We all love a good movie at home, on the couch with a bag of Doritos and a 2litre bottle of coke. For a small minority of people, the 40” LCD in the front room just doesn’t cut it. And it’s these people that generally have an obsessive compulsive disorder for audio and visual – otherwise known as ‘audiophile’.
This rare breed strive for absolute perfection in their home cinema, and are willing to fork out the cash in their search. With a boast worthy home cinema costing upwards of a million and practically no limit in terms of how much you could spend.
But like anything in the technology sector, the equipment is advancing at a tremendous rate on a daily basis. And as the equipment advances, quality becomes more readily available and accessible to the general public, which is no different for home cinema audio.
The technology leap we are talking about specifically is the need for an acoustic treated cinema room. Historically, the main downfall of any given home cinema room – has been the room itself, and for anyone who has purchased a home cinema in the past, you will know first-hand the headache that goes into designing one.
It’s not just about speaker positioning, there are numerous factors to consider such as; materials in the room, dimensions, décor and basic construction. Meaning that it can (in some cases) be less hassle to build a room for a home cinema, rather than building the cinema around the room… with consequently disastrous results. Even the top of the range audio systems can sound dull and pathetic in the wrong room, considering you may have just spent 60k on this new system it’s incredibly important that you get the right advice and instructions first time round.
Now a new age of audio systems has enveloped the audiophile community, the equipment is no longer ‘only as good as the room it’s in’. The speakers actually adjust to the room they are in.
Allowing high definition sound to pass through unaltered, and maximising the full potential of the amplifier by ensuring that the signal path remains entirely in the digital domain.
In simple terms, these speakers will perform to the absolute maximum potential whatever room you are in by assessing and adjusting their own acoustics.
Not only do these systems hold incredible potential for the home cinema industry, but they also spark innovative creations and new thinking when it comes to home cinema design.
Maybe this is an extreme example of how digitally altered acoustics can open the doors to radical and jaw dropping home cinema design. Nevertheless, the point made is that now you ‘can’ have truly accurate sound in your untreated living room, without the noise and distortion typical in analogue sound systems.
What does this mean for acoustic treated rooms? I don’t expect the industry to die out anytime soon. What I think we will see is – a gradual increase in amazing home cinema experiences from the living room. Like how the IPhone has knocked down the boarders between internet and phone, new sound systems will slowly erode the limitations between cinema experiences and home entertainment.