Room Treatment Help

I’m finally launching myself into (more serious) room treatment. So any advice would be much appreciated.
I’ve discussed the specific needs of my room with GIK Acoustics, and their recommendation is: floor-to-ceiling bass traps in the four corners, panels to deal with first reflection points on the side walls, panels on ceiling as well as on front and back walls (a mix of absorbers and diffusors). Price point: 3,500 €

I’m not a DIY guy, so if I want to treat my room in this way, that’s what I’ll have to pay.

My questions are:

  1. Would a digital treatment (Dirac Live for instance) bring the same sonic benefits?
  2. Or would that even be preferable?
  3. Would it be best to do both?

It’s always best to physically optimize the acoustic environment first, if possible.
From there, the different DSP schemes can further enhance the situation.

Using conventional multi driver speakers, schemes that optimize not only frequency, but also time domain response would be preferable in my book.

So yes, definitely best to do both!

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I’m a Dirac Live user and it certainly brings benefits, particularly bass response. While I’m very happy with it I’m currently in rental accommodation and room treatment isn’t an option here. Once I can I’ll be going down the treatment route but I expect the results to be less than perfect. What I’ve read suggests that Dirac is best the less it has to do, so running it in a treated room seems a potentially good idea. It’s certainly my plan but will happily drop Dirac if physical treatment gets me there, I just suspect that it won’t quite.

Think about it, your speakers’ shortcomings can’t really be corrected by acoustical treatments!

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True that and DSP isn’t great dealing with SBIR style bass dips and similar. If it’s a peak you’re dealing with then Dirac is pretty good, you’re often best leaving any FR canyons well alone. A combination of DSP and treatment seems likely to be the best option.

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All of the above… :+1:

But first thing IMO is get your basic setup right ie speaker placement and where you sit

My room is a nasty off-square, but it’s mostly dedicated - so I have the luxury of speakers and seating where it works

Previously I overdid the room treatment, which lost me detail and soundstage. I took most of it out, bar the two diffusers behind the speakers, really worked on getting the placement right then ran RoomPerfect on my Lyngdorf 3400

I now have a soundstage that goes way back beyond the wall, height, depth and great separation. Bass is very even down to eyeball wobbling sub (via w210 bass speakers in the back corners)


As you can see, my room is really quite bare and you’d (I used to…) think it would be too echoey


Interesting to hear that too much treatment can have negative effects. I guess starting small rather than going the whole hog right away might be a good idea. One can always add panels subsequently. I don’t have bad sound as such, but I believe it can be optimised. Lowering the 50-70 Hz band by 4/5 db already has an appreciable effect in my case.

If starting small, better try with diffusion elements around first reflection points, which helps to open up the sound stage.
Getting a UMIK and playing around with REW may help identify best speaker/seating placement and what’s to be done absorption wise, mainly regarding frequencies below about 300Hz.

My friend also has a Lyngdorf 3400 plus corner bass speakers, his main speakers are Lyngdorf DP-1 - dipoles, like my Quads

His room is a large L shape, not ideal, but he was making a HUGE soundstage compared to my setup. Both irritating and inspirational!

His back wall, behind the speakers, are large glass doors onto the garden, either side just plain plaster, same for the ceiling, carpeted floor

So quite a reflective space, but not badly so. Anyway, that got me wondering why I couldn’t do the same?

Hence strip it all away, bar those rear diffusers, and start from basics

What we both have is freedom to place/sit

His speakers/seat approximates to the 1/3rds rule (for one side of the L) and the 5:8 rule (speakers 8 in, 5 out). After that, there was a lot of listening, incremental movements - and more listening (all in bypass mode on the 3400 bass channel off)

Once happy - you run the RoomPerfect, and that last 10% snaps into focus

My setup has the Quads around 40% into the room and I almost sit against the rear wall, head around 50cm from it - this shouldn’t work, but it does!

The quads are on PTFE furniture sliders so they’re easy to slide around. Once I’ve got the macro position about right, I use tape/biro to mark the position of the spikes front and side, then I can move/listen, move/listen etc and keep my reference position if things are sounding worse or I’m unsure. When real progress has been made, I reset the reference position with more tape

For a sanity check - I move the speakers a long way, say 0.5-1m back or forwards. If things don’t collapse and/or boom I know my reference is good

For the seating position, in my room, this is all about bass response. Hence I play various bass references (Janelle Monae ‘Let’s Get Screwed’ has some deeeep eyeball wobbling notes on it). I slide the sofa back and forth to get the best response overall - all that with the bass channel on, but room correction in bypass

That might require some speaker position tweaking, but generally not in my room

Finally, once it’s sounding good - apply the RoomPerfect and bingo

Friend visited
That’s better than mine

Re-sult! :nerd_face::+1:

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Some feel Dirac sucks the life out of music and makes it overly processed.

ON the other hand, a friend with a highly treated room was recently told by a speaker designer he had Over treated his room which also sucked the life out of the speakers he was demo-ing.

I realise the usual advice is room first but considering the price if I were you I’d get a set of HAF (home audio fidelity) filters. Total cost of buying including measuring mic under $300.

If you then still need physical treatment Thierry will do a new set of filters for half price. He really is an audio acoustic expert and can do amazing things in the digital domain.

There are posts here about HAF and here is where I recounted my journey on the Naim forum


Thank you everybody for your input. :clap:

I have installed bass traps and panels now. And been playing around with Dirac Live.
The sound signature has definitely changed (as it should have). Tighter bass, clearer imaging, greater depth.

So my conclusion: before rushing down the path of upgrading, make sure you optimise your room with acoustic treatment (and, as an added bonus, have a go at digital processing). Not only will you save a lot of money but you will have a sound that gear alone is unable to produce.


It’s also what I call a ‘forever upgrade’ i.e. one that is applicable to future changes

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PS audio have done a couple of ‘delivery and tweaking’ YTs of their new speakers

They’re not edge of the seat, but they do cover some interesting considerations