Low volume required in massive room. - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 01-02-2012, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ErikH2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I live in this huge loft. It has 12' ceilings, and the living area is 75' x 20'. Hardwood floors, you can hear echo when you talk. I have a lovely projector screen against a wall and sit about 15 feet back from it.

Now, I'm not after great sound or even good sound. I would just like a basic surround sound setup that doesn't sound terrible. The main problem is the upstairs tenant and my lease are not going to allow me to get very loud. Its in my lease that I can't use subwoofers. And the poorly sealed floor/ceiling lets so much sound through that I have to watch movies with one hand on the remote, to turn down the gunshots, explosions, and swelling music, but then put the volume back up to hear quieter dialogue. If I leave it full volume, life is good until the neighbor starts kicking on my ceiling to turn it down.

Can you give me some ideas to get reasonable low-volume sound quality? My own thoughts run as follows:

* Subwoofer off to keep low-freq sound from penetrating walls/ceiling.
* Speakers put really close to couch with no obstacles between them and ears.
* Compression on the receiver to balance out the high volume/low volume. (Don't know much about this, but I assume its possible.)

What do you think?

-Erik
ErikH2000 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 01-02-2012, 04:26 PM
 
dragonfyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 809
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
First the bad news... In room treatment for quality will have no or negligible impact on sound transmission into surrounding spaces... Sorry.

And I am assuming that you are not amenable to wireless headphones...

As far as simply trying to mitigate the sound quality in a large small acoustical space (its still "small" in an acoustical sense) once can follow the process used for a general conference, board or music room (as opposed to a critical listening room).

First and foremost, you need to maximize the suppression of the environmental noise floor in the room. In other words, it needs to be quiet. HVAC and especially noise from ductwork and air returns (treatable in part by lower air velocities), refrigerators, and other building systems typically present the single largest limiting factor as the noise floor is typically excessively high. The noise floor should not exceed a maximum NC-25 for background noise in order to maximize the S/N ratio in the room with a limited maximum signal level.

Traditionally most would opt for broadband absorption on the walls, but like with conference and boardrooms, the optimal treatment is actually Mid-HF diffusion with LF absorption on walls (RPG BAD panels are ideal). Next choice would be low placed LF absorbers with 1D QRD diffusors placed above combined with a carpeted floor. Diffuse non-localized reflections will augment the ability to hear what is said.

Additionally, a 2D diffuse (not absorptive!) ceilings are also recommended in such a space.

Not necessarily simple or cheap, but this is what works in such an environment.
dragonfyr is offline  
post #3 of 15 Old 01-02-2012, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ErikH2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:


In room treatment for quality will have no or negligible impact on sound transmission into surrounding spaces... Sorry.

D, thanks for the response.

I read what you said, and one reaction I had was just that it would be tremendously expensive and complicated to lower noise in the room. It's a creaking 1904 industrial warehouse with clanking radiators and mystery noises from rooms I'll never set foot in. But I just turned the music off and it occurred to me that there is one very loud thing that I can deal with--the frigging XBox fan. Yeah, I had been meaning to replace the fan with a quieter one, so you reminded me of that. Turning off the XBox, the next thing I hear is the refrigerator, but it doesn't seem that loud to me. Now if this monstrously-loud heater I have kicks on from the thermostat, then I'm screwed and its time to turn on subtitles and forget about sound altogether. Nothing practical can be done about that.

So a basic premise I accept is that if I reduce the noise in the room, then I can have the volume relatively lower and still hear things okay.

I had one other idea, and I was curious what you thought of it. What about building an enclosure over and around the couch area that the speakers and listeners could be inside? It would shield the couch from environmental noise, and also keep some of the home theater noise from getting to the neighbors. Absorption materials could be used inside the enclosure, instead of putting them up on ceiling/walls (larger area to cover). One side would open out to the view screen.

-Erik
ErikH2000 is offline  
post #4 of 15 Old 01-02-2012, 06:44 PM
Member
 
XEagleDriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SC
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikH2000 View Post

. . . So a basic premise I accept is that if I reduce the noise in the room, then I can have the volume relatively lower and still hear things okay.

I had one other idea, and I was curious what you thought of it. What about building an enclosure over and around the couch area that the speakers and listeners could be inside? It would shield the couch from environmental noise, and also keep some of the home theater noise from getting to the neighbors. Absorption materials could be used inside the enclosure, instead of putting them up on ceiling/walls (larger area to cover). One side would open out to the view screen.

-Erik

Erik,

The enclosure idea above will not work. The side open to view the screen will leak practicallly full-volume sound into the loft. Also, building a truely noise isolated structure is expensive and somewhat complicated (floating floors, double walls, etc.).

This may sound simple, but what about just using good quality headphones (open or closed designs will work) or good quality noise isolating ear buds.

If need be, you can even set up a pair/multiple-set of headphone amps to power more than one set of headphones for guests, etc.

Cheers,
XEagleDriver

Cheers,
XEagleDriver

SACD Collection:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
XEagleDriver is online now  
post #5 of 15 Old 01-02-2012, 06:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
HopefulFred's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,834
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by XEagleDriver View Post

This may sound simple, but what about just using good quality headphones (open or closed designs will work) or good quality noise isolating ear buds.

If need be, you can even set up a pair/multiple-set of headphone amps to power more than one set of headphones for guests, etc.

This is what I'm thinking as well. For a few hundred bucks, you can totally eliminate the problem. No hassle, no half-measures, no bothered neighbors. Clarity will be way better than you could achieve in that room with loudspeakers.

Find something comfortable, and be prepared to get a set of them once you find the ones you like.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HopefulFred is offline  
post #6 of 15 Old 01-02-2012, 08:00 PM
 
dragonfyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 809
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Purists will probably fall out of their seats, but headphones coupled with the installation of some bass shakers (for visceral LF sensation) under the seating will provide you with a relatively good experience - all things/constraints considered.
dragonfyr is offline  
post #7 of 15 Old 01-03-2012, 07:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Wayne A. Pflughaupt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Katy, TX USA
Posts: 2,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by ErikH2000 View Post

* Compression on the receiver to balance out the high volume/low volume. (Don't know much about this, but I assume its possible.)

Most receivers have a night setting that introduces compression. This will flatten out the dynamics so that you don't have to run the volume control up and down all the time.

Quote:


I had one other idea, and I was curious what you thought of it. What about building an enclosure over and around the couch area that the speakers and listeners could be inside?

As dragonfly mentioned, this isn't effective as a soundproofing technique per se, but it having the speakers close to the listening area would allow you to run the system at a lower volume setting. That, coupled with using the night setting, might be all you need to enjoy movies without bothering the neighbors. If all else fails, you have the headphone option.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt





To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Wayne A. Pflughaupt is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 01-03-2012, 08:08 AM
Senior Member
 
MasterofBlasting's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 295
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I agree with others. Quality headphones with bass shakers.
MasterofBlasting is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old 01-03-2012, 04:06 PM
AVS Special Member
 
walbert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,811
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Audio-Technica produces a nice pair of wireless headphones that include a Dolby/DTS decoder in the base-station. I believe they're a JDM import, as I've never found them on the Audio-Technica US website. These:
http://www.audiocubes.com/product_in...oducts_id=2919

That vendor, AudioCubes, has an entire section devoted to these kinds of headphones:
http://www.audiocubes.com/index.php?cPath=23_62

I'm not intending to break any rules here by mentioning prices - this is simply one of the most organized/coherent spots I've found on the 'net that deals with this genre of equipment.

There are other options from Pioneer and Sony that cost less, although I'm less sure on the sound quality (I'm not saying they'll be "bad" I'm saying they may not be up to the same level). This would be a complete replacement of a receiver/speaker system. You can add headsets to most of these wireless (RF) systems quite easily.

The other option would be room-in-a-room construction, I have no idea if that's feasible for your environment.

Finally, if you're alright with headphones, but also alright with running some wires around, you could get wired sets of headphones and a multi-output monitor amplifier (Rane, Behringer, and so on produce such products - they generally can supply 2 to 6 pairs of headphones) - there are many more inexpensive wired headsets than the Audio-Technicas (they also won't eat batteries!). Such a distribution amplifier would probably be under $100, and you can get wired headsets for as cheap as $10 depending on what you purchase (I would look for full-size, around-the-ear models; closed/sealed designs will probably fare better in your environment than the open-backed models (including the above Audio-Technicas); I'd probably pass on any sort of ANC solution though unless you can test it out in your environment first (I believe Bose will allow you to test and return their products if they're not suitable; I have no idea about Sony, Monster, Audio-Technica, or other manufacturers of ANC headsets)).


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
walbert is offline  
post #10 of 15 Old 01-03-2012, 04:42 PM
Advanced Member
 
kmannth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Headphones. Wireless if you want. there are nice regular headphones out there that don't break the bank.

Also the newer 360's are quite compared to the 360 battleships I own PS3 20gb gets netflix duty in the theater because the xbox is such a tank.

Dedicated room for the theater is a great idea if you have the space (think of it is as a sound proofing a small space project, you would want more than simple 2x4 walls.) and the budget. You won't get chest bounding bass but you can have some real volume and not bother others.

Good Luck!
kmannth is offline  
post #11 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ErikH2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Much thanks for all the advice. I am not so much into the headphones as it offends my sense of lounging, and you gotta pass them out to other occupants, who may feel the same.

I think that 90% of my woes were fixed by putting the speakers up at ear level and moving them right next to the couch.

I am still trying to get the f@!*ing receiver to compress the audio. There is a "nighttime" mode but it is disabled for some reason. I'm sure I will blunder through.

-Erik
ErikH2000 is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
ErikH2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Wayne, also thanks in particular to the "night" tip. It was called "nighttime" in the maze of menus from the receiver, and I'm sure you saved me a half hour of futzing. Got it switched on now to subdue the high volume moments. And all the bass taken out. Kind of sad, actually. I have "eunuch" setup now. But there's always the headphones.
ErikH2000 is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old 01-04-2012, 11:03 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Tulpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 10,026
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 59
Bass shakers could still work for you, if you want to bring back the bass.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
Tulpa is online now  
post #14 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 06:06 PM
Advanced Member
 
Nyal Mellor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: SF Bay Area, California, USA
Posts: 956
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Liked: 75
I might look at a new receiver with Audyssey Dynamic EQ (other mfgs have similar non-licensed algorithms). Marantz has nice ones. Now I am not an Audyssey room/speaker EQ fan generally but this is one technology they got right. One issue with your setup (amongst others) is that if you listen at low SPL all the bass loses its impact. Look up the Fletcher Munson curves for an academic explanation.

You could also get some Auralex Gramma or SubDudes. They will reduce any structurally coupled vibration from your speakers into the floor.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
. We specialize in the design and creation of high performance listening rooms, home theaters and project studios for discerning audio/video enthusiasts.
Nyal Mellor is offline  
post #15 of 15 Old 01-05-2012, 08:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Secret Squirrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest U.S.A.
Posts: 2,253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 19
A lease with a no subwoofer clause? I have never heard of this. Not disturbing other tenants is commonly mentioned in a lease, but specific to subwoofers? Sorry but I don't have any recommendations for you. You signed yourself into a problem by moving into this place. It does sound like a nice place, but I would of never moved in there with terms on the lease that specific.
Secret Squirrel is offline  
Reply Audio theory, Setup and Chat

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off