Off the Wall – Acoustic Treatments
Acoustic treatments don’t need to be bland to make your sound stand out. In the past, acoustic panels were primarily utilitarian. They could absorb and diffuse sound, but they did little to reinforce your room’s style. Thankfully, times have changed. Now companies offer practical acoustic panels in stylish and up-to-date colors and fabrics; some even incorporate patterns and lighting. Since you’re no longer doomed to using big black rectangles, it’s time to add a splash of color or design to your walls and ceilings with the latest acoustic panels. Acoustic treatments don’t need to be eyesores in your beautiful home theater.
THE CONDUCTOR (pictured above)
Acoustic Innovations Maestro Acoustic Panels ($1,100-$1,700)
Acoustic Innovations’ fittingly named Maestro acoustic panels combine elegant style with functionality. The Maestro panels promise to help eliminate distracting audio issues, like sound reflection, and they are said to increase dialogue intelligibility and overall clarity. Acoustic Innovations designed the 2-inch thick panels with genuine wood frames, so you know you’re getting the real deal. Additionally, each Maestro acoustic panel comes in a two-piece system for ultimate flexibility. The panels are available in sizes that range from 24 to 42 inches in width and varying heights. For a sophisticated home theater experience, Acoustic Innovations Maestro panels are worth a look.
WARM AND FUZZY
Auralex SonoSuede HT Acoustic Panels ($1,399 per kit)
One of the most well known companies in the acoustic treatment business, Auralex offers a number of acoustic panels that fit your needs and sense of style. The SonoSuede HT line provides a warm, elegant look that will spice up your home theater in an instant. Made with synthetic suede, the SonoSuede HT panels come with innovative mounting blocks that space the panels off the wall, so that your low-frequency absorption will improve. But despite its improvements in technology, Auralex doesn’t ignore your sense of style, either. You can special-order each synthetic suede panel in a rainbow of colors, like Rust, Light Blue, Yellow, and Green.
Audiotec Sound Panel Acoustic Panels ($35 to $190 each)
The control freak in you will rejoice with Audiotec’s acoustic panels. Audiotec, a division of Soundcoat, offers a number of custom options that transcend traditional acoustic-treatment design. Audiotec can custom-cut each panel to the exact specifications you need, so you won’t have to worry about unusual sizes or shapes. Additionally, the panels can include custom edges to match your crown molding or be custom painted to blend in perfectly with your design. For peace of mind, the Sound Panel acoustic treatments are class A rated for flammability resistance. Audiotec’s Sound Panel acoustic treatments are only available through distributors like Innovative Sound Solutions.
Ready Acoustics Chameleon C2 Acoustic Panels (from $140 each)
If you think acoustic panels are out of your budget, impossible to install, or unappealing to look at, Ready Acoustics may change your mind. The company’s Chameleon C2 acoustic panels combine great technology with user-friendliness for an unexpected combination. Ready Acoustics says that you’ll be able to install the panels into your home in less than one minute with its no-tools, easy-to-hang hardware. The Chameleon C2 also offers 52 frame and fabric combinations, provides a 2-inch depth for ultimate concealment, and has an absorption range of 250 hertz to 20 kilohertz. Acoustic treatments just became much more accessible.
ATS Acoustics Acoustic Panels ($29 each)
Appearances aren’t everything, but they’re certainly important when it comes to your home theater. ATS Acoustics’ series of acoustic panels uses designer fabrics to make your home theater look stylish, while it still capitalizes on your great sound. With a range of fun, artistic patterns, these panels make a statement that your guests will remember long after they leave. Additionally, each is designed to cut down on harsh echoes and ringing sounds that reverberate from your walls. The panels can be used as design accents with similar colored panels or installed by themselves for a striking and unique look.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Auralex SonoLux ELiTE Fiber Optic Acoustic Panels ($1,900 to $3,000 each)
When you want to wow your guests, Auralex’s new ELiTE Fiber Optic acoustic panels add innovative design to the company’s popular ProPanels series. Auralex teamed up with iSky to create a one-of-a-kind experience in acoustic treatments. Each ELiTE Fiber Optic acoustic panel is lit with iSky’s signature Star Engine lighting effects, which brings the night sky to life in your home theater. Along with the panels’ consistent sound quality, the low light and glimmer of the stars on each panel’s midnight blue background will make your movie-watching experience truly magical.
MSR Salon Acoustics Acoustic Panels ($369 to $1,279 each)
No one will guess that the high-quality art piece on your wall is an efficiently designed acoustic panel. But that’s exactly what MSR sets out to do with its Salon Acoustics acoustic panels. Each offers high-quality absorbers and diffusers in an artwork-inspired design. Salon Acoustics panels are available with 100 different images and 10 frame choices, so you’ll have a variety of options to choose from. Plus, with its customization option, you can even design one with your own artwork or photograph. The panels implement a special fabric printing process, so your art looks great while it absorbs sound down to 500 Hz and removes reflections and echoes. www.www.msr-inc.com