How to Set Up a Listening Room – Listening Room Acoustics

Home theater acoustic treatments with GIK 244 Bass Traps

Audiophiles and 2-Channel Listening Room Acoustics

GIK Acoustics Bass Trap
Photo Credit: Larry Maciag, Fulcrum Design+Build, LLC

Walk into a demo room in a specialist hi-fi shop and it’s generally obvious the dealer has gone to great lengths to get things just right. Hi-fi dealers understand better than most the critical importance of room acoustics but it’s a topic that seldom comes up, even among the most dedicated of sonic enthusiasts. A great example is Michigan’s premier Audio/Video/Home Theater dealer: Overture Audio (click for full story).

Unfriendly room acoustics can make even expensive hi-fi equipment sound average. But incorporating proper bass traps, acoustic panels and diffusion in your room can make indifferent gear sound like it costs far more than the price tags would indicate.

The Room Itself

Home theater with GIK 244 Bass TrapsLow ceilings found in a typical home environment are often a problem as they create harsh comb filtering which damage stereo imaging. High ceilings increase the cubic footage which is good for low end response, but also require additional treatment to tame damaging reflections. Windows are highly reflective and blinds make little to no impact on the sound. Is the room open plan and inclined to echo? If not, where are the doors? Given that every room is different, the response of a loudspeaker placed in it is unpredictable. Yet most hi-fi enthusiasts spend lots of money on equipment and next to nothing on the room in which the stuff is deployed. Their professional counterparts are likely to spend more on the room and less on the gear.

Acoustics are only becoming more challenging in the 21st century as apartment living becomes common and rooms are built smaller. In smaller rooms, listeners sit closer to the speakers and the effects of sound bouncing off walls, floors, and ceilings is heightened.
GIK Acoustics 242 and TriTraps Derek Labian
So what can you do to improve sound quality?


So you’ve spent a ton on gear and components, but things still don’t sound right. Maybe the stereo image is weird, or the low end is tubby on one side and thin on the other. Is in the monitors? Is it the converters? One of the most common issues we address in room setup is the issue of positioning, and if it’s done wrong the results are obvious and disturbing. Inaccurate positioning can result in all the problems listed above plus quite a few more. This applies to studios, 2-channel rooms and home theaters.

Click here to read our full article on Monitor Positioning.

Acoustic Advice & Treatments

GIK Acoustics takes a holistic approach in helping customers understand the acoustical issues in their space and then present a practical approach to addressing the issues.

We’ve already addressed the Basics of Room Setup, so click on this article to find out more.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to treat your room or if you’re not sure what product would be best or where to place acoustic treatments within your room, we’re here to guide you through it. Let one of our trained professionals give you the best acoustic advice for your room.

GIK Acoustics Room Setup

For a prime example of treating a 2-channel listening room, read about Ivan Messer (click here) who has “one of the best-sounding rooms in the U.S.”

ArtPanel Acoustic Panel
Ivan Messer, Legend Audio & Video

242 Acoustic Panel and FreeStand Acoustic Panel

GIK Acoustics Listening Room GIK Tri Traps in Tympani listening Rm
GIK Acoustics ArtPanels two sets 

Composer Anže Rozman studio

2 thoughts on “How to Set Up a Listening Room – Listening Room Acoustics

  1. Robin Covert says:

    I am interested in designing a music and possibly theater room from the garage up. Can you suggest a design that lends itself to the best sound, and then a system that I can build on if I have overspent on the room itself?

Comments are closed.

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