Room Acoustics

The general acoustic requirements of a room depend on the use. The basic characteristics are:

The basic parameters that can be controlled when designing a room are:

The acoustic response of the room can be broken down into four regions depending on wavelength:
  1. wavelength larger than room dimensions - "acoustically dead"
  2. wavelength in proportion to dimensions - room modes
  3. transitional band where diffusion and diffraction are important
  4. wavelength considerably smaller than room dimensions - sound propagation considered as rays.

Things to avoid in the design are:
  • An echo is a strong reflected sound that is sufficiently delayed from the direct sound that it can be heard as a separate entity rather than as a continuation of the original sound.
  • Flutter echoes, a series of echoes that occur in rapid succession. Flutter echoes usually result from reflections between two parallel surfaces that are highly reflective.
  • Focusing of sound can be caused by reflection from large concave surfaces. Certain sounds will be heard too loudly near the focus of a curved surface.
  • Sound shadows under balconies at the rear of an auditorium there may be insufficient early sound, since most of the reflections from the side walls and ceiling do not reach this area.

See also: Acoustic Barriers, Average Sound Pressure Level in a Room, Building Acoustics, Cavity Acoustics, Live End Dead End, Privacy Index, Room Absorption, Room Modes.

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Subjects: Architectural Acoustics Architecture Audio Noise & Vibration