Planning and designing
a home theatre / 2
How to get the ultimate sound quality with a dedicated home theatre space
By Maria Deschamps
Previously published June 10, 2015
The ultimate escape from the everyday stresses of life is when you can enter into your own dedicated home theatre space, close the door, and TURN UP THE VOLUME! Creating a room where you can turn the sound up can also be annoying to other household members who are not in the room, so think before you build!
There are two distinct aspects to sound in a room: soundproofing and the location of the elements. Insulating your home theatre must be taken seriously. Many experts suggest the best way to isolate the room is to literally build a box within a box with a small empty space in between.
There are two distinct aspects to sound in a room: soundproofing and the location of the elements.
Specifics to the details of building with certain materials include thicknesses, type and location. Materials like resilient bars, mineral wool, soundproofing panels, gypsum board all have uses for soundproofing. It is extremely important to plan for the type of construction in the walls, floor and ceiling and type of doors and hardware before starting construction. One minor mistake can make or break your soundproofing.
Of course, you will assume that the sound in your room is highly controlled by the type of speakers, subwoofers and equipment you choose, but that is not all. The architecture of your space is extremely important as well.
The higher quality of speakers and equipment the more important it is to use the proper materials and architectural elements. In order to achieve a well-balanced sound soft absorbing-materials are required as well as hard surfaces that will allow maximum sound-travel.
Creatively dropping bulkheads, angled walls, and a good percentage of acoustic panels will give you the best balance of sound overall. Using corner bass traps to deflect the sound is another way to optimize quality. The location of each element is technically calculated. I personally like to design my own custom acoustic panels, according to the design concept of the overall room. I often integrate speakers and or indirect lighting into acoustic panels, rendering them multi-functional.
‘The higher quality of speakers and equipment the more important it is to use the proper materials and architectural elements.’
Materials used in a home theatre that absorb the sound are carpet, cork, some woods, upholstery and other “soft” accessories like pillow and throw-covers. Some hard materials that should be used sparingly in a home theatre are brick, tile, and glass. However, by adding more soft absorbent materials we can balance the sound quality. Often using acoustic panels for this purpose works the best.
Audiophiles or anyone who is enthusiastic about high-fidelity sound should certainly plan ahead when designing a room. In order to ensure soundproofing and sound optimization, many calculations should be made. Experts who specialize in this field are the best to consult. I have used the technical services of Acoustikalab for sound consulting.
‘An experienced home theater designer will take care of integrating every aspect related to the sound quality of the room and ensure that it offers a true escape!’
The overall look of your home theatre room is optimized when the sound materials are well integrated into the room. An experienced home theatre designer will take care of integrating every aspect related to the sound quality of the room and ensure that it offers a true escape!
This is the second of three articles. The third article will present the choice of options to take into account when selecting the components of your audio and video equipment.
Read also: Planning and designing a home theatre / 1
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