Home acoustics

One of the most important things to make your high-end gear, sound great, is the acoustical environment. Or make it the most important. Because you can have the best sounding audio, on paper, when the acoustics are not good, it will never reach its full potential. This is what we of course never read in the in high-end brochures. This is something manufactories, can not control. They don’t have any influence to your home and whether it is acoustical approved for their hifi. It is better not to make issues about it at all. As long as you buy their products.

Before spending money on audio, it is wise to check if your livingroom is suitable to make music sound right. Have an idea, how and where you going to setup your speakers. If I say, your environment is 75% responsible about the quality of the sound produced by your hifi, would you believe me? Well, I think I am not far from the truth.

So, that is why you should always try to try something out, in your own house or listeningroom. Listen to audio in a hifi-shop, doesn’t tell you anything about, how it will sound in your house. A good shop, always will recommend you, to take the cd player, amplifier or speakers home first to try it out. I would say, for at least 2 weeks, you need to ‘live’ with it. Listen to it during the morning, evening etc. Try different kinds of music, let some friends listen to the new setup too before you eventually purchase it.

Of course, you always have to make compromises. No home has perfect acoustics and you have furniture to deal with and of course the other member(s) of the family. But there are a few things you can do yourself to create some better acoustics. Especially, when you have a wooden floor, it can cause some treble and/or issues. It can sound harsh or you even can detect echo’s. I have solved this by using a carpet on my wooden floor. Also curtains are good ‘absorbers’, so you might close them before you going to enjoy your favourite music.

What works good too, is having some bookshelves ( with books ) hanging on your wall. Books are not only good, reading but also to 'break' some unwanted soundwaves. Adding paintings on your wall, or even better, carpets are not only good for decoration but also helps to absorbs reflected sound. Of course, try first how it will work for you. Do not overkill it. But the good part is, using decoration, keeps all members of the family happy.

They will, probably be less happy when you drag some bass trapps to your house. It would be hard for you to justify the purpose and the money. So be smart, use decoration to get the best out of your hifi. Try to match your hifi with the area you listen to it. Buying big loudspeakers, will cause many problems which you will never solve with adjusting your environment. And vica versa, small monitor speakers will never fill a 60m2 area.

click here to read a blog about living with an audiophile. It's very funny and many will recognize themselves!