Some rooms in a home can produce loud echoes, and the sound quality is terrible because it is highly amplified to the point that it becomes annoying. If this is something you are dealing with, you understand how frustrating it can be, especially when you can’t figure out what’s going on.
You’re probably fed up with the unpleasant sound and echo in your room, which explains why you are reading this.
The good thing is that you are reading this article!
Here, you will find seven of the most effective ways to reduce echo in your room. At the end of this guide, you would have figured out the best way to remove excessive echoes that can amplify the sound of noise-generating appliances.
You already know the effect of an echoey room on phone conversations. It makes the sound on your end reverberate, making it difficult or frustrating for the person on the other end. The same goes for recordings, video calls, and even regular conversations.
If the room in question is a bathroom, the ventilation fans might sound like jet engines due to the echo.
Keep in mind that using the methods in this guide to make your room less echoey won’t put you in the poorhouse. Most of the methods here do not require you to spend any money. Simply read through and combine a few of these tips, and you are sure to see a drastic echo reduction in your room.
Before we get into the methods, let’s first discuss why some rooms echo.
Why Does a Room Echo?
Sounds have energy that moves in the form of a sound wave. The sound wave continues to spread until the energy dissipates or is absorbed.
Imagine throwing a pebble in a pond. Do you see how the water moves out in waves from the splash zone? That is how sound waves travel.
Once the sound wave comes in contact with a hard surface, it is reflected or bounced off, spreading out in many directions. A chain reaction continues as the waves hit the other hard surfaces in the room.
The bouncing of sound waves in quick succession creates multi-reflection and is what we hear as an echo in the room.
What Creates Echo?
Just about any hard surface can reflect sound. On the other hand, soft surfaces absorb sound instead of reflecting it, nullifying the sound energy. The moment this happens, no echo is produced because the sound wave is not reflected or bounced off.
A lot of things make echo worse in a room. For example, empty rooms are sure to generate echo since there is nothing in the room to nullify or absorb the sound waves. This causes the sound waves to bounce from one wall to another. Bigger rooms can create even more resonance, magnifying the effect.
Just about any hard surface increases the echo in the room. This can be glass in windows or mirrors. Floor surfaces are not left out. Wood and tile floors can also increase the echo in a room compared to rooms with carpet or rug in it. Even hard furniture, such as desks and dressers, can increase the echo effect you experience in your room.
And while the problem of echoes can be a nuisance, dealing with it is not all that difficult. Next, we highlight seven of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of echo you experience in your room.
How to Make a Room Less Echoey: Adding Plants to the Room
Adding plants to an echoey room can be a natural approach to reduce the effect of an echo. To do this, strategically add potted plants around the room.
You can use just about any plant, but remember that larger plants are a lot more effective than smaller ones. Additionally, the more plants you have in a room, the more they can effectively absorb the sound waves that create the echo.
If you want to decrease lower frequency echo, consider placing the largest plants you can find in the corner of your room. The logic behind this is simple: low frequencies accumulate more in the corner of rooms.
How to Make a Room Less Echoey: Using Fabric Blinds
Many apartments and homes come with your average hard blinds, typically made from metal or wood materials. While these materials are cheap and somewhat appealing, they can also add to how much echo a room generates.
To avoid this, you should get blinds made from cloth. As explained in the previous section, soft surfaces are great at absorbing sound waves, and cloth blinds are very soft. Using them in your room is a good way of reducing echo. If the room already has wood or metal blinds, consider switching them out for fabric blinds.
How to Make a Room Less Echoey: Using Tapestries and Art
This method of making a room less echoey serves a dual purpose. One of the most effective ways to reduce how much surface area sound waves can bounce off is to cover the hard walls with soft materials.
In this case, paintings and tapestries on canvas can be placed around the room in strategic areas to help reduce the echo. They also serve the function of improving the room’s overall décor. You can also use sound-dampening blankets as they work extremely well at reducing sound transmission and echo.
Most people tend to ignore or forget the ceiling when trying to find out the source of the echo in their rooms. However, your ceiling’s echo and reverberation contribution to the walls is just as important.
If you have a hard ceiling, you might want to consider vertically hanging acoustic baffles or ceiling banners covered in fabric, effectively reducing the echo generated by the sound waves bouncing off the ceiling.
How to Make a Room Less Echoey: Placing Rugs on the Ground
Hardwood floors can be a major source of echo in any room. The most effective way to significantly reduce the echo is to place carpets on the floor.
Rooms with carpets are less likely to experience as much echo as rooms with hardwood floors or tiles. While carpeting a room happens to be on the pricier side of this list, you can go with the cheaper option of getting rugs.
When you add a smooth fluffy rug to cover as much surface area of the flooring as you can, you significantly decrease the echo in the room. Doing just this one thing can make a huge difference. To bolster the effect, you can use the thickest rug available. Of course, the thicker the rug, the more efficient it is at absorbing the sound wave.
How to Make a Room Less Echoey: Covering the Windows Using Curtains
As stated earlier, hard surfaces reflect sound and cause echo in a room. The drywall texture can create lots of echo on its own. This is besides glass in the windows, mirrors, and other surfaces.
Covering windows with curtains, particularly sound-absorbing curtains, you can easily lower the echo you have in the room. That’s in addition to beautifying your room.
Additionally, curtains can block sound waves from outside the room and stop the noise from disturbing the peace in your home.
To take it further, use soundproofing acoustic curtains instead of ordinary curtains. Soundproofing curtains use a special material that easily absorbs sound, making them a better option for getting rid of echoes than fabric curtains.
How to Make a Room Less Echoey: Filling the Room with Furniture
You can use large soft items to nullify and absorb the energy of sound waves. One effective and easy way to do this is by adding a lot of large and soft furniture to your room.
Couches are a great way to nullify the sound waves as they are extremely effective at lowering the echo produced in an empty room. You can add an extra couch, a large chair, or a loveseat to provide a large soft surface for sound to be absorbed.
It also helps that couches are dual purpose as they provide ample seating arrangements. If you already have large furniture, it can be moved into the room if necessary. Naturally, this process is best for changing the room acoustics in a family room or living room.
How to Make a Room Less Echoey: Using Acoustic Foam
Acoustic foam materials provide sound absorption and reduce the reverberations and echo in vocal recording booths and music production studios. They make a cost-effective yet powerful method of minimizing echo.
The great thing about acoustic foam is that the material is available at various price points, so you can be sure to find some that work great while also being reasonably priced.
You can find acoustic foam in many patterns and colors. Wedges, pyramids, egg crate waves, and flat pieces are all available. And while they all serve the same function, the variation in shapes are intended to scatter sound waves in unique directions.
Asides from color and pattern, you also want to consider the thickness level of the material you are eyeing. Choosing thinner materials will mean that you only block higher frequencies, which leaves the lower frequencies that resonate more.
The most effective option is to choose pieces 2 inches thick at the very minimum. Of course, you can always go for thicker options if you want better results. Keep in mind that thicker pieces will mean spending a bit more money, so you will have to consider if going for thicker acoustic foam is worth the project at hand.
Way to Install Acoustic Foam
When installing acoustic foam panels, you can hang them using several methods. For one, you can hang them from your room ceilings and walls. You can also easily remove the acoustic foam and reuse it somewhere else without causing major damages to the material.
One installation method involves applying a spray adhesive to the foam panel and the wall. While this method is a more permanent solution, you can still reuse the panels.
Note that there will be some glue residue and a bit of the foam left on the wall when you remove the acoustic foam. This will be very difficult to remove, so you should only use this method if you intend to place your acoustic foam in a particular spot for a long time.
Another way is to use nails or thumbtacks to mount them in place. This is a semi-permanent installation. It only leaves tiny holes on the wall, which you can easily cover with some caulk.
It is even possible to use double-sided tape to mount the foam tiles. If you are using double-sided tape, make sure you get the type that easily sticks to fabric, or else you may end up frustrated as the foam keeps coming off the room wall or whatever surface you install it on.
We’ve covered quite a lot of information in this article, and it might take reading it a couple of times to grasp everything. But you don’t need to use every method here. Simply find a few quick and easy methods for you to implement, and you are on your way to making your room less echoey.
To get the best results, consider combining some of these methods to significantly reduce echoes in your room.