Is a very big listening room as bad as a very small one?

Sep 11, 2016
87
39
18
Istanbul
#1
Dear & fellow forum members,

I researched about ideal room dimensions and acoustic treatments about building a new listening room in the forum and I have plenty of information about these two subjects.

One thing I couldn't find out is the IDEAL ROOM SIZE for a full range speaker system in terms of SIZE not ratios of sides. All I could find is the ideal ratio of length x width x height of the room.

But what is the size of the perfect listening room keeping the ratios constant? I know an ideal size of the room also depends on the speaker but let's keep that constant too. A full range speaker like Wilson Alexx, Alexia or Magico S7.

I can build a room as big as 33W x 46L x 16H (feet) within the ideal ratio but is it too big for a standard full range speaker experience?

Should I restrict the room size and make it smaller to achieve more sound pressure in the room?

Is a very big room as bad as a very small room?

I don't want to end up having the perfect listening room in terms of ratios and acoustic treatment but ending up Alexias playing like a bookshelf. :D

I am exaggerating of course but I believe there is truth to what I am saying.

I will be grateful if you can share your wisdom about this subject with me.

Love and respect,

Cagdas
 
Last edited:
Jan 29, 2014
983
1
0
Cape Town South Africa
#2
I say go big but not ridiculously so.. you have to bear in mind the cost of building/treating/decorating a big room is very high cos of the areas involved...
5-800 sq ft is probably ideal... the 1500 you envision (33x46) is a humungous room.

I have a 500sq (26x19)ft room for my Giya G1 spirits , Its pretty good due to the fact that the speakers are not near any walls and thus there is no early reflection problem..My speakers deliver a sense of grandeur and majesty in the room and pressurise it big time. My only bugbear is that my ceiling at just over 9 ft is a little too low
 
Sep 11, 2016
87
39
18
Istanbul
#3
Thank you for the reply Rodney. Your room looks very very pretty.

Your 800sq feet advice seems solid.

I have only one shot for this so I am welcome to all kinds of ideas.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
475
231
43
Cologne, Germany
#4
The possible size of the room depends you your speaker system and your listening distance. Depending on your speaker, you will loose nearly 3db SPL per meter distance, so 10m distance can end up in 30db lost of SPL. If your speaker makes a max of 105db SPL (which is normal for many), you will have on your listening position only 75db max SPL. My home cinema has 12m and we stay at the bar, the speakers are like 10m away, many standard speakers have a real problem to make this distance .

Some Speakers are designed for large distances, for instance man Horn Speakers.

If we are talking the width of the room, I would say, cannot be enough , as you avoid side reflections.

My personal listening room is around 60sqm and is 3,1m high. There are nearly no parallel walls, but unfortunately a lot of windows, so planar speakers so not work properly.

I like rooms between 50 and 100 sqm, as you can sit close enough, without damaging the room harmony and the room is big enough for some bass.

If the rooms are bigger than 100 sqm, mostly the listening distance is getting too big and you need to look for speakers which can make that in tonal balance and time.

I added a picture of my room (still with Zingali, the hORNS will arrive tomorrow) , you can see that 60sqm will get "small" very fast, if you have some big footprint gear, like the CAT JL3 .



IMG_7080.jpg
 
Sep 11, 2016
87
39
18
Istanbul
#5
Shakti wow! Your room also looks amazing.

What are your room dimensions if I may ask? I know it's 60m2 but...

I am also looking to get into horns or hybrid-horn designs so maybe I should lean on the longish room.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
475
231
43
Cologne, Germany
#6
Room dimensions are 8.5m l x 7.1m w in average, as the walls are not parallel.

speakers are having min 2.5m to any wall.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,427
1,369
113
London
#7
Long rooms are fantastic for horns as you can get music everywhere, whether at 5 ft or 50. It just flows.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
475
231
43
Cologne, Germany
#8
fully agree, standard speakers do fail mostly on my 10m listening distance in the home cinema,
but if Horns do play there, I can even open the door and sit in the garden with enjoyable Music!
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
1,845
235
63
Sydney
#9
Shaki. your room looks amazing. so comfortable, yet nice and large.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,872
1,588
113
Bangkok
#10
Shaki. your room looks amazing. so comfortable, yet nice and large.
Totally agree. The Universum will blend in nicely too.

Tang
 
Jan 29, 2014
983
1
0
Cape Town South Africa
#11
Thats quite a room and gear you got there shaki.....

You get a -6db loss of spl with the doubling of distance .. so at 8m you lose 18db of spl compared to 1m ( 6db at 2m , 12 db at 4 and 18db at 8m) .. you also get a greater drop in treble with increased distance on top of just the SPL loss ...

If for eg , your speakers are 90db efficient at 1 w , you need around 64 W to get to the same 90 db SPL at 8m..listening at a max of 100db (pretty loud) with those speakers you would need around 2000w of amp power at 8m....

I wouldnt be listening to speakers at anything more than 8m distance anyway .. I listen at about 5m

Some pics of my room in this thread , with my old G1s not my current Giya G1 Spirits

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...n-Wood-Floor-and-Walls-of-Brown-Wood-Paneling
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,579
688
113
#12
unless you plan on Genesis 1.2's (or the Dragon version) where you need a back wave distance of 8-10 feet, i'd keep it under 10-11 meters (30-35 feet) long X 7-8 meters (20-25 feet) wide.

otherwise you will always need lots of driver surface and amplification to even approach loading the room and finding intimacy. the speakers will never 'hook up'. getting a balance with all types of music will be difficult and expensive.

my room is 29' x 21' x 11'. and it's a challenge to energize it and really appreciates my 2000 watts on each bass tower + 550 watts into 8 ohms on each of the main passive towers. my walls and structure is very stout, so it does present strong boundaries for the bass which is also a factor in a large room. I have zero glass to worry about or alcoves or other issues. my room is oval shaped with no 90 degree corners. and I have lots of driver surface and really efficient (97db 7 ohm) speakers. so an easy load for my power amplifiers. the music has plenty of dynamic headroom and there are many times it matters in the musical engagement and ease.

large rooms have great upsides but really put it on the user to bring the effort.
 

shakti

Active Member
May 9, 2015
475
231
43
Cologne, Germany
#13
@Rodney
The Universum III as as standard 100db. But the Horn section can go up to 106db and can be adjusted, so on long distance you might add some energy to the higher frequencies. I like 5 to 6m listening distance or 2 to 3m distance . Depending on the speaker concept. Currently it is mostly between 5 and 5.5m , my sofa is easy to adjust. My CAT will give around 200w into them, so 100db SPL in 5m distance will be no problem :eek:

A couple of years ago, I had the Giya too, in silver. Room was 45sqm, that was very nice too, I like the Giya !

Do you know 13Hof in Cape Town? The owner Achim Spelling is a friend of mine.
We shared a flat in the wild Berlin times. And now we still have a very similar understanding of creating a listening room experience

http://13hof.co.za
 
Sep 11, 2016
87
39
18
Istanbul
#14
Thanks Mike. Great info.

My height is 4-4.5 meters (nearly 13-14 feet).

My limit for width is 9 meters (29,5 feet) so from what I hear from you this might be too wide. I can make it 8 meters. I don't want to get it smaller since I can use some space on sides for electronics and media and make speakers breath more.

For length of the room my limit is 14 meters (46 feet). I wanted the extra length to maybe put a pool table etc. but from what you wrote I understand that this is too long. I am not rich enough to cover for mega amps or giant speakers so I need to make it shorter. Or make it 14 but then have a wall on 10 to make the actual listening area smaller.

Thanks again everybody for these great advices. This is a great place with great people.

Best.
 
Oct 30, 2017
499
1
18
USA
#15
With the flexibility you have, I strongly recommend getting a good acoustician to model your room. Mine decided all dimensions, dictated listing spot, speaker location, and all treatment location and type based on frequency. These things are all highly linked together and critical to the experience. I have a soundstage far wider and deeper than the room and spooky real. I view this as the most critical system decision.
 
Sep 11, 2016
87
39
18
Istanbul
#16
With the flexibility you have, I strongly recommend getting a good acoustician to model your room. Mine decided all dimensions, dictated listing spot, speaker location, and all treatment location and type based on frequency. These things are all highly linked together and critical to the experience. I have a soundstage far wider and deeper than the room and spooky real. I view this as the most critical system decision.
Thanks Paul. You are correct to point out to a good acoustician but unfortunately I don't know if there is an acoustician specialized in hi-end stereo audio in my country.

I know and even friends with a couple of great acousticians but they are building recording studios and av systems all the time. I happen to get a couple of advices from them from time to time and they all ended up bad. The room became dead most of the time. It is magic to create an intimate sounding system and I think you need a very focused acoustician on this particular field.

It is a great investment for me and I don't know any acoustician that I can trust for hi-end stereo so I am trying to learn myself first and then monitor the acoustician that I will hire.
 
Jan 29, 2014
983
1
0
Cape Town South Africa
#17
Do you know 13Hof in Cape Town? The owner Achim Spelling is a friend of mine.
We shared a flat in the wild Berlin times. And now we still have a very similar understanding of creating a listening room experience

http://13hof.co.za
I know him very well , been and listened to all sorts of exotica at 13hof and his new loft..the Trios and 6 basshorns were amazing at booth venues...
 
Jun 5, 2010
863
18
18
#18
Parkcaka,

With the flexibility you enjoy, why not pick a full range speaker whose designer is willing to work with you to customize a listening room for you?
 

MtnHam

Industry Expert
Jan 13, 2014
227
13
18
Nothern California Wine Country
#19
"Is a very big listening room as bad as a very small one?"

Is a concert hall too big for a small instrument like a violin to sound good?
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
4,522
356
83
Greater Boston
#20
"Is a very big listening room as bad as a very small one?"

Is a concert hall too big for a small instrument like a violin to sound good?
I'd very much prefer to hear a string quartet in a chamber music hall rather than in a grand symphony hall.
 

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