Field Report: Halo Audio Affinity Acoustic Products

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The science of acoustical control (the controlling of sound waves) for any given room brings with it a multitude of challenges and applicable solutions. Sound waves being invisible presents even greater problems. The acoustical shaping of a room by frequency and time is extremely important for the best aural representation of pre-recorded or live sound. When a room is improperly tuned, the imbalance of certain sounds can mask the clarity of other sounds. A good example is lower frequencies, which typically take longer to decay in many rooms, masking upper mid-range and high frequency sounds. This makes the sound within the room dull, lacking clarity and intelligibility -- defined as the listener's ability to understand the spoken word or detect with precise awareness the detailed definition contained in musical composition.

Halo Audio Affinity

A professionally engineered acoustical room design will establish parameters that strike a strong balance between sound absorption, reflection, directionality, frequency response, and reverberation time (RT-60). That balance can be best accomplished during the room's pre-construction design phase using size, shape and materials as guidelines. However, and more often than not, acoustical challenges are frequently present in already existing rooms that are far from acoustically perfect.

There are many companies that offer products that can be placed into an already constructed room to establish the control of perceived sound. One is Halo Audio, which offers an engineered line of Affinity Acoustic Control products. For this review, the company provided a version of its pre-packaged Affinity Enhanced Room-Pak, which appears quite applicable for rooms measuring up to 500 square feet.

Performance at a glance
Variety of fabric colors and wood finishes
Custom colors available
Multiple acoustic materials in a package
Simple installation

Contained in the Pak are six Affinity Wall Controllers, four Affinity Corner Controllers, four Affinity TriPlex Controllers, and two Affinity BiPlex controllers.

The Affinity model AWC-1248 Wall Controller is a lightweight surface-mounted device measuring 12" wide by 4" deep by 47" tall. The Wall Controller should be mounted in multiple units equally spaced horizontally and vertically on each wall of a room. The unit design contains a solid wood front that measures 9" wide by 45" by 3/16" thick and wood top, bottom and rear panels. FR-701-flame-tested-acoustical-grille-cloth-covered open sides and partially open front allow for each unit to reflect some of the room sound while absorbing and otherwise slowing the sound as it travels along the walls. This process enables the sound to be better controlled as it reaches the room's corners. Each unit contains cotton acoustical batt for sound absorption and consists of an internal horizontal support frame. Mounting flat to the wall surface is accomplished by using the supplied mounting template for positioning two screw anchors per unit into the wall and then placing the unit's rear panel slots over the slightly protruded screw heads. Easy to install wall anchor hardware is provided along with instructions. The only tools that appear to be required for installation are a pencil, measuring tape, and a Phillips screwdriver.

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