Whether you’re “souping up” your Bay Area loft with super intelligent A/V technology or stringing together a sound system on a paltry budget, odds are that you’re missing a big source of potential leverage: your room’s acoustics. Independent investigators believe that most speaker systems account for just 50% of the overall sonic quality of any listening experience. The other 50% comes from the quality (or lack thereof) of the room’s acoustics.
[Check out: Sonos® Wireless HiFi Systems]
This means that if you have a great speaker system – a $5,000+ system, say – but your room has middling to atrocious acoustics, the sound that you’ll hear might be tinny, vertiginous, or otherwise off-putting. Conversely, if you have a lower level speaker system but great acoustics, you’ll enjoy a higher quality sonic experience.
It’s kind of like singing. If you’ve ever tried to sing in an “echoey” shower or in a cave or church cathedral, odds are that you were surprised by the oddly melodic quality of your voice. Conversely, if you’ve ever sung around a campfire or any open space (or in a car) the terrible acoustics likely smeared out your performance, sapping you of any hope that you’ll ever it make to the finals of The Voice or American Idol.
[Check out: Choosing The Right Surround Sound Receiver]
So how do you improve your room’s acoustics to maximize your audio experience?
Improving acoustics is both an art and a science. The “science part” involves balancing the amount and quality of sound waves that reach your ears from primary sources against the quality/quantity of sound waves coming from reflected sources. More direct sound will lead to a more “synced up” listening experience. This may or may not be important. If you’re watching a fast paced action movie, syncing is crucial. If you’re watching The Hours or something lugubriously slow like that, syncing is not so important.
You also need to pay attention to the composition of the surfaces and spaces in your room as well as the positioning of pieces of furniture, windows, fireplaces, cabinets, etc. In some cases, to maximize acoustics, you may need to insert materials to absorb or reflect sound (see image to right).
Different people also have different tastes and sensitivities when it comes to acoustics: one person’s “echoey and disruptive” may be another’s “aural nirvana.”
Help Setting Up Your System and Maximizing Your Acoustics
The team here at Karbon Home Theater can help you set up and refine your home audio experience. Get in touch with our experts today to maximize your listening and minimize the cost, frustration, and time it will take to set everything up.