Room dimensions

Hello everyone, I posted before a question with respect to room dimensions with a specific setup. Now I am going to ask it in a different way. What would be the smallest (good sounding) room that you would build? I have some area restrictions in the house that I will build. I want to have some bookshelf speakers with my naim gear. Thanks!

I wouldn’t out of choice have a room under about 18ft by 13 ft by 8ft. If I was designing from scratch I’d first consider shapes other than purely 3D rectangular (rectangular cuboid), so as to have non-parallel walls, such as pentagonal with sloping ceiling, including considering such shapes within a rectangular outer structure. If only rectangular acceptable, whether or not ceiling parallel to floor, I’d seek help from the work of acoustic researchers, the work of Salford University being particularly helpful, as (I hope) the links below will reveal (I downloaded copies of the spreadsheets some years ago, so even if the links disappear I will still be able to use the data).

Have you searched the forum, and found this thread in particular?

These links copied from a post of mine in that thread:

Spreadsheet with most optimal room ratios (pick the smallest nominal room size for smaller rooms, largest for larger): Best room ratios

And a second spreadsheet with other choices Room ratios - second best

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To be honest, if we are talking about a very small space that makes scale of speaker performance difficult I would consider two things:

  • I headphones first system.
  • Rather than domestic hifi speakers (which are somewhat coloured to compensate for furnishing within the best guess of the manufacturer), nearfield monitors from the likes of PMC or ATC or others. These are speakers that are intended to be heard close up before room reflections.

My advice, take it or leave it, is build the room within the constraints you are given and don’t leave sleep over it. Instead, take the opportunity to have dedicated mains and dedicated earth fitted (cheap as chips on a new build) and acoustic treatment build into the walls and ceiling and door rather than hung on the walls or ceiling afterward. That’s less to do with performance (though it is very good if done right) and more to do with domestic harmony of having that kind of stuff both invisible and baked into the room.

I have found that a 3mx4m listening room is absolutely fine. It’s a cabin with a hip roof (all sides slope down) and one corner chopped off for the door. Ceiling is about 2.4m at the highest point. When I built it I was a bit concerned that my system might overwhelm it but nowadays I can’t imagine a better room. I would say this is an absolute minimum as it allows the speakers to be out of the corners, be the correct distance apart and allow the listening position to be in the correct place. The only downsides I have found are that it’s not the most social of places as I can accommodate one mate at a time plus me but that doesn’t happen much these days. Oh, and the spiders. Although I get only one or two per year, they are the big buggers :face_with_peeking_eye:

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