If you are one of many people who truly enjoy listening to music, then you might enjoy having a dedicated listening room in your home. But you might be wondering, what is a dedicated listening room? It’s simply that, a room that is only used for listening to and appreciating music. The room’s design is usually made up of a two-channel audio system and a place to sit and listen. The room can also be enhanced with acoustic treatments and careful selection of the audio equipment and seating to further improve how the sound resonates in the room. There are lots of other things to consider when designing a dedicated listening room which is why we put together this guide to help you design your own.
What room should I use as my dedicated listening room?
The ideal space for a listening room is a room free of noise pollution from loud appliances, outdoor distractions or anything else that could disrupt your listening experience. A listening room also shouldn’t have anything else in the room to distract or disrupt the sound such as a TV, pool table, computer or desk. This room is meant to be for listening only. A room without these pesky disturbances will allow you to appreciate the music to the fullest extent, picking up subtle notes and rhythms in the music you wouldn’t be able to enjoy otherwise.
Some have even tested to find the ideal room size for the perfect listening room. Acoustic Fields tested 116 different rooms and were able to put together this room size guide for the best dedicated listening room possible:
What equipment should I have in my dedicated listening room?
Typically, a dedicated listening room will be comprised of a high-quality set of loudspeakers, comprised of a left and right main speaker. When designing a listening room, most of our budget should be dedicated to these speakers, as they are the main actors!
Next, we’ll need to provide a source component and amplification to power the speakers. Generally, we’ll recommend separate electronics, that is a dedicated preamplifier and amplifier. Separates deliver higher quality than integrated solutions, such as those found in home theater receivers.
After that, we’ll need music! Do you want to listen to vinyl? CDs? Streaming music from a hard drive or music server? Or your favorite subscription service? The source equipment will need to be able to deliver the music in the format you’d like to listen to, with the utmost convenience and highest quality data stream.
Third, we need to transmit the signal between the source component and the amplification stack as well as from the amplifier to the speaker. This is the job of the interconnect cable and speaker wires. These are also matched to the brand of speaker and electronics and come in a variety of configurations and quality levels. Last, we’ll need a very comfortable listening chair to enjoy the magical system we just put together!
There are hundreds of possibilities between electronics, cables, and speakers. This is where Audio Den’s expertise comes into play. The goal is to create synergy in a listening room, so that each component adds to the value of the entire system. For example, certain speaker cables sound better with certain speaker brands and even types of music. Beyond the electronics, room treatments can be used to correct room acoustic issues or fine-tune the listening experience. It can be a bit of challenge to make sure all the right pieces come together, but once they do, that “wow” factor makes it all worthwhile!
How should I set up my dedicated listening room?
The reason we want to use a two-channel sound system is because it will create a two-dimensional experience. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in the music and sense exactly where the sound would be coming from if the musician was playing in the room with you. Depending on where you will be sitting to enjoy the music, you’ll need to calculate the ideal speaker distance from that listening spot.
The easiest way to do this is to divide the room into two thirds then position your speakers on the line shared by the 1st and 2nd third of the room and another speaker on the line shared by the 2nd and 3rd third of the room. You will need to make sure the speakers aren’t directly up against the walls, usually more than 4 or 6 inches away from the wall. Then measure from your speakers to the side walls of the room and make sure those distances are equal.
The thing to keep in mind when positioning your speakers is that you need to find the spot that sounds best in your room. Keep with the general location but adjust your speakers and then listen to test the sound. Then move your speakers an inch or two in a different direction and test the sound from that distance. It will take some refinement to find the best place for your speakers in your listening room and set up your sound system perfectly, but it’s worth it to do it right.
Everyone’s dedicated listening room will be different but we hope that these tips from our guide will help you design a dedicated listening room that fits your needs. Check out some of our audio equipment to find the sound system you’re craving for your listening room and feel free to reach out with any questions or recommendations for your next home entertainment project.