What is the perfect room?


In this post I will share information about what my theory predicts is the perfect room once you have perfect speakers. 

My theory predicts that a perfect room would be an anechoic chamber which absorbs 100% of every single frequency from 20hz to 20khz. The reason this is not usually recommended is because its impractical rather than because it sounds bad. The truth is few people have tried it as theres no space to put a pair of speakers and a chair in most of these chambers as they are used to do measurements rather than listen. Most speaker companies dont even have an anechoic chamber. 
Therefore it is mostly sour grapes when you hear claims that it wouldn't sound good. 

All the reverb on a recording is already there on the cd. There is no need for further reverb from the room unless you enjoy inaccurate reproduction of music. Audiophiles often complain about bright sound. This is due to the room reflections. 

The most direct cleanest way for the signal to get from the speakers to your ears is in an anechoic chamber. No more standing waves, boomy bass and zero added reflections. Just pure heavenly music. 

If the goal of a hifi is to reproduce the signal with nothing added or subtracted, (which it should be) then it doesn't get any better than this folks. This is endgame level quality. 

80% of what you hear is room reflections. That means you are only hearing 20% of the direct signal. That means if you buy a 10k pair of speakers, you are only getting 2k worth of sound out of 'em.

If more reverb is desired, tough. If it's not on the recording, stop complaining. 

I believe my invention will allow people to hear their speakers and recordings for the first time without the 80% distortion that normally comes along with what we hear. If you want 100% signal, 0% reflections this is the answer. The problem with a reverberant room is that every recording sounds reverberant which is obviously not what you want. 

My novel anechoic room technology is the key. 
kenjit
There was a story about 6 months ago in The Absolute Sound about an editor building his perfect listening room. I am sure he knows way more than you and I about this subject. 
That makes absolutely zero sense.Just when you think you've heard everything....
Never in my life have I seen anyone so completely misunderstand so many concepts so thoroughly and consistently.

Its like some cosmic combination of Peter Sellers’ Clouseau and Dave Bautista’s Drax with Steve Martin’s The Jerk. It’s the cans! He’s shooting at the cans!

There’s no way, no conceivable way, anyone anywhere ever got so many things so spectacularly wrong.

Harbulary batteries.

Nothing goes over your head, kenjit. Your reflexes are too fast. You would catch it.

I tip my hat to you, sir!
Oh, good another nonsense thread from Mr. Imperfection.
Nothing ever invented or made by man is perfect.
The room you describe sounds (no pun intended ) like headphones. 


My personal preference favors ambience... whether provided by the recording or enhanced by the room.  So, give me a big room, high ceilings and slightly live. 


I dont don’t care so much about an exact reproduction of live music as I do about music that sounds good... to me. 
One with a Jacuzzi. 
The room you describe sounds (no pun intended ) like headphones.
which is an indication that my invention is not wrong. 
My personal preference favors ambience...
Thats fine but that should be recorded on the recording because otherwise you will have ambience on every recording. 
OMG another incident of planetary alignment with Charlie :-) very nicely done Mr. Miller !

but alas, I view the Kenjit threads as you might as “ teachable moments “

dear Kenjit, show us the math on the Anechoic wedge needed for 20 HZ absorption?
Hint how big might that domestic room be ?
Kenjit


here’s the thing... there are certain genres of music that are often recorded live and the recording sounds best if the ambience is captured... generally that is not what I prefer or listen to.... but interestingly enough, it seems to be played almost exclusively at audio expos. 


On the the other hand, most blues, country, rock, metal and similar genders are often studio productions and the ambience is either artificial or non existent... and a big, live room helps... or at least it is what I prefer. 


Assuming the ‘perfect’ room does sound similar to headphones... I suspect that many won’t prefer the sound because it differs from their own unique preferences....and it may be just a little to dead. 
dear Kenjit, show us the math on the Anechoic wedge needed for 20 HZ absorption?
The math of the theory has shown that it would take a 20 metre thick wedge of high density fibreglass to supress this energy. 
However, at the lower frequencies, my infinity baffle in wall speaker technology could be used in conjunction. 
The anechoic room technology would mainly need to be applied from say 100hz up which would reduce the required thickness considerably. 
or at least it is what I prefer.
We are not here to argue about preferences. But if you want perfect sound without this artificial room reverb, this technology would be your answer.

Assuming the ‘perfect’ room does sound similar to headphones... I suspect that many won’t prefer the sound because it differs from their own unique preferences

in which case you would need one room for every recording. Each room would be tuned to a particular recording. This would be more costly. 
" All the reverb on a recording is already there on the cd. There is no need for further reverb from the room..."

The least desirable direction for reflections to come from is, the exact same direction as the first-arrival sound. Ideally reflections should come from all around, just like they do in real life.

The reflections which are most likely to superimpose a "small room signature" atop the recording are the earliest reflections, so in my opinion those should be minimized.

The ear/brain system easily picks out the reflections of each individual voice and instrument as long as they are spectrally correct. From there it reconstructs the most plausible interpretation of the acoustic space. If we have successfully minimized the signature of the small room we are listening in, and effectively presented the reverberation on the recording via room reflections, then (with a good recording) what we perceive may well be an enjoyable facsimile of the acoustic space on the recording, whether it be real or engineered or both.

* * * *

Anechoic listening does some things very well, and some things not so well. It lets you hear lots of detail, but it does not convey a feeling of spaciousness or envelopment.

Anechoic listening can be approximated at no cost via a nearfield setup. Listen with the speakers maybe three feet from your ears and the direct sound will effectively dominate the reverberant sound. I’d suggest doing this before converting your listening room into an anechoic chamber.

Kenjit, have you tried nearfield listening?

Duke
Or set up your system in the middle of a 40 acre treeless field.With a really long extension cord.

"I believe my invention.....". ".....which is an indication that my invention is not wrong." "My novel anechoic room technology is the key." 

So now he's claiming to have invented the anechoic chamber! By the way, I have read reports of what sound is like inside a chamber, and it is not what dipsh*t thinks it is.


"Most speaker companies don't even have an anechoic chamber. Therefore it is mostly sour grapes when you hear claims that it wouldn't sound good."

This coming from a guy who himself has never been in a chamber.


"my infinite baffle in wall speaker technology....."

My, my, my. Wow, just wow.


Um, isn’t that called headphones? 
Maybe this is just the manifestation of an affinity for well padded rooms. I wonder what the preferred listening attire might be. Perhaps something with long sleeves and extra buckles?
Anyone who thinks they would like the sound of music reproduced in an anechoic chamber is fooling themselves. Considering the OP, this is not an unexpected thread.

Oz



Audiophiles have had the proper tools to make ANY room perfect or close to it anyway since Ghandi was a Boy Scout. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. If it was easy everybody could do it. Having the entire building up on springs would be an excellent start but probably not feasible for 99.99% of the population. But you can still isolate everything in the room. Fortunately there’s a large toolbox of acoustic and other room tweaks including, but not limited to, tiny little bowl acoustic resonators, Helmholtz resonators, Mpingo discs, constrained layer dampers for walls and windows, RF devices for windows and unused wall outlets, Tube Traps, crystals, clever little clocks, Schumann frequency generators, Skyline diffusers. Don’t forget to fine tune speaker placement as you go along.

J. Edgar Hoover - I don’t go all the way.

Shirley Temple - I don’t go all the way either. 


I have never been in an anechoic chamber, so I don't know from first-hand experience what they sound like.  But, if you read about them, they sound terrible.  They are not designed to optimize playback of conventionally recorded music.  They are test/measurement instruments.  If recordings were engineered to sound their best in such a chamber, they would probably be closer to ideal than a conventional room, but, I don't think recording companies would design their products for rooms that cost many millions of dollars to build.

I've heard a few listening rooms that were designed by professional acoustic engineers, and what is notable is that listeners hearing these rooms had vastly different impressions of the rooms.  Rooms that were designed primarily to damp reflected energy (a room with walls and ceiling covered with sound damping) sounded particularly dead and sterile to me.  The same was true with "live-end, dead-end" rooms I've heard.  A friend has a room designed by RIves that relies heavily on diffusion, that I kind of liked (still a little to overdamped for my taste), but a couple of other friends found the room to be too cold and odd sounding.

I don't see why anyone would simply assume headphone listening is similar to listening to a speaker in an anechoic chamber.  Headphone listening is an entirely different experience.  For one thing, even in an anechoic chamber, direct sound from the left speaker will feed into the right ear (with a slight time delay from that hitting the left ear), and sound hitting the left side of the person's head will diffract around the person's head and feed into the right ear (with even more time delay).  
the perfect room has a bar in it. scientists and physicists all agree. also it has a massage chair in it. maybe some james bond pictures. a good color organ is nice. yup the perfect room to listen to music in.
My two reference system speakers were born in an Anechoic chamber - tuned to match the company standard - real engineering, real tools since 1977

Kenjit - now where did I put that 60x60 adjacent room ?????

Honey, I shrunk the house

GK nice Skyline reference:-)

A perfect room? For me it would be:
The room would be dedicated soley for listening to music. It would be 15x20 feet in size with 9-10ft ceilings. It would he be heavily furnished, with acoustic panels to absorb midrange and treble peaks from first point reflections. There will be a very thick pile carpet that covers up the entire middle section of the room right in front of the speakers.
The perfect room is floating in interstellar space. That way you have speakers to look at but no bothersome room reflections. If cost is a problem you can save money and make do with low Earth orbit. Either way I'm sure the sound will be out of this world.
For everyone interested in using science to get something practical, I'd like to recommend Floyd Tool's excellent book on the subject:

https://amzn.to/39QUyYH

Presented by the Audio Engineering Society, which is a group of people devoted to a science Kenjit has previously stated don't actually exist.

Best,

E
It's easy to create the perfect room.  It's just a matter of tuning the flux capacitors to 1.244 Jigahertz and placing them 41.7% away from the wall behind the speakers along each wall. 
Music is not produced in anechoic chambers.

The trick is to make your room and its acoustics work best for you not to try and eliminate room acoustics which is a big part of good sound. 




Music is not produced in anechoic chambers.
yes it is. Most of it is done in the studios using artificial effects and instruments. 
Studios are not anechoic chambers.  Also the end result of a studio recording is artificially mastered and produced. 

Listen to a Mercury Living Presence Recording.  Many of those are good examples of what live music in a live venue sounds like and you can't hear that without room acoustics.  

Sorry Kenjit your theory is dead wrong.   But I'm sure it will get you a lot of attention. 


I don’t mean to break anyone’s concentration but speaking of studios I heard through the grapevine Phil Collins is going to be making a new record and is back in the stu-stu-studio.
Using a room to add reverb will only work for one recording. 
The REAL intent in designing the "perfect room" is to get rid of ALL acoustic room interaction.  Nothing.  Nothing reflected, nothing that can vibrate or emit any sound. ONLY absorb and eliminate anything not coming passing directly from the speaker to the listener’s ears. Full anechoic chamber.  That way, the recording can be reproduced EXACTLY as it was recorded.  The introduction of room interaction interferes with that reproduction by putting the room’s fingerprint on EVERYTHING coming out of the speakers.  It is impossible to recreate the environment of Boston Symphony Hall if the man-cave room acoustics mask the subtle acoustic information on the recording.
kenjit said: " Using a room to add reverb will only work for one recording."

Now, which recording would that be?
Well first a truly perfect room is impossible. 
It seems to me,  that on an original recording,  there was mic placement in a certain size room,  small venue, concert hall, stadium or studio.  The recording picked up the nuances of the recording area.  Unless you can replicate the original area for playback that it was originally recorded then how can you have a perfect room.... Ok,  that's a bit off the wall, but not crazy..... I've had 2 excellent rooms.
1 was approximately 12x15,  the walls behind the speakers were lined with wool,  then we took unfaced fiberglass insulation and wrapped it in speaker cloth and hung it in rows over the wool.  The wall behind the listening area was 1/2 inch thick soft cork.  The floors were carpeted.... Excellent results in that room. 
The 2nd was a couple homes ago.  I had a 18 X 24 living room with 13 ft ceilings... Carpeted floors,  heavy drapes that covered much of the wall behind the system.  Speakers were 11 ft apart towed in about 30 degrees, ears were 11 ft from the bottom of the tweeter.  This room also gave me alot of pleasure and excellent results. 
Paradigm uses an anechoic chamber buy some of those they will make great homes for the squirrels that get in through the holes you left in your wall from the infinite idiot speakers.
If only anything were perfect. In your dreams maybe.

One can always run their imperfect speakers of choice outdoors well away from any walls and enjoy. Or at least find out what no room sounds like. I have actually done that in years past.

Easily done these days with bluetooth and streaming.

I have speakers out on my deck where there are no room acoustics attached to my main system via in wall wires so I can actually compare that to other speakers I have connected similarly in three different rooms.

How does that sound? Here’s a hint: Not perfect.




kenjit,

Thanks for sharing.
’The Kenjit’ strikes again... Betcha he thinks he’s the bees knees.

"You must have heard of me? I like to refer to myself as ’the kenjit’ - sooo smart. 'the kenjit’s' working on a theory that will, according to 'the kenjit', change stereo’s forever. Or was it time travel? Anyway, its a really clever idea. Wait, maybe 'the kenjit' had figured out how to prove the world is flat? Doesn’t matter, its really going to change things.’the kenjit’ - you’ve heard about me right?"

Infinidiot Baffled Speaker Designer

* * * * * * / *
* * the kenjit * * *
* / * * * * *
The perfect room = the one you are not in. 
Well on second thought you make my posts sound intelligent. So keep at it and we will pass the popcorn.
 
Post removed 
@jpwarren....(...thanks for the popcorn...*munch*...)

Lets' see....millercarbon suggests listening 'in interstellar space'....*FAIL*
The only thing you'd hear is coming through your helmet headphones, unless you had said helmet against the speakers themselves....which would sound like....well.  Speaker vibration through a insulated helmet...

Lots of eq, there...

The shockwave from a Disaster Area concert's finale might be heard....as the planet it's on is totally destroyed.  But I'd assume it'd be more from getting hit by shrapnel then sound.  And you'd be too occupied trying to survive, anyway....

"..20 HZ absorption ..." > "... would take a 20 metre thick wedge of high density fibreglass to supress this energy."
Fine....as long as there's a comfy seat carved into the tip of it, and it's upholstered in a fashion to keep the fibreglass from screwing into my skin...and it'd better be in a really bigaz room....

Holes in the wall, infilled by speakers...
It's going to be +/- 20 ish F. tonight....
Spouse would send me the papers to sign, finalizing our relationship.
Exterior wall would look like an old Fredrick's' catalog....

I used to have a bumper stick that said:

NOT INSANE

I've spent a certain amount of time and mental energy attempting to convince people that a statement from me about most things lives up to that....so....

NO.

I don't want to listen to anything in a very large room that looks like it's lined with what appears to be teeth of various sizes.... 
....it's bad enough when wearing headphones....

...spouse walks up, flapping her mouth....

(Point at ears covered with comfy isolation cups)

'Response' at that point can vary widely.....and I'm not referring to a 'musical interlude', no.....;) 
The perfect space that I have been able to contribute myself to, for listening to music,
is in a space that has a unlimited width x depth x height, where there have been approximately 150000 sound absorbing bodies, that are quite reactive to the delivery of the music.
The source of the music comes from a elevated platform and the music is delivered audibly through a elevated public address system.
My own personal view that one of the best sources to date delivering from the elevated platform is the Foo Fighters.

It was these very experiences that got me very involved with HiFi in my earliest days, and it is for sure these ongoing experiences that keep me keen on the interest today.

For me all other pursuits within the world of HiFi are a compromise, and there is not a HiFi system inclusive of devices, room, room treatments that will get one near to such a Euphoric and Indelible experience.       
A total lania with an unobstructed view of Back Door and Peter Warren's Brunhilda Double Bass.
I would think the room would sound completely dead.  If you hear a symphony in a music hall you are hearing sound bouncing off the walls to your years which in turn would create space and dimension.  I agree with the person who said this would sound like head phones.  I don't think you would be able to hear reverberation either.  I think a $10,000 speaker would sound like a $2,000 speaker.

They measure speaker frequencies in an anechoic chamber to get absolute frequencies.  I would want my room to sound like a test lab.

Nothing quite like hearing a sterile sound room.
I heard that you start to feel sick / strange after being in an anechoic chamber for 10 minutes... about 20 times longer than it takes to feel the same effects from trying to reason with “The Kenjit”
I stayed at a 5-Star hotel once, and that room was pretty fricken perfect.  Didn't even have to clean up after myself.

@geoffkait there has a jacuzzi too! 
If the goal of the room is not to add anything, what do we do with all chamber orchestras? They have been doing it wrong for centuries.
OK, I have been in an anechoic chamber, and trust me, you wouldn't like it. As for a real world room start with dimensions 1:1.6:2.6 or 8 X 12.8 X 20.8 ft.  Co stucted using modern acoustical isolation techniques & materials, These dimensions will generate the fewest overlapping Eigentones. From there, a serious acoustical treatment package would be followed by a consult from a decorator, to include some Eames chairs, lighting, and a backwall storage facility for media. Now, as for the system...