The Book of Acoustics

9.0 Troubleshooting

9.2 Quick guide to solving common problems


Likely source

Treatment options

The room feels dead, lifeless and uncomfortable

Too much absorption

Reflectors, diffusers

Sound localised in another part of the space is causing disruption outside or around the corner.


Absorbers, blockers along sound pathway, sound masking in zones where extra privacy is needed

Difficult to localise where a sound in the space is coming from



Room feels loud, irritating, and echoey

Too much reflection


Difficult to hear even though the sound source or speaker is within view


Reflectors, diffusers

Can hear sound from the room next-door


Block & cover

Difficult to understand speech, spoken words reverberate so much they overlap one another

Too much reverberation

Absorbers, diffusers


The Book of Acoustics

This is a handbook for architects and interior designers who want to create acoustically beautiful spaces that make people feel happier, healthier and more productive.

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