Room Reflections And Absorption

If you want to hear a superior and more balanced sounds of CD’s and DVD’s in your home Hi-Fi or Home Theatre system, the one aspect most people often pay “No” attention to is the listening room itself. Although audio speakers most of the times get the blame of being “too harsh or too bright” or “too boomy,” But majority of the time it’s often the reflective or absorptive nature of the room’s furnishings and ornamentation that are determining the audio speakers’ sound rather than any ingrained problem with your quality speakers.

Any ideal “Hi-Fi or Home Theatre” listening room needs a touch of reverb to help increase the perceived loudness of the home speakers and also to prevent the room sounding home-theaterunnaturally dead. Also the reverb time needs to be roughly equal at all frequencies across the audio spectrum if coloration is to be avoided.

Consciously, modern loudspeakers designed for home listening have their tonal balance in synch so they will sound refined and natural when heard in living rooms that are “typically” furnished with rugs or carpet on the floor, upholstered furniture, curtains of some sort, and book-cases on the back wall.

However in a fancy situation where tiled floors, with walls of exposed glass or face brickwork used, the problem will be when using balanced normal speakers it will cause too much midrange and also treble energy bouncing around the room. With midrange and treble sounds boosted, these surfaces react like mirrors and light, reflecting the high-frequency energy from the speakers.

Using an Equalizer (EQ) can be of a small help, but a healthier approach is to make the first move by solving the problems in the deflective areas by means of using rugs, curtains and perhaps a tapestry or two to break up and absorb some of the high-frequency liveliness. Using upholstered furniture benefits a lot with acoustic control, also boxed enclosure and bookcases will break up and disperse sidewall reflections. The thicker the floor carpets with under-pads, the more unique absorption will take place of reflected treble and midrange energy. Taming the multi reflections of a bare room is very interesting and it can go a long way in getting that ideal balance of smooth highs, clean midrange and deep bass that we all would like from our own preferred speakers.

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