I would go with the laminate and a large area rug between speakers and listening position.
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Allan - we updated our finished basement a few years ago. Ripped out the carpeting as part of it. If the basement is below grade you definitely want an engineered wood product. The contractor doing ours installed a moisture barrier/elevated subfloor first - a modular product (from Home Depot, I believe...mighta been Dri Core or something much like it). An engineered wood product (locking tongue and groove) went down over that. Large area rugs and GIK acoustic panels definitely needed afterwards to tame brightness (as expected) but the room acoustics now are just right...not too bright, not too dead. The system is posted if that is any help. Good luck.
allansumnall OP7 posts02-19-2018 11:36amFloor floor is cement now.
Best floor you can have to spike the speakers/stand with.
Just make sure your water proofed it if below ground level, and use a good quality underlay and wall to wall carpet as your floor covering.
I had a portion of the basement converted into a dedicated audio room. 2 3/4 sides have concrete walls, but the remaining 1 1/4 side, I installed double dry wall on both sides with Green Glue between them. I have carpet over concrete and it has worked great for me. Your wife will also love it.
@ghosthouse has mentioned about GIK panels - these will work great when placed properly.
Whilst it’s true that cement slabs are better than wood floors since they’re much stiffer, you’re not out of the woods yet because seismic forces, including Earth crust motion, cause the entire building, including the cement slab, to move in all directions. Like a boat 🛥 is moved up and down and all around by waves passing under it. That’s why seismic isolation is beneficial even for rooms on cement slabs. When you isolate something you’re isolating it from the entire building and the motion of the Earth. 🌎
The seismic vibration is continuous, micro seismic activity as opposed to earthquakes. Plus traffic, wind, subways, etc. The reason these relatively small amplitude low frequency vibrations are a problem for audio is that much of the signal, e.g., phono cartridge, tonearm wire, preamps, DACs, are low level signals and completely susceptible to low frequency seismic vibration. I.e., electromagnetic waves are distorted by vibration. Even high level signals are susceptible to vibration as we’ve seen with cable risers, etc. Thus, even for rooms on cement slabs vibration isolation improves the sound.