The bass traps are very important to up the game of home theater acoustics and experience. But there are many questions about it to be answered. The question I am going to answer today is. Do you need bass traps in every corner?
The bass traps are recommended in every corner because that’s the area where the bass frequencies build up. But if you are short on your budget or don’t want the hustle of installation, then you can install them only in those corners where the bass is stronger, and it will still be ok.
Keep reading to know how deep, wide, and high should the bass traps be for the optimal experience. You will also know to install them in which corners if you don’t want them in every corner. Finally, I will answer some of the most asked questions related to this topic.
When do you need bass traps in every corner?
If you are very serious about sound and your ears can detect very small changes in the sound. Then you need to install bass traps in every corner.
I can detect very small changes in the sound because I have tested many speakers and many rooms with different acoustic natures. I have tested them because I run a home theater business.
My ears are well-informed about all the changes that can happen to sound natural and why that happens. That’s why a person like me definitely needs bass traps in every corner of the room.
But if you are a guy that can enjoy a home theater system without a subwoofer, then you might not need bass traps at all.
Keep reading to know which are the two conditions in which you can compromise on the bass traps.
Read here to know how to soundproof your home theater. I have talked in this guide about how to block outside noises coming into the room and inside voices going out.
When you don’t need bass traps in every corner?
If you are short on budget or don’t want the hustle that comes with its installation. Then you don’t need bass traps in every corner of the room. You can install them in a few of the corners where the bass is stronger.
Or If you are a person that can’t tell the difference between the dual vs single subwoofer sound. Then you need bass traps in a few corners of the room only.
Or if you are a person that can enjoy movies on a stereo setup. In Short, if you are a new or intermediate home theater enthusiast.
How to identify in which corners to install them?
You can do this with the help of your ear but for precision, you have to do it with an SPL meter.
1# First with the ear only. Start sending the test tones to the subwoofer. You can send these tones from the receiver’s sound settings. Now, stand at each corner of the room or walk between these corners and identify those corners where you feel the tone stronger. Follow this step only when you believe your ears.
2# With an SPL meter. Again, start sending test tones to the subwoofer. Install the bass traps in those corners where the SPL meter shows the greater decibels. Read this guide about the best SPL meters. I have reviewed the top 3.
Now, let’s discuss how deep, wide, and high the bass traps should be for the best sound experience.
How to cover the corners the right way?
Let’s discuss the width, depth, and height of the acoustic panels in this section. From a height, I mean how much to cover the corner from top to bottom.
I have divided this section into two steps.
Should corner bass traps be floor-to-ceiling?
The corner should be filled with bass traps from the floor to the ceiling. There should be no spot left between these two points.
You need to absorb all the bass sound rays that are coming to the corner. In this way, you can prevent a maximum amount of frequency build-up.
How thick and wide should the bass traps be?
The bass trap should be 4-6 inches thick and should be wide enough that it can cover the corner 4 inches from the center to the sides. Both sides should be covered at least 4 inches.
The thicker the bass trap, the better it is. I will recommend going for a 6 inches thick bass trap that can go deep in the corners.
The sides of the corners should be 4 inches from the center. But I will recommend 5 inches.
Make sure the bass trap creates a fine triangle in the corners. The triangle should not have an elongated tip or bottom.
Again, more thickness is better. If your budget allows it, then go for thicker. Because thick bass traps absorb a lot of the bass frequencies. But if you are short on budget, then 4 inches of thickness is ok.
Read this to know where to install acoustic panels in the home theater. I have provided a simple method to do it.
How many bass traps do you need in a room?
You need 40 bass traps if you have a standard American residential height room of 3 meters. A typical bass trap has 12 inches in height and 3 meters has 118.11 inches in them. In this way, you need 36-40 bass traps to cover four corners of the room.
If your room follows the standard American residential room height then you need 40 bass traps, but if your room height is different. Then divide the height of your room (in inches) by 12 inches, and you will get a value. That value will represent the number of bass traps that can cover one corner.
Now, multiply the number of bass traps that can cover one corner by 4, and you get a value for the total number of bass traps that can be used for one room that has four corners and is not designed to be weird.
This was my opinion. Read more about it from this AVsforum discussion thread.
How deep does a bass trap have to be?
The bass traps should be deep and wide enough that they can create a fine triangle. If the bass trap width is 5 inches on each side of the corner, then it should be 5 inches deep. Well, it is not a standard you can compromise on the width but not on the depth.
Don’t force on creating a fine triangle between the width and depth of the bass traps. You should focus more on the thickness or the depth of the bass trap. You can make the width of the bass traps shorter if it helps you, but the thickness should be more for a better experience.