The ideal listening room

When building a hi-fi or reference system, most times one give more emphasis on the equiment it self not having a lot a choices but to sacrifes sound's quality due to a poor listenig room with components trying to blend on a living room. But, what if you have the option to desing your own listenig room, how will it be? What materials, dimensions either corners or narrow end walls...
Perhaps what I would consider the most important is a shorter say 7 feet ceiling behind the speakers and then head updward at a nice slope from there.

I would also want the side walls to fan/toe outward as they go from front (behind the speakers) to back. But I would probably not want the room any deeper than perhaps 22 ft and I would want the room entirely closed off to pressurize.

So I guess the room dimensions would be something like 13 ft wide by 7 ft high behind the speakers. Then fanning out and up to perhaps 17 ft wide and 12 feet high at the back of the room.

I would also half-round all corners with a large radius or at the very least all corners behind the speakers.

The other things are pretty common ie lack of windows, install bookshelves, thick carpeting and pad, etc..

My listening room could never be a vault. I like my music. but I won't create a room where it becomes so important that I would be almost afraid of inviting 'the others' into it at the risk of seeming....wierd.
In an old TAS (I think) they gave dimensions of 10 x 16 x 26 as ideal dimensions and this seems to be supported (roughly) by various articles I have read since. I tend to lean toward Stehno's idea of sloping walls to eliminate any parallel surfaces myself. There was an article in Stereophile about a place that built a room around their stereo equipment and they did this as well.
if i was going to build the ideal listening room, I would go listen to the experts on how they design rooms or hire an expert to design the room for you. at he2003 this year in san francisco, they had a panel of speakers talking about designing and building audio and video rooms. very informative.
There are several competing thoughts on room design. Where most people screw up is that they mix and match between them without understanding the big picture. Pick your design philosophy and stick to it religiously. My best suggestion is to get a book called the "Master Handbook of Acoustics" by F. Alton Everest. This is pretty much the Bible of acoustics.

As for me, I found that 14x19x10 (Louden's Ratio) was the most ideal. My walls are 10" thick styrofoam/concrete and my entire roof is a pseudo helmholtz resonator. Add in a few more room treatments to further tweak the room and it is about as close to perfect as I could ask. Personally haven't seen/heard any room that was better.

Victorhsalcedo, the ideal listening room would be similar to the golden ratio when building speakers. Think of the room as a huge speaker enclosure. A vaulted ceiling,IMO, is not a good idea unless the speaker placement are parallel with with the vault ceiling. Imagine putting a mirror on the ceiling and using a flashlight to aim the mirror. If you point it upwards to the mirror, you have the beam of light redirect to you at 90 degrees. If you know geometry, you know what I mean.
Definitely my ideal room would be shaped like a giant egg, which will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Seventh Veil speakers. Steve
Check with Rives Audio and visit the Acoustic Science Corp. website look for their Iso-Wall system,and has many ideas and consultants that will give good advice. Using all three sources (websites and materials mostly) I have built an excellent listing room. Let me know if you'd like to talk.
All the best rooms I've heard were all regular rooms and not some special shape. Instead, what they did is make sure the speakers are set-up correctly and then used some judicious room tuning with bass traps in the corners and absorbers on all the walls. If done right the fabric of the room treatments can kinda fade into the room decore. The best room is your own and it must be functional, comftorable and pleasing to the eye. Otherwise, why would you want to stay in such a room. Besides, if you do not know what your doing I'd recommend getting in touch with a professional or at least consult with one and do your homework.
Best of luck and you are pretty lucky to have a dedicated room in the first place.
Fellow audiophiles,

Thanks for all that input as I am going to build a dedicated audio visual room in my new home. I am building around my system. Mostly Mark Levinson, B&W speakers, and a lot of other stuff. SOny CRT, Stewart Screen, Proceed PMDT, Runco Sc4200 line doubler, etc. I am now working on designing the elctrical system for it all. Any other info or tips or mistakes one has made is always helpful. I just printed the response and will use them as I meet with the builder.


MHO is similar to Highend64: use the Golden ratio (1:1.618)to size your room. This should ensure that room modes are not mutiples of each other which will ensure better room acoustics overall.

George Cardas has treated this subject on his website where he gives 2 room dimensions one where the ceiling height is constant & another one where is gradually increases as one moves away from the speakers towards the listener. I have also read that some favour a "coffered" ceiling - one where the walls are vertical for a bit then slope inwards before reaching the ceiling. This also helps break-up various room modes.

Here is the link to Cardas' website:

We have a section on resources and educational material. It has links to many other resources on the web, books we recommend, and articles.

Acoustical Classroom by Rives Audio
My present room is 8x15x25 and very rigid, with 4 dedicated circuits. It has double a layer of sheetrock. It sounds great.

Ideally, I would probably increase the height of the room to 9' or 10' and change the other dimensions to the same preportions.