Square room acoustic treatment & hi-fi setup - any recommendations?

Good Evening All,

I have a modest sized space to setup my system once I finish some renovations, the room is 11’ 10" x 11’ 6" (3.60m x 3.50m). The room is almost square which I know is less than ideal, and it has doors on either side. On the plus side it’ll be a dedicated space for music & films so no Wife Acceptance Factor to worry about. I’m aware it’ll probably need some extensive bass treatments but I’d like to avoid it completely looking like a recording studio:

spare room

Previously I’ve used GIK acoustic wall panels - scatter plates and the customisable art panels. The space is quite small though so I was wondering about using full height wood slat acoustic panels all the way round instead of re-plastering the walls in there. Either way I’ll hang some heavy curtains over the french doors and window. I’m keen to hear any suggestions from the forum, especially if you’ve had to treat or setup hifi in a similar space etc. How would you set this space up?

I’ll have to experiment a bit but it might be hard spacing the speakers a decent distance from the walls, bungs can be put in the speakers (B&W 706 S3 stand-mounters). Interestingly I saw a suggestion with small spaces to actually put the speakers right back almost to the wall to try an negate resonant frequencies but this feels wrong some how…

Any thoughts?

Any advice appreciated!

Bass treatment will do very little to mitigate standing waves, you’ll need to experiment with speaker positioning as you mentioned, I see no other way out.

If the ceiling is high, a square room’s problems won’t be as apparent. If it is the standard 2.4m height it could be a problem.

I use Daiken ceiling tiles to effectively remove the upper reflections. Other than that I think the best course of action, before applying a single treatment, is to experiment with the system on different walls. The doors and window are always going to be a bit of a wildcard in any room, though acousfic cirtains do exist. I’d get creative and play with a 45 degree diagonal room layout. The experiment costs you nothing but time.

Only then bother with treatment.

Thanks, hadn’t considered a diagonal layout! I shall check out the Daiken tiles too.

Eventually I’m opening that space into an extension and the room dimensions will be about 5.5m x 3.6m which happens to be much nearer the golden cuboid/rectangle proportions. In the meantime though I’ll try and mitigate the standing waves.

What kind of lay out did you have in mind. The basics are

  • try and avoid listening position being hard up against a back wall
  • treatment without going crazy can be first and maybe second reflection points, corners and behind seating position
  • I would recommend dropping GIK acoustics a few pictures and measurements


Thanks Gary,

I’ll start with first & second reflection points (last time estimated by looking a bit unhinged, asking my girlfriend at the time to go round the room holding a shaving mirror to the wall and asking her to mark it when I said I could see a speaker from the listening position). There is an opportunity though at the moment whilst the room is completely stripped out I wondered about putting up full-height acoustic wall slat paneling all the way round.

I’ve contacted GIK Acoustics and provided a mock-up of the room. The listening position (sofa) will have a radiator behind it so I’m definitely bringing it as far forward as possible but no so far as it crosses into the sight-line between the two doors.

Indeed been there with the mirror, my wife thinks I’m bonkers too!

I don’t have experience of doing an entire room with panelling but once done you are committed and it’s hard to predict the outcome.

GIK do some nice wooden panels now so definitely worth exploring. They do sale or return albeit it cost a few quid to return them…

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Thanks for the advice. Awesome setup you have there!

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