Three Ways to Improve Acoustics in Auditoriums

The sound quality in an auditorium is of paramount importance, as it affects the experience for each guest. When designing an auditorium, the biggest consideration for companies is to ensure that every member in the seated audience can hear clear sound with crisp musical reproduction.

As a result, apart from the usual building considerations, auditoriums need to be designed with acoustics in mind. The architectural design of an auditorium is carefully planned, often including angled ceilings or floors, with non-parallel perimeter walls lining the inner space.

If the room acoustics aren’t properly designed, it can lead to poor room acoustics, often caused due to bad absorption. This generally happens when the sound signals aren’t reflected accurately throughout the auditorium. Ultimately, this results in muffled speech or poor musical harmonies, causing audiences to miss out on crucial dialogue or important musical harmonies.

Thankfully, there are several ways to improve acoustics in auditoriums. These minor changes can lead to major results almost immediately.

Three Excellent Ways to Improve Acoustics in an Auditorium

In the following article, we are going to discuss some of the best ways to improve auditorium acoustics.

1. Installing Acoustic Wall Panels

Acoustic wall and ceiling panels are designed to control excessive reverberation and echo in closed spaces, especially auditoriums. Reverberation and echo in auditoriums are generally a major issue, and in general, there are several surfaces in enclosed auditoriums that reflect sound.

In general, the floors are left untreated as most of the sound is absorbed by the carpets, the seats, and the audience members. But, drywall surfaces, especially ceilings and walls (which are flat), tend to reflect and bounce sound off each other, thus creating an amplification effect.

This causes greater reverberations and echoes, which is quite distracting for audience members. The biggest pain point is that it makes speech unintelligible, resulting in a shallow listening experience for audiences.

To mitigate reverberation and flutter echo throughout the auditorium, the use of high-end acoustic wall panels is highly recommended. Ideally, a combination of fiberglass and fabric is used to maximize the sound absorption.

One of the best choices right now is the AcousTech™ Wall & Ceiling Panels by AVL Systems. Made from 6-7 PCF fiberglass board and wrapped in an elegant decorative fabric, these wall panels are ideal for maximizing sound absorption in any closed auditorium.

They are an excellent choice for several reasons, and offer various key features:

  • Lightweight panels, making them ideal for installation on walls or ceilings
  • Maximum design flexibility, with both conventional and custom sizes available
  • High-end felt and Guilford fabrics available
  • Maximum sound absorption efficiency
  • Custom-printing available
  • An excellent range of colors, prints, finishes, and textures available for selection

2. Installing Diffusers and Absorbers

While acoustic panels are great to reduce the echo and reverberation off walls, you will also want to consider using diffusers and sound absorbers. These technologies are often considered the standard in smaller auditoriums.

However, it’s important to understand that they are different from each other. A sound diffuser, as you can understand, is designed to make small rooms sound much larger than they are.

They enhance the soundscape within smaller auditoriums. They are designed to improve sound diffusion and are generally consist of a series of troughs or wells with precision calculated depth and width.

The diffuser simply takes sound energy and then “diffuses” it back throughout the room, causing the sound waves to bounce off and then being spilt throughout the room within the defined frequency range of the diffuser.

Diffusers only work well when a room meets the specific reverberation requirements, which is one of the reasons why you need proper acoustic sound panels first. Then, you need to install proper sound absorbers.

As the name suggests, sound absorbers can be installed in specific areas to reduce echo and reverberation throughout, thus improving acoustics in the auditorium. Sound absorbers are often installed as a part of the acoustic treatment for the entire place.

3. Mitigate Sound Reflection

Sound reflectors in auditoriums can greatly improve acoustics within the space. When sound is produced from one source and spread throughout a closed space, it often reflects from the flat surfaces, causing a pattern of reflections that’s known as a flutter echo.

This eventually becomes a problem, and it’s important for architects or interior designers to find a way to reduce reflection in an auditorium. This is generally possible with the help of sound diffusers and acoustical panels.

Instead of reflecting the sound, these panels dampen it and absorb it, thus ensuring clarity. Since echoes are reduced significantly, the sound waves produced are much clearer, allowing for all members of the audience to be able to understand the source.

If an auditorium contains an excessive number of hard surfaces, it can increase reflections considerably. While some level of reverberation is good, excessive amounts affect the quality of sound.

That’s why it’s important to find a balance by using a mix of sound reflectors and sound-absorbent materials. It’s important for designers to know exactly where the first reflection points are, and then create a set of changes to mitigate the sound reflections in those areas before installing panels at other points.

The Best Way to Improve Auditorium Acoustics

The best way to improve acoustics within an auditorium is to invest in high end acoustic materials that are custom-designed for the auditorium. The first step is to conduct a thorough acoustic analysis of the space to determine where the diffusers, panels, or absorbers must be installed.

The next step is to find a reliable manufacturer to prepare these acoustic panels, diffusers, and absorbers for use in the auditorium. And, that’s where AVL Systems can help. Since 1983, AVL Systems has been manufacturing the most advanced acoustic products for use in indoor spaces.

They offer a full suite of acoustical wall and ceiling systems, including reflectors, panels, baffles, diffusers, and more. If you want to improve the acoustics within an auditorium space, AVL Systems can help you improve clarity and sound reproduction throughout the space.