Making Your Home Theater Sound Better

When low-end stereo manufacturers began putting cassette players, record turntables, radio tuners and amplifiers all in one plastic box, real audiophiles would tout the superiority of component systems. With a component system, each individual part could be selected for its quality and its ability to combine with the other pieces to create a good sound system. What someone forgot to tell most people was that one of the most important single components for a sound system is the room itself.

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The size, layout and all the items within the room will affect the sound of your home theater system. The paint on the walls, the furniture, the windows and everything else influences the acoustics of the room. Most people don’t consider this when paying thousands of dollars for equipment, huge screens, loge seats and other trimmings of a real theater. If you want the best fidelity and sound experience, you need to know how acoustic panels can improve your home theater experience.

Room dynamics

A modern home, with its high ceiling and hard surfaces, provides an inferior acoustic environment. There are sound reflections to consider, as well as the dampening (sound deadening) effects of different materials. There are also such entities as standing waves, sound distortions that exist like invisible swirling statues in your theater space because of the specifics of the room size, makeup and interior reflective surfaces. It can be quite the acoustical nightmare.

Now, other considerations such as soundproofing are related to this topic but are properly dealt with in other articles, and/or by trained professionals. Soundproofing will ensure that the sound from inside the room does not leak out, and that sound from outside does not make its way in. However, some of the basic soundproofing steps are part and parcel of your initial home theater room design. This can help you from the start in what amounts to the challenge of building a room-in-a-room, your isolated and sound-controlled home theater space.

Reflections, Absorption

A room full of hard, reflective surfaces will produce an echo-filled, somewhat harsh sound, as opposed to the dullness created by surfaces that are soft and absorptive. Consider a room with every surface made of processed wood, ceramic tile, concrete ceilings and gypsum partitions. This is ideal if you want reflectivity and echo, and not so good for intelligible dialog and full-bandwidth music. Every increase in sound level (decibels) creates additional reverberation and echo. If you were to start out this way and begin to insert soft furnishings and material surfaces, even willy-nilly, you would immediately hear a different as you did so. It should be apparent, then, that adding to this approach some simple math and acoustic principles would successfully balance your sound.

Obviously, optimum results would require that your home theater design balance the surfaces in the room, and this means adding sound absorption. You achieve this by stopping the noise reflections and controlling the reverberation. You would use upholstered furniture, acoustic panels, mounted and freestanding soundboards and … Read More

Replicating the Miami Look With Home Decorations and Colors

Miami Beach at the tip of Florida as style all of its own. The resort was built between the 1920s and 1940s in the Art Deco style, which was popular in New York and Chicago, but in Miami they gave the look at unique twist by choosing a very different range of colors to their buildings.A? In Miami the buildings were painted with bright tropical pinks, sunny yellows, purples, blues and greens. The colors were not primaries but bright pastel ice-cream colors, perfect for a holiday town. These colors have inspired many people that have chosen to have the seashell bathroom theme, or soft tones and hues as a consistent theme throughout their home decoration as the buildings echoed the shape of streamlined ocean liners.

Miami is now one of the world’s top holiday resorts, and its stylish hotels and boulevards are favorite locations for films and fashion photography. Creating your own piece of South Beach should not be too hard because a distinctive color scheme will do most of the work for you. Look out for one or two genuine Art Deco pieces of furniture, either from specialist dealers or flea markets. It should not cost a lot of money and it will make a huge difference in the overall impact. Combine with the right home decorations to enhance the Art Deco look.

Miami used Art Deco shapes but applied its own color scheme – you can do the same with bright pastel upholstery. If you have no luck finding original furniture, buy a plain sofa with a streamlined shape and dress it up with contrasting cushions piped in Miami colors.

Replicating the look should not be difficult; time and patience will be needed but at least you know you needn’t break the bank. Use soft tones and hues of pinks, yellows and blues and you will not go wrong.… Read More