What is the role of SH Acoustics in a typical home theater project?

Our consulting team engineers every aspect of a Theater’s natural sound and its ability to support and enhance the quality of any audio system. Our acoustic designs, when properly executed, ensure our Clients that the quality of their Theater’s audio is optimized and, when desirable, that even the loudest sounds will be contained from the rest of the home.

I have a great audio system with expensive loudspeakers; why should I care about the acoustics of my media room?

Any room, good or bad, will alter the sound of a loudspeaker before it reaches a listener’s ears. A room without some level of acoustical treatment will negatively affect spatial imaging, dialog intelligibilty, frequency response, dynamic range and more. In other words, bad acoustics can make an expensive speaker system sound like one a fraction of its actual cost.

How will acoustically treating my room help me if I don’t consider myself to be an audiophile?

Most people who say they “aren’t an audiophile” or “can’t hear a difference” between a treated and untreated room probably haven’t had the experience of listening to a great audio system in a well-designed acoustic space. We are thrilled to have shown countless numbers of people over the last decade just how well they actually can hear the difference!

Why can’t my audio-video dealer take care of all of the acoustics for me?

Maybe they can take care of it, but the question is – how well? Acoustic design is almost never a primary service that an audio-video dealer offers, so one can’t expect them to have the same level of knowledge, resources and experience as a design and engineering firm solely specializing in all aspects of acoustics and noise control. We pride ourselves on our ability to work and coordinate extremely well with dealers who appreciate the unique level of expertise we bring their clients.

If you provide me with a top-notch design for my room, why do I need to involve you in the construction phase as well?

Even the best design can be poorly implemented by a contracting team. Most of the time, this has nothing to do with the general quality of the contractors, but rather a lack of experience executing acoustic design details or changing field conditions that require critical judgment calls to preserve the acoustic quality. With our involvement during the construction of a Theater, we are able to truly provide the support necessary to ensure that all acoustic details are properly implemented.

My current house is so noisy! Is there anything that can be done?

Absolutely! Any acoustic or noise issue in a home or apartment can be properly evaluated and a solution engineered to reduce or eliminate the problem.

What degree of isolation can be achieved with your design services?

Anything from a modest improvement to complete sound containment can be achieved. Since our primary business is not selling materials, we develop solutions that give our clients only the degree of improvement they are seeking – no more, no less. Physical limitations of a space as well as available budget may also affect the potential improvement.

I hear my neighbors upstairs stomping around all the time is there anything SH Acoustics can do to help me?

Yes, the amount of footfall noise that travels to an apartment below depends highly on the nature of the floor structure above. Believe it or not, footsteps can often be heard even through concrete slabs. We can determine exactly what improvements to your ceiling would be necessary to reduce the noise and vibration infiltrating your apartment..

I live near a busy road and hear traffic noise at night even when my windows are closed; what can be done to help reduce how much outside noise comes into my home?

This is a common concern for owners of both suburban homes and urban apartments as people try to achieve more serenity in their lives. We can measure the acoustic performance of a home’s facade – i.e. outside walls, windows and doors – and determine the exact improvements that need to be made to block out most or all exterior noise.

Our neighbors make way too much noise! Can SHA help determine if they are in violation of our local noise codes?

Yes, we are experienced in the standardized acoustic testing required to determine whether a neighbor complies with all noise regulations governing the specific location. We have helped clients achieve satisfaction against annoying noise in a wide variety of environments ranging from small towns to major cities.

Who are SH Acoustics typical commercial or institutional clients?

The staff of SH Acoustics has extensive background in a wide variety of building and space types, including: performing arts, houses of worship, recording studios, corporate offices, educational buildings and much more. We are most known, though, for our work in museums, exhibition galleries and other venues containing multimedia experiences.

What makes your services in museums and themed entertainment so unique?

Our success in these areas is based on a combination of an unbridled passion for achieving high quality and control of sound, technical creativity, and an understanding of how museums function and how visitors interact within them. We also have developed successful processes of working with, not just architects and exhibit designers, but also media producers, systems integrators and exhibit fabricators to ensure a coordinated, functional end result.

What types of rooms are most appropriate for live music practice/performance?

This depends on the style(s) of music that you or children will play. Rooms with sound-absorbing surfaces will sound better for amplified and loud acoustic instruments, while those with harder, more sound-reflective surfaces will sound better for voice and other acoustic instruments.

What is the most common problem with residential spaces when it comes to playing live music, and how can it be fixed?

Most materials from which common homes are constructed – drywall, carpet, hardwood flooring, etc. – absorb sound unevenly. Some only absorb low frequencies while others mainly absorb higher-pitched sounds. Putting them all together in a typical room often ends up with the sound being very unbalanced. SHA can determine exactly what needs to be added or changed to the room to allow your instrument or voice to sound smooth and balanced throughout the space.

Can you do anything to help make outdoor live performances sound better?

This, again, depends on what type of music you want to present. For intimate, acoustic music, we can design permament or portable canopies that help improve hearing between musicians and project sound out to the audience in a natural, even manner. For amplified music, we can design very high quality and compact sound systems that will ensure great entertainment without looking obtrusive.

My son plays in a band, is there any way to not have to hear it throughout the rest of the house?

Great Rooms are not typically contained spaces and, while acoustically treating the room can help reduce sound level, it is much more effective to plan to have a band rehearse in a room that can be fully contained with acoustically-improved walls, ceilings and doors.