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Room Acoustics, Treatments, and Extending Walls for Weird, Open Floorplan

Joined
Feb 19, 2021
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I thought I would ask here to get some opinions. I have quite an open floorplan (8 ft ceilings) and have quite a bit of slap echo. I came across some absorbers w/scatter plates (20"x20"x50mm foam) and corner traps (150mm) that had a mild improvement, but nothing too drastic on decay times via REW. Long story short, they fell into my lap for pretty much free (still have more to hang), but I didn't anticipate them making much of a difference due to their size, quality, etc. Though, for the price, I felt worth it to experiment. I would like to eventually invest into some better quality absorbers, diffusers, etc. to tame some of the echo and get the room to sound better for movies/music (70/30ish).

Anyway, my listening area opens up to a long hallway, as well as to a dining area (which then opens to the kitchen). I have these two annoying, load-bearing columns, that I suspect were left in place from a former remodel, that just look out of place and have always bothered me. My question is: would it be worth extending the wall (in red in the image), and maybe building it out with materials with acoustics in mind? I figure I would take it back far enough to same distance as my MLP, but should I go even further? I feel like treatments at this point would be kind of a waste for how open this room is in its current state. Just a few minutes ago I put a mattress in the space between the one column and the wall (perfect fit!), sort of blocking off the hallway and simulating a portion of the red wall I would build/extend. From a quick test of some claps and playing some media, it has already made a noticeable difference. I'm probably going to pull out REW and the mic tonight to take some measurements to see the difference objectively. The other option I was thinking about are the free-standing panels from somewhere like GIK, but honestly, the aesthetics of those leave a lot to be desired. The other challenge with this room is the wall opposite where the "extended" wall would be has a huge sliding-glass door (144"). I have some pretty thick, quality drapes I picked up that did help the sound a bit. But, this large window provides a lot of natural light to the rest of the space, and by extending that wall, I'll certainly be sacrificing that light in the other areas. Otherwise, I'd be tempted to just close off the space entirely.

Would extending that wall be worth it? Or, maybe other ideas I'm not thinking of? Thanks and open to any feedback or suggestions.
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dshreter

Senior Member
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Dec 31, 2019
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I don’t know the answer, but I do know that having your listening position right in the middle of the room is very bad in terms of being located with major room modes. Moving the sofa closer could help, and will also raise the proportion of direct sound.
 
OP
W
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
9
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I don’t know the answer, but I do know that having your listening position right in the middle of the room is very bad in terms of being located with major room modes. Moving the sofa closer could help, and will also raise the proportion of direct sound.
Thanks for the reply. I wholeheartedly agree. That said, I really don’t have too much freedom to move the furniture without impacting walkways, etc. The room/furniture sizing/shape is just kind of a nightmare overall. Thought about maybe a floating wall few feet behind my MLP, too. But I’ve been able to get it to a satisfactory compromise thus far with two subs, minidsp, xt32, etc. Another benefit of extending that wall would be more freedom with sub locations; however, it’s not really that bad right now. Always nice to have more options though!
 
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