Sound Proofing vs Sound Treatment
There’s an urban myth out there that suggests sound proofing and sound treatments are one in the same. I get to work in a lot of amazing condos and see some cool houses and invariably the same questions arise? How can I isolate the sound? Can I add some acoustic wall panels to keep the sound in? How about some bass traps? The list goes on. I can hardly blame the consumer for their confusion though, the internet is flooded with products claiming farfetched solutions for sound isolation all cleverly marketed to the consumer to block noise and improve sound.
The fact is sound proofing or sound isolation is a job that needs to be tackled during construction or renovation. There is no magic wall paneling or bolt on sound proofing foam to dodge this bullet. True sound proofing requires mechanical separation between the sheetrock and the internal structure of your walls and ceiling. A similar method is adopted for the floor depending on the surface structure. There are several sound isolation products used within this process like vinyl sound barriers, sound glues or viscoelastic compounds that have sound isolation properties, isolation clips and floor joist isolators to name a few. Suffice to say having a room sound proofed is something that requires some planning. You will need a specialized acoustic design some professional advice and a quality contractor.
Internal sound treatments are used inside a space to absorb and diffuse sound, not lock it in! This is where the familiar images come to mind of wall paneling, bass traps and acoustic foam. Sounds ugly right? Thankfully there are a wide range of aesthetically appealing options available for the residential market.
Why do you need an acoustic treatment? Whether this is a new concept for you or I’m preaching to the converted. If you want to experience the best from your AV system invest in an acoustical design for your listening space, it’s that simple. If you’re turning you’re AV receiver to 90% volume because you can’t clearly hear the voices from the center speaker yet the whole house is rocking, chances are a few strategically placed acoustic panels will fix your problem.
Room acoustic treatments in my opinion easily offer the biggest dollar for dollar upgrade on your sound over conventional components. A moderately priced treated room system will easily out perform an expensive system in an untreated room. All the special EQ settings and microphone room calibrations that come in the box won’t help you, run them after the rooms treated.
Acoustics is a great place for the audio skeptic or the DIY’r to get there feet wet and experience the difference it makes. After reading a few reviews anyone can purchase some inexpensive acoustic material online that will make a difference right away. I recommend bringing in an acoustics consultant they can provide you with a host of workable options and take an acoustical analysis of the room. This analysis uses real science to provide the optimal acoustical solution for your space. The results will blow you away. I can’t recommend strenuously enough what a difference a room acoustic treatment will make for your setup. If you’re looking to get a new system do yourself a favor and factor in some of that budget for acoustics.