Keeping the Sound Where You Want It

Anytime you put loudspeakers into a wall cavity, chances are there's someone on the other side of the wall who isn't interested in hearing Barney's sing—along DVD. Because speakers work like small pistons, vibrating and pushing compressed air through space, it's ineviĀ­table that some of the sound is going to bleed through the back of the wall. You can minimize that seepage by using fiber—glass batting, poly fill (similar to pillow stuffing), or dense adhesive rubber sheathng around and behind the speaker. "You want to put these materials against any surface that will vibrate within the wall cavity near the speakers to keep the wall from becoming a soundboard," Bryn says.

Some manufacturers put speaker components in an enclosure, known as a back box, which helps contain sound but also limits the ability to kick out deep bass and volume, since the speakers have less air to push around. "Before installing these kinds of speakers," says Bryn, "you just need to be aware of who or what's going to be on the other side of the wall."

Perhaps one day soon even that won't matter. Engineers are working on technology that will turn windows into speakers, using a glass—mounted sound—throwing contraption. But until then, hiding your woofers in the wall is the next best thing.

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