Bass Trap width vs effectiveness


New member
Username: Miglio

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-05
Greetings all,

While pondering the use of corner bass traps and speaker placement, I started wondering about how wide a bass trap needs to be in order to be effective (since the amount of area taken up in the corner by the traps affects where my speakers can be placed). Is there a minimum width that a bass trap needs to be in order to remain effective?

For example, is a bass trap that is one 1 foot wide less effective than one that is 2 foot wide? Taken to an extreme, surely a bass trap that is only an inch wide would have little effect, so where would the "line" be as far as how wide a bass trap should be in order to function properly?

Any insight is of course most appreciated.

Silver Member
Username: Mixneffect

Orangevale, Ca. USA

Post Number: 719
Registered: Apr-05
Use the inverse square law.

So just input your drivers width and calculate from there. You may also use your subwoofer frequency response wavelength(s).

I dont mean to dissappoint you, but a 12" wide bass trap strip is not going to be enough. I am almost certain that you will have to do the whole wall(s).

Some acoustic specialists preffer heavy drapes (like at the movie theaters). They dont look so Gotti.

New member
Username: Miglio

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-05
Yes, that was my thinking as well. Since the wavelengths we are trying deal with are quite large, it seemed to me that bass traps need to be many feet wide in order to accomodate those long lengths.

Yet I see many trap designs and pictures of peoples treated rooms that utilize small sized corner traps (perhaps a foot wide), and assertions that they make quite a difference. This led me to wonder if there was some fundamental concept that I wasn't understanding (which is still a given fact).

My problem is that my room is very small (12 x 12), and my crude analysis's show that I have some cancellation occuring at 55 - 60 Hz (and multiples thereof). I tried putting some 2' wide panels of OC 703 diagonally in the corners, but that in turn pushes my speakers out another 3 feet into the middle of the room, messing up my listening position/speaker placement triangle. Using 4' wide panels would be out of the question, since that would put my speakers practically behind me :-)

That leaves me in a quandry as to what the heck to do? I'd hate to just throw up my hands and say "oh well", but my room size and layout prohibits me from using the properly sized bass traps to battle the frequencies I'm targeting.

Has anyone else had a similar dilema and found a suitable solution? I'm WIDE open for thoughts and suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Silver Member
Username: Mixneffect

Orangevale, Ca. USA

Post Number: 721
Registered: Apr-05
"Food for thought"

Car audio has cabin gain to deal with.

Home audio has bass traps to deal with.

Although they have many similarities, they are also different. For one, they are treated differently. Cars have almost no reverbration and therefore terrible accoustics. Homes have reverbration or boxing. One of the biggest dilemas to overcome is space geometry. A perfectly square or long rectangle room will trap bass in the corners.

It has been said that a rectangle would be less problamatic if the sound system was directed accross the short way, vs the long way.

I would recommend looking into what you can improve, taking in consideration the fact that your listening room is square. This might make more sense and actually help you achieve a better sound-stage.
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