Ideal design for a new music room

I'm designing a new house which will include a room dedicated to enjoying stereo music reproduction. In my experience, room acoustics have a huge effect on the sound in any particular room.

I'm interested in ideal dimensions, structural materials and finishes. Any experiences and stories anyone?

The music I mostly enjoy is classical, including organ, choral, chamber, solo instruments and orchestral. 
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That's a mighty big subject, one for which professionals make a good living addressing. Try Art Noxon at Acoustic Science Corp. For a start, Google "Golden Ratio", and take a look at the Cardas website.
20 x 30 with high vaults of 20 ft  will be good.

Of course you need acoustic treatment after ward.

Some people prefer carpet over wooden floor.

But it depends on the personal taste.
As I understand it, the golden ratio applies only to rectangular rooms. It’s also quite problematic to apply. I’m hoping to avoid the problems the ratios try to solve by starting out with an asymmetrical room. 

Here are some considerations, entirely without input (so far) from acoustic professionals:
  • the walls, floor and ceiling should be rigid so they will not vibrate and contribute to the sound. This is important for the low notes.
  • The floor perimeter dimensions should not be a perfect rectangle with parallel opposite walls in order to prevent standing waves - cancellations of some frequencies and boosting of others. Would rounded space like a band shell be best?
  • Would a stable 3D sound stage be more likely in a room that has a physical stage facing a room that widens into the listening area?
  • Then there are the livelyness and brightness issues which will require carpeting of some of the surfaces, the floor to start. How about the ceiling or the back wall?

Thanks for your input,

A room that is not a rectangle or with any parallel surfaces then introduces a whole host of issues in speaker positioning (as each speaker will see a very different set of reflection points). Interesting discussion of this topic in Roy Gregorys experience of his new room
Thanks Michael Green for the very interesting and creative work you do. You are the right person to improve the sound in an existing room that doesn't sound quite right. Maybe all rooms need fine tuning and there is no such thing as a perfectly sounding room. But I'd still like to get as close as we can from the start.

Tom6897: A room as round as the inside of a ball is very interesting but may be going too far for what I have in mind. Has anyone heard music reproduced in such a round room?

Folkfreak: Wouldn't a pair of speakers placed in a room something like I describe below have matching reflection points?

  • 18' wall behind the speakers with a pair of side walls at 100º that are 24' long and a slightly curving wall facing the speakers. Height could be 10' at the speakers and 12' at the opposite end. 

I think any way you build it, is probably going to have some issue that you did not consider. 
Beyond making sure it was properly wired, and the walls suitably deadened; I would build it so that it looks good and can be furnished tastefully.
As you are building from scratch, hiring a professional sound tech would make the most sense. IMHO

Hello Encore,

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Star Sound

I would recommend you to check Pinterest for some music room design. You can see great images that you can copy for your studio. 
I need a new design for my room too since new years eve 2019 is coming. I want my room to be look new. So if you have any suggestion please let me know.
fwiw. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Rectangular rooms work and I can’t imagine why you say the Golden Ratios are hard to apply- but- you are wrong. Someone suggested 3/8 inch walls- I can’t think of a kind comment about them. Along with the Cardas site look into the construction features of the Rockport Technologies listening room. The best advice you will get is to decide the size room you want and build it solidly and symmetrically. Allow 5 -6 ft behind your speakers and at least 4.5 feet from speakers to side walls. 8 ft behind your head. Plan a vibration isolated area with a door to the side of your speakers for electronics and vibration isolation for your amplifier. Organ music right?  Assuming you’d like your speakers 6-7 ft apart you need 16-17 ft width, about 19 length. 9 ft is contemporary minimum height for a classy space. Get yourself graph paper and draw to scale-precisely. Use 2-3x5/8 drywall on walls. I’d use a base of 5/8 mdf as the first layer behind the speakers if your speakers can drive organ music down to about 30cps. I did these with my 17x27 rm and got positive comment.  Floor shd not flex. Symmetry helps to kiss. Helps resale value and decorating as well :) Enjoy and best wishes. 
I am no expert but in my there are advantages to having a dedicated listening room in the basement. 


1) No large windows, if any at all.
2) Concrete floor.
3) More design flexibility than if the room was in a more public area of the home. This includes the addition of acoustic treatments that only look attractive to the eyes of the audio enthusiast.
4) Easier to design such that music can be listened at high volume without disturbing other family members, especially in the late evening when the audio “magic” often occurs.
5) The option to have an adjacent equipment room to house a turntable that is well-isolated from the listening area.


1) Part of the enjoyment of the hobby is sharing music. Not many folks like to spend hours in a windowless basement listening to sonic perfection other than audiophiles.
2) If your system will include very large speakers betting them down into the listening room can be a pain.
3) Basements rarely have ceilings more than 8 feet high. This may partially be related to cost but also, the deeper the basement, the more concerns there may be with water inflow. Our neighbors rebuilt their home and deepened their basement. Their sump pump runs continuously. Our basement, less than 20 feet away but not as deep, is bone dry and our sump pump has never kicked in over the 14 years we have been in the house. 

Your idea is amazing. I have long dreamed of owning a stereo room. Wish you soon complete your ideal.
By the way, I am also in need of designing a professional conference and seminar room. I am referring to this supplier:
Thanks for everyone's comments. I've had experience with 7 different listening rooms. I agree with many of the suggestions. Each room came with dimensions that I could not change. Each one sounded different. For sure room characteristics are big contributors to the sound you experience. So I wondered what characteristics an ideal room would have. So far there are excellent ideas but no one has come forward to say they've built a listening room (not a recording room) that is close to perfect in being able to create a satisfying sound stage. Even better, no one has suggested that an inexpensive system, say under $5,000, in a great room will deliver a better audio experience than systems costing multiples more in a poor room. Is it possible that fortunes are being spent on equipment that is fighting rooms with poor acoustics?