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This article explains the design rationale behind the choices we have made in the Acoustic Frontiers home theater demo room. As you read this article you will learn some the key audio design considerations for creating a truly high performance home theater. You will also learn about our innovative approach to delivering reference class sound quality including active room mode cancellation techniques and minimally absorptive acoustic designs.
Our aim for this room was to create a very high performance home theater - one where the audio performance was essentially faultless and might be considered reference class. The biggest constraint with this room was it's size which is only 12'x17'x8'! We also wanted to keep the existing window which limited options for placement of surround speakers and acoustic treatment. Small rooms have lots of challenges acoustically and so getting this room to the performance required very careful design of the audio and acoustic sub systems.
The first task in any home theater design is to determine number, type and placement of seats. Since we were aiming for reference class performance all of the seats had to meet our performance requirements. As explained in our blog article Home Theater Seating Layout there are five key design elements that must be considered:
In addition to these home theater design requirements there was an additional need to have one seat equidistant from the left and right speakers as the room would also be used on occasion as a two channel listening room.
We enjoy sitting towards the front of a commercial cinema so we wanted a large 50 degree viewing angle.
With these considerations in mind, and the desire to use large home theater recliners, the solution was quick to arrive at, and that was to use one row of three seats. Four seats across would have meant that there would be no central seat for two channel listening and listeners would be too close to the side walls. Two rows of seats would have been possible using bar style seating behind the home theater recliners. An additional row of recliners would require a riser for sightlines and resulted in the second row being too close to the rear wall.
Home Theater Design. Scope of Work: Home theater layout, optimal placement of subwoofers, and ensuring optimal video viewing angles and sight lines. Additionally, we advised on baffle wall and riser designs and acoustic treatment design.
“We built this home theater so I could watch all of my favorite movies. It’s just a better experience overall. I wanted it to look better than anything possible, other than what you can see at the studio." Travis C.
Home theater in walk out basement. Scope of work: core home theater design package, sound isolation, HVAC, riser, hush box and baffle wall design.
"The end result is nothing short of spectacular." David W.
Home theater in custom home. Scope: core home theater design package w' sound isolation, equipment & acoustic treatment.
"Our room turned out way better than we ever expected. Everyone is amazed at the sound and picture quality!” Todd B.
Nyal Mellor, Founder, Acoustic Frontiers