Ceiling fan in listening room?

Hi all,

Not sure if Tech Talk is the best forum to post this question, but would appreciate any comments / recommendations from our group. My listening room is in our below ground level  basement. Routing air conditioning to the space is not practical, and I am looking for alternatives to provide ventilation. Does anyone have any recommendations on or experience with use of a ceiling fan in a listening room?  Naturally I am concerned with the interaction of the fan's air circulation and the speaker output. Thanks in advance for any  input!
A ceiling fan is terrific energy efficient and it helps and many fans can be quite quiet.

The best for real cooling is a split ductless which often have a quiet mode and can really cool down a room, these tend to be $1k-3k with installation but the joy of a cold quiet room can not be measured.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Just get one that can be run real slow and silent. When it gets hot I use a Vornado on low speed on the floor. Takes the cool air off the floor, makes a gentle breeze, can barely hear it. If your room is quiet (which it should be) then there are no truly silent fans and it all comes down to which one you think is worth the money.
Thanks for the inputs! I expect that I will try a fan to see how that works out. Seems the "least painful" first step. I'll post further comment after the installation.
Something I consider when asked to install a ceiling fan for a customer in their audio room, Is the ceiling hard Sheetrock and where is the first reflection point up there. If the first reflection is in line with the blades I warn them of the possibility they may hear chop effect. To my dismay I have had to move a few after the customer (always right...) called back stating they heard this fluttering/chopping noise at times. My inside voice says "I told you that wasn’t a good placement". I tend to offset the fan towards the front end of the room avoiding reflection point and depending on the volume of the room may use two fans at opposing ends. Never heard an issue with either placement.

Mini Splits are the way to go if it can be afforded but they are far more expensive than a DIY ceiling fan install.
Thanks for the information and suggestions. I am intrigued with the idea of 2 fans on opposite ends of the room. Novel idea, and just may be the preferred solution. Thanks again!
I have a similar basement set up, with central air in the rest of the house.  I find that if I keep the basement door open (just a bit) when I'm not using it, the cool, dry air eventually works its way to the basement. I rarely see more than 70F down there, but if it becomes a little uncomfortable, a small fan in the corner of the room provides just enough air flow.  I can barely hear it from my listening position and I find it is not a bother when listening to music.
Mine's quieter that the air conditioning but it develops a clicking sound that means it has to stop.  I don't notice it chopping up the music.
Thanks for the comment. My major concern has been interference, or "chop", so am encouraged to know that may not be a problem. Plan to install next month, so will update afterward.
What you want is a VRF ( variable refrigerant flow) Mitsubishi unit. Its
a cassette unit that mounts on your wall. No ductwork required. Dead silent and the condenser can be located up to 1000 feet away. 
I’m wondering if fans on the wall behind the speakers facing toward the listener would improve the sound by giving the air molecules a jump start. Kind of like the SteinMusic Harmonizer, activating the air molecules and making the propagation of acoustic waves through the air more efficient. The medium is the message.
I would make sure the fan is not wired into any of the electric power for the audio equipment. A complete separate wiring for the fan. Dimmers and fans can and do add noise and grunge to the power line, which can effect your sound.
My two cents: If you are going to use a ceiling fan in your listening room, it would need to be of a very solid construction so as not to resonate and generate any sound of its own while the music plays. I had this issue and my solution was to remove the fan. The fan should be able to turn down very low so as to not generate noise from moving air.

Personally I wouldn’t add anything to my listening room that generates sound: e.g. ductless minisplits, ceiling fans, equipment cooling fans, etc. A low background level is vital to critical listening. There are ways to cool the room in a very quiet manner, but they are rarely the cheapest options.
I have a ceiling fan.  It is rarely used,
never while music is playing.
I wipe both sides of the blades and  the outside
of the glass bowl with anti-static spray. 

I have small pieces of fo.Q tape on the blades
and glass bowl.  I use a Walker Talisman periodically.

My sweet spot is almost directly under
the fan, so I pay attention to the orientation
of the blades, above my head, too.

Everything makes a difference.
The fan is not a problem with dynamic speakers,  Magnepans and most ESLs. Ribbons however can be a real problem. Air movement use to make my Apogee Diva mid range and tweeter ribbons flutter. Magnepan's tweeter is supported throughout it's length. 
I have a tube system and it's next to window so I took a furnace duct, vent fan to pull the heat out of the room when it's really hot outside over the summer.  I had to add a speed controller to get it quiet enough, not ideal but I only do it over the summer.  I'm usually pushing 90 db at my listening location so it takes allot of ambient noise to over come it.

Get some B&W 802D3 

I have a high end, very quiet fan in my room, the ceiling is 14 ft high. I am wondering if the fan will actually help attenuate the sound sent as it is deflecting the waves away from the ceiling. I run it a the lowest speed. The music sounds fine when i have it on. Anybody have thoughts on this?

A ceiling fan will modulate the air and effect the sound quality. How much? That's for you to figure out. It may not be an issue for many.

Several years ago, a piano tuner (I only use tuners that tune by ear, not with a machine) was over to tune my Steinway. After a few hours he was pulling out his hair; could not get the job done. I noticed the ceiling fan was on. Just for the heck of it, I turned off the ceiling fan. He finished the job in about 15 minutes. So there you have it.

My listening room is upstairs in a house in middle Georgia. My gear is running about 1 kW at idle.  I found a DC motor ceiling fan that spins at 52 rpm on low.  It is a must in the summertime here.  This is the third ceiling fan I have had in this room and by far the quietest and least obtrusive.  

@rbanathy This works surprisingly well in my room. On a side table near listening seat, at lower speeds it's dead quiet and for cost & easy returns, it's worth a try. It's basically a knockoff of the Dyson that sells for ~triple the price.

Bladeless Fan



I had to pull mine out of room, huge fan blades messed with sound stage.

I have never had an issue with a CF killing sound. I also have 14 foot ceiling and the drop is only 5 feet.

You want the medium that transmits the music to your ears to be as stable as possible.

Not really wind "noise" as such. Ever talk through the back of a fan when you were a kid? The voice is very distorted by the modulation of the air by the fan blades. Any ancillary movement of the air can cause interference with the music waveforms.

Even if the tail is small and the happiness velocity minimal, the dander may present other issues outside the scope of this thread.

So when my dog is wagging his tail does it effect the music waveform?