The Value of Sound and Acoustically Treating a Room

In the American economy, we see “value” mentioned frequently, and while the word “cheap” isn’t used, it’s often implied. No one wants to own cheap products, but no one wants to spend more than they should to get the performance they want. In the categories of sound and acoustical products, there’s a wide range of quality and price, from $99 “recording-studio-in-a-box” and “home-theater-in-a-box” offerings to multi-million-dollar custom-built studios and film-screening rooms. Stereo speakers can range from $30 a pair to well over $300,000 a pair. Where’s the value in this wide range of price points?

Definition of Value

value definitionLet’s check the dictionary (or thesaurus, shown on right) – value, n.

1. The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something; the material or monetary worth of something.

2. A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.

Acoustic Treatments – Quality vs. Cost

Most rooms – recording studios, hi-fi setups, home theaters, and even larger performance venues – need acoustical treatments to maximize audio performance. If there’s ‘sound in air’, acoustical products will improve it. And in the acoustical-products category, we see a range of quality and price, but curiously, not nearly as wide as we see in other product categories. You can buy a “room kit” for $99 and get a box of one-inch-thick foam panels to glue on your walls (don’t – the glue lives forever but the foam does not). Foam panels will absorb a bit of the higher frequencies and will work about as well as the $99 “junk-audio-system-in-a-box”. Which is a decent cost-to-quality ratio for a $99 audio system – or, in actuality, a bad value.

Not that there’s anything wrong with $99 stuff if you’re starting out – the search for better sound must start somewhere. Hopefully, though, you’ve long outgrown the low end of the audio world, and for anyone who cares about sound, you owe yourself, and the investment you’ve made in your sound system, to consider the great value Acoustical Surfaces products represent. As we often say, your room is the final component in your system. For less than 10% of the cost of your electronics and speakers, you can greatly improve your system’s sound with acoustical room treatments. We offer a variety of highly-effective and affordable sound absorber panels (such as our Echo Eliminator™ echo reduction panels) and phase-coherent diffusors (the Curve Diffusor, which is also a low-frequency absorber). If you’ve moved beyond $99 audio systems, the cost of a well-treated room represents a terrific cost-to-quality ratio – an actual value.

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