Acoustic room treatments

Considering some basic room treatments like bass traps in the front corners and covering the front of other speakers in my HiFi room used for video/tv system when not in use.
Any recommendations as to where I can start to look for advice and products. In the US.I have heard a bit about Gik?

I don’t know about the US., but in the UK GIK are very helpful. They provide a free service assessing your room (based on info you give), and recommend appropriate treatment, of course hoping you will buy from them. They have a good range of panels, with good specs/test data, and seem to have a good reputation.

When I discussed my problem room with them, sending first a floor plan and description, I learnt that they can accept test files from REW - which I think is very much the way to do it. As well as the initial test data I sent, they made suggestions for additional tests. They do all the interpretation. In case unfamiliar, REW (“Room Equalisation Wizard” is an excellent program, runs on Windows or Mac, but needs a measuring microphone - the one REW recommends is a bit under £100 IIRC. I find it an excellent tool, and in fact before contacting GIK I had used REW to do a basic sort out and rethink of room layout. In addition I sent them photos of each room elevation, which all added to their tailoring to my room.

Thanks looking into it

There are number of companies that also make sound panels printed with the image of your choice. These can make for very appealing rooms.

The only word of caution I would give is:

  • For stereo, only go for the bare minimum of treatment needed to resolve a problem that is really bothering you. The imperfections in any room are what makes stereo replay give the illusion of live in the room. A totally dead room kills that and is like being an ant trapped between giant headphones.
  • For surround, the intent is the exact opposite of stereo. The idea is to delete the room as much as possible and put you where the action is. So anything to absorb reflections and give an even response is desirable.
  • As room treatment for stereo and surround are somewhat mutually exclusive, if you have a combined stereo/av room, opt for the minimum of treatment based on making the stereo sounding best. In my experience from getting this wrong in the past, the loss of musical pleasure from the stereo due to building a completely dead room for the surround was far worse than the imperfections of watching movies in a slightly live room.

Thanks for your sage advice,makes a lot of sense. I did send gik info on the room and they responded with recommendations that included over 20 pieces! Need to be selective

Yes, as FZ suggests, completely deadening the room may be undesirable, and you don’t know how far the recommended panels go down that path. I guess the thing to do is take their advice, and do a partial fit, maybe about a third to half of their suggestions, experimenting with the different suggested positioning, then if assess including re-measure and add more, erc.

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