Interview with Trinnov Audio’s Jon Herron

Trinnov develops innovative digital room correction and immersive sound solutions for studio monitoring, cinemas and high-end home-theaters.


BEFORE LAUNCHING TRINNOV AUDIO IN 2003, the founding partners were working on fundamental research into high spatial resolution audio – 3D soundscapes – well before today’s immersive audio formats even existed. When most movie goers think of immersive audio, they think of Dolby Atmos Surround Sound or similar cinematic experiences.

Today, Trinnov is more than just a manufacturer, they are a technical authority, and their products are found in the world’s most advanced professional music and film studios for production, mixing and playback in thousands of commercial cinemas and in the finest residential home cinema and stereo systems.

I recently caught up with Jon Herron, Managing Director of Trinnov USA, to talk about the uniqueness of their home cinema products and their interaction and partnership with Kaleidescape, which is also in a league of their own in the residential cinema space.

Doug: While Trinnov is known for their 16 and 32-channel processors, as well as amplifiers and calibration tools, let’s start with object-oriented audio and how innovative your products really are in the real world of a home environment.

Jon: Object oriented audio – where you would treat a jet fighter as an object and that jet could fly into your living room, over your head, and then disappear in the far distance behind you – is scalable. By that, I mean that the recording can be reproduced with two speakers or 40 speakers. It really depends on the room, how many people, etc.

We can create these experiences in great rooms, on yachts and of course dedicated media rooms and private home cinemas. We work with your designer and systems integrator and make your dream come true in areas where you want it, including outdoors.

As such, we have been growing at a great rate. We are firmly established at the top of the performance pyramid. We can do a bunch of things that nobody else can do – being able to decode and render 34 channels of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Not everyone needs that, but you have the freedom to do as much as you want to in consideration of the space and the budget.

Keep in mind that more channels are not necessarily better – there is a sweet spot – you need the right number of channels. If the room was designed for just one person to sit in the middle of a couch, we certainly wouldn’t need as many channels as a room with three rows of four seats that will fill up for movie night. So that’s in part why we work with our design-build partners to understand what the scope of the project is and then begin rendering the space – including windows and doors – so we can determine the location of the speakers and any other acoustic details we might suggest.

Doug: Your entire approach to the manufacturing of the signal processor completely separates you from any of the typical A/V receivers you find at Best Buy.

Jon: Yes, the biggest difference is that our product is software based, as opposed to DSP chips (digital sound processing pre-fabricated chip sets). So if you purchase a surround sound processor – whether it is built into an Audio Video Receiver (AVR) or a stand-alone unit – you are limited by the functionality of that DSP chip. On the other hand, our Linux-based operating system means that if DTS or Dolby add features at any time, we can just issue a software update. This approach costs more money up front, but it will be the last processor you’ll ever buy!

And our hardware is modularly based – modular which means you can upgrade parts of the unit over the years by simply swapping out older hardware for new hardware. We really consider our products to be a one-time purchase and then easily upgraded over the years without having to throw out the baby with the bathwater, if that makes sense.

And, keep in mind that we are able to incorporate 8 or 16 channels of audio into one elegant package in our Amplitude Amplifiers. We eat up very little rack space considering the formidable impact we make on any given system.

Doug: Trinnov is still quite at home in the studio and commercial environment, right?

Jon: Oh sure. We got our start in recording studios, dubbing stages and post-production. Then our commercial cinema division came into being and then our home division which encompasses stereo and multi-channel.

And today, it’s really amazing what is happening with 3D soundscapes and multi-channel spatial audio – the folks at Dolby have introduced Dolby Atmos for music and there is a terrific recording of John Williams in Vienna conducting his movie soundtracks. These recordings were mastered on and created with Trinnov gear. So the studio engineers can test the playback of the recordings via our consumer product to experience what it will be like in someone’s home. It’s really a staggeringly wonderful expression of music and we’re very proud to be a part of the process.

Doug: Okay, so you render the space and decide how many channels you need and where the speakers will be placed and the Trinnov processor is ready to start the movie – talk about the final step, the calibration process. Jon: In our world we have what’s known as a the Trinnov four-element 3D calibration microphone, which measures and identifies the location of all speakers in the room in three dimension, and our world-renowned loudspeaker/room Optimizer that is recognized as best-in-class by users from professional, cinema and high-end home audio worlds. Combined with pre-planning and the right equipment, final calibration removes all doubt and you can scientifically optimize the space you’ll be listening in.


Doug: Talk about your relationship with Kaleidescape.

Jon: I have been involved with Kaleidescape since 2002 on one level or another. It’s bullet proof and the picture quality is demonstrably better than any of the streaming services. And with their lossless audio playback it means you are getting a perfect soundtrack in which to work with. The best picture and sound. It’s really that simple.

Personally speaking, I have a Kaleidescape system and Apple TV in my home. I can get my streaming fix via Apple and when it’s time for the ultimate movie experience, I call up a movie on my Kaleidescape system and experience exactly what the director and studio engineers intended when they poured their souls into the making of that movie.

August 2022 News