Your Acoustic Environment

It’s essential to get each piece right for an amazing listening experience.

What most people don’t know is that over 50% of your sound quality has to do with the room it’s being played in. The goal is for the listener to hear the speaker, without a lot of echoes and reflections on top of it. You can take a phenomenal audio system, put it in a room with poor acoustics and the audio will suffer.
For optimal acoustics we need to have a balance of absorption and deflection in the room, managing decay time. Decay time is the amount of time the sound stays in the air, or persistence of sound once the original sound has been removed. So, if you were to loudly clap your hands together and listen to the length of time you can hear the sound, that’s decay time. Minimizing this helps the sound stay natural.

Absorption can be influenced with home décor such as carpeting, drapes and soft furniture. Too much absorption will make a room sound eerie or dead, but not enough and your audio will be echo-ey and unintelligible. Deflection sprays sound around in many directions, redistributing the sound around in a way that keeps the sound alive and energetic. Combined with absorption, deflection makes a space sound natural and comfortable.

Every year I volunteer at a well attended charity event. It’s usually held outdoors but this year it had to be held inside an auditorium due to the rain. It was a wildly different experience. The floors were concrete, the walls were painted stone and there were no soft surfaces. The live music sounded terrible, it was very difficult to communicate, conversations echoed, it just wasn’t a very comfortable environment. This was a prime example of bad acoustics.

Room acoustics are vital for optimal performance. SoundVision can work with your designer to offer tips on best acoustical practices or, if you want to go all out and get a full acoustical treatment (which is what we recommend for rooms where performance is the 1st priority) we can make your favorite room sound amazing.

Some related topics have to do with Sound Absorption, noise reduction, soundproofing, noise mitigation and decay time.

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