The expensive new hi-fi stereo sound system is here or the home cinema is set up: If you want to really impress the family or guests with the new technology, you need great surround sound so that the sound can unfold properly. There are special drywall solutions that can help. The topic of room acoustics is not only important for hobby musicians. Room acoustics are essential even in the living room or in the office.
For optimal results we recommend you Acoustic and drywall experts to helpwho specialize in relevant work.
DIY (Do It Yourself) solutions are also available for those with craftsmanship to ensure a pleasant sound in your own living room or home studio. In this guide we will explain to you how you can subsequently improve your room acoustics and what the difference is between room acoustics and sound insulation.
You can also find out what benefits good room acoustics have for your physical and mental well-being, and why good room acoustics should not be neglected, even in offices, daycare centers and schools.
1. What is room acoustics?
Reverberation and echo
If the distances over which the sound is reflected are very large, the delay becomes noticeable – an echo occurs. Living rooms are too small to create such an effect. In certain buildings, such as churches, this reverberation is intentional.
Room acoustics refers to the spread of sound within enclosed spaces. It’s about how sound spreads within a room in sound systems, home cinemas or your own music.
For example, when we listen to music at home, the sound not only reaches our ears directly from the speaker. It is also reflected on surfaces and thus returns to us.
If too much of the original signal is reflected, there is a noticeable reverberation. This is perceived as unpleasant and disturbing.
Good room acoustics is therefore primarily about ensuring that as much of the sound as possible is absorbed by the environment and as little as possible is reflected.
2. Improve room acoustics through sound absorbers
There are basically two ways to improve surround sound. On the one hand, you can take appropriate measures when building a room to ensure good room acoustics. On the other hand, you can also subsequently improve the room acoustics in an existing room.
2.1. Improve room acoustics through structural measures
If you want to set up a new room or renovate an old one in which the acoustics should be particularly good – for example a recording studio for your own music projects – then it is worth installing sound-absorbing elements on the walls and ceiling beforehand. These can be:
- Acoustic perforated ceilings
- ceiling sail
- sound-absorbing Wall panels
2.2. DIY tips for improving room acoustics
If you haven’t optimized your living space for a perfect sound experience from the outset, you still don’t have to put up with poor sound. There are a few tricks you can use to improve the room acoustics yourself, even with little money.
The key word here is absorption. Some of the sound is reflected off surfaces, causing reverberation, while the rest is absorbed and therefore disappears. To achieve good room acoustics, it is important to increase the number of absorbers.
Therefore, the general rule is: for good room acoustics, you should have as many pieces of furniture, plants, objects and curtains as possible on walls and carpets. The reverberation is strongest in bare, empty rooms – think of the echo in an empty room in an apartment that you have just moved into.
Here we have put together some tips for good room acoustics:
|area of the room
|Tips for acoustic optimization
A particularly elegant solution for improving room acoustics is to use acoustic images. These are Made from special insulation materials that are designed to absorb as much sound as possible. At the same time, they are available in a wide variety of designs, so that they can fit perfectly into your living room or studio as decoration.
If you are thinking about improving your room acoustics with images, you should first consider how large the acoustic images need to be. This depends on the area of the room. In the following table we give you an approximate estimate of the area your pictures should have, depending on the size of your room, in order to ensure sufficient sound absorption:
|area of the room
|Recommended area of the acoustic images
|up to 20 m2
|4 – 6 m2
|up to 35 m2
|8 – 10 m2
|up to 50 m2
|12 – 14 m2
|up to 100 m2
|24 – 28 m2
Of course you can Combine acoustic images with other sound-absorbing elementsto further optimize the room acoustics.
A notice: Room corners are particularly critical for good room acoustics because the sound is reflected several times here, which can lead to unpleasant reverberation. To avoid this, large corner cabinets are particularly suitable.
3. Room acoustics vs. soundproofing
Sound insulation or noise protection is often mentioned in the same breath as room acoustics. However, these are different things.
Room acoustics is about the optimal distribution of sound within a room. Soundproofing, on the other hand, deals with the transmission of sound from one room to the next.
Simply put: If you want to improve your room acoustics, it’s important to have as much of your music as possible. Soundproofing, on the other hand, is about how much or how little your neighbor hears your music.
In contrast to room acoustics, you can’t get as far with sound insulation with DIY measures. If you want to soundproof a room well so that your neighbors aren’t disturbed too much by your own noise, do so There is usually no way around structural measures.
However, companies that specialize in drywall construction for sound insulation often also offer appropriate measures for good room acoustics. If you want to have a corresponding room optimized by experts anyway, they can often do it ensure good room acoustics and sound insulation at the same time.
4. The benefits of good room acoustics
When it comes to home cinema, hi-fi sound systems and rehearsal rooms, the advantages of good room acoustics are obvious. With an optimal sound experience you can enjoy music and films.
In fact, room acoustics is about more than just good sound. Too much sound reflection can have a negative impact on our mood and our performance. According to studies Reflection of sound can lead to the following negative side effects:
- Concentration problems
- reduced sleep quality
Optimizing room acoustics is therefore essential not only to enjoy music, but also to ensure physical and mental balance.
But optimizing room acoustics is not only worthwhile for your home. It can also play a role in the workplace. In view of the negative effects mentioned, good room acoustics are important, for example in modern open-plan offices, so that all employees can concentrate optimally.
The same applies to daycare centers and schools. Children are often loud and poor room acoustics can cause reverberation to become a real problem. Here too, optimization of room acoustics is required to ensure that children can concentrate optimally on learning at school.
Image credits: stock.adobe.com/DZMITRY, stock.adobe.com/2ragon, stock.adobe.com/ballykdy (sorted chronologically or according to the order of the images used in the buying guide)