The perfect home theater consists of several characteristics, from sufficient internet connectivity and wiring to strategically placed speakers and lighting. However, one aspect many homeowners overlook is home theater acoustic panels. For a truly cinematic experience, it is essential to have good picture quality and realistic sound. Adding acoustic panels to your theater ensures it will be loud enough but not overbearing.
Why do you need to control the sound?
As sound exits your speakers, the sound waves travel until they are absorbed. In a large room, sound waves bounce and echo, distorting the actual sound. Imagine throwing a tennis ball at the wall and watching how it bounces. The more solid a surface is, the harder the sound will bounce and deflect. Then try throwing a dozen tennis balls. The resulting chaos is similar to what happens with soundwaves without proper acoustics. The technical name for this is reverberation.
Sound also travels through walls. If the entire family isn’t enjoying a movie at the same time, viewing an action flick can be distractive and annoying to those in other rooms of your home. Acoustic panels will absorb the waves and lessen the transference through the wall so everyone in the house can enjoy their individual pursuits. However, these panels will not soundproof the room entirely without structural modifications.
How do acoustic panels help with the sound quality?
Acoustic panels are constructed of materials that will absorb sound easily. For example, many modern products are made from compressed mineral wool or foam. As the sound enters the panel, the fiberglass fibers or foam material vibrate to create friction. The friction converts the sound wave to kinetic energy (a form of heat) that dissipates quickly without sound. In essence, the sound is absorbed instead of bouncing back out.
Acoustic panels come with an NRC (noise reduction coefficient) rating that measures the amount of sound the panel absorbs. A panel that absorbs all sounds would be rated 1.0 (or 100%), while one that absorbs only 60% of sound would be rated as .6. The actual effectiveness of a panel will also depend on its installation. It’s always best to work with a professional to ensure you get the best sound protection from your panels.
What are acoustic panels like?
Modern panels are made from various materials, including fabric, foam, and perforated wood. There are many options to choose from to complement any home’s decor. Fabric-wrapped panels tend to have the best sound-absorption qualities, while noise-dampening foam will also help reduce noises from outside sources. Perforated wood can be very decorative and also helps promote sustainability.
Are you interested in designing the perfect home theater for your family?
If you want to design the perfect home theater experience for your friends and family, talk with our professionals at Accurate Electronic Interiors. We are Southern Oregon’s first choice in home theater and SMART home electronics design and installation. Our teams install quality electronic systems that seamlessly automate your home theater, window coverings, lighting, outlets, surveillance system, and more. Visit our showroom or give us a call to learn more about how we can make your life easier.