Before you attempt the mechanics of how to build acoustical treatments for home theater, it’s best to have an idea of:
- What you want the treatment to achieve.
- What you have to spend.
- Studying what you have to work with.
- Knowing what you have to work with.
- “Acoustical” is a broad term. When considering how to build acoustical treatments for home theater, one should first realize that the word acoustical typically refers to controlling sound. In other words, building acoustical treatments can be to soundproof, dampen, heighten or otherwise alter sound…so know what you want going in.
- Off the shelf or homemade? Many manufacturers such as Owens Corning manufacture numerous acoustical products such as baffles, soundproofing panels, etc., but such products can prove to be quite costly. However, a careful examination of most of these (along with a little common sense) will illustrate that you can make them yourself at a significant savings (if you have the time and patience).
- Listen to the room. The first step to take in constructing an acoustical treatment for a home theater is to listen to your system at various volume levels and settings (bass, treble, etc.) to see where you stand. In other words, give the system a “test drive” to determine how you’d like to alter what you’re hearing.
- Look at the room. Needless to say, sound in a carpeted room with lots of overstuffed furniture is far different than that which typically occurs in an area rife with tile and other hard, reflective surfaces. So obviously the décor of your system’s location should be considered when building an acoustical treatment for a home theater…in that soft surfaces tend to cause a truer sound that somewhat hampers volume, whereas hard ones typically cause a sharper, but more distorted sound.
- Feng Shui for the ears. Believe it or not, the rearranging of furniture, speakers(and their angles) can dramatically alter the sound produced when questioning how to build acoustical treatments for home theater. So it would be best to exhaust all of your options concerning this before shelling out huge bucks at the stereo shop, hardware store, etc.
Finally, know that you don’t have to be a sound engineer when thinking about how to build acoustical treatments for home theater. You only need your system’s owner’s manual, time, patience…and knowing what you want to hear.