Acoustic treatment on the ceiling

Anyone use acoustic treatment on the ceiling? If yes, impression? I have a 15 ft long, 13 ft wide, 9 ft high dedicated 2-channel listening room. My speakers are Focal Sopra N2, positioned along the shorter wall. I have GIK Acoustic panels on the side wall at the first reflection points, wondering whether I should also treat the first reflection points on the ceiling. Thanks for the advice.

What’s between the speakers? Treat that before the ceiling just cause it’s easy and the ceiling is not.

Too much treatment can be like to heavy handed editing on a photograph or image but you don’t know how far is too far until you get there.

If you can place a cloud suspended from the ceiling by all means give it a shot. Most cannot. GIK makes some brackets.

This and the one behind my head make by far the most difference in my space


Treat the first reflection point on the ceiling just as you do for the side walls.


4’x10’x5" ceiling cloud containing 4" of OC703 spaced 3" off the ceiling at first reflection point for LCR mains.

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It is my intention to, the pencil marks are up there, awaiting funds and strong glue!


Pic doesn’t show much of the GIK overhead. First reflections on the ceiling are addressed.


Does it make a difference? I am hesitate because one, it will take some work, second, the reflected sound from the ceiling is much more delayed than the one from the side wall where the panel does make a difference, thus not sure how much the difference from the panel from the ceiling.

What a beautiful room! The same question to you as above to MTB Vince.

I guess everything technically makes a difference. However, I would not
sweat it, I’ve had great sounding rooms without overhead treatment. I
just build this from the ground up and treated all at once before setup,
so I can not say how much if any it helped (BTW - I have 10 foot ceilings).

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I have underfloor heating so a heavy carpet is impossible. I have a rug on the floor and several 1" thick panels suspended from the ceiling (if it’s just 1" thick you can get spiral screws to screw into the panel - you need to use enough to take the weight of the panel of course - the spiral screws have rings. I use longish vine eyes screwed into the ceiling joists to leave a 4" gap to the ceiling). IMO, the first thing to do with absorption is to decide on the biggest bass traps you can live with and then add other absorption until you reach the limit. I have EQ capability with lots of absorption and have to steadily boost the treble by several db to conteract all the absorption above about 200hz. I get very stable imaging and lovely clean bass.


Unless you have crazy high ceilings, why would you assume there is an appreciably greater delay of the primary ceiling reflection vs the primary wall reflection @zheng4? And unless your loudspeakers are tall line-arrays or highly directional horns that don’t create an appreciable floor or ceiling reflection, then yes it is hugely worthwhile.

With multi-way loudspeakers and the drivers arranged in vertical rows as is typical, the vertical polar response of a loudspeaker will become quite chaotic at anything appreciably above or below 10 or 15 degrees of the intended listening axis. This is why professional reviews and loudspeaker user manuals for loudspeakers make a big deal about getting the listening height correct in order to achieve the ideal listening axis and smoothest perceived response at the listening position. The crossover network will inevitably create all sorts of frequency dependent lobing and suck-out effects when you listen significantly above or below the intended axis. You do not want that chaotic vertical primary reflection from the ceiling or floor reaching the listener as it will skew our perception of our loudspeaker’s otherwise smooth response.


Apropos of nothing really, many years ago I joined a band and on my first visit to their practice room I found they had stuck cardboard egg cartons to the whole ceiling (with drawing pins, goodness knows what it did to the plaster!)
The second thing I noticed was that even something as low rent as this made a really big difference to the sound / feel of the room - closed my eyes and it seemed like a much larger room, rather than a tiny council house back room :slight_smile:
It was his father I felt for - in the other living room trying to watch Coronation Street sat right next to the TV so he could hear it!
He really wanted his son to succeed with our own brand of “Space Rock”, although he did suggest a gig at his local social club once or twice, but only if we did some Quo or Beatles covers :wink:

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Thanks. I have a -6 to -9db suck-out around 150-200 Hz. Can ceiling treatment help?

The sort of specific primary reflection treatment we are discussing is unlikely to solve the upper bass suck-out you are now mentioning @zheng4. unless your room is huge, 150-200 Hz is still within the modal range of your listening room dimensions. So the suckout is more likely related to either modal misbehavior or SBIR (Speaker Boundary Interference).

Technically the typical 2’x4’ panels we place at the primary reflection points are not “bass traps” at all but rather broadband absorbers that at best will absorb the human vocal range on upwards. Fibrous bass traps require much more enclosed depth than the 2-4" of your typical acoustic panel.


This is off topic. Sadly thousands of dollars of mine was just destroyed. Our large chiller in a heatwave froze the ductwork below the dew point. When it thawed. You guess what happened. First they will be insulating more ductwork then I shall be using my GC pro account for new acoustic foam. I am not a pro muso, just a wanna be.

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bad luck man that sucks. i’ve seen floods in a data centre once or twice, but that was just servers, not musical equipment.

2” x 2’ x 4’ rock wool panels help my shop way more than they should for the cost

Simple frames of pressboard and black window screen over the wool


What did it do to the sound in your garage?

Calmed down the reflection point from about 400hz and up. Stood off the surface about 1.5 inches to force the sound through it twice.

Only downside is having to buy 6 sheets of the rock wool, a case.

But I made another for the main room and gave the remaining 1 and a half panels away on Craigslist. I shot the image at our air and space museum a few years ago and printed it on fabric


The ceiling-to-floor dimension is likely the shortest dimension in the listening room, and the source of problematic bass resonances; hence the ceiling space right above the loudspeakers is where absorptive bass treatment works best. Click the blue “System Photos!” link below and scroll down for a photo of a ceiling treatment example.