If nothing else, 2020 has been a year of thinking outside the box. With most of our favorite activities shutting down for extended periods, we’ve been forced to adapt. Restaurants shut down, so people learned to garden and cook. Outdoor concerts and gatherings were cancelled, so we broke out the camping gear and caravanned across the country to find our own nature.
Movie theaters shuttered their doors, so we began reimagining our entertainment options at home. But, if you want to pull a theater quality experience out of your audio gear, your home theater setup needs to be arranged to make the most of it. You’ve already got the big TV and comfy couch, and you may even have the room wired for surround sound. Why not round it out to complete the experience?
Home theater acoustics can make or break the way your audio setup performs. Poor theater acoustics can lead to echo and dead spots, and may actually take away from the movie, rather than enhancing it. But, if you get it right, your home may become your favorite theater in town.
How do you acoustically treat a home theater room?
The simple theory behind determining your ideal home theater acoustic treatment layout is to replace hard, reflective surfaces with softer ones that absorb sound waves and eliminate echo. While softer furnishings in the room like couches, curtains and carpets absorb some of the sound, adding acoustic treatments with higher NRC ratings will make a much larger impact. Not only can home theater wall treatments and acoustical curtains improve the sound of your favorite movies, they look great as well.
Curve Diffusers are also a subtle and a great way to improve the room acoustic. Besides that they look elegant and they will help you create an immersive environment. Such a small addition can make a huge difference.
Do I need acoustic panels for my home theater?
Home theater wall panels aren’t absolutely necessary, but it would be hard to pitch that idea to someone who already has them. Once you’ve created a balanced, acoustic home theater, you’ll notice the difference any time you watch a movie in a room that doesn’t have them.
How much acoustic treatment do I need?
Determining how much home theater acoustic treatment you need depends on what your room looks like, and how sound moves around the room. You may have identified spots in the room that don’t sound as good as others, which will give you a good starting point for arranging your treatments and determining how much you need. A more precise method would be to have a professional take a look at your room. Someone who is well versed in the way sound moves can be an invaluable resource when you want your setup to sound its best.
How do I get the best acoustics in my room?
When creating a home theater, acoustic panel placement is key. In order to get the absolute best acoustics for your room, you’ll want to either study up on the science of sound, or bring in an expert.
Where should acoustic panels be placed in a room?
Acoustic panels work well on large, reflective surfaces, and walls that sound waves will contact prior to reaching your ears. Panels tend to work best when they are in the range of three to six feet above the floor. This is where most peoples’ mouths and ears are located, and also where many speakers are pointed. It can also be a good idea to place panels in corners and oddly shaped spaces, so the sound doesn’t amplify in those spaces. Again, when in doubt, a professional is the best bet to help with any questions you may have.
Do acoustic panels work both ways?
It’s pretty common for people to want to get the biggest bang for their buck, so a common question that comes up is whether or not acoustic panels are reversible. The simple answer is that some acoustic panels are reversible, and others are not. Many panels that are suspended from the ceiling will absorb sound from both sides, but a lot of wall mounted panels are designed to absorb sound from the side that faces into the room.
What is the best material to absorb sound?
Acoustic panels can be made of many different materials, and some work better than others in particular circumstances. If you are looking to add more sound absorbing material to your home, you will want to focus on soft, porous materials. Things like cloth and foam generally work well for absorbing sound.
What is the cheapest way to soundproof a room?
While soundproofing a room generally requires opening up the walls and making changes to the structure, you can improve your sound quite a bit by adding soft surfaces. You can get acoustic window inserts to minimize the sound entering your room from outside, which gives you a quieter room to work your sound absorbing magic in.
How do you make sound-absorbing panels?
If you want to create a decent home theater setup on a budget, you can create panels yourself that perform relatively well. They likely won’t absorb nearly as much sound as professional-grade panels, they will help some with echo and reverberation.
All you really need to do to create simple sound-absorbing panels is to build a sturdy wooden frame, fill it with insulation, and wrap it with a porous fabric. Since you will be mounting this indoors, you will want to find a fabric that allows sound waves to pass through easily, but still looks good in your room. Once you notice the difference, you may start installing acoustic panels all over your home.
Still, our recommendation is to use Echo Eliminator wall panels and get the royal acoustic treatment. You will have a real movie night in the comfort of your own home.
External Resource featuring Acoustic Geometry: See Redfins Blog – Creating the Ultimate Home Cinema