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Room Acoustics / Romakustikk

New service - room acoustics guide for your room.

Describe your room - dimensions, send pictures - get advice for how to improve acoustics, including 3d-model with acoustic treatment in place.

Delivered on-line, we communicate through e-mail or a messenger service, we have a dialog about your room and discuss options for improvements.

Acoustic measurements are not necessary, they can only tell us the room is bad, they say nothing about what sort of treatment is needed and where to place things.

For implementation, you can use local suppliers and constructors, buy from acoustics suppliers, or build much of it yourself. Drawings for acoustic treatment modules will be available, as well as descriptions for how to build treatment into a wall.

"We now know how to fix the room."

Yes, how to fix a room to achieve good acoustic properties for sound reproduction, is known. But that does not mean everyone knows.

The first part is to know how the acoustic properties of a good room actually is. This can be measured, it is found mostly in the decay structure - how sound decays across the frequency range.

Then the room must be treated with acoustic treatment, to achieve those properties - the right decay, mix between absorption and reflection and diffusion.

This Room Acoustic Service is a guide to do this in your room. You get to see what it takes to fix it to the best level. Then there will usually be practical and interior decoration limits to what can be done in a reasonable way, and we look into what happens if we do only parts from the complete solution - perhaps it is possible to achieve a good compromise between performance and something that is reasonable to implement practically.

Who is this for

Anyone who has a small room - small means all normal rooms in a house - and reproduce sound in there - music, movies, other media content with sound. For pure entertainment, or professional.

Requirements will be very different for a multi-purpose living room, compared to a dedicated sound studio. But they share the same acoustic challenges, and the same methods can be applied to achieve the best possible sound, inside the limits of what is reasonable to do from a practical perspective.

  • Living room with tv / stereo / home-theater
  • Dedicated listening room
  • Dedicated cinema / home-theater
  • Sound studio
  • Demo-room

 

Pricing

Initial inquiry free of charge, where you get enough information for making a decision about how you want to proceed.

Fixed price for one project, no additional cost for asking questions, no time limit.

Cost for implementation is reasonable, as it will be much more cost-efficient to build those large structures on-site in the room compared to remotely shipped pre-fabricated panels.

Myths about acoustic treatment

"The room will be too dead"

It will be quite dead, but it will not sound dead when you play music, and it will not seem dead to be in. Actually, a good room will be much more pleasant to be in and have a conversation.

This is because the room will have a neutral tonal balance to its reverb, with just enough reflected energy preserved.

A room that sounds dead and dull has too much high frequency absorption, which is easy to avoid.

"Need to measure the room first"

No need to measure before building, but measurements can be used later, to verify and guide adjustments.

"I like a spacious, room-filling sound, so no need for room treatment"

Actually, a well-damped room with good acoustics will sound more enveloping and spacious because the room information in the recording will now be revealed, as it is no longer masked by reflections inside the small listening room.

"Not necessary to have good acoustics to achieve good sound"

Good acoustic environment is required to achieve the best sound reproduction.

That does not mean music can not be enjoyed in a non-treated room, and it does not mean acoustic treatment is the solution that ensures perfect sound. Speakers are still most important, and with careful positioning and room-eq calibration it is possible to reduce some of the negative effects from a less than optimal room.

Room acoustics can reduce performance, but a perfect room can only bring out the potential of the sound system, not improve it.

"Acoustic panels spread around the room will be ugly"

Absolutely. But treatment can be built to be invisible and look like any ordinary flat wall.

Better acoustic treatment is built into walls, where surface can be completely flat and smooth, or have visible bars.

The limitation is that acoustically treated surfaces must have some sort of acoustically transparent surface, which allows sound to pass through, so you can not have a hard brick wall.

Measurable difference?

Is there a measurable difference between a typical vs treated room? Yes, indeed.

The frequency response does not reveal any difference at all, since the differences between the graphs do not show anything about how the room changes the sound:

But when we look at decay, we easily see a huge difference:

Room2 first left, typical room right.

The treated room has much larger early attenuation. Both rooms show fairly neutral spectral distribution, and no resonances.

What is required

How much treatment is required, and can you do just some improvements and still achieve a good result.

The non-treated space mentioned in post #6 (above) ended up with no treatments, as doing a complete room-fix was never an option, and improvements that could be achieved with some smaller acoustic panels would not pay off compared to required effort and visual impact of interior styling. Here, the solution was to install new speakers with controlled radiation pattern, adjust placement of speakers and listening position, and use EQ in the DSP speaker system to correct tonal balance. The owner is very satisfied with the result.

Fixing a room requires acoustic treatment on roughly 50% of surface area, a lot more than putting up a couple acoustic panels on the walls. This can be done with modular units, or building entire walls.

Building the treatment into the wall is the best solution for performance and looks, and it is also the most cost efficient.

Modular units are more flexible and does not require construction work in the room.

In Room2 a combination of wall and modular is used:
https://www.kvalsvoll.com/blog/forum/topic/rom2/