You buy a television, sound bar, home theater kit, or speakers plus an amplifier spending a small fortune and after you take the equipment out of the box and set it up in the living room, you realize that something thing is wrong. You don’t hear as well as you might expect, there are echoes, blurry sound, without nuances, with poorly defined vocals and very poor stereo separation.
The first thing you may think is that there is something wrong with your new equipment, the TV is broken or incorrectly configured at the factory, and by changing some settings in the internal menus you may be able to fix the problem. .
You can try a few simple tricks to fix it or you can even resort to buying some high end gear thinking that there is the solution and maybe it will improve a bit but you most likely have problems with the acoustics of your room that you will have to solve outside.
Keep in mind that a very expensive high-end audio system in a room with poor acoustics may sound worse than a much cheaper mid-range in a room where minimal precautions have been taken.
A quick way to tell if your room has poor acoustics for listening to music and watching TV is to come in quietly and clap your hands loudly. If you hear how sound comes back to you like echoes, then you probably have a problem generated by walls and ceilings with too smooth rectangular shapes bouncing sound waves creating this turbidity that we need to get rid of.
Fortunately, changing some of the acoustics of your room to a certain level is relatively simple by following this series of tips that we will give you below and which will allow you, without spending a single euro or with a minimal investment, to completely modify and improve the quality of the sound that you will perceive at your listening point.
Rugs and curtains are your best allies
It may sound very simple, but installing rugs and curtains in the room can drastically reduce these unwanted echoes by absorbing some of the sound waves from floors and walls that would otherwise bounce and make the sound dirty.
The thicker they are, the more absorption capacity they will have, especially in mid and high frequencies, because in general in the bass it will not cause much effect considering its wavelengths which require materials more dense.
Large armchairs with thick cushions are also very useful, with which you can also play around with the placement in the room to cover the more problematic walls (in general, the largest and the smoother) without having to resort to the purchase of expensive sound insulation.
Try to move the subwoofer and speakers
If your problem is with low frequencies with booming and exaggerated sound which in turn scrambles everything, try changing the position of the speakers responsible for generating those low frequencies. In general, by repositioning the subwoofer or moving the speakers away from walls and corners, you can reduce those bass “balls” and have a more controlled sound.
Depending on where you place the subwoofer, speakers and television set, standing waves may or may not be excited in the room, producing increases in the power of certain frequencies. This problem generally appears mainly between 40 and 100 Hz, frequencies in which one can also have resonances with elements of the decoration of the room or of its construction structure such as furniture, walls, ceilings, beams and floors. foundations, etc.
Placing the speakers in the corners will give you more bass but also more uncontrolled. Avoid it whenever you can
We must try to avoid placing the speakers and especially the subwoofer just in the corners of the room, because in this case we are going to excite all the resonance modes in the room by getting more bass, yes, but probably with an annoying rumbling effect.
If we are going to place it in the front part of the room, on the same transmission line as the TV, it is better to place it about 40-50cm from the side walls and separate it a bit from the front wall, especially s ‘it is of the bass-reflex type and has the air outlet towards the rear.
Books give you wisdom and also a cleaner sound
Bookstores and shelves full of books of all kinds of sizes and densities are our best allies. The energy absorbing capacity of a large piece of furniture covered with books can be very important. If our living room has a lot of reflective elements, such as mirrors, smooth walls, glass windows and doors, or a stoneware floor, a large shelf can help us balance the reflected waves, absorbing some of their energy.
In addition, it helps to isolate the room from the outside, reducing the intensity of the waves escaping from the cabin, reducing the inconvenience for the neighbors. If our living room is small and we had to place our speakers very close to the walls, the book shelves will be able to effectively absorb a good part of the secondary waves.
Books can be supplemented with other types of items such as magazines, DVD and Blu-ray movie collections, CDs, wooden ornaments, etc. The point is that if you have shelves, do not leave them free and thus avoid the appearance of strong resonant waves that will scramble the sound.
Glassware does not get along with music
Many of us have a piece of furniture at home with a glass front, glass cabinets decorating a wall, or glass doors that let in light, and windows on different sides of the room. These elements aren’t exactly the best allies for clear sound.
Its structure will resonate when there is sound at high volume, making the whole thing worse and introducing unwanted vibrations that deplete the effects of movies and your favorite songs.
Whenever you can, try to remove these types of items from the room and don’t decorate with vases, lamps and tables with glass parts etc.
Try placing insulation under the TV or speakers
If we installed the television or the speakers directly on a piece of furniture, it is very likely that we are transmitting a good part of the sound waves to its surface, causing it to resonate in turn, coloring the final sound we hear.
In these cases, we can easily improve the acoustics by placing some kind of insulating element between the speaker cabinet and the cabinet to reduce this effect. For example, you can use books, magazines, rubber feet, or the like that help separate the two objects.
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