How to Reduce Room Reverberation

How to Reduce Room Reverberation

Too much reverberation makes it hard to hear audio tracks clearly

By Kaye Morris

Man installing Carpet
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Reverberation is the echo that sound creates as it bounces off of surfaces in a room rather than being absorbed. Too much reverberation in a room causes a distortion in sound quality and makes music, movies and television harder to clearly hear. Many homeowners are adding or converting rooms in their homes to media rooms, specifically for the purpose of creating a high-quality picture and sound environment for movies, gaming and television. Reverberation can be a huge problem in creating high-quality sound in a media room, but with some adjustments to the room, you can achieve it.

Step 1:

Install acoustical ceiling tiles in the room to decrease reverberation. Decorative 1-foot square ceiling tiles can be installed with a stapler over the existing ceiling. Ceiling tiles are available in panels, which are installed using a grid attached to the existing ceiling. Wood planks provide a similar benefit as acoustical ceiling tiles.

Step 2:

Replace hardwood, laminate, tile or cement floors with carpet or cover the floors with area rugs. Carpet will significantly reduce reverberation in a room. The more open areas that exist on the floor, the more likely you are to have reverberation. If you do not wish to replace the floor with carpet, cover as much as possible with area rugs. Use multiple rugs and runners to cover more space.

Step 3:

Cover windows with heavy drapes. Drapes made from soundproofing material are available but may be out of your price range. If you can't afford specialty drapes, choose a heavy fabric that covers the entire window for the greatest reduction in reverberation.

Step 4:

Increase the insulation above the ceiling of the room and in between the walls. If your home is one-story or the room you're working with is on the top floor of a multi-floor home, then adding a layer of insulation in the attic is something you can likely manage yourself. Adding insulation in the walls requires special equipment, so you would probably have to hire a professional.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Fill the room with fabric-covered furniture. The more items taking up space in a room, the greater the reduction in reverberation you can achieve. Selecting fabric-covered items decreases the ability of sound to bounce off the surface, as fabric tends to absorb sound.
  • Vaulted ceilings cause more reverberation than standard flat ceilings. Plan your media or home theater room for a non-vaulted area of your home.

About the Author

Kaye Morris has 20 years of real estate development experience and is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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