Acoustic Treatments
What's the most influential component in any theater system? Speakers, projector, amplification? In actuality it is the room itself. Room size, structure and materials play the largest role in determining theater performance. Sound control encompasses many aspects yet it is distilled down to 2 main issues: sounds reflecting off the boundaries of the room, and sound that passes through those boundaries. For this reason we divide acoustic products into two areas, sound isolation and acoustic treatment. Isolation is an important factor; more information on it is available in our section called sound-isolation. We hope you'll take time to learn about it.
Acoustic Treatment within a room is designed to react with sound to accomplish one or all of the following three things: absorption, reflect or diffuse. Absorption is used to absorb unwanted reflections from the front speakers off walls and ceilings. This often causes audible echo, frequency changes or a smearing of the movies dialog. Reflective and Diffusive elements act as reflectors to sound waves coming from speakers in the surround field. In general, a fine balance of these three elements are required to accurate sound in your theater.
For those technically inclined, Acoustic Treatment that is absorptive is rated in units of NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient). Every material in your home has an NRC Rating of some kind. The lower the number the less absorptive it is with 1.0 being perfectly absorptive and 0.1 being perfectly reflective. Drywall is .2, while carpet is generally .2. Applying carpet or fabric to a drywall surface will reduce the audible reflections, but only at very high frequencies. Acoustic Innovations 1" Harmony panels have a NRC of .85 while 2" panels have an NRC of 1.0.