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Boost the Sound Quality of Your Home Theater

To Get Cinema-Quality Sound, Acoustics Matter

You have wanted that dream home theater forever. Now you are ready for it.  You have the right room in your house, and the time to enjoy it with family and friends.  You are thinking about screen sizes, sitting arrangements, and maybe even the classic popcorn machine to achieve that authentic movie theater experience.

There is one thing that you should not overlook in your home theater.  A great cinema experience is as much about the sound as it is the picture.  If you want to immerse yourself in the movie, you want to hear the explosions, the bullets flying overhead, and the dialogue clearly amid other ambient noise in the soundtrack. 

Choosing the right equipment and setting it up correctly is a big part of achieving that experience, but some rooms are challenged in the sound department.  Sound may reflect off hard surfaces, and the room shape may not be optimal.  These reflections can result in uneven bass across the room, and sibilant and annoying higher frequency sounds.

But there is a cure for subpar home theater sound in challenging rooms – acoustic treatment.  When you use Refined Systems to design and build your home theater or media room, this is something we consider to help you attain the optimal cinema experience in your Houston home.

Read on to find out more!


SEE ALSO: Home Theater Design Question: Where Should It Go?


Taming Bass

Bass is a huge part of movie sound.  Action movies with explosions, earthquakes, and other deep sounds necessitate subwoofers to really feel those very low-frequency sounds.  Some music tracks also reach deep down into the bass too. 

The rectangular room is usually the best for a home theater.  But many rooms won’t be perfect, as they may have an open wall.  Furniture and décor in the theater can affect the sound too. For bass, the problem is “loose” bass.  Bass that is not tight and is “boomy” is not optimal.  Subwoofer placement can help, as well as using dual subwoofers to achieve even bass throughout a room. But depending on the aesthetics, sometimes subs and speakers can’t be placed at the perfect locations. 

One acoustic treatment is called a bass trap, and it is an acoustic panel that helps dampen low frequencies to attain that flat bass response that sounds so good.  These are typically placed in corners but sometimes help in back walls too. Décor can help hide what they are, especially when dedicating a room to media and theater use. 


What About Shrill High-Frequency Sounds?

You have likely been to a restaurant with modern décor where almost everything is a hard surface.  When the restaurant is packed, you may find it hard to talk with people at your table due to the reflection of sound from all the conversations around you.  The same thing can happen in a theater. If the décor is all hard surfaces—like a tile or wood floor, hard seating, windows with no soft drapes—you may get reflections that can make higher frequency sounds jarring to your ears. 

Here again acoustic treatment panels come to the rescue.  It is helpful to soften the décor if possible for the sound, but if the aesthetics limit that, acoustic treatment can mitigate much of the reflections.  These panels can be surface-mounted on walls using colored fabric to blend with the room design.  For a more custom approach, the panels can be hidden behind custom fabric that covers all the walls, so you can worry less about how your furnishings affect the sound and let the panels fix the acoustics.


When you are ready for the theater of your dreams, with audio to match, let us help you design and build it. Reach out to us today!