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Sound & Acoustics For Home

December 14, 2018
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None of us can recall a time when we started to speak, and its a perplexed question about how we learn to speak. We listen. And then we make noises. And then we shape the noises into words. The process of acquiring speech is, indeed, a momentous achievement, with a time course that begins long before birth and continues till some obstacles. At the earliest stages, parents play a critical role.

Together, the baby and the parent exchange and learn together to advance toward the common goal of sharing a conversation. Many parents notice, for instance, that a toddler can understand much more than it can express.

Sound has an effect on four dimensions, namely relaxation, communication, spatiality and dynamics, on acoustic comfort in urban spaces. Without going into all kinds of detail about the nature of sound in rooms, like delay times as measured in milliseconds, the inverse square law, absorption coefficient vs. frequency, etc., lets understand this. There are two kinds of sound: Direct sound, which is the sound that reaches your ears directly from the sound source itself. Reflected (indirect) sound. This is the sound that bounces off the walls, floor and the ceiling before reaching your ears.

Reflected sound is necessary for music and speech to sound natural, but too much can rob your system of sound quality. If you have a large expanse of glass in your listening room, like a picture window or French doors, try installing drapes over them to absorb reflections. If you have wood or vinyl flooring, try placing an area rug to help absorb some of those harmful reflections.Bookshelves can help break up or diffuse reflections.

If you’ve ever been inside a recording studio, radio or TV station, concert hall, or music practice room at a school or music store, you’ve probably seen some type of sound-absorbing material. Dense, porous materials like polyurethane foam and fiberglass tend to be the most popular choices.

Whether we’re talking about common room materials or professionally designed room treatment products, a material’s ability to absorb sound varies according to the frequency of the sound. Carpet and drapes provide significant absorption above 500 Hz, but have little effect on lower frequencies. Window glass and drywall can absorb bass frequencies, but are very reflective above 500 Hz.

The next time you sit down to watch or listen, think about the ways — good and bad — that your room may be affecting the overall sound of your system. A basic understanding of room acoustics (and speaker placement) can help you maximize the performance of any audio or home theater system.

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