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How To Reduce Echo and Reverb In A Room

Posted by Create Automation on 9/14/2014

If you have spent any amount of time in a building or room with large, empty walls and hard floors, you will have noticed the unmistakable echo and reverb of the sounds bouncing back off them. This can leave the sound seeming poor, making the listening experience less pleasurable or effective.

Opposing walls or high ceiling speakers and bare floors can cause sound waves to reflect in a back and forth motion, leaving the sound out of focus and lacking a crisp definition. Rest assured though; there are some simple techniques you can employ to help reduce this distracting sound and create a crisper, clearer sound experience with far less - if not completely eradicated – echo. Here is createautomation.co.uk's handy list.

Textiles and Wall Art

Hanging textiles such as rugs on your bare walls will aid sound absorption and combat echo. If the room design allows, position art and textiles opposite each other. This will prevent the sound waves being able to reverb between the two surfaces, greatly reducing the echo within the space. Something to keep in mind is that if the art you select is an oil painting canvas, the dried oil can, in fact, recreate a hard surface; ultimately bringing a counterproductive result.

Furniture

Bringing in tall, wooden furniture to occupy empty alcoves and spaces, particularly bookshelves filled with books, will absorb sound waves that would otherwise reverb around the empty spaces. Using pieces of furniture that are different sizes and depths will create a more dynamic environment, further disrupting the sound waves.

Flooring

Bare, hard floors together with high ceilings create an ideal environment for sound waves to echo. To interrupt this, you need have carpeted floors or large thick pile rugs. These floor coverings will not only add warmth and tone to the room and its sound, but they will also help to absorb excess reverb. Rugs especially will grip on to the vibration that a bass unit will exert, creating a smoother and less ‘club-like’ bass tone.

Acoustic Panelling

While traditional acoustic panelling may seem like a step towards having a recording studio in your living room, it is a worthy investment. However, if the word ‘investment’ teamed with ‘acoustic panelling’ seems like a daunting expense, the DIY solution is equally effective. If you have a large canvas artwork piece on the wall, filling the back of the hollow space with foam sheeting will create a dramatically effective echo reducer. Foam can be ordered online from specialists, or your local DIY centre will have some sizes available. If the large canvas you own was shipped to you, you might even find that you still have the foam packaging laying around, and that will be the perfect fit.

An echoing room can create a hostile and clinical environment in which to indulge in sound. This uninviting notion will not help create the relaxing space you need in order to enjoy a tranquil experience. Treating your room with just some of the above tips will help to eliminate echo and reverb, allowing for a more natural sound. Remember, regardless of how excellent your home set-up is, the surroundings have a big influence on the sound you receive. So pay your sound system’s home proper attention for top results.