When it comes to sound, you’ll find reverberation in just about every room. From theaters to boardrooms, the sound quality you experience can change depending on the acoustics of the room. In many cases, the amount of reverberation is so slight as to be undetectable, but in other scenarios, it can be so prominent that it makes even normal conversation challenging. Read on for an explanation of how reverberation works and what you can do about it.
When you create a sound, like with your voice or from a speaker, it creates sound waves. Those waves then travel across the room, radiating outward from the source of the sound. If the room is not equipped with acoustic treatment, the sound waves bounce off the walls and ceiling, creating an echo. This is what is known as reverberation.
What This Means for You
Without acoustic treatment, the sound will reverberate off the walls, floor, and ceiling for a longer period of time to the point that it is detectable by human ears. This reverberation creates distortion of the sound. In extreme cases, the sound may become so distorted that it is no longer intelligible.
Take, for example, a conference call in a boardroom with glass walls. In this scenario, you’ll have multiple people in the room speaking and others connecting online or by phone. Their voices will be broadcast through a speaker, typically in the center of the room. As each person speaks, the reverberation in the room distorts their words. This effect is magnified for those hearing the sound over the phone or internet. If the reverberation is bad enough, no one will be able to understand each other, defeating the purpose of getting everyone together for a conference call in the first place.
What You Can Do About It
If your space isn’t already equipped with acoustic treatment, you don’t need to resign yourself to suffering from reverberation any longer. Acoustic ceilings, wall treatments, and flooring can help to absorb the reverberation, minimizing its effect. There are also many products that can diffuse the reverberation, scattering it around the room so that it can be absorbed more quickly. The result is crisper, clearer sound with minimal distortion and echo.
So often we find that when designing a space, budgets (of all sizes) are devised to encompass a wide range of tech A/V and aesthetic preferences for the particular application. However, treating the actual room itself is often overlooked. Your message is important. Make certain you take into consideration how an untreated space could compromise the quality of the experience. Acoustic treatment comes in many forms. It can be a prominent piece of art splashed on a wall or hung from the ceiling. Or it can be invisible, built INTO the space.
Here at McFadden Sales, we provide extensive consultation and design for any application. Whether you are looking to diffuse reverberations or absorb them, we can help. Our chosen acoustic treatment partner is Vicoustic — an industry leader in cutting-edge treatment with an aesthetic appeal to match. We welcome you to get in touch with us today to learn more about acoustic treatments and how they can help you improve the sound in any space. Our associates are highly knowledgeable about our products and can guide you as to which ones make the most sense for your particular needs. Call us now to get started. Make sure to stay tuned for part 2 of our blog series to learn all about the different types of products offered by Vicoustic.