One of the most complex and misunderstood subjects in the electronics industry is acoustics.
A case could be made that electronics companies aren’t helping the cause with the development of equalization programs that are touted to solve these acoustics issues in an almost turnkey fashion.
The best or perhaps most proven way to deal with acoustical issues is through the combination of absorption and diffusion acoustical products, as well as smartly applied equalization when necessary.
Providing integrators with a choice of prepackaged room kits that are designed to service specific room sizes in the residential and commercial markets, Acoustic Geometry’s line of Pro and Home Room Packs can be used for everything from home theaters to podcast studios.
Sending CE Pro its Home Room Pack 3, we installed this kit in our multimedia studio space where we test AV components and shoot our videos.
Acoustic Geometry Pro and Home Room Packs Features & Setup
Acoustic Geometry offers its Pro and Home Room Packs in preconfigured sizes with a limited choice of colors. The size of the packages allows integrators to choose the appropriate solution for a specific size room without having to pass on the cost of unneeded products to homeowners.
The bundles combine products that provide phase-coherent diffusion, along with absorbing panels and solutions that are designed to minimize low-frequency modal issues.
Looking specifically at the Home Room Pack 3 bundle, it comes with six 2×2-foot 1-inch absorber panels; four 2×4-foot 2-inch absorber panels, and a pair of small-curve diffusors that measure 14.5 inches by 42 inches by 5 inches.
CE Pro Features
- Standard colors are graphite and Serengeti
- Home Room Pack 3 includes six 2×2 foot 1-inch think fiber-wrapped panels
- Handling low frequencies is a pair of Small Curve Diffusors (phase-coherent)
- The kit also includes four 2 x 4 foot 2-inch fiber-wrapped panels
- Home Room Packs can be used for home theaters, listening rooms, voice-over rooms and small-recording studios
Explaining the inclusion of the Small Curve Diffusors, Acoustic Geometry says these products are engineered to scatter sound energy to produce a more balanced listening space. The absorption panels act as the name implies—they absorb acoustic energy to minimize the effect of echoes and reverberation.
Utilizing the training that I took from the Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA) and THX, as well as the past experience I have from designing other rooms, I took an approach with the studio space to make the room less reverberant for better voice intelligibility, and to support a smoother bottom end for audio playback.
Before I installed the products, I measured the room using the Audio Tools app on my iPhone XR and pink noise test tones from Rives Audio. This enabled me to take a snapshot of what is going on in the room acoustically before the addition of the Acoustic Geometry products.
After documenting my “before” measurements from 20Hz all the way up to 20kHz I had found in our square room (square rooms are not conducive to good sound reproduction) is that we had “boomy” low frequencies and a really pronounced midrange/upper midrange.
Getting into the install process, the panels hang easily enough through the use of the included mounting accessories like drywall anchors. The only tools I used were a tape measure and a drill with screwdriver tips. If I felt it was necessary, I also could have used a stud finder if I thought there were concerns about the weight of the panels and the durability of the panels once they were mounted.
Following the “before” measurements, I strategically placed the panels in our AV room with the goal of improving the sound of our videos and Q&As, which are done with the use of an InFocus interactive display.
Install times will vary depending on the size of the room and the exact acoustic package, but with that being said, these acoustic packages shouldn’t take too long to install when hanging on standard drywall.
Performance & Final Thoughts
Measuring the room after I had installed the panels revealed they did work to minimize the “boominess” of low frequencies from about 25Hz to 125Hz.
The Acoustic Geometry panels also minimized some room dimension effects in the midrange and upper midrange areas where I measured spikes at 800K and 1.6kHz.
In addition, the response of the space with higher frequencies displayed a smoother roll off up to 20kHz.
Considering the price of the package and the relatively small investment in the installation of the panels, there’s no doubt the package provides proven results that realistically cost less than the esoteric, snake-oil products that so-called audiophile companies often market.
I’d like to point out the companion mounting hardware is installer friendly, so integrators won’t have to worry about “sticking” themselves with the impaler types of mounting hardware that some companies include with their acoustic products, which is obviously a nice bonus.
I would like to see more standard color choices. The choice between graphite and Serengeti (tan) I think limits integrators’ ability to sell these packages to their clients that want solutions that complements their homes’ décor.
Otherwise, the only other issue I found with the products was the tacky, glue-like feel on some of the absorbers’ back panels, which made unpacking the items a bit longer than necessary.
My conclusion after my pre- and post-measurements is that for a reasonable amount of money these acoustic packages provide integrators with a scalable level of verifiable performance to improve the sound quality of residential and commercial spaces, and that’s why I recommend checking out these product lines from Acoustic Geometry.
CE Pro Verdict
- Products install with a minimum amount of effort
- The room kit produces measurable results
- Pro Room Packs deliver real audio performance upgrades when compared to snake-oil audiophile products
- A greater selection of standard colors would make the products more acceptable in a range of residential and commercial environments
- Some of the 2×2 -inch absorbers’ back panels were really sticky with a residue type of substance
MSRPs vary depending on the kit and color options. The Home Room Pack 3’s starting retail cost is $1,838.99.