Room acoustics – the weakest link

Who among us has a room designed for high fidelity audio? My guess is none. After carefully selecting components that were expertly designed for great sound reproduction we put the system is a room where not one moment’s thought was given by the architect to audio reproduction. Consequently our system performance is usually held back by the weakest link – the room.

The worst problems are in the bass. Room modes can create peaks and cancellations that rob the system of accurate satisfying bass, and affect the overall balance of sound. The other problem, in the mids and highs, is that hard surfaces can create harsh echoes. To solve these problems rooms can be improved with all manner of treatments, but deciding which ones or how much is not always easy. If you want help from a professional we have great resource in town in Brian Pape, who provides advice and treatments from his company Yes, acoustic treatments can be costly, but his prices are very reasonable. To do your own research a Google search for “acoustic treatment” will lead you to a huge set of information.

Home theater receivers have tried to correct for room acoustics with correction circuits, but many knowledgeable listeners do not like the results. Nevertheless as time passes I hear a few more satisfied remarks about receiver room correction. After all it’s digital processing, which means that it should get better every generation. Right?

For my part I’m going to try a new room correction product from DSPeaker. Well, actually two products. One is a subwoofer equalizer and the other has more functions, like whole room correction, DAC, preamp, etc. It has an appallingly long name – Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core. Once my first one arrives I can begin to experiment to find out whether it does much for my system. That my be tough because I have really good response already, as measured by my XTZ Room Analyzer. But we will see.


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