The most basic thing needs to consider when designing a home theater room is the acoustic. It is related to the changes of sounds in a room due to the echo or noise from other places. With a good room acoustic, the sound in the home theater will be clear.
Conversely, a good acoustic is also not going to dampen the sound up to 100 % because it may cause saturation. There are two acoustic functions; dampening and absorbing. Dampening means preventing the noise to go out of the home theater, and also preventing the sound from the outside to enter the home theater. Absorbing means preventing echoes or unwanted sound reflections. Each of these requires a big attention in planning a home theater acoustic.
What room elements need acoustic treatments? The first is part of the back wall of the room. The reason is because this wall will be exposed to sound directly, derived from the subwoofer, front speakers, and center speaker from the front.
The second elements are both the left and right walls of the room, precisely around the rear of surround speakers. Although not exposed in the frontal sound, but it also important for sound absorption. If the room size does not allow for this, at least you can give a diffuser. The diffuser materials can be the coating of the front wall.
The next element is the floor. It needs a soft coating material so that it can absorb sounds, especially if there is a room under the home theater. The floor needs to be covered with additional material to reduce vibration noise. In the same way, the ceiling should also be coated with an additional acoustic material.
The last element to consider is the door. Door is the major source of acoustic leak in a home theater room. It is better to use a special door with a sound dampening layer or double glass doors specially designed for home theater. If it is not possible, you can give some sorts of rubber on the gap existing between the frame and the door.
Here are tips that you can do to organize home theater acoustic in your home:
- Determining the points of reflection. In addition to coming from the speakers, the sound also comes from the reflection of walls, floors, and ceilings. To determine the reflection point, you can use a mirror and a friend’s help. Sit in a normal listening position, and ask your friend to hold a mirror up at different points of the room. Do this until you can see the speaker in the mirror. When you can see he the speaker on the mirror, these are the reflective points in which you need a damping material to be installed on.
- Calculating the room echo characters. To find an echo, you can clap your hands or two books. From this, it can be seen how much reflection it creates, the reflection direction, and how many times it happens. Echo -reflecting surface must be given material that is absorbing sounds. The surface which reflects echoes the most is the back wall. So, the back wall should be given the acoustic treatment.
- Placing the material. Each material has a different reflection or absorption character. Generally low tone tends to be reflected by all kinds of materials. If we install the dampening materials on the entire wall, floor, and ceiling, what happens is the damping for high and low tones are less maximal. Therefore, you need to plan proper acoustics, so that the excessive frequency will be absorbed and the less frequency is diffused.
- Determining the appropriate area. Observe and decide which area needs to be given absorptive acoustic and which ones need diffusive acoustic. In addition, note that the type of material has a different character. Adjust the material to the home theater interior concept.
- Final calculation of echo character. After performing an acoustic planning, do the final calculations on the room echo character after the use of acoustic.
- The making of acoustic. The acoustic work should be performed before the home theater equipment is put inside. The processing time depends on the type of material and installation difficulties. It usually takes 1-2 months.
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