Basic acoustic treatment

gpke

Novice Member
I'm starting to get my living room ready to be a home cinema and I've noticed the room has a hell of a lot of reverb. I've attached a floor plan of the room. I think the reverb is mainly cause by the two opposing walls which have nothing on them to break up the echo. When I clap in the room the reverb lasts for more than a second, I reckon!

I did a test of just putting some cushions from the sofa randomly against the walls and it made a huge, night and day difference. When clapping it's much more like a normal room.

I've looked up some things about acoustic treatment and first reflections etc. but it seems like this room needs some even more basic than that. Should I get some kind of acoustic panels and hang them on the two opposing walls? Or would "proper" acoustic treatment (ie. with the first reflection placement etc.) also take care of this reverb?
 

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Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
All the hard surfaces will have an impact, and like you say, two blank walls opposite each other will cause a lot of reverb. That can also be the case with the floor/ceiling, depending on the construction.

The thicker the treatment, the better (thicker will treat all frequencies, rather than just the high end) and ideally you'll want quite a bit (but some is better than none). Whether you treat first reflections or not depends on several factors, but many people do choose to do that. You said it's a living room, so what do you need it to look like when you're done? Also, how tall are the ceilings?
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Sometimes carpet and curtains can make a hell of a difference in a average room.
Yes they do make a big difference, but from an cinema point of view, not the best one. They'll turn a horrendously live room into one that's more pleasant to be in, but they won't stop mid-range frequencies bouncing about.
 

gpke

Novice Member
I'd hate to think what this room sounds like completely empty! It's usually when moving the rooms are empty and become unbearably echoey. I've always had carpet, curtains and a sofa in the room so I was surprised just how much it still echoed.

The ceilings are 2.4m (pretty standard as far as I know). Although I said it's a living room, I can pretty much turn it into a dedicated home cinema. I'm planning to paint the walls much darker and install some velvet etc. somehow. I'd rather it still looked like a home rather than a recording studio, though!
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
The ceilings are 2.4m (pretty standard as far as I know). Although I said it's a living room, I can pretty much turn it into a dedicated home cinema. I'm planning to paint the walls much darker and install some velvet etc. somehow. I'd rather it still looked like a home rather than a recording studio, though!
Then it's down to time and budget etc. Are you having a large TV or a projector?
 

gpke

Novice Member
Projector. I put the projector + screen into the attached plan. Currently have a 120" screen which mostly fills the wall. Unless I get an acoustically transparent screen this does force the speakers right up against the wall on the left and right, which isn't ideal I suppose.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Projector. I put the projector + screen into the attached plan.
Ah. Well your projector could do with being placed more centrally on that wall.


Currently have a 120" screen which mostly fills the wall. Unless I get an acoustically transparent screen this does force the speakers right up against the wall on the left and right, which isn't ideal I suppose.
Well it's probably good that they are quite wide, but not right against the wall - you could do with a good chunk of insulation (acoustic panels) between them and the wall. More importantly, and AT screen will allow the centre channel to go behind it. Depending on budget, I'd highly recommend an AT screen for that purpose.

Since you are projecting, the darker you can get the walls, the better. Paint reflects, so fabric is better, but that's obviously a big job. But you need to think about all this in advance, because it'll affect how you do any treament.
 

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