If you were to build a hi-fi room

what would it be like?

Basic requirements: it has to be feasible to build, has to allow more than one person in, but is dedicated to hi-fi listening. Note that you could build an anechoic room, but for those who have been in them it’s a disconcerting and unnatural experience, and probably not good fo hi-fi listening.

Dimensions? I’m assuming vaulted ceiling, but would it be a steep pitch up, so sloping only in one direction (away from speakers) or with a peak in the middle?

Would the walls be square to each other, or angled to reduce standing waves? Would they be vertical, or angled again?

Materials used? Any windows? (glass is nice to look out of, but very flat and reflective…)?

@Thomas is your guy here.


I’ll let you all get on with it but… I never would.

Lots of pics on several threads on here of no doubt acoustically fantastic rooms which all look wholly unwelcoming and cold/antiseptic. It’s an idea which holds zero attraction to me.


But I think that’s part of the challenge here - can one design it so that it is appealing and a nice place to be, as that’s a necessary part of the enjoyment? …

Do note that this is a hypothetical question - I’ jut interested in people’s ideas and science for what an ideal space would be

I have yet to see a picture of that design. They all look linear, clean and unwelcoming. Zero attraction.

The showroom of Kaiser Acoustics looks quite nice, at least to my eyes. The metal diffuser looks a little odd, a different color should help.

Forum rules permit a link, but the search engine of your choice should come up with a good result.

I’ve actually done this in my current house. It looks an awful lot like a living room though. Oh wait…


Hmm. Whilst their showroom looks like it’s got some good ideas (non-parallel walls) some of the other instantiations are odd - lots of hard reflective surfaces and not at all welcoming.

Given soft furnishings are a good thing, generally, there’s a lot that can be done to make it welcoming and it could be that simply having a non-rectilinear box is the best bet, with usual pictures and carpets etc.

There are cover jazz or rock albums acoustic panels. Acoustic art acoustic panels.
Look nice.

Picture from Revrb site


I have no desire to build a room just to listen to a hi-fi system.

If I was in a position to build a house, I would definitely take into account that listening to music on a good system would be important and be part of the design spec of the living spaces to the architect. I try to listen to hi-fi when I am in a store choosing an upgrade, usually when at home I listen to music on my system, only focusing on the system when I have made a change. A good system is about enjoying the music more for me.

1 Like

I wouldn’t over think it.
For a start it would be the normal dimensions of an average uk living room. But, slightly larger.
I would definitely factor in lots of windows strategically placed to let in natural light…
Be on a ground floor. Concrete or other hard core ground surface with glued on hardwood flooring.
Dedicated mains and that’s it.
Along with comfortable furnige including a small fridge.
Embossed wallpaper to aid diffusion.

1 Like

Surely, the interesting challenge here, is to arrange a room so that it functions as both a “normal” living room and attractive to all, but also has technical features, suitable for listening to music.

I would say that the single most important thing is to ensure that the height, width and breadth of the room are all different lengths, and not multiples of each other. This will ensure that any resonances in one dimension are not reinforced in another.
There’s some interesting information on the Cardas Audio website about this which includes some figures for the ideal proportions of a listening room. It also mentions dimensions of a room with non-parallel walls for anyone who is prepared to go that far in a new build.

1 Like

My 1870s terraced house has non-parallel walls pre-installed. Some years ago my builder was surprised at how much wider it was at the rear compared to the front. Guess they built it ready for hi-fi :grinning:

1 Like

Well i have actually done exactly this. But i do not call it a hifi room , it is a music room.

I wanted a larger room but extending the house was not going to be easy , visually spoil the looks of the house and still a compromise even when done.
So the best thing was to start with a blank canvas. Therefore i decided to build a room detached from the main house.

I did research building with angled walls and vaulted ceiling but it appears the results of doing so are less predictable and they would still require acoustic treatment.
Build was brick built with lots of insulation and lined with acoustic plasterboard. Ceiling was double thickness of acoustic plasterboard , again double depth of insulation.
Floor was well insulated thick concrete.
Windows are a necessary evil. I have one large behind listening position and also behind the speakers. Although both are 90% covered with [removeable] acoustic panels.
All walls and ceiling are also optimally treated with acoustic panels.

The thing really has to be to know what you want from the room and this is down to personal requirements. Do you want a dual purpose living/listening room or a dedicated listening room.
I wanted to end up with a dedicated listening room that would give me as close as possible a live experience. With appropriate decoration ive ended with a very warm , quiet and cosy room.

In fact i had a friend visit today and his first words were ’ i could chill out in here’.


Masterdon :heart:

I’m actually in such a position due to a house build. Rather than be exiled from the family in a dedicated hifi room, I have designed a living room to be hifi friendly. The first architect’s draft was very pleasing.

  • 5x7m
  • Semi soundproofed
  • Dedicated mains and earth leading back to a dedicated isolating transformer
  • in-wall trunking for 7.2 surround cabling
  • [this one I especially like] Replaceable panels where wall mounted surround and centre speakers/TV would go. So that if I replace them in 10 years or whatever, I can replace the panel too and not have any holes from the previous brackets.
  • Solid wood over concrete floor
  • Windows are wide but short (30cm) and positioned at head height. Let’s in a lot of light but also keeps reflective away from the same horizontal plane as main stereo speakers. Plus leaves 360 degrees of usable wall space. The room is on a corner with no view anyway, so it is a win-win solution (we voted for the rooms facing the dramatic mountain view to be the offices rather than the living room since we work from home and will spend >8hrs a day 5 days a week for the next 30 years in those rooms).

To facilitate the living room aspect, there are 2 entrances so that it feels central, though they can be firmly shut for listening sessions. To avoid feeling like a room full of speakers, the 7.2 surround is all designed around high wall mount speakers and the music stereo is the only hifi bit allowed to occupy floor space. Space-wise there is enough to incorporate family zone features like the piano and play area. Like our previous home, there will be large plants everywhere.

Construction is expected to be a bit slow and details of some of the other rooms are not finalised yet. We hope it’s ready for moving in this time next year.


If I were tempted to build a hifi room I’d buy a pair of headphones.

Masterdon, can’t find it via google translate. It’s like well done ?

@frenchrooster Masterdon are a band. Their best work in my opinion is their earlier stuff like Leviathan and Blood Mountain. Maybe considered similar to a French band I LOVE Gojira… maybe you have heard of them? Introduced to me when they started many years back through a mutual friend of mine and the band.

1 Like