How to create a kick-ass listening room

There are 3 important factors to creating a great listening room;

  1. Perfect sound isolation
  2. Room layout
  3. Speaker placement

If you get these 3 things right you’ll have the listening room of every audiophile’s dreams.

1.       Sound isolation

Creating an environment that is free from external sound pollution is your first step to building a listening room. Soundproofing will prevent sound from travelling in or out of the room so your music is uninterrupted and unobtrusive.

How much sound treatment you install should be calculated on how much your room really requires, rather than how much fit. This will keep your costs down. You can check the sound levels in the room yourself with a cheap sound level metre from any electronics shop or contact us for a free quote and advice. Acoustic tests show the frequency response in the room.



We can apply soundproofing material to floors, ceilings and walls so you can create a listening room in any room in the house.

2.       Room layout

In room layout you are looking for the acoustic sweet spot. Every room will be different but the same rule can be applied to any room to find the sweet spot; the 38 percent rule.

What is the 38 percent rule?

The figure 38% relates to distance between the back wall and your listening spot, which should be 38% of the way into the room. It’s as simple as that.

Once you’ve found this line place your chair off from the middle of that line so you’re not equidistant from the right and left wall as this is the worst place for bass response. Additionally rather than setting your chair to face forward try positioning it to face into the corner of the opposite wall. Move the chair along the 38 percent line until you find the sweet spot.

3.       Speaker placement

You can only be sitting in the sweet spot if your speakers are in the correct place. Although you may not have found the exact spot along your 38% line you can go ahead and begin placing your speakers.

Make a drawing of the room, marking out the listening spot, and then draw a triangle with the point at the listening spot and the fatter end of the triangle projecting out in front.

Loudspeakers should always be in front of you. In many cinematic set ups you may have placed them behind you, seeking a surround sound experience but in fact the speakers will react badly with the back wall.

The angle of your imaginary triangle isn’t vitally important. It may take a few adjustments to find the right position.

The rest of your speakers should be placed to the side of the listening area. These must be at ear level and not equidistant between the floor and ceiling. You’ll have noticed that as well as the 38% rule you should never position anything equidistant between any two surrounds (walls, ceiling and floor) in the room.

These are the basic principles of setting up a listening room and should provide you with the best listening experience with minimum fuss.

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