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How to Create a Great Home Listening Room

by Reyna Thomas

Building a dedicated space for music listening is the ultimate commitment to the hobby. However, it’s expensive and complex, and when you try to DIY, there’s no guarantee that the room will sound good. But take that plunge and go with a pro to help you design a room specifically for optimizing sound quality; you’ll discover your audio system's greatest potential.

No matter what kind of music you enjoy, you can’t enjoy them to its fullest without using the right gadgets. And with this guide, we'll help you narrow down the essentials of a great home listening room.

man with eyes closed, enjoying music over headphones

Dimensions of the Room

When designing a comfortable listening room, the room's dimensions are crucial. The room must be big enough to accommodate all the furnishings and equipment you intend to put in it without making the space feel cramped. But that's only part of the issue. The room size will also impact the dampening or acoustic treatments you'll need. Making sure that there is just the right amount of resonance and reflection is the main objective. You must locate the sweet spot for damping that feels appropriate to you. Rooms that are either overdamped or underdamped cause issues.

Acoustic Treatments

Acoustic treatments are materials that absorb or diffuse sound. They are used to control the sound in a room by reducing reverberation and reflections. Absorptive treatments absorb sound, while diffusive treatments scatter sound. Both types of treatments can be used together to achieve your desired results.

dad and kids dancing in room

Many types of acoustic treatments are available, but some of the most common are acoustic panels, bass traps, and diffusers. Acoustic panels are made from materials like fiberglass or stone wool and are used to absorb sound waves. Bass traps are used to absorb low-frequency sounds, and diffusers distribute sound evenly throughout the room.

Wiring and Mounts

No matter the type of music system chosen, the space will require a lot of wiring. Not only does it look much better but running the wire through the wall or under the carpet is also much more effective. Similarly, having a shelf for all the audio equipment eliminates the need to run lengthy cords between the various components.

Speakers

In the end, the quality of your setup depends entirely on your speakers. Many modern models provide both analog and digital capabilities, allowing you to use the same speakers to listen to both records and digital music. Active speakers don't need an amplifier in your setup, but passive speakers do. 

woman listening to records on couch

Are there any other people who share your space? If so, having the option of headphone compatibility is always useful so that you can listen to your records anytime, no matter the time of day. 

Hi-Fi Placement

It's important to consider where your speakers are stationed in your space. If at all feasible, set them far enough apart, high enough off the ground, and away from any sizable items, walls, or furniture. Where in your room are you most likely to listen to music? Talk to your integrator about directing your speakers so they’ll be ‘beaming’ the sound to that location.

Furnishings

The type of furniture you choose for your listening room will depend on the size of the space. If you have a large room, you may want to consider investing in a couch or chairs with built-in speakers. If you have a smaller budget, you can still get great sound quality by using regular furniture and placing speakers on stands.

The essential thing to keep in mind is to gather enough comfy furniture so you can unwind simply by kicking back. When you wish to feel the most relaxed in your listening room, the interior design of the space is just as significant as the music that is played there. You could get by with a comfy chair, but a sofa would be best. 

dad and daughter listening to records

Custom Integrator

There are many benefits to working with a custom integrator, but the most important one is that they will design a system specifically for your room. They will consider the room's dimensions, the type of speakers you are using, and your budget.

Another benefit of working with a custom integrator is that they will know how to properly install your speakers and wire them for optimum sound quality. So, you can skip those questionable DIY videos and get it right with the pros!

A dedicated listening room is a must if you're serious about having the ultimate home audio system. But before you start building, be sure to schedule a consultation with one of our experts at Audio Video Consultants! And if you have any more questions, just give us a call, and we'd be happy to help!