BREAKING: Onkyo and Pioneer Ink Licensing Agreement with Dirac Research

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(September 16, 2020) In a move that could potentially reshape the AV Receiver marketplace, Onkyo and Pioneer have reached a licensing agreement with Dirac Research for use of its popular Dirac Live room correction suite. As reported by Yahoo! Japan and confirmed by AV NIRVANA, future Onkyo and Pioneer gear will benefit from Dirac’s feature-rich technology.

Details concerning the licensing agreement, including a product rollout schedule, are minimal at this time. What we do know is that Pioneer’s MCACC room correction package and Onkyo’s AccuEQ calibration tool are largely thought to be inferior to Audyssey, Dirac, and other premium correction products, especially when considering low-frequency capabilities. Adding Dirac’s powerful technololgies will catapult both brands back into the conversation, leveling the playing field with the likes of Denon and Marantz, and further widening the gap with companies such as Sony.

This move also boosts Dirac’s aggressive infiltration of the home theater and personal audio market in North America. Some of the more notable brands to begin working with Dirac over the last year (plus) include Monoprice’s Monolith brand, Klipsch, RHA, and Emotiva. Bringing Onkyo and Pioneer into the fold will only further consumer awareness as the technology’s incredible capabilities are experienced and touted by mainstream buyers.

AV NIRVANA will update this article as more details become available.
 
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Asere

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This is news that I have been waiting to hear. About time :)
 

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This is AWESOME! My pre/pro is getting a little long in the tooth and I am considering a replacement.
 

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I'm super curious to see how this reshapes the segment. Onkyo certainly experienced a fall from grace once Audyssey was dumped (which was a big ding on the heels of the HDMI card debacle) in favor of AccuEQ.

Several years ago, a rep from one of the largest AVR brands in the market told me that roughly 40% of their customers used room correction and automated setup tools. Since then, most brands have streamlined and enhanced the setup process, making it easier for novice and casual users to set up new gear, so perhaps that percentage has gone up. Nonetheless, this will be a true test of correction technology's ability to move the needle on its own.
 

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C’mon Yamaha. Get with the program!

Nonetheless, this will be a true test of correction technology's ability to move the needle on its own.
Good point there!

Dirac has found its way into a lot of 2 channel gear too so one would think the manufacturers are seeing value in its inclusion and consumer awareness is growing.
 

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Agree 100% on Yamaha.
 

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Todd Anderson

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I wonder if that killed the original Pioneer/Dirac deal.... I couldn’t get a straight answer from Onkyo, but it sure seemed to me that AccuEQ was an altered version of MCACC.
 

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^Pure speculation, btw
 

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This is fantastic news Todd! - Thanks for reporting! ... Yes, I use Dirac Live in Windows as a standalone processor in Jriver and it beats the pants off Audyssey and most others. I have the Marantz SR7012 AVR and never use Audyssey anymore... It will be interesting to see how traditionally discounted brand(s) like Onkyo\Pioneer will implement Dirac as it tends to be a bit costly. Will we get the full frequency version? Will Dirac be just as powerful as PC versions? ... People are going to love Dirac and will probably never look back.
 

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Getting detailed information is a bit tricky at the moment... Onkyo USA has been dissolved, and my contacts went with it. I do have some questions submitted... including yours about Dirac Live Full vs LE. Of course, the Bass module is also a big one.

I think it’s safe to assume that buyers will have access to Dirac in tiers, with the top-end gear carrying Dirac Full with Bass, and lower end carrying Dirac LE (with the lowest end likely possessing ACCU-EQ or MCACC.

If I get an answer, I’ll pass it along. It could be that Onkyo is still modeling how they want to deploy the technology.

This also begs the question: what will Yamaha do?
 

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I'm sure if Dirac makes licensing affordable most companies will feel compelled to jump on the bandwagon. It's so nice to see this level of room correction hitting the mainstream market. Especially since Dirac recently released it's multichannel room correction and Bass modules.
 

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Dirac LE still handles the bass frequencies by treating the subs as an extension of the main speakers. As long as you use Audyssey to get the levels and delays of your subs inputted first, it works very well! - Of course I'm talking about using a PC version of Dirac. Newer AVR's wont have Audyssey
 
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I agree. Dirac has been wise to slowly expand their home theater footprint. Most folks in North America are probably unaware that the bulk of the company’s business is car and cell phone oriented.

The recent software revision was a big step toward helping to make their room correction more easier to deploy in brands like Onkyo. Definitely much more consumer friendly from a usability standpoint point... and completely upgradable as new technologies (modules) are created.

Fingers crossed that this new deal delivers great things!
 

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It's a game changer for sure. I remember when Onkyo ditched Audyssey... and no doubt that created a huge drop in business for them.
 

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View attachment 35061

(September 16, 2020) In a move that could potentially reshape the AV Receiver marketplace, Onkyo and Pioneer have reached a licensing agreement with Dirac Research for use of its popular Dirac Live room correction suite. As reported by Yahoo! Japan and confirmed by AV NIRVANA, future Onkyo and Pioneer gear will benefit from Dirac’s feature-rich technology.

Details concerning the licensing agreement, including a product rollout schedule, are minimal at this time. What we do know is that Pioneer’s MCACC room correction package and Onkyo’s AccuEQ calibration tool are largely thought to be inferior to Audyssey, Dirac, and other premium correction products, especially when considering low-frequency capabilities. Adding Dirac’s powerful technololgies will catapult both brands back into the conversation, leveling the playing field with the likes of Denon and Marantz, and further widening the gap with companies such as Sony.

This move also boosts Dirac’s aggressive infiltration of the home theater and personal audio market in North America. Some of the more notable brands to begin working with Dirac over the last year (plus) include Monoprice’s Monolith brand, Klipsch, RHA, and Emotiva. Bringing Onkyo and Pioneer into the fold will only further consumer awareness as the technology’s incredible capabilities are experienced and touted by mainstream buyers.

AV NIRVANA will update this article as more details become available.
wow, that is a game changer. I hope they bring out a new 16 channel processor next year. My experience with Onkyo has been fantastic. I have the RZ630 9 channel receiver in the man cave and the Onkyo DP X1 DAP. They really are over the top value.
 

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My concerns are:
  1. How much will it add to the cost of AVRs? Dirac is expensive.
  2. Bringing Dirac to the masses in AVRs is risky. Can they get the hardware and software working well together so users don't end up with a buggy mess?
  3. What will Yamaha do? They are falling far behind.
  4. What will the Audyssey team do to evolve their product? They have capabilities that Dirac still does not have. Sound United will be the main competitor so they'd better get to work on new versions of the app and algorithms.
 

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How much will it add to the cost of AVRs? Dirac is expensive.
Good question. OTOH Sound United must be paying something for Audyssey so maybe they could do it for not much more? (Pure speculation on my part.) The NAD T758v3 does seem like lie an $800 MSRP receiver if it didn't have Dirac though and its MSRP is $1399

Bringing Dirac to the masses in AVRs is risky. Can they get the hardware and software working well together so users don't end up with a buggy mess?
Yes, but then somehow Sound United and Yamaha don't have the frequency of all the other hdmi and arc bugs the smaller guys have. So maybe the larger companies could pull it off.

What will Yamaha do? They are falling far behind.
@Todd Anderson has reported his industry contacts don't see room correction as a feature that drives significant incremental sales. I hope that's changing because a Yamaha with Dirac could be really good. I have to believe Yamaha does lose some sales to Sound United due to the less then stellar reputation of YPAO and their PEQ is very limited. I just hope its enough for them to want to pull the trigger on Dirac.
 

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Good question. OTOH Sound United must be paying something for Audyssey so maybe they could do it for not much more? (Pure speculation on my part.)
I thought Sound United brought Audyssey in-house, but I could be mistaken.
 

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I thought Sound United brought Audyssey in-house, but I could be mistaken.
I'm guessing not. Audyssey is not listed as a Sound United brand on Sound United's web site. And the Wiki for Audyssey lists them as a privately held corporation.
No doubt Sound United has significant leverage with Audyssey though. So to your point, if they offered Dirac who knows what the upcharge would be.

I still think Yamaha is the best bet. YPAO is in-house so no other business relationship to worry about if they wanted to license Dirac. Vs Sound United, quality of room correction seems to be a feature that Yamaha is behind on. Dirac would put them ahead.
 

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Getting information about business decisions intertwined with room correction is like squeezing blood from a stone.

I agree, @JStewart, with many of your points. Yamaha and Dirac would huge. BUT, Dirac needs to be made much more consumer-friendly... almost dummy-proof (like an AccuEQ) to be useful to the vast majority of users. Can that be achieved? Can it be done without requiring a high-speed internet connection?
 

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The current version isn’t buggy. It’s just more complicated than placing a a microphone at one position and using a remote control to initiate test tones.
 
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