Tune up the volume with an acoustic treatment

Home theater systemImage Credit: Supplied

Ever been stupefied by the sound in movie theaters? Has the surround sound from a scene in the background or the thump off an RDX explosion left your eardrums buzzing for a few seconds? You can actually create the same effects at home with a regular home theater system.

People are generally misconceived – that a better home theater sound system or adding more speakers to the system will notch up the quality of sound in the room. Actually, it has more to do with the room’s acoustics than the brand or quality of the system. Here are some tips for homeowners to acoustically treat their room:

Direct sound is what you hear from the speakers and reflected sound pings off nearby walls and other hard surfaces. If you hear a flutter echo a second or two after clapping your hands, then the room has poor reflections and will result in poor sound quality. Surfaces like glass, wood, concrete and leather must be minimized.

Another way to mitigate reflections is by piling up on furniture like couches and bookshelves so that sound can bounce from many directions and fill the room. Soft cloths, heavy rugs and thick curtains have sound-dissipating properties, and they can curb reflections, too.

Light and portable foam panels are superb in absorbing stray sound reflections. It is wise to install them on walls and ceilings. You can remove them once you have enjoyed the show.

Low frequency sound waves, colloquially called bass sound, are typically omni-directional but get collected in the corners through reverberation. Reverbs are hard to detect, but rooms that are four meters or less will have some. Dampening baffles or banners can tune these low frequencies to be heard effectively.

Audiophiles tend to go a level further and install resonators, whose function is to capture particularly irritating sound frequencies. For example, you might not like too much of bass coming out of the subwoofer; a resonator can be set to subside it.

Handy Hints
• Minimize the use of glass or concrete in a room to achieve good acoustics
• Reverberations can be tackled by installing dampening baffles and banners
• Foam panels are the best choice for sound absorption in any room structure

After doing all of the above, why not learn these easy makeover ideas for your living space?

Source: Nandakumar Ganesh, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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