Livingroom Echo Problem – Residential Acoustics Problems


I have a Great room in my house that has a 12′ ceiling and as a result there is a lot of echo from the TV, stereo, or just conversation. I thought maybe I could install some type of ceiling material over the existing drywall that would improve the acoustics of the room while not looking like it has a suspended ceiling. Do you make any product that could be glued to the ceiling that would have a pleasing look and provide me the acoustic quality I am looking for?

Conway, SC


Residential acoustics are difficult because of the aesthetic that one needs to maintain. Surfaces that look like sheet rock are generally hard and will reflect sound. Surfaces that are soft and absorb echo almost always require some creative thinking to get them into rooms such as yours while not looking like an acoustical tile. I will make a few recommendations by including a few links to a few different products below. Once you have had a chance to review them, feel free to contact me with questions. The products listed below are in order of popularity in similar and previous situations, the top product being the most popular.

Fabric Wrapped Fiberglass Panels

Wall Mate stretch-wall system

Sound Silencer wall/ceiling panels

Echo Eliminator wall/ceiling panels

Another question is “how much do I need?”. This is ultimately going to be up to you, but my recommendation has worked very well in the past. It is not a guarantee or an absolute, but it is just a starting point to open the conversation. Multiply the height, width and depth of the room to determine the cubic volume of the room. If the ceiling is pitched, average the ceiling height and use that. Then, multiply the cubic volume by .03 (3%). The value that you are left with is the approximate square footage of paneling that you need to install in your room to get you down to a comfortable reverberation time and take out the echo.

If your room is 15′ x 25′ and the walls stop at 9′ and go to 12′ you would use the following equation.

Ceiling: (9 + 12 =21)? (21 / 2 = 10.5)
15 x 25 x 10.5 = 3,937.5
3,937.5 x .03 = 118

This room would need approximately 118 s/f of paneling somewhere in the room.

Location is totally up to you, so depending on which product you are looking to install, the location of that product is an aesthetic call. The placement f the product is not dictated by acoustical performance. As long as the sound can hit the panels, they are able to do their job. I would not suggest putting the panels behind a cabinet or entertainment center or even behind artwork. The sound needs to be able to hit the panel and be absorbed.

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