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What makes a good sounding room? It’s a question that has different answers to different people. Some individuals like a large sound stage and want and need the room to provide that. Others want pin point imaging with the ability to resolve all of the definition in the music source. Still others want large amounts of energy without the need for definition separation, clarity or sound field width, height, or depth.

What Makes A Good Sounding Room?

What makes a good sounding room can be divided into three sections. The first area of concern must be low frequency management. The low energy high and low pressure areas within the room must be manged through the use of the proper low frequency sound absorption technology. Without the proper management of these low frequency longer waves, the middle and high frequencies simply do not have a chance to compete with the smothering and blurring impact of room pressure areas that are not in control.

Middle And High Frequencies

Middle and high frequency energy must first be managed through sound absorption technologies. Sound absorption technologies can reduce the amplitude of reflected energy and then sound diffusion can be added to create a natural more free space, listening environment. poor room diffusion is seen in over 90 % of small rooms and that acoustic room distortion contributes greatly to our musical enjoyment.

Sound Balance

In this video, I discuss this low, middle, and high frequency triad. I discuss how and why low frequency absorption is critical in what makes a good sounding room. I also discuss the proper low frequency sound absorbing technologies that can really contribute to actual low frequency, sound absorption. There are three main techniques that fall into this category. We have membrane, diaphragmatic, and Helmholtz. No foams or building insulation filled boxes need apply here.

Middle Frequency Treatments

Middle and high frequency absorption is necessary to reduce the strength of reflected energy from our room boundary surfaces. Side wall reflections must be reduced in time and amplitude in order to not interfere with the direct sound from our loudspeakers or monitors. Once the strength and time signature of these reflections is reduced to the proper level by using sound absorption technology that absorbs at the proper rate to achieve this goal, diffusion can then be added to spread out the defined sound energy throughout the room.

In Summary

So I hope that helps you. If you have any questions at any time I am always on hand to help answer them. Leave them in the comments section or email me at If you would like to learn more about room acoustics please sign up for my free videos and ebook by joining the mailing list here. I send room tuning tips and things for you to test in your room every Wednesday. They are easy to follow and really help you enjoy more of your music.

Thanks and speak soon

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.

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