Sound Isolation

I’m in the process of designing a dedicated listening room / theater. My house was just recently built but unfortunately the builder wouldn’t allow me to make any modifications. The house has a media room, which I plan to use for this purpose. I’ve been thinking of ripping out the drywall from the interior walls, modifying the stud locations, insulating the wall, adding clips and furring channels, mvl and 5/8 drywall. I can imagine all of this is going to add cost and complexity, given I have a brand new house with a perfectly fine room that’s just not isolated by any means.

I’m curious for those of you with dedicated rooms, did you spend the time and cost to apply some manner of sound isolation or did you skip this step? Really just trying to figure out if I’m acting crazy or not, lol.

I’d worry about voiding insurance, council permits, violating building code and electrical code etc. There are a few acoustic treatment manufacturers / providers who are willing to give you advice and design suggestions. Also when talking to them, you need to give them your existing / future system specs and furniture layout. I suggest you call one before things get out of hand!

1 Like

I owned a house with a media room / bonus room which was no an ideal shape and had massive windows on one side. A bit of acoustic treatment and I was happy. I moved a few years ago… another bonus room… different size… brought over the acoustic treatments… it still needs work. Never ending process.

One thing I’ve learned though… you’re always going to, effectively, be building a room within a room. If you go just with acoustic panels then that intrudes on the existing space. If you’re will to go to ripping down drywall double insulating (air gaps / double walls + insulation) then that might be better as well as giving you access to run wiring.

Anyway, 2’ish of my walls are outside walls (already have insulation in them and the universe lives on the other side) so I am going acoustic treatments only. It’s kind of been a long process though. But I truly believe treating the room is as important as any other bit of kit you could buy for system.

Lol, sounds like the first house is the same as my current one. I have three windows on the exterior wall. Did you do anything to treat the windows. I asked an ht builder if I could just hang acoustic panels over the windows figuring I could take care of both light and the reflective windows. Surprisingly he said no because the heat from the window would have no where to escape and it will more than likely cause the windows to crack over time.

I put a floor standing acoustic absorber at the first reflection point. By the time I thought of buying heavy drapes/curtains I knew I’d be moving. A row of floor standing panels from speaker to listening position is probably the recommended way to go.

Trapping heat could be a problem for sure. Just need to provide some airflow and not close them off completely. Of course, if you’ve got forced air HVAC there are probably registers you need to be cautious of as well. The more I think about what could be done vs. the compromises the more I want to put a purpose built building in the back yard :slight_smile:

I have acoustic panels on the ceiling (floor is tiled and heated) and front/back walls. The windows on the sides are covered with black theatre grade curtains (it’s also a 7.1.4 system). My system’s digital and I use/need EQ (the room is extremely dead but without treatment had far too much reverb). Because of all the absorption a lot of the sound doesn’t escape the room (I do however need extra power to get the system to go loud).