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Rene L

Kii Three - Low Latency Mode

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Hi, I'm interested in experiences with the optional "low latency mode" the Kii Three speakers provides, in particular:

 

- Any listening experiences with the "low latency mode" in terms of SQ compared to the 'normal mode" ? What and where is the biggest difference ?

- Has someone done measurements with the Kii Threes in "low latency mode" and can share the measurements? Especially the impulse response would be of interest, since there will be the biggest difference I guess.

 

Kii Three speakers do have a near perfect impulse response in their "normal mode" with approx. 90ms latency, so in "low latency mode" there will be some added inaccuracy. I'm interested in experiences with it. I plan to use the Kii Three speakers as a stereo pair initially and may add more Kii Threes over time to implement a multi-channel surround sound system (which will require the "low latency mode" unless someone does know of an affordable 4k/HDR video-only delay appliance). I just ordered my first pair of Kii Three speakers but have to wait for several weeks until delivery, so I can't compare it for myself.

 

Thanks

Rene

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The September 2017 Stereophile presents measurements for the impulse response in both DSP modes. The 6moons review covers the low latency use with video as well.

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Thanks, I must have overlooked this part of the Stereophile review and they indeed published the impulse reponse for both modes, great!
By the way, does someone know why John Atkinson measured initially 310ms as latency, not 90ms?
6moons covers the low latency mode a bit, but unfortunately does not compare the Kii Three speakers with both latency modes at the same position in the same room.
If anyone has made some additional experience with it, this would be of interst.

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Hi Rene L, a few months have passed since your posts.

 

I'm curious to learn your experience with the Kii Three in HT setting because I'm looking into it myself, i.e. using a high-end fully active speaker at least as FL and FR channels. Besides the Kii I am also trying to evaluate the Dutch & Dutch 8c. Both speakers have rave reviews.

 

From what I read on various forums the Kii's "exact mode" means a latency of 90 ms and its "low latency mode" means about 1 ms at the expense of quality, though many reviewers were not even able to hear a marked difference in SQ between these two modes.

 

When you stated "add more Kii Threes over time" to how many were you referring?

In a 5.x.4 setup I assume that besides FL and FR you could opt for Kii's as SL and SR channels, but the center and for sure the atmos / height channels would be passive speakers. Or are you planning to skip the center channel?

And what about subs? Having read how low the Kii's go subs could be skipped too?

 

Thank you in advance for elaborating on your final setup and experience.

Pls list the gear you use in your particular setup.

 

Thanks,

Marcel

 

 

 

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Hi Marcel

 

A colleague of mine just ordered a pair of Dutch & Dutch 8c and even when the reviews are quite similar, just be aware that the speakers do have a different design. The 8c need a rear wall to reflect their bass energy towards you and you should not position them to far away from the rear wall - they do only have bass drivers at the back. The Kii's do have bass drivers ('direct radiating') on the sides and use their rear drivers just to cancel out the not wanted bass energy at the back of the speakers, so can be placed free standing in the room (the Dutch & Dutch can be placed free standing as well of course - as every speaker can be placed free standing - but it's not the optimal placement for D&D by design).

 

To your questions: I tried the low latency mode and compared it with the exact mode several times and the overall sound is quite similar (do not expect a large difference). Room placement of instruments or positioning of voices seems to be somewhat less perfect in low latency mode - eg: I can tell exactly where a tambourine is in exact mode and in low latency mode, it's still at the same place of course, but more approximately (just like from a conventional speaker). With exact mode it kind of 'locks' into it's position more easily (so it is easier to tell where the tambourine was located in the room at the time of recording). But since I figured out a way to use Kii and Exact mode in a HT setup I did not compare low latency mode for long.

 

How can you use Kii Exact mode with it's 90ms latency for a HT setup ? Well, you need a device which delays the picture.

For watching cable and satellite TV I am using a dream box (DM820, planned to be replaced with a DM920 with UHD support sometimes in the future). The DM820 receiver allows for adding a negative delay to the audio (eg: -90ms) - and as a result the audio get's played earlier in the source compared to the video, the Kii delays the audio and the result is lip-sync with Kii in Exact mode 🙂.

This setup works very well.

 

To solve the 90ms Kii delay in Exact mode for BD/UHD playback, you will need a display with a high input lag and use an Oppo player to reduce the HDMI audio delay (I'm not aware if other BD/UHD players can add a negative audio delay, maybe there are some others - the Oppo can do it with some limitations). If your display/projector allows for FI (Frame interpolation), this should be switched on as example (since it's adding latency to the display and looks nicer in addition to the added picture delay). I have a Sony projector and it's Motionflow adds some latency. This is a solution for watching movies (in Exact mode) - but not for gaming (low latency required, so for gaming set the Kii into low latency mode and the projector/display as well). Since I'm not a gamer, that is not an issue for me. If your source devices do not offer a negative audio delay, just switch the Kii's to low latency mode.

 

My setup looks like this: Oppo UDP 203 and dream-box DM820 as a source (both set to -90ms audio delay), connected to a Pioneer SC-LX89 Receiver and this is connected to a Sony VPL-VW270 projector (just installed the Sony 🙂 ).

 

In terms of adding more Kii's: Yes, initially I planned for adding Kii's as rear, center and maybe side channels as well (7.0) and four small top passive speakers, but this is not planned at the moment. Currently I wait for the delivery of my Smyth Realiser A16 (expected to be delivered end of year / in 1Q19 - Smyth is just finalizing their firmware). With the Smyth Realiser, I will capture the sound of the Kii's in my room placed as front, side, rear, center and top speakers and create a virtual 7.0.4 Kii Three setup in my headphone. This is a cheap way to replicate the sound field of Kii's (or any other speaker/amp system). And with the Smyth Realiser the delay of the Exact mode is no issue at all since the A16 is measuring the room impulse response of the Kii's and compensates for any delay at time of the HRTF/PRIR measurement.

 

In terms of subwoofer: not needed in my point of view.

1959176523_Kiiroomresponse.thumb.jpg.c5129643249605602e443dbf5c838065.jpg

 

Frequency response shown (10Hz to 20kHz) are just the Kii's in my current room (with no acoustical treatments), no EQ filters applied except the Kii boundary control at -5. There are some room modes (at 45Hz, 78Hz and 135Hz) I would like to put an EQ filter on,  but unfortunately the current Kii firmware does not allow to do so, so I have to correct it with a separate EQ tool.

 

It's not my final setup, since it's a hobby and there is always something to tweak on......

 

Greetings

Rene

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Hi Rene,

 

Thank for your extensive response.

 

I read reviews from Mitch and thought that the Kii and D&D both generate a cardioid pattern and was not aware of the difference in that the D&D has to be put closer to the wall. Anyway, thanks for the heads up on this one.

 

Good to read that you also did not hear a huge difference in SQ between exact and low latency mode.

 

I'm not familiar with DM820 or 920. I am based in the Netherlands and in our country there is not much use for satellite receivers unless your are an expat and need home-country channels.

 

Are you aware of SSP's capable of the same trick, i.e. add a negative number for the delay?

 

Oppo's are already sold out. I'm currently looking at Panasonic's DP-UB9004 and Pioneer's UDP-LX500 and 800.

Though I may check on the Cambridge Audio CXUHD as I read on the web that it is essentially a copy of the Oppo 203 ...

 

A pair of Kii's as FL and FR and one as SL and SR I can understand. But as centre?, I mean, aren't they sold in pairs only in the first place? (also I do not have sufficient room under my TV (put on the wall) because of a rack, so I really need a horizontally positioned centre speaker. Any clue on "timbre matching" of passive speakers to the Kii's?

 

As a separate EQ tool you could look at Dirac Live, Acourate, Audiolense (all three paid) and REW (free).

 

Thanks for your help,

Marcel

 

PS: I do know about the Smyth Realiser but I prefer speakers instead of headphones when watching a movie.

PS2: Have you looked at the Yarra 3DX soundbar?; it promises truly immersive sound via proprietary technology ... if that works as advertised we could skip a lot of speakers and save a substantial amount of money.

 

 

 

 

 

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