Terrible Reasons for Buying (or Not Buying) Acoustic Panels
We can not stress enough the importance of your room in how things sound. If you’ve ever been in an empty gym, and most of us have, you know that the room can have a huge effect. While you may think your house is immune to these effects, you are very, very wrong. It is not hyperbole to say that your room contributes half of what you hear in your room. Can’t understand the dialogue from your TV? That’s probably your room. Bass is boomy or non-existent? Again, it is your room. And the number one way to fix these room problems? Adding room treatments. But people have so many reasons, all of them terrible, for not buying acoustic panels.
They Do Not Believe
A lot of people don’t “believe” in acoustic panels. If they are looking for others to confirm that acoustic panels are unnecessary, there are whole communities of audiophiles that will agree with them. The thing about science is that it works even if you don’t believe in it.
In my many years in this industry, I’ve never experienced a person that put up acoustic panels and thought that they didn’t make a difference. Not only that, I’ve never met anyone that didn’t think they made a BIG difference. Going from an untreated room to one with acoustic panels properly placed is the equivalent of going from TV speakers to a full surround setup. Or adding your first subwoofer. The difference is easily noticeable and massive.
Of all the terrible reasons for not buying acoustic panels, refusing to believe in the science behind them is one of the most egregious.
The number one terrible reason given for not buying acoustic panels is aesthetics. The room is usually multipurpose, and they have it the way they like it. Now, many people will blame their spouse. They’ll say that they had to fight hard just to get speakers in a room. Acoustic panels? It’s a non-starter.
I don’t believe them. At least, not all of them.
These people blame their spouses, but it is really them that needs convincing. Once they are convinced, there are lots of ways to integrate acoustic panels into nearly any room. Sure, most acoustic panels are black boxes, but that no longer has to be the case. Nearly every retailer of acoustic panels offers multiple color options. You are no longer stuck with uniform shapes and colors. Many retailers will customize the shape, size, and color to your exact needs. Aesthetics once may have been a consideration, but now it is nothing but a terrible reason to not buy acoustic panels.
Boxes On the Walls? No Way!
“Fine,” you say, “the boxes don’t have to be black. But I still don’t want boxes on my wall full stop!”
Is that so? You don’t want anything on your wall? In just about every home renovation show they paint “accent colors” on walls but you don’t want boxes? Fine. Do you want movie posters or art?
You do? Well, those too can be acoustic panels!
Movie posters are popular decorations for home theaters, and rightfully so. They look perfect on the walls and set the mood. But, if you are going to put them on your walls, might as well make them acoustic panels. It isn’t hard if you follow a few guidelines and you don’t even have to make them yourself (which was the case not that long ago).
If your room is multipurpose, and you don’t want movie posters, you can turn your art into acoustic panels. If it is an original piece (like family photos), you can have them printed onto acoustic panels. But if you just want some art, there are tons of free images out there that you can download and use. As long as you don’t sell it as your own, you can print as many as you want. They are a little more expensive than normal panels, but if you are looking for something to blend into your decor, art has to be it.
When all else fails, people will give price as their terrible reason to not buy acoustic panels. They contact a company and get quoted a price in the thousands for a room treatment “package.” Never mind that they don’t want or need everything they recommend. If you ask a company for what they think you should buy, they’ll say, “All of it.”
There are a lot of things that can make your room sound better, and you should do all of them. Adding absorption panels will make a huge difference, but that doesn’t mean you need to cover your walls in panels. Panels at the corners, some on the walls, and you’ll notice a difference.
Most importantly, you don’t have to pay others to make them for you. Our DIY guide is easy and cost-effective. But if the thought of holding a hammer causes you to break out into cold sweats, you can buy one of AcoustiMAC’s DIY Kits. These kits are not so much DIY as “some assembly required.” If you’ve managed to put together anything from IKEA, you should be fine assembling one of these. These will run you about $50 a pop. In a basic setup, you’ll need about six to start. You were probably just fine spending way more than that to upgrade your speakers to get better sound. Upgrading your room will get you that better sound for a fraction of the cost.
Got Some Suggestions?
Do you have favorite terrible reasons people give for not buying acoustic panels? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be happy to include them in future articles. Until then, happy shopping!