For the last three years high end immersive audio company StormAudio was owned by Auro Technologies, maker of Auro-3D, an immersive sound format for music and home theater like Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. On December 1, 2017, StormAudio made its final transition to become part of the Immersive Audio Technologies group. This buyout overseen by Yves Trelohan & Saffelberg Investments gives the luxury immersive hardware line the power to stand on its own and diversify its technology.

stormaudio lineup.png

The StormAudio line is designed and manufactured in France and consists of 5 preamp/processors from 16- to 32-channels, 3 power amplifiers ranging from 8- to 16-channels, and a 16-channel processor/amp AVR.  With prices ranging from $6,900 for their PA 8 Elite 8 channel 200 watt amplifier to over $20,000 for their 32 channel ISP 3D.32 Elite Pre/Pro, the products are definitely designed to serve the upper end of the custom residential home theater category. The processors all feature built-in compatibility with Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X and integrate category-leading solutions including Dirac Live Room Calibration and StormMonitoring remote web-based monitoring tool.

StormAudio isp_elite__front.jpg     StromAudio isp_3d32reference_edition__back.jpg

To give you an idea of what StormAudio is offering, the $19,000 ISP 3D.32 ELITE Reference Edition has 32 output channels and is packed with key options to fulfill heavy home cinema installs such as a dual theater feature and connectivity with a DCP audio server. This 32-channel preamp/processor offers an Alternate Theater output on the first 16 channels, which allows for multiple theater experiences to be alternatively selected, as well as offering multi-channel Digital Input that supports connectivity to video servers (such as a DCP cinema server) for original soundtrack experiences.  All of this, of course, can be heard in immersive sound formats such as Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X.

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Screenshot of Storm Audio Web Interface for Speaker Management

Trading Bells and Whistles for Custom Flexibility

The StormAudio lineup is much different than normal consumer products. There is NO OSD, no remote control. Everything is controlled via the web interface and/or an iOS App. At this point in time, StormAudio has the most flexible bass management system we’ve seen. Period.

One of the cool things about these StormAudio products is that you can route LFE to the main L/R channels even if you have a subwoofer channel present. In addition, the LFE can be routed to any large declared speaker of the bed layer, even when a subwoofer is declared! It’s very hard to find a consumer product that allows this and its useful for people running very large bass capable full range towers. You can even create an HP subsonic filter if your speakers/subs can’t handle ultra low LFE below 20Hz.  They also have a 10 band fully adjustable PEQ with shelving options for those that want to manually fine-tune their set ups. If not, you can buy a license to Dirac room correction and utilize that. Getting the bass right is one of the biggest impacts you can make on your home theater system and is also where so many AV receivers and preamp/processors fall short due to lack of configurability and EQ options like the Storm Audio products offer.

Note: In Q2 of 2018,  StormAudio is expected to launch a major
software upgrade that will also allow mapping the locations of the
speakers acoustically.

The lineup is able to accommodate virtually any speaker and subwoofer combination, unlike most other consumer products we’ve seen. Their amplifiers are Class D, Pascal module utilizing an SMPS power supply. This looks like one of the best Class D amplifiers on the market as from what we’ve read as it’s rated at full power bandwidth and doesn’t drastically alter frequency response based on loudspeaker load impedance.  We are definitely interested in getting one of these amplifiers on our test bench to confirm.

gene posts on January 20, 2018 16:13

AcuDefTechGuy, post: 1229854, member: 26997
Your Status Acoustics 8T has a separate subwoofer cabinet for the bass (modular). I assume you don’t have external active crossover to connect the top and lower cabinet. What’s the advantage of passing LFE to the Main?

Which speakers would benefit from passing LFE to the Mains?

If I had Salon2 or B&W 800D, I don’t think I would want to pass LFE to them.

I have Emotiva XPR-1 monobloc amps. I prefer to run my 8T’s full range off them rather than bi-amping with a less powerful amp to the satellite portion of the speaker. I’ve done that in my prior system but I really enjoy the single massive amp connection and it let’s me flip a switch to my 2CH rig for vinyl more easily without having to switch cables.

AcuDefTechGuy posts on January 20, 2018 13:39

gene, post: 1229853, member: 4348
That setting only copies bass from large mains to the sub. It does NOT pass LFE to the mains if a sub channel is active.

No AV receiver or Japanese processor that I know of will route LFE to the mains unless you turn the sub channel off.

Your Status Acoustics 8T has a separate subwoofer cabinet for the bass (modular). I assume you don’t have external active crossover to connect the top and lower cabinet. What’s the advantage of passing LFE to the Main?

Which speakers would benefit from passing LFE to the Mains?

If I had Salon2 or B&W 800D, I don’t think I would want to pass LFE to them.

gene posts on January 20, 2018 13:22

slipperybidness, post: 1229736, member: 56559
My AVR has a setting called “sub+” or something like that, it allows me to run the LFE to the mains + sub.

I thought that this was a fairly common setting?

Has it gone out of fashion? Am I missing something here?

That setting only copies bass from large mains to the sub. It does NOT pass LFE to the mains if a sub channel is active.

No AV receiver or Japanese processor that I know of will route LFE to the mains unless you turn the sub channel off.

AcuDefTechGuy posts on January 19, 2018 15:09

gene, post: 1229730, member: 4348
Currently I’m using a Yamaha CX-A5100 but the fact that it doesn’t route LFE to the mains with a sub channel present, like most consumer gear is very restrictive for my needs. So, I’m contemplating something like this.

So Yamaha doesn’t have “LFE + Main” feature like all the Denon and Marantz?

slipperybidness posts on January 19, 2018 15:06

gene, post: 1229730, member: 4348
Currently I’m using a Yamaha CX-A5100 but the fact that it doesn’t route LFE to the mains with a sub channel present, like most consumer gear is very restrictive for my needs. So, I’m contemplating something like this.

My AVR has a setting called “sub+” or something like that, it allows me to run the LFE to the mains + sub.

I thought that this was a fairly common setting?

Has it gone out of fashion? Am I missing something here?

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