Beginner improvements for room acoustics; very helpful Darko video on reverb and RT60

I often find myself trying to help friends new to audio take their first steps toward improving their sound. Taming room reflection is, of course, the first step.

Many respond by saying some combination of "Why would I need that?" and "Isn't a rug and furniture enough?"

Darko's video explain the answer to both of these questions, and does so by explaining in layman's language what the sweet spot for reverb typically is, and why furniture and rugs are not often sufficient.

He describes a reasonable, middle way between going all out on room treatments and doing nothing. At the very least, he says at the end, do the ceilings.

Again, old news to many here, but possibly of use for some here and for anyone advising others.


I don't think he's untrustworthy just in it for money which is fine but I take these  YouTube  guys that have a vested monetary interest with a grain of salt. the video you posted has some good advice and some lousy advice. For example when he says you can't get exceptional sound in a normal living space without room treatment from ANY speaker that's nonsense. Cardioid speakers can work very well in untreated rooms.  Wall to wall carpet with thick pad is good floor treatment. Speaker directivity and listening distance is equally important. Is a dedicated listening space optimized better? Well yes but very few people can have that. 

That’s quite the swipe you take at Darko, calling him out as being in it just for the money and denigrating his character, but then, you’ve done it here as well. At least you’re consistent.

As for floor treatment, he covered that, saying that from what he’s read, experienced firsthand, and from the experts he spoke to, floor treatment doesn’t do as much as thought. He also addressed speaker distance. Did you just get a case of the heebie-jeebies watching his video and miss some of it?

All the best,

A lot of talk about the listening room... (already some herd feeling - imitation of the idea... trend... everyone is talking about it with a serious look)...
I'll tell you this: guys, if "carpet and furniture" is not enough in your case, then this is bad news ... There are VERY few who can really professionally take the correct measurements (skills and special equipment are needed) in the listening area, and after change the room and (or) adjust the music with the help of equalizers.

@djones51 Thanks for expanding on your comments. 

My experience with both absorption and diffusion massively changed the sound of my room. I'm presently in a space with a 6.5 foot ceiling, and putting absorption on the ceiling was a game changer in terms of dealing with very harsh highs. I do have an unusually low ceiling, but I think it's true that unless one has ceilings over 9 or 10 feet (with the average, mid-field listening distance), ceiling bounce is a thing that really induces first-reflection problems. If that's right, then Darko's final piece of advice -- to at least do something about one's ceiling -- seems uncontestable.

I know that all of this advice is dependent on the many specific factors involved. For my own part, I measured with REW's impulse graphs among others, and even used the "string method" to narrow down where the first and distal reflections were coming from. Then, I treated those areas. The result is a much wider, deeper, and articulate soundstage. People who come over to listen are usually amazed at what they hear, given the visual cues of the space.