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If left untreated, a room’s acoustic issues can have a major effect on your hi-fi’s sound. Huw Price identifies and explains some common problems, such as comb filtering, standing waves and flutter echoes…



Stereo images are conjured up by differences in intensity between sounds, achieved by using pan controls during the mixing process
All images iStock

When reading reviews in hi-fi… magazines – and studiorecording publications for that matter – it can offen seem odd that room acoustics are disregarded. Think about it for a second – some rooms have a lively and bright sound, while others sound darker and deader. It’s one reason why you might feel more inspired to sing in your bathroom than a walk-in closet.

So it stands to reason that the acoustic characteristics of a room will have a strong in uence on the way any hi-fi system sounds, because it affects both frequency response and stereo imaging. You may even find that ‘upgrading’ a system can make it sound worse, if fundamental acoustic issues aren’t dealt with.

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