Listening Room Poll : Fully Treated or Normal Furnishing

I am curious on people who have the hifi in dedicated rooms as opposed to a living room or lounge. Do you go all out to optimise the room solely on aspects of sound quality? This will mean incorporating diffusion or absorption panels to all walls or perhaps go for full monty by addressing the ceiling as well.

Or people are more inclined to have normal furnishing in the dedicated room with some pictures or artwork hung on the wall to make the listening environment more pleasant? Or maybe add a retractable projector screen in the room for movies?

I’ll add a poll to see people’s preferences. I’ve had a dedicated room with treatments on the walls before (bare ceiling though) and currently have the system in the living room. I prefer the room to have normal furnishing.

  • Professional Treatment Products
  • Normal Furnishing

0 voters

This is a sample of a friend’s dedicated room, fully treated.


Does it have to be so garish?

One of my reasons for playing music is to relax, and I certainly couldn’t relax in a room as hyper as that!


That’s my thought as well as everyone is different. I used to have a room like that in my old house about 15 years ago although it’s not as full-fledged as this. The reason I’m asking is I may have a dedicated room for the hifi (again) in the future. I’ll surely be more inclined to just have normal furnishing in the dedicated room.

What do you think of the sound of his treated room?

I’m not finished yet. Our room is nearly complete and has a lovely wall scratch render finish. I have the impression it needs to be a bit of both whereby you try to “subtract” the room as much as possible. Still early days here and firstly need to see how it works with furnishings that I want.


I’ve not visited but one day might do that.

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Try to furnish the room so that there are not too many reflective surfaces - but that’s probably fairly obvious!

Yes agreed. To be fair, the room above is small so not many stuff can be placed in the room.

I’m not sure how accurate these things are, but some of the ‘room models’ out there give a ‘coverage %’ for treatment.

Of course, the trick is that if the room is engineering properly from the get-go, it should be discreet.

There is a difference between treating a room and deadening it to the point some people seem to want to.

Equally, like @graham55 I see no pleasure or relaxation to be had from a room treated in the manner of some of the images we see. I want to live and socialise in my living space. That includes, conversation, TV, music and decent light for reading.

Music should not be an isolationist sport. If you want to listen to music alone in a fully treated room then your money might be equally well spent on some form of talking therapy.


I kind of agree, music appreciation has a lot to do with frame of mind… and for me being in a comfortable relaxing environment helps with that… so for me my listening room which is shared with other family activities is a one with windows/natural light , it’s light, pictures on the walls, but yes carpeted, soft furnished chairs and sofas, and traditionally plastered ceiling. There are a couple of relatively discrete sound absorption panels on the walls behind the speakers.

I would find it oppressive to listen in a room that felt and looked like a sound booth with no or few windows…and no regular furnishings… there is no way I could feel comfortable in such an environment, let alone enjoy one of my favourite musical works.


There has to be a balance IMO. I have a 14ft x 12ft dedicated listening room but still keep treatment down to limited amounts of diffusion at first and second reflection points, absorption behind my seating position (which is very close to the back wall) and bass traps in corners. Less is more aesthetically and certainly absorption wise. Too much of that just drains the life out of the sound.


If I was going to have a dedicated listening room, which I never would, then I would probably design it in the style of a concert venue with appropriate lighting. At least that would enhance the illusion of listening to live music.

But for me I want listening to music and watching video material to be part of the many comforts of home. That means, to me, comfortable and relaxing surroundings that make me feel nice. A million miles away from a typical concert venue or specially treated room like the one pictured.

My home is where I spend nearly all of my time now and I don’t want to live in a recording studio.


There is of course a third major option, which is partial treatment, e.g. I identify critical things like near reflection points and treating those, and maybe bass traps to deal with measured worst effects.

As for reference to professional products, I know some people build their own absorbers (which need to be no less effective).

Quick question, is the poll just for people with dedicated listening rooms?

There are 40 responses so far, meaning 40 folks have dedicated listening rooms? If that’s the case it’s way more common than I’d have expected. Though not sure how I’d have put a number on it if asked!

12% of 41 responses means 5 people with dedicated rooms. That’s my understanding of the responses so far.


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Oh ok, I read it as for those with dedicated rooms, do you fully treat, or use normal furnishing!

So it means do you have a fully treated dedicated room, or a shared use room with normal furnishings?

I think that is a completely incorrect assessment. It means 12% of those who responded have treated rooms. They may ir may not all be dedicated listening rooms (I also have the impression the poll is aimed at people with at least more-or-less dedicated listening rooms). The question might be how exclusive has to be dedication to count as dedicated? Without anything saying otherwise I would assume any degree of dedication even if the room does sometimes have other functions.

I think there will be a large proportion of people who do not have not have dedicated rooms, also being living roons/lounges with other functions. Of those a proportion are likely to have done some treatment, however minimal, but not full treatment - though based on the “show us your system” type threads I have the impression the proportion with treated is small.

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