The first thing you’ll notice about my lounge room is that it’s also an acoustically treated listening space. My preference would be for a more minimalist aesthetic – bare white walls with the odd decorative piece – but this room, like many rooms, sounds one step away from awful when left untreated.

Why? Sound comes out of the loudspeakers as a range of frequencies that bounce around the room like balls on a 3-D snooker table. The amount of time a frequency (or frequencies) takes to decay by 60dB is called the RT60. Left untreated, the RT60 in my room would approach 700ms. And that’s far too high. Acousticians generally agree that an RT60 of 200ms – 300ms is desirable for a room designed for music playback.

At the end of 2021, after several years of dotting my room with acoustic panels from Thomann and GIK Acoustics, I had my 6m x 5m space kitted out with acoustic panels from Vicoustic. We might call this ‘the works’.

The panels mounted to the walls and ceiling help tame reverberation time for frequencies above 250Hz. Vicoustic states in the project proposal that “several authors agree that the average RT for a listening room should be within 0.3 s to 0.6 s in the frequency range from 250Hz to 4kHz.” Skipping out on treating the ceiling would have severely compromised those results.

In the REW graph below, you can see that my Vicoustic-treated room’s RT60 in the 250Hz – 4kHz region is now a reasonably consistent 200 – 300ms. ✅

Bass is controlled somewhat by Vicoustic bass traps placed in the front left and rear right corners but a 35Hz mode still presents. And to avoid loading the room with even more bass traps, I look to room compensation software to tidy things up below 50Hz. I’ve had great success with Dirac running on NAD hardware and Lyngdorf’s RoomPerfect. Note: these software algorithms are no substitute for physical room treatment, especially in the uppermost frequencies.

RUGS

Floors are like ceilings. The hardwood floor space between the loudspeakers and the sofa is a highly reflective surface. But we have to be very careful when drawing parallels between rugs and ‘room treatment’. A rug will not do very much for the most destructive frequencies bounced by the floor to the listener’s ear.

Why not? Sound bouncing off the floor will arrive late to the ear and mix with the direct sound to create a comb filter. Using mehlau.net’s floor/ceiling reflection calculator we learn that with a loudspeaker’s mid/bass driver sat 85cm from the floor, our ear 95cm from the floor and 2.5m away from the loudspeaker, the resulting comb filter’s first and most prominent cancellation will occur at around 300Hz.

And yet according to Acoustic.ua’s Absorption Data, the average rug’s absorption coefficient is 0.08 at 125Hz, 0.08 at 250Hz, 0.30 at 500Hz, 0.60 at 1000Hz, 0.75 at 2000Hz and 0.80 at 4000Hz. At 300Hz, a rug will only absorb 15% of what it receives. The rug won’t be properly effective until it reaches 75% absorption at 2kHz. The most we can hope for from laying down a rug is a little more ease in the treble.

My rug is the Mala from MADE.com:
https://www.made.com/de/mala-teppich-200-x-290-cm-salbeigrun

HOUSEPLANTS

I have many houseplants in my room but they are not effective as acoustic treatments. And if they are, they certainly do less than 1% of what a wall-mounted diffusion-absorber panel would do. It’s why I made fun of their usage by audiophiles in our April Fool’s 2021 video.

VIDEO

The second thing you’ll notice about my lounge room is that there’s no TV. Instead, a short-throw projector from LG – the HF65LS Adagio 2.0 – fires onto the wall from the top shelf of the hi-fi rack.

🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3K2mmfv
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3tYiM0v
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/32tVqUX

The two green acoustic panels are removed temporarily in order to make room for image projection.

Feeding the LG projector is an Android TV streamer from Xiaomi: the MiBox S:
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3qjorf6
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3fT3z8y
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3H2yDhY

Connecting the LG to the Xiaomi when the two are in close proximity is an AudioQuest Pearl HDMI cable:
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3zR7lsg
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3IvwhbK
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3nWg33w

When I need to place the Xiaomi along the sidewall, out of sight, I use a longer AmazonBasics braided HDMI cable:
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3FlcaLu
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3tUXb8X
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3gcx6KN

FURNITURE

The hi-fi rack mentioned – and seen – above is a Hifi Racks Podium XL V:
https://www.hifiracks.co.uk/collections/hi-fi-racks/products/podium-xl-v

Before that I used a Hifi Racks Podium Reference:
https://www.hifiracks.co.uk/products/podium-reference?variant=20696396103742

And before that, a Hifi Racks Podium Slimline:
https://www.hifiracks.co.uk/products/podium-slimline-rack

My attempts at using normal furniture to host audio gear have been short-lived. A pair of sideboards from Maisons du Monde both looked terrific but sounded poor. Their rear panels vibrated when music was played at higher volumes. They were…

Maisons du Monde JANEIRO sideboard
https://www.maisonsdumonde.com/DE/de/p/kommode-im-vintage-stil-aus-mangoholz-janeiro-155739.htm

Maisons du Monde LENOX sideboard
https://www.maisonsdumonde.com/DE/de/p/anrichte-3-tueren-aus-massivem-mangoholz-und-metall-lenox-147101.htm

POWER

AudioQuest Niagara 1200
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/audioquest-alpha/products/audioquest-niagara-1200-low-z-power-noise-dissipation-system?aff=56088

AudioQuest Powerquest 3
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/products/audioquest-powerquest-3-surge-protector?aff=56088

Dynavox X4100B
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3ICjDb2

CABLES

AudioQuest NRG-Y2
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/audioquest-alpha/products/audioquest-nrg-y2-us-power-cord-1-0m?aff=56088

AudioQuest NRG-Z3
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/audioquest-alpha/products/audioquest-nrg-z3-1-0m-us-power-cord?aff=56088

AudioQuest Carbon USB
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/audioquest-alpha/products/audioquest-75m-carbon-usb-2-0-cable?aff=56088

AudioQuest Cinnamon TOSLINK
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/audioquest-alpha/products/audioquest-cinnamon-optilink-toslink-cable-1-5m?aff=56088

AudioQuest Evergreen analogue interconnect
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/audioquest-alpha/products/audioquest-evergreen-audio-interconnect-rca-rca-0-6m?aff=56088

ISOLATION

IsoAcoustics zaZen I isolation platform
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/isoacoustics/products/isoacoustics-zazen-i-turntable-isolation-platform-25-lbs-max?aff=56088
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3H2xoPU

IsoAcoustics zaZen II isolation platform
🛒 (US) https://www.turntablelab.com/collections/isoacoustics/products/isoacoustics-zazen-ii-turntable-isolation-platform-40-lbs-max?aff=56088

ISOAcoustic GAIA II/III loudspeaker feet
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/31Qgjtc
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/35aBozN
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/33MQuLu

ACCESSORIES

Doorstops
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3F4Joys
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3G3JBDG
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3Ked9AK

KAIU vinyl art frames
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/334QC93
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3qGcdgN
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3GrLdXX

LIGHTING

QIUQIAN mushroom table lamp
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3IAECet
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3Gcy1W9

Flos Bellhop lamp
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3IzQxJp
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3r146fc

Mathmos Astro lava lamp
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3FZiZTr
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3tYQRxs

Reliable Corp UberLightFlex turntable light
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3raDCqm

LED rope light
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/33PIl95
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3tU8Ipf

BOOKS

Todd Hido Househunting
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3zPZJX5
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3tWNPcU
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3rQdZv7

Art Sleeves by DB Burkeman
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3FfC6Z7
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3IzKPYa
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3rOGcTd

Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting by Eilon Paz
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3GonWWG
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3Aw52ey
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3FZ6sPK

VINYL STORAGE

IKEA Kallax 2 x 2
https://www.ikea.com/de/de/p/kallax-regal-weiss-20275814/

Plant roller (to put Kallax on wheels)
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3KHbOmb
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3G3TP62

Glorious record box
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/33agArD
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3KHvbvK
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3rNMhzp

VINYL CARE

RAMAR record brush
https://ramar.berlin/en/

AudioQuest anti-static record brush
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3KgTd0r
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3FZ7xqS
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3nYSSG6

Milty Zerostat 3 Anti-Static Gun
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3qj2pcq
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/33HIfRa
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3rNMF0P

Boundless Audio Stylus Cleaner Brush
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3qlxuMT

Pro-Ject VC-S2 ALU Record Cleaning Machine
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3HT29a2
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3fXv4Oc
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3rQeRjn

HEADPHONE HOLDING

AudioQuest Perch headphone stand
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3zPe0mE
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3nVYQHK
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3tZwXSS

Konig & Meyer 16080 desk headphone holder
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3Avlk7j
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3KDTydA

DTAPE DT50 50M Digital Laser Rangefinder
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3A6oP3P
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/33HICv2
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3GUSj7z

ROON / PLEX SERVERS:

Intel NUC Kit NUC8i5BEH
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/32pm41n
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3qQjx9S
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/35g4b6d

Crucial DDR4 4GB RAM
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3tSAjXW
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3u7dYWL
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3FPWQqt

Samsung MZ-V7S500BW SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB M.2 Internal NVMe SSD
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/32pT8q3
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3Iu3Wml
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/33UOzUZ

EVanlak HDMI Dummy Plug
🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/34djP1X
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3MjNxUj
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3KhkSNG

Roon Nucleus
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3fS1IRw

MEASURING DEVICE

DTAPE DT50 50M Digital Laser Rangefinder

🛒 (US) https://amzn.to/3KdUX9N
🛒 (DE) https://amzn.to/3vBOtgT
🛒 (UK) https://amzn.to/3MnJne4

Darko.Audio may earn a small commission from items purchased via affiliate links.