The room acoustics treatment is necessary for any home theater because we want the sound to be error-free and flawless. That’s why we focus a lot on the room acoustics. Today I got this question in my inbox about acoustics. How do Bass traps work and do you need them?
At A Glance: Bass Traps absorb bass energy and stop it from over-traveling and reverberating in the room, and you need them in every type of home theater where you want the bass to sound richer and more natural.
Keep reading to know the principle of bass sound movement in the home theater. Also, you will know how the bass sounds without them and in which size & type of rooms you need them. I will answer some of the most asked questions related to this topic at the end of this article.
What is the bass sound, and how does it travel in the room?
The bass sound is at the lowest end of the sound frequency spectrum. These rays of sound are more energetic than other frequencies.
If these rays are not kept in check, they can travel further in the room. This led to reverberation and build-up at the corner of the rooms.
The build-up and reverberation give birth to exaggerated and unnatural bass. This phenomenon can be tackled either by installing bass traps or installing more than one subwoofer. The dual or more subwoofers will lower the reverberation, but will not finish it overall. Read this guide. Do you need dual subwoofers? I have talked in detail about it.
The bass sound is responsible for the realistic touch in the movies and music. The punching, shooting of guns, and all other sounds need help from the subwoofer to feel realistic. These sounds need natural bass to go with them. After that, these sounds feel real.
Realism is the aim for which the home theater is invented. Now, just think about what will be the experience of the home theater if it can’t fulfill the core aim.
That’s why we need to take care of these bass sound frequencies.
Keep reading to know how bass traps work.
How do Bass Traps work, and how will bass sound without them?
The bass traps absorb the excessive energy of the bass sound. In this way, it prevents it from moving around the room.
The work of any sound, including bass, is that it should hit our ears and deliver the message. It should be stopped from further moving around the room.
Every type of sound travels and reverberates all around the room. For all those sounds we need to install acoustic panels to stop their reverberation, but to stop bass reverberation we need bass traps. Read this guide. Where to install the acoustic panel? I have also talked about how it affects the sound.
These bass traps go straight to the corners of the room. At the corner, the bass frequencies come from two sides of the wall and build-ups there. There they plan a conspiracy against you. LOL, just kidding. They didn’t plan a conspiracy, this was just a joke.
But they build up there for sure. These bass traps absorb their energy and build up in the corners. In this way, the bass has delivered its job of hitting your ears, and now they will don’t overtime their job.
How will bass sound without bass traps? In many movies and music, the bass will sound distorted, and you will hear little roughness at the end of the bass sound when the bass traps are not installed.
The bass traps will smooth the edges of the bass, and it will sound natural and richer. It will sound the same way that producers of the music and movies want you to feel.
Keep reading to know in which room sizes and types you need them
Do you need bass traps and in which type/size of home theater rooms?
You need bass traps in every type and size of home theater, but you need them more in small size to medium size of home theaters.
Because in smaller and medium home theaters, the bass buildup tends to be bigger than the large rooms.
Also, in these sizes of rooms, the bass travels a lot in them because the bass has more energy than the size of the room.
That’s why when reaching your ears, they still travel all over the room. Don’t misunderstand my point. You need the bass traps in the large room too, but as the room size quizzes the more badly you need bass traps in them.
In large rooms, the whole energy is consumed by filling the room and that’s why they don’t have much energy left to travel in the room furthermore after their job is done. Their job is to fill the room.
In a large room, the bass reverberation is low, but the build-up remains the same. But again the reverberation is low and has not completely vanished. That’s why you need bass traps in large rooms, too.
Final verdict: You must have bass traps installed in a small room and you need them in a medium room and you have to install them in larger rooms. You can install bass traps only in those corners where the bass is stronger when the room is large.
I hope you have spotted the difference in the above statement. To make it clear. The need for bass traps is greater when the size of the room shrinks.
There is another question to be answered. Do you need bass traps in every corner? I have also talked about the ideal thickness, width, and height of the bass traps in this guide.
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Do bass traps increase or reduce bass?
Bass traps never increase or reduce the bass, but it filters out the excess energy from the bass frequencies so they can only travel to the audience’s ears and not roam around, reverberate, and build up with upcoming frequencies in the corners.
In other words, the bass traps filter out distortion and roughness from the bass which is added to the bass due to its reverberation and build-up in the room.
The bass traps just help the room acoustics so that the bass doesn’t sound boomy, and you feel the bass richer and more natural.
Do bass traps work for outside noise?
The bass traps are only responsible for the sound inside the home theater. It has nothing to do with the noise outside the room. It can’t block the sound coming from outside the room.
The bass traps work only inside the room to give you refined bass.
Do bass traps help with soundproofing?
Bass traps never soundproof your room. The sound of the home theater will still flow to the outside world. The bass traps only work to control the bass inside the room. You will need to soundproof the room for that.
To keep the sound inside the theater room and keep the outside noise outside the room. You will need to soundproof the room.
Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More
- To know how to increase the bass in home theater. Read my this guide on how to increase bass. (Resource for the first answer)
- This was my opinion. Know more about it from this forum thread at StackExchange. (Resource for the second answer)
- Read my guide for that. How to soundproof a home theater. (Resource for the third answer)