Why do Acoustics Matter in a Home Theater?


Home Theater

Room acoustics indicate how sound waves interact within a room. Every room reacts differently to the variety of sound frequencies, primarily because of the objects in it, and every speaker sounds different when in a different room. When you partner with Innovative Home Media for a home theater build, acoustics are a vital component considered as we design and engineer your space…and for good reason.

The next time you sit down to watch a movie or listen to music, think about the ways – good and bad – that your room may be affecting the overall sound of your system. A basic understanding of room acoustics (and speaker placement) can help you maximize the performance of any audio or home theater playback.

Imagine that room empty, with hardwood floors and bare drywall. That’s going to have a lot of echoes, right? Now imagine the same room with carpets, thick drapes, plush seating and bookcases or a private concession counter. Suddenly the room has a quieter, more intimate feel. The fact is, these are the extremes of room acoustics, and the perfect-sounding home theater exists somewhere between the extremes, whether it’s a dedicated Home Theater or a surround sound system in your living room.

Every room a puzzle

What you hear in any room is a combination of direct sound and indirect (or reflected) sound. Direct sound travels from the speakers to your ears. Indirect sound bounces off the walls, floor, ceiling, and furniture before reaching you. Both are very important considerations.

Reflected sounds make music and movie dialogue much fuller and louder. Just as playing speakers outdoors, with no walls or ceiling to add reflections, sounds thin and dull (with minimal bass), reflected sound adds a dimension to your audio experience. Then, also, reflected sound can distort the audio by making some notes louder and canceling out others. Because the reflections arrive at your ears at different times than the direct sound, the 3D sound becomes more vague and fuzzy.


The right formula for your build

IHM acoustic engineers have a variety of solutions to achieve better sound. We provide the experience to make recommendations regarding:

·         Seating positions: Where the audience is located plays a major role in how well the sound system is received

·         Speaker positions: Simply making slight adjustments to speaker locations can have a great impact on the overall sound quality and speech intelligibility of a system

·         Sound absorbing treatments: Depending on your design, we’ll offer sound-absorbing suggestions for windows, doors, flooring, walls and more

·         Furnishings: Your optimal seating requirements and wish list for additional components (it might be a bar, or a display case, or a candy dispenser, etc.) all have a direct impact on the overall acoustics

·         Acoustic-friendly components: IHM works with a variety of manufactures and products to help digitally correct any room issues regardless of layout or décor. Subwoofers with built-in bass equalization, home theater receivers with automatic speaker calibration, and more…

Tune your room like any instrument

Adjusting room acoustics is both an art and a science. You can build a system with the best equipment possible but, if your room’s unique acoustical characteristics aren’t taken into consideration, the system will not sound as good as a room with mid-level equipment that has considered those pieces of the equation. Room tuning adjusts the acoustics using both physical and electronic means to produce optimal reproduction quality. We tackle the trouble spots, provide absorption tools, recommend diffusion treatments, and bring years of experience in creating acoustics that rival any multiplex.

If you have any questions about acoustics, or any aspect of home theater designs, engineering or construction, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Innovative Home Media. And stop back here for more insight on taking charge of your technology