Acoustic Panels For Home Theaters | Overtone Acoustics
You’ve got your very own home theater room all mapped out in your mind, from the clarity of the picture to the world-class surround sound system to the degree to which you sink in your weirdly comfortable recliner...you can almost smell the buttery popcorn as it pops in the microwave.
But there remains one stone that you haven’t gotten around to turning just yet — home theater acoustics. When it comes to having that ideal “surround sound” home theater, you may already have the specific entertainment system (complete with a bone-rattling subwoofer, naturally), but you may have yet to consider how that system will interact with the room itself.
If you browse our knowledge base, you’ll come across a fair share of information that has to do with finding the perfect balance between a “live room” and a “dead room.” If a room has too many hard, sonically reflective surfaces, there will be too much rebound and the sound will become muddy at best and unbearable to listen to at worst (think about how every concert sounds in a high school gym). Conversely, a room that is “dead” is one that has absorbed too much sound. If your home theater was completely covered in soundproof wall panels, it would sound flat and a bit dull without much low end. That’s why reflected sounds are a good thing — we simply need to know how to channel them in the right way to get ideal performance out of the room. When the balance gets out of whack, it destabilizes the output, as some notes will sound way too loud while others are barely audible. Bass notes might drown everything else out while the midrange and treble combine to be too tinny or bright.
There’s a right way to go about finding acoustic panels for your home theater and finding an appropriate balance is key.
Acoustic Treatment Tips
Make no mistake about it, it’s not the brand of your entertainment system, projector, or speakers that will make or break your home theater experience; it’s the acoustic properties of the room itself. Below we offer up a few items worth your consideration as you look into the world of noise reduction panels and soundproof solutions.
- The Live End-Dead End Approach - Regardless of if you choose Overtone Acoustics as your consultant and supplier of acoustic treatment panels, you should find this useful. A widely used strategy for home theater rooms is the “live end-dead end” approach. This technique involves placing acoustic wall panels in the front half of the room in order to absorb the early reflections of the direct sound emitting from the front stage speakers (those that come from the direction of the movie or show you are watching). Placing sound absorbing wall panels on the sides of the front of the room will catch these reflections, leaving you to enjoy a clean, distinguishable sound from the main speakers. The dead-end, as you may have inferred, involves leaving the back half of the room mostly untouched. This will provide some sonic ambiance to the overall output, as the sound from the main speakers will reflect around the room in an ideal way.
- A home theater needs about one third of the surfaces covered in acoustic absorption products. To get the best performance out of your domestic entertainment room, a good ballpark estimate is around 30 percent of your walls and ceilings needing to be covered.
- Fiberglass wall insulation won’t be sufficient - We aren’t saying fiberglass wall insulation is worthless by any means, but it’s something else to think that it will serve as a replacement acoustic treatment. In fact, fiberglass insulation is thermal in its purpose. Low frequencies easily pass through it, which means late night movies won’t be an option if the little ones are trying to sleep and you’ve left your home theater without acoustic sound panels!
- Why You Need Bass Traps - Bass traps are must-haves for any home theater room. Lower frequencies tend to get trapped in the corners of rooms, which can affect the clarity of sound depending on where in the room you are sitting. Overtone Acoustics bass traps offer low-end attenuation. This helps provide the listener with a more precise low-end reproduction instead of a warbled, one-note sound. Plain and simple, the bass will be just as powerful, but it will be more clear, accenting the rest of the sonic-escape the movie offers. Be sure to check out our Diamond Knit and Microsuede styles!
- Why You Need Acoustic Panels - People talk a lot about “soundproofing” a room to improve the sonic output. Soundproofing is all well and good for keeping exterior noises outside of a particular room, but if you are looking to bring audible clarity to a space, you need sound absorption wall panels. Overtone Acoustics offer handcrafted acoustic panels that are both customizable and easy to install. With high-density fiber core for control, durable construction, and a modern profile that offers you the ability to design your own acoustic art, there is plenty to like about what we have to offer. But at the end of the day, we are a team of contractors who are also consultants. No two rooms are the same and so we will happily put our experience and knowledge to good use. Whether you have a commercial project or a home theater acoustic treatment project in mind, that’s an option you should take us up on.