Achieving Optimal Room Acoustics for Your AV System

Posted by IGI. January 13, 2021 - AV Integration, Corporate AV, Systems Integration, Audio, DSP

Many organizations put time into tweaking audio settings or investing in expensive systems to improve sound quality, which can sometimes prove to be ineffective. In certain cases, hardware isn’t the problem at all, but in fact room acoustics are the root cause of audio issues.

When a sound wave reaches a surface it can do one of three things: reflect, absorb or diffuse. Although we cannot see how sound waves interact with nearby surfaces, we can certainly hear it. The sound you hear in a room is a combination of two main factors: direct sound and reflected sound.

  • Direct sound — Sound waves that travel from a speaker to your ear.
  • Reflected sound — Sounds waves that bounce off hard surfaces and then reach your ear.

You might think that the solution to achieving prime room acoustics is to eliminate reflected sound entirely, but that’s simply not the case. There is a misconception that reflected sound exclusively distorts sound quality, but in reality it’s crucial to fulfilling a complete audio profile. Direct sound, without the backing of reflected sound, sounds flat.

In order to achieve maximum sound quality and reduce distortion, you want to arrange a room to allow direct sound and reflected sound to work harmoniously. Here’s how to achieve crisp and robust sound quality by adjusting room acoustics.


Reverberation is one of the main culprits in distortion. All sound systems are affected by reverberation to some extent, so a good way to improve sound quality is to assess room materials, furniture and other obstructions.

For example, glass is a popular aesthetic asset for many modern offices, but it is a surface which reflects acoustic energy.  These reflections can result in acoustics which make speech difficult to discern, due to untreated reflections creating problems as they can be trapped in one spot, amplifying some frequencies, while canceling out others.

To reduce sound distortion, try covering reflective surfaces with fabric curtains, put a rug on the hard floors, and move furniture away from walls. You might even consider more extensive measures such as installing some sound absorption panels to reduce reverberation.

Move the speakers

Sometimes improving room acoustics is as simple as adjusting the speakers’ positioning. It’s a rather straightforward solution to consider — when faced with distortion do you:

a). Treat the surface  or b). Move the speakers

In many cases, option B is effective in improving acoustics and is far less detrimental to daily workflows. Experimenting with speaker location is an easy first step toward better sound quality.

Professional AV integration

There are countless factors that play into room acoustics, and if you’re looking for the most effective audio solution, it’s important to work with professionals. IGI is the industry-leading, professional AV integrator, which leverages vast industry experience and cutting-edge technology to provide high-performance AV solutions.

IGI’s team of audio visual designers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers work to design the ideal AV solution for your professional space. The process begins with a comprehensive site survey and needs assessment. From there, our expert staff will work with you to install a audio system crafted to your needs.

Contact IGI to learn more about AV integration for professional spaces.

About IGI

Immersion Graphics, Inc. (IGI) provides audio visual design, engineering, consulting, product sales, control system programming, custom fabrication, installation, preventative maintenance, and extended support services out of its headquarters location in Detroit and west coast operation in Los Angeles. Additional offices are located in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids.

Founded in 1998, IGI has installed numerous large-scale, ultra-high resolution systems throughout the U.S. in the automotive, higher education, medical, financial, and energy transmission markets, and for the United States military and other government agencies. Applications include industrial design, engineering and data visualization, mission-critical command & control room environments, presentation systems, video conferencing, digital signage, and a variety of commercial AV solutions for emerging markets where the simultaneous visualization of 3D models and complex data by a group is essential to effective decision making. To get an in depth look at what we do, see our website at www.werigi.com, we are IGI.

IGI is minority owned, veteran owned, and a small business and SBA 8(a) program graduate.

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