Small Media Room Ideas – Part One
Media Room Design Ideas
If you don’t have the space for a dedicated home theater but still crave the excitement of the big screen a media room is what you need.
By definition a media room is a multipurpose space fitted out for dual functionality. A living room or common dwelling space that is configured to provide a superior viewing and listening experience.
Small media rooms can be designed for open living spaces or a spare bedroom. Below are a few small media room ideas that will turn your living room into a practical multipurpose excitement machine.
Media Room Designs – Voice Intelligibility
A small media room is a hybrid space. It’s not every day you’re watching a blockbuster film, cranking your music or entertaining. The media room can be a place to put your feet up and read a book or engage in conversation.
Media rooms can be all shapes and sizes so you may not have too many options for seating positions. Position the sofas in a configuration that makes sense, something you can live with.
The next thing I recommend addressing is the sound quality. To achieve great sound quality is not all about buying the best AV gear. The echo and sound reverberation in a room will spoil even the most expensive AV systems.
A room that is very reflective with a lot of hard surfaces like Sheetrock, glass windows and hard floors will be very fatiguing and not very enjoyable for group conversations or watching movies.
In most cases existing rooms are being retrofitted to become media rooms so the option to plan acoustical treatments into the build aren’t an option. Strategically placed surface mount acoustic panels will absorb reflective trouble spots in a small media room.
Correctly positioned acoustic panels absorb sound waves that bounce around the room. Depending on the room layout you may benefit from wall and ceiling mounted options.
Wall mounted acoustic panels are wrapped in acoustically transparent fabric and come in a variety of colors with standard sizes of 2×2″ and 4×2″.
Art acoustic panels are also available from some manufacturers and are a great option for keeping the room aesthetically pleasing.
Absorbing the reflective sound waves in your media room will enable you to hear a lot more detail in any sound track even at lower volume levels. It will greatly enhance voice intelligibility for dialogue in movies and for speaking.
Home Media Room Design – A Practical Approach
Using whatever means you have to absorb reflection in your media room is a step in the right direction. Practical applications like putting down a simple rug on hard floors is going to help your cause.
If you have carpet you can assist greatly installing acoustic underlay. Windows can be treated with acoustic drapery that absorbs sound waves.
Acoustic & audio visual consultants can provide an acoustic analysis of a media room to pinpoint the most advantageous and practical positions to deploy sound treatments. If you want to go it alone I encourage you to experiment with some positioning of your own.
Being a hybrid small media room/ living space is nearly always going to be a compromise. Making strides toward addressing the acoustics in the room will provide the best value for money and allow you to get the most from your equipment breathing life into your new environment.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series Small Media Room Ideas where we will tackle the next step in designing a media room addressing proper speaker placement