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Top ten tips to get the best sound quality in your family home theatre

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Sound is so important for your home theatre. It immerses you in the experience, giving you an incredible depth of experience. However, it can be influenced by so many things, it’s a science to get the perfect sound.

Take some time and follow these ten tips for the best possible home theatre sound system. Not everything is expensive or highly technical, but when in doubt, get the pros in to assist you.

  1. Square rooms have bad acoustics

If you’re using an existing room, you can’t do much to change it, but square rooms have bad acoustics. Rooms with equal dimensions have problematic sound reflections, causing uneven bass tones and other tones are over-pronounced.

The golden room ratio is 1:1.6:2.56 is perfect (height, length, width), so if you’re lucky enough to be custom-building a space, this is the specs you should be aiming for.

Windows are problematic

Glass lets sound in—and out—more than a wall. If you’re converting an existing room to a theatre, even heavy drapes won’t fix the sound problems. If you can board them up, that will help, otherwise you may have to be content with less-than-perfect audio

  1. Don’t mix and match speakers

Using different brands and ages of speakers mean there may be a slight mismatch in sounds. It doesn’t feel like a big deal, but a split second in sound differences will be noticed subconsciously and the film will feel less realistic.

  1. More subwoofers

To minimise bass modes, multiple subs help to smooth out the energy. Two is good, four is better. And bigger isn’t always better; pick two 10” good quality subs over one 12”.

  1. Don’t hide your speakers

Speakers aren’t pretty, but if you hide them behind plants, cupboards or covers, you are minimising sound quality. Speakers are designed to be at ear height and directly visible.

  1. Make the room soft

To absorb high-frequency reflections, you a soft room. This can mean acoustic panel installation, heavy drapes on the walls, lush carpeting and luxury home theatre seating like which is found here.

  1. Upgrade the centre channel

About 85% of the movie’s track information runs through that centre channel. A tinny sounding voice is an immediate distraction that doesn’t let you enjoy the movie as much. If you can’t afford an upgrade, place the speakers on rubber feet, find the crossover setting in your home theatre receiver menu, and raise the levels. Run some trials and set it when you hear perfect speech—no more than 120hz.

  1. Have the speakers in the right place

Find a good sound guide and follow it through. There are plenty of ways to set up your speakers, so play around and find what suits your room layout and seating.

  1. Keep your distance

At the closest, people should be a minimum of 120cm away from a speaker. Any closer you you’ll have sound localisation, not to mention it’s a risk for hearing loss.

  1. Use technology for room correction

Some sub woofers have a microphone kit that allows for room correction. You put the microphone in the seating area, and the system will automagically play test tones and find the highs and lows. The system will bring down those peaks, which means bass is far more even.

Ten tips for perfect sound

If you can follow these ten pointers, then your sound quality will be a lot better. Even investing some effort into a few of these may mean you don’t have to spend a lot on a new fit-out. Sound is often overlooked in home theatres in favour of a big flashy screen, but it contributes a lot to the experience.

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