How to Make Your Whole House Music System Sound Amazing
The Main Principles of Audio & Acoustics
People tend to focus on brands of equipment when planning to purchase a whole house music system. However, there are many important factors to consider in order to make your next home audio project a success. While the size, type and quality of speakers and amplifiers are certainly important, the location of the speakers in each room, and the room acoustics are often overlooked. These items are critical to achieving a satisfactory result. The overall scope of a great audio system should include a solid design plan, the proper equipment installed by an experienced professional, and should include exploring any necessary acoustic modifications that need to be made to ensure your music system sounds great. The team at The Premier Group is well versed in specifying the right music system solutions, including acoustic treatments, and we also take great care to properly tune your audio system when the physical installation is complete.
- Align the Speakers
Single speakers broadcast sound in one direction and transmit all of the audio at once. A better approach is to place multiple speakers around the room so they project the sound towards you from every direction and provide even coverage. You also want to make sure that the speakers perform with a minimum of loss. That means the speakers should be focused toward your seating arrangement so that you and your guests don’t miss a note.
While there are plenty of diagrams available online that illustrate potential layouts for your audio system, consulting a professional will yield the best results with your investment in your individual space.
- Check Your Surfaces
The type of surfaces you have in your room play a big role in how the sound will perform. Have you ever walked into a large corridor with a tile floor, walls of stone or glass, and hard ceilings? You will hear a lot of echo. Even in a smaller room, hard surfaces quickly reflect the sound, and you end up focusing on the reflections rather than the original sound.
To reduce the amount of reverberation and echoes, you can have rugs or carpet installed in your room as well as hang absorption panels on the walls. You may think that would disrupt your home décor, but there are many unique choices today including panels that look like pieces of art or simply blend into the wall so you hardly notice them. Diffusers can also be used to help distribute the sound. Instead absorptive panels, diffusers help by breaking the soundwaves and spreading them in different directions, kind of like how a garden hose nozzle spreads water. Our trained professionals will be able to assess your room, whether it is a living room, home theater, den or bedroom, and then determine which panel or panels should be used and where they should be placed.
- Additional Factors
The surfaces of your room and the position of your speakers are two of the most instrumental factors in creating the right environment for you to enjoy music. You should also take your listening position in the room into account, as well as how your system will adjust to that position. If the speakers are being installed in a kitchen area where there is a lot of movement (as opposed to a Den with a fixed seating position), then in-ceiling speakers are likely the best choice because they can be evenly distributed throughout the space.
If you are adding a music system in a dedicated listening room or private theater, the layout of the speakers and the type of system will be based on where you will sit in the room. A surround sound system in a theater might consist of 5, 7, or up to 11 or more speakers (see the latest in Dolby Atmos Sound). The goal is to envelop a comfortable media couch or row (or rows) of recliners. Alternately, a 2-channel system would be placed directly in front of you.
One last factor to mention is the use of digital room correction systems. Companies like Sonos and Sonance now make speakers and amplifiers that include sophisticated DSP (Digital Signal Processing) that provides for the ability to tune the audio system for the size and shape of your room. The combined results can be simply spectacular. The bottom line is that it takes a quality system and a knowledgable team of professional to get the sound just right.
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