be compatible with DVI and support up to 3.96 Gbps (giga-bits per second) of video and 8-channel audio.
HDMI 1.1 Added support for DVD audio.
HDMI 1.2 Added support for Super Audio CDs and the availability of a connector for PC sources.
HDMI 1.3 Increased bandwidth to 10.2 Gbps, a huge increase over HDMI 1.0 and an even more dramatic increase over .81 Gbps throughput rate required for standard DVDs.
HDMI 1.3A Category 1 and Category 2 specifications. The Category 2 specification is the cable that will meet all of today’s capabilities and get you prepared for the future as it allows deep color rendition, lossless audio formats and faster refresh rates.
HDMI 1.4 Adds to 1.3 a feature set which will allow the likes of 3D, reverse audio and 4k2k (Higher resoulution, at lower frame rates)
RG59 Coaxial cable. Smaller dielectric (stinger) and lighter shielding. Used for transfer of video signal only.
S-Video (S for separated) is sometimes considered a type of component video signal. It carries black and white information separate from color. Superior to Composite, not as good as Component or HDMI.
USB Universal Serial Bus (USB) is the alternative to Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) connectivity. A cable with a USB connector, used with USB-based devices like a high-speed modem.


802.11 There are three varieties of 802.11 wireless networks: 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g & 802.11n. This is the type of wireless network that is used to connect to devices on your network.
Access point Most 802.11 networks, called infrastructure networks, use a central piece of hardware called an access point. Routers, gateways, switches, hubs, and base stations are all access points.
Broadband Broadband refers to a high-speed Internet service, that is, a data connection of greater than 56 kbps. The most common broadband services are cable and DSL.
DHCP DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) enables a router to assign temporary IP addresses to devices on the network. If your console’s IP settings are set to automatic, and DHCP is enabled, your console will automatically get an IP address.
Dial-up Dial-up refers to connecting a device to a network or the Internet through a modem and a public telephone network. Dial-up access is a phone connection.
DNS DNS, or Domain Name System, is how computers find other computers on the Internet. DNS addresses are usually provided by an Internet service provider (ISP). There should be two: a primary address and a secondary address. Each should be in the format nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn, where n are numbers specific to your Internet service.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Internet service typically provided by a phone company. DSL service usually uses a phone line (similar to a home phone line) to connect to the modem, and a USB or Ethernet cable to connect the modem to a computer or router. Most DSL used by consumers is ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
Dynamic IP Address Allows your console to automatically obtain its IP address from a router.
Ethernet Ethernet is a network technology that transmits information between computers at speeds of 10–100 million bits per second (mbps). Most computers and game consoles on a wired network use Ethernet cables to connect.
Firewall A firewall is a security system that acts as a protective boundary between a network and the Internet by blocking network traffic on certain ports. Firewalls can be installed as software on a computer, or they can be built into routers.
Gateway A gateway is a device that integrates a high-speed Internet modem with a router into a single device.
Gateway Address The gateway address is the IP address of the router or device that manages traffic on the network.
Host Name A host name is a human-readable name assigned to a computer or device. In some cases, networking software displays these names to users so that they can access resources on remote computers.
Hub A hub is a common connection point that provides multiple Ethernet ports for devices in a network. For example, an Ethernet hub that has four ports allows you to connect four IP devices together using four Ethernet cables. It does not manage traffic or assign IP addresses; for that, you need a router.
ICMP The way your router or gateway handles a type of Internet traffic known as ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol), which is the most basic way computers communicate with each other on the Internet.
IP & TCP/IP (TCP/IP) Most computers and game consoles on a network and on the Internet use TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) to communicate.
IP Address The identity of a PC or other device on a network. The format of an IP address is a numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be between 0–255. (For example, could be an IP address.)
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network. An international communications standard that allows access to a network or the Internet through both digital and regular telephone lines.
ISP (Internet Service Provider) A company that provides access to the Internet.
LAN Local Area Network. A computer network connecting devices that are geographically close together (for example, in the same building). A network you set up in your house to connect your PC in the den and your Xbox console in the living room  for example is a LAN.
MAC Address A hardware address that uniquely identifies each device of on network, such as a game console, PC, or printer. While this sounds similar to an IP address, it’s not the same thing. A MAC address is set when a device is manufactured. IP addresses are dependent on the network and can change. The hardware MAC address for your console is fine to use in most cases, but it can be overridden with an alternate MAC address. This comes in handy for services that are tied to a specific MAC address (for example, if your ISP ties your Internet service to your PC’s MAC address, you can assign your PC’s MAC address to a gaming console to temporarily mimic your PC while gaming online)
Modem A modem is a device that enables a computer to transmit data over telephone or cable lines. Modems for cable and DSL service are often referred to as digital modems, and those used for traditional dial-up networking as analog modems.
Node Any remote location at which a cable, or group of cables in a network are terminated, allowing that point to send or receive data.
Router A router is the device used to connect multiple devices (computers, gaming consoles, printers, etc.) on a network. A router with a firewall allows Internet communications (such as Web surfing, file downloading and uploading, sending and receiving e-mail) while helping to keep your network activity private from the outside world.
Server A device that manages system and network resources. In our field usually a hard drive based product that stores Music or Movies, pictures or other entertainment or automation data.
SSID An SSID is the name of a wireless local area network (WLAN). All wireless devices on a WLAN must use the same SSID in order to communicate with each other.
Static IP Address Manually entered IP address. This can be a number provided by an ISP, or one you choose.
Subnet Mask A subnet mask is number used to separate the network and host sections of an IP address. The subnet mask tells your computer what other IP addresses are “close” to it, compared with the IP addresses that are on a network farther away.
Switch A switch is a connection device that enables data to move to and from several computers on your network at the same time. A switch costs more than a hub, but it can move data much more quickly when several people are using the network at once. In smaller networks (usually, fewer than four computers), you can use a hub where you’d use a switch if cost is a concern
T1 A dedicated phone connection to the Internet that provides a high-speed bandwidth of 1.544 MB per second.
T3 A dedicated phone connection to the Internet that provides a high-speed bandwidth of 44.746 MB per second.
WAN Wide Area Network. A network that covers a large area by interconnecting multiple LANs.
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) The old standard for security and data protection on a wireless network. The current standard is WPA, which is much stronger but may not be supported on all network devices.
Wireless Networking Wireless networks enable you to move data without having to run wires from device to device.
WPA (Wi-Fi® Protected Access) The current standard for security and data protection on a wireless network. It helps prevent unauthorized users from connecting to your network.


Class A  (Does not mean “Canadian made”) Refers to the way current flows in an amplifier. Two output devices supply continuous current for the duration of a signal. Requires premium components (increases cost), creates heat as the amp runs at 100% output continuously, eliminates output switching noise making for smoother sound.
Class A/B Current flows through each device for more than half the cycle time, while the other output is switched off for less than half the time. Best value in “sound dollars”. Some heat, low switching noise, not expensive to produce.
Class B  Same as a Class A, except each output operates for half the cycle time, while the other output is switched off. Less expensive, low heat output, can introduce audible switching distortion.
Dynamic Headroom (Does not refer to extroverts) The difference (in dB), between an amplifier’s continuous output capability and it’s ability to reproduce a quick change in volume at peak output. Once the holy grail of amps, some will now say it shows a potential for a poor power supply, which can veil the image.


Current Tasty morsel, measured in Amperes to denote the amount of electricity flowing along/through a conductive material. Used to describe an amplifier’s ability to deliver power to a speaker. More is better, but also more money.
D to A Digital to Analog converter. Every CD player has at least one (good to know, eh!) It takes the digital information from the CD and converts it into an analog wave, which can then be amplified and reproduced by speakers. Many different types, each with merits.
Soundbar While a bar speaker may look like a bigger version of the horizontal center speaker included in many surround speaker packages, it is something quite different, handling more than one channel. Some bar speakers contain their own amplifiers, and therefore need only to be connected to one or more source components. Others require outboard amplification, such as a receiver.
Watts (Often used by those who do not understand Audio Jargon) Describes an amplifier’s output to the loudspeaker. A swing gate, meaning the combination of several specifications (voltage and current) to arrive at one value. More voltage and less current or less voltage and more current can result in similar numbers. The music playing ability of similar rated amplifiers, can vary dramatically. The result of all this is that the wattage output number is of dubious benefit when comparing amplifiers of different manufactures, who likely employ differing measuring procedures.


ACC Advanced Audio Coding, the lossy codec best known for its use in the Apple iPod and iTunes. May be labeled with filename extension M4A. Operates with or without FairPlay DRM.
AIFF Audio Interchange File Format, an uncompressed file format codeveloped by Apple.
Anechoic Echo free.  An anechoic room has no reflected sound.   This is accomplished by treating all of the room’s surfaces with sound absorbing material.
Bi-Amp A method of amplification (and cabling) in which the frequency spectrum of the signal to be amplified is split into low and high frequencies before it is amplified.  This method produces a cleaner sound with less distortion.
Bit Rate The number of bits per second at which a codec operates. Affects quality of sound. Also known as sampling rate or bit rate.
Boundary Compensation Sitting near a wall may result in bloated bass response. The boundary gain compensation filters and corrects the bass.
CD-DA The Compact Disc Digital Audio system is the format CD’s are recorded in.
CDA Compact Disc Audio. Shortcut that a computer operating system used to identify an uncompressed audio track on a CD. Not actually a file format. May refer to WAV or AIFF files.
Codec An encode/decode format used to compress audio files. The encoding process reduces audio data to a more manageable file size. The decoding process occurs on playback.
Compression Shrinking of audio file sizes using a codec, or encode/decode process. May be lossy, discarding some audible data, or lossless, precisely reconstructing the original signal with no loss in sound quality. Not to be confused with compression of analog audio signals or systems.
Data Rate The number of bits per second at which a codec operates. Affects quality of sound. Also known as sampling rate or bit rate.
dB Symbol for decibel (deci or 1/10th, and Bel the scale for volume measurement, as in that Alex Graham guy). A unit denoting sound volume. Somewhere between one and three of these units lurks the smallest volume increment variation discernible to the human ear.
DRM Digital Rights Management. A controversial software feature that prevents unauthorized copying of copyrighted material. May also prevent DRM-protected files from playing on unauthorized devices. DRM is sometimes piggybacked onto AAC, WMA, and other proprietary codecs and file formats. formats.
DVD-A DVD-Audio is a digital format for delivering high resolution audio content on a DVD. DVD-Audio is not a video delivery format and is not the same format as a DVD containing concert films or music videos.
Dynamic Range The distance in dB between the loudest and the quietest passage of sound, at a set volume level.
FLAC Free Lossless Audio Codec. A codec that is lossless, therefore discarding no audible data; and open-source, therefore available for use by any software developer. Less efficient than a lossy format, more efficient than an uncompressed format.
Frequency (No comment) A sound wave. The faster the frequency the higher the sound, the slower the frequency the lower the sound.
Image The realistic “Mirage” or sense of the recorded performance occurring between, behind and around the loudspeakers.
Lossless Refers to audio codecs that reduce data, cutting file size, but without discarding any data essential to sound quality. Examples: FLAC, Apple Lossless.
Lossy Refers to audio codecs that reduce data, cutting file size, using psychoacoustic principles that identify data less essential to the ear. Examples include MP3, AAC, and WMA.
MP3 A lossy audio codec originally developed as the audio soundtrack for the MPEG-1 video codec. The most popular audio file format, used in many applications, including paid downloads, file sharing, and personal ripping of CDs for playback on a computer or music player.
MP3 Pro An improved form of MP3 that offers better sound quality in smaller file sizes. Has yet to achieve the universality of original MP3.
MP3 VBR MP3 Variable Bit Rate. An improved version of MP3 that adjusts compression from moment to moment, depending on the demands of the source material. Supported in newer hardware and software.
OGG Open-source file format that supports open-source codecs that may be lossy or lossless.
Open Source Refers to codecs and file formats that are not proprietary and not restricted by patents or licensing.
Oversampling (Does not have anything to do with beverages) Refers to the frequency of a CD player’s D to A while playing a disc. The number of times above the original recording’s sampling rate indicates a faster processor. A benefit here is getting the sound generated by the sampling clock, high enough to prevent interference with the music, allowing us more choice for other components in the output stream. This should not be a deciding spec in choosing your next CD player (too many external variables).
PCM Pulse Code Modulation. Generic description of uncompressed digital audio. The CD is a 16-bit/44.1kHz PCM format. That means it samples a string of 16 zeroes and ones 44,100 times a second.
Proprietary Codec Codecs bound by patent. For example, WMA is a proprietary codec owned by Microsoft. AAC was developed by AT&T, Dolby Labs, and other parties and licensed to Apple and other users.
Pshcyoacoustics The study of human hearing and how it is influenced by the brain. In lossy audio codecs, psychoacoustic principles are applied to determine which audio data are less critical to the ear and therefore may be discarded to reduce file size.
Ripping The encoding of an audio file, usually in a smaller file size than the original, using an audio codec.
SA-CD SA-CD is short for Super Audio Compact Disc – an optical music carrier designed to provide better stereo sound quality than CD while maintaining backward compatibility with CD.
Uncompressed Refers to an audio file that has not been subject to data reduction, either lossy or lossless. See compressed.
WAV Windows Waveform. An audio file format that can be used to store uncompressed digital audio signals including, but not limited to, CD.
WMA Windows Media Audio. Family of audio codecs owned by Microsoft. Includes lossy, lossless, and other formats.
WMA Lossless Windows Media Audio Lossless. The lossless version of WMA, used to deliver high-quality downloads by MusicGiants.

Home Theatre

1080p 1080p represents 1,080 lines of resolution scanned sequentially – the P means progressive or one after the other. Currently the video state of the art in resolution capability. If the unit in question does 1080p (or higher) it’s state of the art.
Audyssey This company licenses an automatic setup and room correction systems incorporated into more than one major brand of surround receiver. Most receiver manufacturers create their own auto-setup circuits—this is one of the rare licensed exceptions. These systems typically co-exist with Dolby and DTS surround standards. However, Audyssey has also come up with technologies that compete with the surround standard setters, such as Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which competes with THX Loudness Plus and Dolby Volume.
Circle Surround Developed SRS Labs, Circle includes both movie and music modes. Like Dolby Pro Logic II/IIx and DTS Neo:6, it operates on Dolby Surround and stereo signals, but produces a different and “wetter” sound with more reverb.
D-ILA Also called LCOS or LCoS is a “micro-projection” or “micro-display” technology applied in some projection and video display systems
Decorrelation In early surround soundtracks with a single mono rear channel, this feature adjusts the relationship between the two (or more) rear speakers to prevent the soundfield from collapsing to one side. Adaptive decorrelation senses discrete and mono surround information, decorrelating only the mono content.
Dolby ATMOS A surround sound configuration introduced in 2012 that provides up to 64-channels of surround sound by combining front, side, rear, back, and overhead speakers.
Dolby Axon Adds 360-degree surround effects to online voice communications in gaming and virtual worlds.
Dolby Digital Used in Blu-ray, DVD, digital cable, satellite video, video game consoles, and over-the-air DTV broadcasting, this is a 5.1-channel lossy codec. It records 5.1 discrete (wholly separate) channels: front left/center/right, surround left/right, and subwoofer.
Dolby Digital EX Used in Blu-ray and DVD, this is a 6.1-channel codec that adds a single back-surround channel to the standard 5.1-channel array. It uses a matrixing process, deriving the back-surround channel from the side-surround channels. Though mono, the back-surround channel is typically played by a pair of speakers, and thus would be compatible with a 7.1 speaker package.
Dolby Digital Live Converts any audio signal from PC or game console to Dolby Digital for compatible playback through a home theater system.
Dolby Digital Plus Used in Blu-ray and European over-the-air DTV broadcasting, this codec is an updated version of Dolby Digital. At its best, by using a higher data rate and more efficient compression, it provides a finer-grained sound than traditional Dolby Digital. At the lower data rates used in broadcasting, it can provide DVD-quality audio. The signal can be decoded by a Blu-ray player or by an HDMI-connected surround receiver. When decoded by the player, it can be passed to the receiver as a high-resolution PCM signal via HDMI 1.1 or as a high-resolution analog signal via the multi-channel analog interface. When decoded by the receiver, the player must pass the bitstream to the receiver via HDMI 1.3 or higher.
Dolby Headphone Intended for devices with headphone outputs, provides a 5.1- or 7.1-channel listening experience with two-channel or 5.1-channel sources. Compatible with any decoded 5.1-channel audio codec. Used in conjunction with Dolby Pro Logic II for two-channel sources decoded to 5.1.
Dolby Pr Logic IIX The 7.1-channel version of Dolby Pro Logic II. Expands stereo or 5.1-channel signals to 7.1 channels, including front left/center/right, side-surround left/right, back-surround left/right, and sub.
Dolby Pr Logic IIZ Builds on Dolby Pro Logic II and IIx by adding a pair of “height” channels above the front left and right, totaling 7.1 channels without back-surrounds, or 9.1 channels with back-surrounds.
Dolby Pro Logic II An improved form of Pro Logic. It operates on two-channel signals with or without Dolby Surround encoding, and can therefore be helpful with CDs, LPs, and other stereo sources. It decodes the mono rear signal into two independent channels, provides user adjustment of the side-to-side and front/rear balances, and does so with simpler processing that provides full frequency response in all channels and a more stable soundfield. DPLII has four user modes: movie, music, games, and the rarely used old-style Pro Logic emulation.
Dolby Pro-Logic Decodes a two-channel Dolby Surround signal into a 5.1-channel array, reversing the matrixing process to add the center, surround, and subwoofer channels. As the oldest member of the Pro Logic family, it has a few shortcomings, especially in the rear channels, where it preserves the mono surround signal and truncates frequency response. Today Pro Logic is provided in an “emulation” mode but rarely used, having been superseded by the superior Pro Logic II and IIx.
Dolby Surround Used primarily in VHS, laserdisc, and now-discontinued analog TV broadcasting, this is the oldest of Dolby’s home surround standards. This analog codec uses a technique called “matrixing” to encode surround sound into stereo sources such as videotapes, laserdiscs, and DVDs—but it is decoded by any of the Pro Logic modes (see below). It serves the two rear speakers with only a mono signal.
Dolby TrueHD Used in Blu-ray, this is Dolby’s state-of-the-art lossless codec. By omitting no data, it provides a bit-for-bit replica of the studio master soundtrack. The signal can be decoded by a Blu-ray player or by an HDMI-connected surround receiver. When decoded by the player, it can be passed to the receiver as a high-resolution PCM signal via HDMI 1.1 or as a high-resolution analog signal via the multi-channel analog interface. When decoded by the receiver, the player must pass the bitstream to the receiver via HDMI 1.3 or higher.
Dolby Virtual Speaker Used in compact systems, DTVs, and PCs, simulates a 5.1-speaker listening environment with as few as two speakers.
Dolby Volume Provides consistent volume levels across all sources and content (based on consumer preference and settings). Also restores perception of the original audio mix at low listening levels.
DTS 96/24 Occasionally used in DVD, a high-resolution 5.1-channel format that takes its name from its 96kHz sampling rate and 24-bit processing.
DTS Advanced Neo Builds on DTS Neo:6 by adding a pair of “height” channels above the front left and right, and another pair above the back-surround speakers.
DTS Core Used in Blu-ray and DVD, this is a 5.1-channel lossy codec, and is sometimes referred to as DTS 5.1 or just DTS. It records 5.1 discrete (wholly separate) channels: front left/center/right, surround left/right, and subwoofer. DTS now uses the name DTS Core to indicate backward compatibility of some Blu-ray hardware/software combinations with older DTS surround processors.
DTS Envelo For portable applications, a listening mode that deals with the special problems of highly compressed audio formats.
DTS Head Tracker For headphone use, allows the soundfield to follow head movements.
DTS Neo:6 Operates on two-channel signals with or without surround encoding, and can therefore be helpful with CDs, LPs, and other stereo sources. It adapts the two-channel signal to a 6.1-channel array with front left/center/right channels, side-surround left/right, a mono back-surround channel that is usually split between two speakers, and subwoofer, forming a 7.1-speaker system. Has both movie and music modes.
DTS Neural Surround Similar to DTS Neo:6 but licensed for different applications. Formerly licensed by THX, now owned by DTS.
DTS-ES Discrete Used in Blu-ray and DVD, this is a 7.1-channel codec that adds two back-surround channels, and speakers, to the standard 5.1-channel array. Unlike DTS-ES Matrix and comparable codecs, this one provides two wholly separate back-surround channels, not just a single mono channel.
DTS-ES Matrix Used in Blu-ray and DVD, this is a 6.1-channel codec that adds a single back-surround channel to the standard 5.1-channel array. It uses a matrixing process, deriving the back-surround channel from the side-surround channels. Though mono, the back-surround channel is typically played by a pair of speakers.
DTS-HD High Resoultion Audio Used in Blu-ray, this is a lossy codec that improves over DTS Core. By using a higher data rate and smarter compression, it provides a finer-grained sound than old-school DTS. The signal can be decoded by a Blu-ray player or by an HDMI-connected surround receiver. Look for HDMI version 1.3 (and up) on spec sheets.
DTS-HD Master Audio Used in Blu-ray, this is DTS’s state-of-the-art lossless codec. By omitting no data, it provides a bit-for-bit replica of the studio master soundtrack. The signal can be decoded by a Blu-ray player or by an HDMI-connected surround receiver. Look for HDMI version 1.3 (and up) on spec sheets.
DTS-HD Master Audio Essential Used in Blu-ray players, this version of DTS-HD Master Audio provides the same quality. As a less expensive licensing option for Blu-ray and DVD player manufacturers, it does not support older DTS standards such as ES and Neo:6. However, Essential players can pass these signals as bitstreams for decoding in a surround receiver.
ISF The Imaging Science Foundation is in the Display Standards industry, and is dedicated to improving the quality of electronic imaging.
Logic 7 Developed by Lexicon a division of Harman International, and used in Lexicon products. Though it is technically an encode/decode process, in practice there is little Logic 7 encoded software, so the process operates mainly on Dolby Surround and stereo signals.
THX .The founder of quality assurance programs for superior cinema presentation.
THX Integrated System THX certification for “home theater in a box” systems is designed for viewing distances of six to eight feet.
THX Loudness Plus Programming mixed at the THX reference level may contain dynamic swings too extreme for home listening. Loudness Plus adjusts the tonal and spatial balances for lower-volume listening, enabling you to catch every word, and you won’t have to flinch at too-loud effects. It is incorporated into the THX Select2 Plus and THX Ultra2 Plus certification programs.
THX Media Director This set of automatic controls helps the viewer enjoy programming as it was meant to be seen and heard without having to access adjustments in user menus. For instance, it will correct the shape of pictures, and select the right listening modes for surround soundtracks. To work, it must be supported by both hardware and software.
THX Multimedia This slimmed-down version of THX is suitable for desktop computing and gaming applications with a viewing distance of two feet, four inches.
THX re-EQ Movie soundtracks mixed for large theaters may be abrasive in a home theater system. Re-EQ establishes a less edgy and more accurate tonal balance for home listening.
THX Select For home theater systems in smaller rooms, the original THX Select, the current Select2, and the new Select2 Plus work for viewing distances of 10 to 12 feet and room up to 2000 cubic feet in volume. Select2 Plus includes THX Loudness Plus.
THX Ultra2 For home theater systems in larger rooms, the original THX Ultra, the current Ultra2, and the new Ultra2 Plus work for viewing distances of more than 12 feet and rooms of more than 3000 cubic feet in volume. Ultra2 Plus includes THX Loudness Plus.
Timbre Matching Our ears hear different tonal qualities in sounds coming from different directions. Timbre matching restores the frequency balance between front and surround speakers.


Dolby Mobile Used in cell phones, personal media players, and portable audio devices, this suite of technologies enables provides surround listening via headphones. It offers better bass, restores high-frequency elements lost during compression, and manipulates the soundstage for more subjectively perceived realism from downloaded music, movie, and video content.
Sense (Sometimes found at K&W Audio) The ability to step back from clutter and confusion, without losing sight of an underlying goal, when buying an audio/video component, i.e. Does it do what I want, sound good, work well, play loud enough, heat the house, or get me evicted. Specs are wonderful things for the technically minded but if one is not careful one can end up on the slippery slope of listening to a system of component specs rather than simply enjoying a good tune or movie. In the final analysis, trust your ears. Don’t lose sight of the real reason you have to have a High Current, 220 watt, class A/B, Bi-wireable amp with 6 dB of dynamic headroom. Because it’s cool, of course, of course!


Cable A bundle of separated wires wrapped inside a single jacket
CAT5E The “E” stands of “expanded.” This is the highest grade of data cable available for residential applications and is our cable of choice for all infra-red and communication runs. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “CAT6.”
Device Any mechanical or electrical piece of equipment attached to the end of a cable or wire.
Ethernet port The connector to which an Ethernet cable can be attached. The most common type of Ethernet port is the RJ-45.
FT4 Rating A type of jacketing around low voltage cable, such as speaker wire. FT4 jacketing is non-toxic and non-flammable and therefore will not act as a fuse or fire conductor in the event of an in-wall fire. Although it is technically not a requirement for low voltage wiring by the building code, many electrical inspectors will not approve any wire in a wall that is not FT4 rated.
RAN Acronym for Resident Area Network. Also called LAN (Local Area Network)
RG6 Coaxial cable. “RG” stands for “Radio Grade.” The current standard for coax is RG6 that allows for 2 gigabytes of bandwidth.
RJ-11 connector A standard telephone cable modular connector. On a local area network (LAN), you can have cables with RJ-11 connectors that connect to the routers.
RJ-45 connector A standard modular connector that is often used on Ethernet networks. It looks similar to the RJ-11 connector used for telephones, but is a bit larger. If you are connected to a local area network (LAN), most likely the cable running out of the back of your PC is an Ethernet cable with RJ-45 connectors.
Stack A collection of audio and/or video gear at an assigned location which offers control of and access to an entire system or network
Wire A single or multiple twisted strand of conducive metal wrapped in a protective jacket, the jacket usually being composed of PVC or rubber