Diffusion can be defined as the scattering of sound waves by reflecting them in various directions or breaking them into smaller pieces. Common diffusers include barrel, pyramidal and quadratic. Diffusion is commonly used to limit or eliminate specular reflections and echo without adding absorption to the room. Diffusion is also used to direct sound energy to specific areas.
The acoustics in a space are largely responsible for how the audio signal is perceived. Again, poor acoustics cannot be fixed with an audio system. It is important to note that a room’s acoustical characteristics and the audio system [must] work together and should be equally matched. Acoustical properties and characteristics must be considered when designing a critical space such as a sanctuary, an auditorium, or a performing arts space. By way of an experienced acoustical engineer, new spaces can be designed to meet the acoustical requirements of the space and existing acoustical concerns, and conducting a detailed study and applying the appropriate acoustical products can resolve issues.
[Editor's note: This piece was originally published in 2014.]