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Acoustic Treatments

Your room, friend or foe?
Acoustically Treated Home CInema

There was a time when I thought that the choice of equipment was the answer to high performance sound systems and therefore more enjoyment of the music and movies that I loved.

I was to learn that this not necessarily so...in 1988 I built a showroom with 5 independent listening rooms. I set about setting up equipment and speakers, and listened...I cannot say that I was overwhelmed with the results!

I was to learn that the factors that have a big impact on results are more likely to include the size and shape of your room, and the furnishings and finishes will have an impact too...

The biggest factor is the position of the loudspeakers and the relationship of the listener to them.

So, what to do?

Don't be put off by the facts that I have written here for you...there is a way to achieve a better than expected result in any room.

Be prepared to enlist the advice and help of an a trained/experienced dealer [in my case it was Peter Steyne and Ralph Waters, of ME and Richter acoustics ] to help you choose appropriate solutions and equipment for your needs and home environment. 

Don't be put off if the recommendations don't include the latest '5 Star Review' products...if a dealer is achieving a good sound in the demonstration showroom then he/she is more likely to achieve a good sound in your home too.

Do be put off if the following 5 points are not recommended: 

 The 5 critical factors are:

1. Room proportions - the relationship of length, width and height of your room ; most times you have to work with what you have

2. Position of the seating - vital point, and the most cost effective solution here

3. Placement of speakers and subwoofers - to reduce interaction between them, the room and your seating position ; again like  point 2, a cost effective way to reduce problem frequencies and maximise your enjoyment of music and movies 

4. Broadband absorption - particularly from 500Hz to 250Hz, and the lower the frequency you can treat the better the overall result achieved - diffusion     of reflected sound

5. Application of manual or electronic equalisation - products such as Audyssey

Dedicated Listening / Viewing rooms

Those of us who are fortunate enough to have a dedicated room can achieve [or not] the most pleasing results.

And a correctly designed room will always sound better if it is acoustically 'treated' with above mentioned 5 points. 

Correct acoustically treated room