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By Jorge Knirsch


             Listening room acoustics largely influences what we hear. It may, sometimes, be responsible for more than half of the sonic results we hear. It strongly influences tonal balance, soundstage and dynamics. In the bass region, the acoustics of an untreated room is decisive for listening and achieving the final results.

 © 2004-2008 Jorge Bruno Fritz Knirsch
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●                Choose large rooms for sound reproduction. Room volumes below 100m3 are considered small, giving way to many problems with stationary waves. Room volumes above 200m3 are considered large environments, the best ones for sound reproduction.

●                Choose parallelepiped-shaped rooms, “shoebox” type. The three dimensions, length, height and depth, are very important, as well as the relationships between them, that is, such dimensions shouldn’t either be multiples between them or shouldn’t there be common factors between them. In case you’re going to build a room, consult an acoustic engineer in order to receive guidance on the best dimensions for the volume available.  

●                Avoid square-shaped or concave walls or yet spherical or cubic room volumes in the environment, by all means.

●                Try to place the loudspeakers along the least wide wall, and the listening spot lengthwise.

●                The free volumes on both sides of an imaginary vertical plane passing between the loudspeakers and the listener must be equal so that there is symmetry. Symmetry is a precondition for better soundstaging.

●                This environment or room for sound reproduction shouldn’t be either live or dead, but dry instead and possessing a recommended reverb time below 1,0s over all the spectrum of audible frequencies. In case your room is either live or dead, it will need specific acoustic treatment. Consult your acoustician. Live rooms in general are good for acoustical recordings. Dry rooms are recommended for listening to electronically-reproduced sound. The best listening room is the Room  for Critical Listening according to the proposal of norm no. IEC60.268-13.

●                Avoid the excessive use of curtains, carpets, foams, expanded polystyrene, cushions, etc., in order not to change your room into a dead one with bass resonances.

●                Place loudspeakers between 1.0m and 1.5m away from back walls in small rooms ( 100m3), and between 0.5m and 1.3m from side walls. In case you’d wish to know the best position for your loudspeakers, consult an acoustic engineer, who may determine the exact spot through calculations, based on your room’s length, width and height, much reducing the standing waves problem.

●                The best position for the listener should be located on an equilateral triangle’s vertex, where the other two vertexes are occupied by the loudspeakers. The listener might stay up to one meter behind such position (now on an isosceles triangle’s vertex) all the time within an imaginary vertical plane.

●                The listener’s ear must stay at the same height of the loudspeakers’ tweeters. Make adjustments, either to the height of loudspeakers or yet to the listener seat’s height.

●                In general terms, moving front loudspeakers away from the floor as well as moving them away from back and side walls may reduce the bass.

●                Adjust the tonal balance of highs by applying toe-in to the front loudspeakers. Check the loudspeaker manufacturer’s recommendations.

 ●                Have the regular habit of listening to (unamplified) live music in order to gain a better balanced musical perception and to be able to better adjust your system.

●                The points mentioned above make up at least 50% of your audio reproduction system’s sound results, regardless of its commercial value.

●                  Avoid disclosing equipment comparisons if your room is not treated and if your equipment is not of reference quality. In order to make fit and fundamented comparisons, audiowise, your room should be a Balanced Listening Room according to the proposal of norm IEC 60.268-13.  

I wish the best listening and rooms with excellent acoustics to all. The environment makes the music!!!





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