Home Cinema Installations and Sound Transmission through Doors - September 10th, 2008
The reference level of a soundtrack is 105db and 115db for the LFE channel. Most people would find these levels quite high, but not difficult to listen to, in a correctly designed home cinema room.
A problem occurs though, when we face the challenge of keeping the noise inside the cinema room. In a residential installation, quite often we find bedrooms and other living areas to be right next to the home cinema room. Special room construction techniques allow us to build a sufficient noise barrier, in order to reduce any sound transmission to the adjacent rooms.
However, doors have always been the weakest point, in such an attempt. The mass, damping and stiffness of the home cinema door will determine its resistance to the passage of any sound waves. A door’s ability to reduce noise is given by its Sound transmission Class. This means, the higher up the Class the better the efficiency.
One more problem arises though; Sound waves can travel through any opening with very little loss. And to top it off, a tiny hole in a barrier would transmit almost as much sound as a much larger hole. This acoustic property of sound could be a big problem in a home cinema installation, where high quality construction is required. That is where acoustical gaskets come into play. A home cinema door, in order to be effective, the seals around the head, jamb and sill must be complete and air-tight.
In other words, the quality of the acoustical gasket in a home cinema installation, would determine how close the actual sound performance of the door, will come to the published specification. A hi-end home cinema design should take every detail into consideration, to ensure a hi-end acoustical result.