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Music Sounds Better in a Dedicated Music Room

Music Sounds Better in a Dedicated Music Room

Guest post by Keith Dowd - Vivid Audio | Trinnov Audio

It's rare to find a modern luxury home that doesn't have TVs in many rooms (including behind mirrors in the master bathroom, and outside), built-in speakers in almost every room, and outdoor speakers in the landscape. It may seem ironic that with TVs and music distributed throughout the home - the dedicated special-purpose rooms are the ones homeowners most often name as their favorites – for both entertaining and personal use. Home theaters are now quite common, in both the dedicated Private Cinema version and in the multi-use gaming, TV and movie watching media-room version.

Often, people are surprised to find that the room that becomes their absolute favorite is the one without a TV, where listening to music is the entire reason for the room. People of all ages, when exposed to a properly set-up high-performance stereo music system in a dedicated Music Room - are simply amazed. So often, they have either been told or have concluded that they won't be able to appreciate a great two speaker stereo system. However, a short demonstration quickly changes that – and they realize they can easily appreciate what a great music system properly set up in a dedicated room can provide: making listening to music a lot more fun!

The common question is, "How can I tell if it's just ok, good, or really great?" It's surprisingly easy! When auditioning speakers and other audio gear – the key is to use music that contains vocals. We are all experts regarding the sound of the human voice. It's in the middle of the frequency range – where 75% of all music is, regardless of genre (Rock, Pop, Country, Folk, Rap, Classical, Opera, and Jazz). Because our ears are most sensitive to the middle range, and we know what the human voice sounds like, we can recognize it better than any other sound. Therefore, when auditioning a music system – using music that incorporates vocals makes it fast and easy. James Taylor, Taylor Swift, George Benson, George Straight, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Costello, Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli, Adele, or the singer you are now thinking of – it really doesn't matter the type of music, a great system reveals more and makes all music more fun to listen to. Sure, you will want to check the great bass and clear highs, notice the contrasts between loud and soft that bring the music to life, and how the music seems to bloom in the room independent of the speakers - but that's all icing on the cake. If you focus on and fall back on the sound of the vocals, you'll be surprised to find that the differences are pretty obvious, and better equipment and speakers just sound a lot better.

As much as they love their Private Cinemas, quite often, many people find they enjoy their Music Rooms even more and more often. In both Private Cinemas and Music Rooms – the room acoustics, speaker placement, set up, adjustment, and fine-tuning are all as important as the speakers and other equipment. However, that doesn't mean to sound good - a music room needs to look like a recording studio. Not at all.

A simple concept that makes all of this easier to understand is that making better sound, comes down to two things: information retrieval and damage control. We want to get the best music sources we can into the system, whether from streaming a high-resolution file from a computer, a CD, or a vinyl record. If we don't get it into the system, we can't get it out of the speakers. But the part that isn't often well explained or understood is the best equipment, and the best rooms don't actually make the sound better – better sound results from them harming the sound less. Better electronics impart less noise and distort/change the sounds less. The best speakers have less of their own sound and are the clearest windows to the recordings and electronics driving them. And rooms with a good combination of hard, soft, and irregularly shaped surfaces provide a more neutral, balanced sounding space – with less bathroom-like echo, less harsh piercing highs, and with full, balanced bass without obnoxious muddy boominess.

Fortunately, many well-appointed rooms in modern homes have the desired combination of soft, hard, and irregularly shaped surfaces that contribute to a balanced, good-sounding room. If additional acoustic treatments are required – they are most often achieved without disrupting the theme of the room's decor. And, because of some sophisticated electronic correction systems in today's best electronics, such at the Trinnov Optimizer, even "difficult" rooms, those with an over-abundance of hard surfaces, for example, can be made to sound good, and good sounding rooms can be taken to a whole other level.

Why will music sound better in a dedicated music room?

There are many reasons, but the primary one is that the speakers can be placed in the room where they will sound their best. Where will they sound their best? That varies with each room. Every room has locations where the sound of the speakers will be affected less negatively by the room itself. That isn't to say they will end up in the middle of the room – they won't. But they won't be right up against walls or in corners either. Because the primary purpose of a music room is to listen to music, creating better sound is prioritized. More consideration is given to those things that will contribute to music sounding better. Of all the things that contribute to better or worse sound, speaker placement is at the top of the list! This doesn't just apply to some speakers – it applies to all speakers. Therefore, one of the absolute best values in audio is the fact that proper speaker placement doesn't cost any more.

Regarding the gear that makes the whole music room concept come to life – the appropriate high-performance audio gear isn't complicated, finicky, or difficult to use. Because the focus is simply on better sound and listening to music in a single room rather than having lots of unnecessary features that won't get used, high-performance audio gear tends to be simple and easy to use, not more complicated. Once set up and properly adjusted – you'll mostly just select the music you want to listen to, adjust the volume, and press play.

Talk to BRAVAS about incorporating a music room into your home today. You already love music. A dedicated music room will enable you to enjoy it even more, making listening to music one of your daily luxuries and one of your life's greatest pleasures.

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