HiFi and Home Cinema listening rooms

Here’s a short quiz…

You have 1,000 Euros to spend on upgrading your stereo or home theater system, what do you buy to get the most bang for your buck in sound quality?

1. Premium speaker cables
2. A new receiver
3. Room acoustic treatments
4. Hi-definition DVD player

If you answered anything other than ‘room acoustic treatments’, you might achieve only an incremental improvement in sound quality. If you answered ‘room acoustic treatments’ you would be making a significant upgrade. The reason is simple: The listening room is a critical component in the sound reproduction chain, at least as important as speakers, electronics, sources and cables, yet the listening room is often the most neglected component. When sound waves leave a speaker they interact with the walls, ceiling, floors, furnishings and other surfaces in the room causing room resonances and reflections that color the sound you ultimately hear.
And with Sound Of Science products you will not even need to spend all of that money in order to achieve the very best experience when listening to your system.
Room reflections are caused by sound that combines with the direct sounds you hear from the speakers. In most cases, you hear more reflected than direct sounds. The reflected sounds reach your ears milliseconds later than the direct sounds because they travel a longer distance. In general, sound reflections degrade imaging, sound staging and the overall tonal quality, important characteristics of a good sound system.

The solution for room reflections is acoustic absorbers, that when placed correctly allow you to hear more of the speakers and less of the room. In other words, more direct sound and less reflected sound. From personal experience we can say that room acoustic treatments have improved the sound quality of our system more than any upgrade we have ever made. Any upgrade! When bass improves, tonal balance is restored and the rest of the system sounds better. When room reflections are controlled (not eliminated) it is possible to resolve much more detail. Unlike conference rooms the goal is not to remove as much as possible, but rather to remove it in the right places, creating a more direct sound and a flat frequency range. You will find more about how to find these right places, and what to do when you have found them, further down on this page.

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