You can learn a lot about audio reproduction by being perpetually disappointed.

In my quest to build a home theater that is not only enjoyable, but accurate, I’ve learned a few things along the way.

1. You don’t listen to your speakers as much as you listen to the room.  If your room has poor dimensions you’ll be in for a world of hurt.  If your room is smaller than 1,500 cubic feet, you’ll be in for a world of hurt.  If your room checks both of those boxes…you’re going to be very disappointed indeed.

2. Small rooms need considerable bass trapping and acoustic paneling–but overdoing it will result in a “dead” room.  Reflectors and diffusers are beneficial, but ultimately poor performers in small rooms.

3. Multiple subwoofers are the only realistic solution to overcoming poor bass response in small rooms.  Extensive research has been performed, and 4 subs in all the corners, or 4 subs at each mid-wall are the best solution.

4.  You need to align delays and phase for all subs.  You should present any subwoofer signals as a unified response to any downstream EQ solutions.

5. Multi Sub Optimizer shows great potential to address less than ideal bass response.

6. Dirac Live works differently than Audessey, and by most accounts is now superior.  NAD has an affordable unit with it built in.

7. After all this is complete you need to adjust your crossovers, and potentially delay the entire sub group to achieve a cleaner splice.

That’s the short-list of what’s required to enjoy music/film in a problematic room.  I never dreamed it would be this much work…