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3D wall panels - how would they affect the sound in the room?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Seriously considering those new 3d style wall panels for the living room (where the HT is); similar to but not exactly as show below.




The room layout will not change. As is, the tv/speakers are along the short wall and the left speaker is just under 2 feet from the side wall (typical drywall) - the same wall we want to put the panels on. The speaker is oh so slightly toed in.

Would the mdf panels affect the sound in the room? Would they reflect more and make the room sound brighter? Or would the textured surface breakup the sound wave?

Oh! More detail, there are currently 4 20x20" picture frames hanging on that wall above ear level.
post #2 of 3
Probably wouldn't do a whole lot either way - my understanding is that refractors/diffusers (like a QRD) need fairly deep "wells" in order to be effective beyond extremely high frequencies, and that LF energy requires quite a lot of damping/mass to really control it. If these were cut out of foam, they'd probably work as absorbers (like any foam would), but I don't know if that would be effective or not for what you need to accomplish (in other words, it could be similar to various treatment products that are made from foam/insulation already; depending on the density, thickness, etc). They do look pretty cool though!
post #3 of 3
Sound has size with respect to its wavelength.

In order for an object to reflect the wavelength, it must be equal to or larger than the wavelength. Of the wavelength is larger than the object dimension it simply diffracts around it.

The pattern on the surface is slight, with maybe a maximum height of ~1.5 inches for the random squares on background surface, with the largest blocks featuring a dimension of ~8 inches.

Making this VERY simple, the frequencies corresponding to the wavelengths of 8 " and 1.5" are ~1688 Hz and ~9000 Hz respectively.

Thus frequencies less than ~1688 will see a flat wall. while frequencies above that would be reflected at a slightly different phase than the energy hitting other sections of the wall.

As far as the edges of the shapes, assuming a near parallel orientation of energy to the boundary surface - easily within the glancing region, only wavelengths greater than ~9000 would be 'seen' and reflected.

The result of such reflections would be a slight comb filtering of the reflected energy, while most of the energy would see a flat wall.

This is a case where a little is worse than none at all, but also where overall very little effect would be experienced.

The surface is predominately limited to aesthetic appeal, while it adds nothing of positive value to the response - and what little effect it does have is detrimental.
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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Audio theory, Setup and Chat › 3D wall panels - how would they affect the sound in the room?