Skip to main content

Understanding your room sound is all about the important difference between waves and rays, so you can have a good sound definition and understanding of energy. Did you know that there are waves and rays in your music rooms? Waves of energy that act just like ocean waves breaking and building up on shore. Did you know that you also have rays of energy that resembles sunlight and move with similar mannerisms? Did you know that if you understand a sound waves definition that starts with waves and rays, you will be on your way to obtaining a much better sounding room. Better sound in your small rooms for your home theater, listening room, and professional recording studio begins with this understanding of these two energy forms.

We need to understand the basic terms because so much is built upon them. If you need to describe your problem in your room to someone who can assist you with correcting it, you must start with the basic understanding of waves and rays. It will make your music sound better to have the understanding of these two terms, which will serve you well as you move through your journey towards good sound.

In the following video, I provide a sound waves definition so you can clearly understand the difference between that and sound rays. If you divide your room into how it handles both of these energy forms you are well on your way to better sound.

A Sound Waves Definition and Why It’s Important

We have all heard the dreaded “bass boom”. This huge wave of energy that fills your room and masks your mid ranges with excess low frequency energy that will not fit into the particular room size you are in. It blurs and smears everything in it’s path. It is annoying to the people in your room and definitely to individuals outside the room. Isn’t it frustrating to be listening to your favorite piece of music and then when a drum or bass guitar note fills the room and then smothers all the other sounds? Isn’t it frustrating to be sitting in that area of the room where this resonance occurs and not hear anything at all? We need a good sound definition of what makes up good sound.

Rays are the frequencies that impact your mid range frequencies where your vocals lie. Your vocals are your emotional connection to the music. Your vocals are the source of most of what we seek in our play back systems. We want to hear all of the information the artist and engineer intended for you to hear and that information is found in the direct sound or the sound that travels from your speakers directly to your ears. Unfortunately, your walls floor, and ceiling confuse that direct wanted energy with reflections that cause time delay issues and produce phantom images. If we understand the definition of waves and rays, then we cab address these issues as an excess energy in the wrong place and evict the noise through proper room acoustic treatment techniques.

Bass boom, a reflection free zone, live end/ dead end are all acoustical terms that indicate how a room will sound. All of these terms address waves and rays in different ways to achieve a certain room sound. Knowing pressure from reflections using an understanding of waves and rays is critical to all other acoustic knowledge that deals with the treatment of unhappy waves and disgruntled rays. All of the understanding of waves and rays will contribute to your own sound definition.

So I hope this sound waves definition and the broader discussion on sound waves rays has been a help. Please leave any comments below so I can get back to you. Don’t be afraid to hit those Facebook like, Google+ and Twitter buttons on the left hand side so other people can see this post. And if you want to learn more about this subject please sign up for our free room acoustic treatment videos and ebook which provide step by step instructions. Get instant access by signing up now.


Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.