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Sound Dynamics for Your Home Theater

14 Aug Posted by in Blog | Comments
Sound Dynamics for Your Home Theater

Home Theaters Houston TX - Sound Dynamics for Your Home Theater 200Just for a moment, imagine standing in the middle of a room surrounded by mirrors – mirrors on all of the walls, mirrors on the floor, and mirrors on the ceiling.  Your eyes would be completely confused and you would become disoriented very quickly.  That is precisely what occurs when you listen to audio in a room where the walls are plain and smooth.  It is simply not possible to reproduce true movie sound in a room that echoes.

Test any room by clapping your hands.  If you hear an echo, you have what is known as a “live” room; on the other hand, in a “dead” room, you will not hear any echoes.  In a home theater, you want to aim for something in the middle.  You may have already heard that great speakers will sound horrible in the acoustically untreated room, and mediocre speakers can sound awesome in an acoustically treated room.  That is definitely a rule of thumb to keep in mind when you are buying speakers and as you plan your home theater design.

Next time you take in a blockbuster at your local movie theater, pay close attention to your surroundings while you are waiting for the movie to start.  There are a couple of interesting things that you will notice, such as:

  1. The walls are not bare, they are treated with acoustic material.  You may see and feel fabric, but there is some type of foam underneath that absorbs sound so it doesn’t reflect.
  2. The ceiling usually has some sort of acoustic architecture built in; sometimes it is a large one piece structure, and sometimes it is smaller blocks of acoustic material.
  3. The floor is usually slanted upwards and there are surround speakers all along the sidewalls, so that every viewer has the same surround sound experience.
  4. The sidewalls are typically not parallel to each other; they are closer at the front of the theater and farther apart towards the back.  This wall spacing allows the sound to roll along the walls from the front to the back without creating reflections.
  5. The back walls of the theater are also covered in fabric to control sound reflections.
  6. The seats are fairly comfortable, but notice that the backs usually do to go all the way up to your head.  Some of the surround sound effects will be blocked if the seat backs are too high.

Taking into account how the professionals design and build an actual theater, you can use the same principles when you build your own home theater.  Here are a few tips to follow as you design your own home theater layout:

  1. If possible, avoid bare walls that are parallel to each other.  Sound will bounce back and forth between the two walls.  If you do have bare walls, consider treating them with some sort of acoustic panels.
  2. The front half of your home theater walls and your ceiling should absorb sound.
  3. The back half of your home theater walls should reflect sound.
  4. The back wall of your home theater should disperse sound.
  5. Your floor should have wall-to-wall carpeting with plenty of carpet padding underneath.

While planning the perfect home theater entertainment area for your home takes a little research and good planning, keeping these sound dynamic tips in mind will prove beneficial.   Your completed home theater will be an enjoyable place for you and your family for many years to come!


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