Now that the prices of components have finally come down to a reasonable level, It's time to put the necessary thought into, often the most neglected, room acoustics. I know, when you start dreaming of your theater, the first thing that comes to mind is "the big screen", and then of course a booming sound that rivals the big box movie theater down the street. Not to mention where to put R2D2 and C3PO. And rightly so!
If you remember anything else, remember this. If you want the components you have chosen to sound to their engineered potential, you must treat the room acoustically. It doesn't matter how much you spend on components. Acoustics are equally important as the screen and components themselves. If you are buying from a CEDIA member AV professional (highly recommended), and you treat the room, you will end up with a Best Buy sound, and be very disappointed. If you piece meal your components yourself, and dont treat the room, you will again feel you wasted what little money you had. You will end up with an overpriced "tv room". Your wife will love that.
Today, people are talking about Quiet Rock with Green Glue or resilient channeling or sound dampening add on's to their theaters. This is for what is called STC, (Sound Transmission Coefficientcy). This treatment is for when you want to minimize sound escaping the room, so that the people in another room don't feel like they actually live in Jurassic Park. While STC is important, it is the NRC ( noise reduction coefficiantcy ) that is the most vital. This is to treat the actual theater room itself. The most vital? Yes, because the NRC values in the room will make or break your experience. Its like building a brand new Cadillac, without shocks and struts. It looks good, nice seats, but you get the idea.
STC can be added to your existing theater, but it is much more expensive than building it from the beginning. While NRC is always added after, and can be added to your existing theater at no extra cost.
Ok, money. If you happen to be the guy who is considering the 20k - 50k projector, and your not considering room acoustics,,,well, do I have to come up with a punch line?
Room acoustics are more necessary and affordable than you think, even if you have a low budget. For those with large budgets, a combination of absorption and diffusion is highly recommended. If your spending light, providing acoustic fabric panels in the key first point of reflection areas, is important. Acoustic Finishes quotes take less than 24hrs. A shameless plug? Yes indeed. But if you want an honest evaluation, you have to start somewhere. Acoustic treatments by way of stretch fabric track systems,acoustic panels, etc.are both scientific and aesthetic. You wont be disappointed!!!