Has anyone used bookshelves as room treatment?

I have a wall of books in my office.

But my department is being moved to a building where the offices have much less shelf space.

So most of those books are coming home.

I could put them on the wall behind the listening chair, where the speakers fire - which is currently a blank wall.

What would be the scattering/absorption effects of this?

Obviously it isn’t anything like professional room treatment, but it must be better than a blank reflective wall.


Jim Dog:
I have used books and/or records before to act as a diffuser on a problem wall. My experience was that a diffuser broke up standing waves and gave a more coherent sound.


I find this interesting as well. I already have most of the room sidewalls covered with bookshelves, and contemplate to move two or three more from another room to the wall behind the listening position. This wall is now blank, part from one painting.

Perhaps this sort of room treatment works even better if you can live with arranging the books in a way that make the overall surface more irregular? Push in some books and pull others out a bit! :sweat_smile:

If bookshelves improve the in room sound it also has the benefit to call for more combined libraries and music rooms in peoples homes.


Fill the shelves with books - assorted sizes, and with varying spines - and don’t align all the spines. It will provide a measure of scattering, and I thing a little absorption - far better than a plain wall. And the room will look good too!


The book Mémoires by Guy Debord and Asger Jorn was bound in sandpaper, which might break up a few soundwaves (as well as rubbing its neighbours up the wrong way).



Audio in a room of books sounds great. They are irregular shapes and heavy but porous. They satisfy diffusion, absorption, and dampening.


Sounds like a perfect solution to me.


Thanks chaps - this is the most positive and upbeat thread I’ve ever opened.

I’m going to do it!


My system fires out onto this. Would hesitate to call it a ‘room treatment’ - the books arrived before the system, although I like to believe it helps.


Nice room treatment.

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Books and music - a great combination for any room.


A blank reflective wall? Bloody luxury!

Had the same in my previous home, and found a few Vicoustic Wavewood panels made a worthwhile improvement.

But in my new place I’ve got large windows (approx. 2.5m x 2m) a couple of metres behind my listening position. Not ideal at all.

Wondering if heavy wooden blinds might offer some acoustic absorption while still allowing light into the room. Anyone have experience / recommendations?

I use books to the left of a speaker that is closer to a corner than I would like. It’s an irregular shaped room with three openings and two windows, the latter behind the listening position.

As it happens the windows have wooden shutters, solid not slated wood. They are rarely closed but neither folded fully back.

I’m satisfied with the sound, but I will get around to assessing sound correction through Roon DSP when I fork out for a measuring microphone.

Doubt it. Wood is not a particularly absorbent material when it comes to audio waves.

Now, heavy drapery over that would likely do that, but at the expense of light, most likely.

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Yes, absorption was probably the wrong word, my mistake.

I should have said diffusion – and from a non-uniform wooden surface. In other words, something similar to the method used in Naim’s own demo room…

The books are fine. But the glass of wine in the middle - no. Very bad. Reflects high frequency waves, etc.

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Any Folio Society editions in that lovely lot?

Was introduced indirectly by a colleague who was a regular patron. I am trying very very hard not to give in to temptation on their website. Must. Not. Develop. Any. More. Expensive. Tastes.


Yes indeed. I’ve not purchased Folio Society editions for some time now. I used to work in London several years ago and would always have a book to read during the Tube ride to work each way. Now I walk to work and I’m unable to multitask. I used to pick up bargains in the sales as the books are pricey. But they are wonderful editions, with an amazing array of titles. Worth every penny.

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