How acoustic panels can improve the sound of your home theatre room or HiFi
Want to improve the sound in your home theatre space, listening room or any room in the house that has poor acoustics?
Acoustic panels are one of the most cost effective system upgrades to make a good audio system sound even better. And because they are low profile they can easily be blended into your existing home decor.
Let’s start out by understanding how sound works, and the problems reflected sound waves create.
How sound works and the problem of reflected sound
Sound from your speakers travels in waves or vibrations through the air, which then bounce off any surfaces in the room. These surfaces include the walls, floor, ceiling, windows and the contents of the room like furniture or a bookcase.
Walls, floors and ceilings are a big problem as they cause something called ‘standing waves’, which is when sound waves continue to bounce off these surfaces and distort your bass and lower midrange frequencies. This also makes certain notes louder and others much quieter. The result is sound from your TV, home theatre or HiFi can have:
- Unclear dialogue
- Bright and/or harsh treble
- Muddy or boomy bass
So, we need a solution to control this reflected sound – which is where acoustic panels, fabric walls and other similar acoustic room treatments come in.
What is an acoustic panel or wall, and how do they work?
Acoustic panels are made from foam or fabric, which help to absorb sound and stop all those sound waves from bouncing around a room.
They improve the sound quality of your existing speakers by reducing the waves of vibrations moving through the air, the panels help to minimise reverberations and echo in smaller spaces that lead to unclear and muddied sound.
Acoustic panels and similar treatments work by either:
- Absorbing or soaking up the sound waves and stopping or reducing reflection.
- Diffusing or scattering the sound, which reduces reflection.
One thing to look for when installing acoustic panels is their NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating. This is a measure of how much sound it can absorb. For example a NRC rating of .80 means that the panel will absorb 80% of the sound it is exposed to.
What are the benefits of acoustic panels?
The most obvious benefits of acoustic panels are:
- Audio coming from your home theatre or hifi is clear.
- Speech and dialogue are clear and easy to understand.
- Bass sounds are not muffled or too boomy.
- The overall soundstage is improved with focused audio from the centre and better overall depth to the audio.
Let’s now look at the different types of acoustic panels on the market.
Different types of acoustic panels
Fabric walls are installed as they are a room finishing option that allows you to conceal the acoustic panels and speakers for an ultra clean look. They also allow for a range of creative room finish options, especially when combined with the LED lighting options. Where large areas need an acoustic treatment, like when floor-to-ceiling coverage is needed. rather than individual acoustic panels. It usually consists of a perforated acoustic fabric stretched between parallel tracks, sometimes with a foam polyester fibre or fibreglass backing for the acoustical treatment behind.
Slat acoustic panels
Slat acoustic panels come in a variety of sizes for placement on walls or ceilings in the home, or in commercial spaces. They are fabric covered foam of various densities, or even wood panels with grooves to help disperse sound waves.
ACAP – Acoustic Absorption Panels – are smaller panels designed to be installed to absorb sound, echoes, and reverberation in home theatres rooms and other compact spaces. They are often installed in groups on side and rear walls.
Want to transform the sound of your home theatre room, listening room or any room in the house? Give us a call today on 1800 144 199 to chat through your acoustic options.