Technology at home: Part 4 — Acoustics
(continued from Part 3)
Acoustics — Conquer the Twang
Sound immersion is a must for the effectiveness of a home theater. The sound from all your speakers should work seamlessly together. Everything from the flooring to walls and windows will affect the sound in a particular room. While it may not be practical to work on the soundproofing in many rooms, you could focus on the main entertainment are, most likely your TV room. This is especially so if you are investing in a home theatre.
Unlike many homes in western countries, with insulation, carpeting, drywalls and heavy furnishings, here in India we have the disadvantage of stone, marble or tile flooring, glass and brick and fairly sparse furnishings. So, we need to compensate for that disadvantage to improve the acoustics in a room. It is necessary to achieve a balanced interaction of absorptive and reflective qualities to create better sound.
The fundamentals of home theater design :
- Choose the smaller wall for the gadgetry.
- Place the speakers right — eliminate gaps in surround sound.
- Keep the wall behind the speakers soft. Some kind of padding/fabric works well.
- Dampen reflections using furnishings — heavy drapes, blinds, rugs etc.
- Open plan construction requires more effort.
- Hard bare surfaces increase reverberation.
- If there is too much glass and brick, work on the ceiling to improve acoustics.
- Solid furniture works best as vibrations and rattling are reduced.
- Use a high pile rug and plush upholstery to counter the bare floors, brick walls and large windows.
- Bookshelves and large cabinetry work well too. Just make sure you place it in a manner that it blends in with the overall decor.
(Next: Part 5)