This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

XTZ's new HM 800DSP multi-media system would seem to offer a lot. The small 26.5 x 18.5 x 21.5cm desk-top speakers combine a front-firing 3" aluminum Tymphany driver with a downfiring long-throw 5.25" polycone woofer that's slot-loaded out the front above the integral plinth. The aluminum-chassis integrated amplifier that comes bundled with the speakers is a 40wpc class D job with headphone and subwoofer outputs plus USB and RCA inputs. Okay, so another compact mass-market midfi system.

Let's look at the claimed frequency response to confirm that obvious assessment. +/-1dB from 40Hz to 20.000kHz. "Surely not!" would be the protest of all but the most hopelessly gullible. Ah, but that's before we get to the meat - Dirac Research-based DSP correction around "patented algorithms and FIR and IIR filters". Said frequency response and linearity are guaranteed only when the DSP software is enabled by running off a computer. "The Dirac Sound Processor works just like a sound card. It is therefore not limited to any particular media player software or application." System requirements are Windows XP, Vista or 7; Mac OSX 10.4 or later; and 512MB of minimum RAM.

Dirac's software linearizes and extends frequency response, optimizes impulse fidelity and replaces analog filter networks.
XTZ's sample graph shows Dirac's automated correction to a predetermined target curve. "Based not on one averaged response, stationary frequency response correction considers the variations between different measurement positions and makes a careful correction whose amplitude depends on the frequency-dependent spatial variations of nine discrete measurements."

XTZ's sample graph of impulse response correction follows which again is based on nine different measurement positions.
Founded in 2001, Dirac Research calls themselves "a premier R&D company specializing in high-performance digital sound optimization, room correction and sound field synthesis. The company was founded by researchers from the Signals & Systems Group of Uppsala University in Sweden which has fostered eight Nobel Prize laureates. With Dirac’s patented toolbox for efficient and accurate audio system optimization, customers such as BMW, Bentley, Naim and Datasat Digital Entertainment™ have achieved dramatically improved sound quality. Dirac Research maintains offices in Sweden, Tokyo, Detroit, Shenzhen and Shanghai."

Wrapping this product intro up with a bow is the asking price for the entire speaker, amp and software system. Sold direct from Sweden, it is—hold your breath—€450. Now let that sink it...