Is your awesome new media room poisoning your family?

Five years ago, my newly-pregnant wife and I sat down with our realtor to discuss our needs for a new home. Naturally, my wife came to the meeting armed with a long list of well-reasoned stipulations involving such practical requirements as adequate closet space, and a room in which the baby could sleep. I, on the other hand, had a singular, somewhat selfish wish: a large, unfinished basement.

As an A/V reviewer and unapologetic lover of huge speaker systems that go “boom,” I had long struggled to reconcile my profession and passion with apartment-style living and the noise-control issues that come with it. As you can imagine, testing a subwoofer’s low-frequency extension in a tiny living room with neighbors just 10 feet away on the other side of paper-thin walls is neither practical, nor conducive to friendly neighbor relations. The way I saw it, if I was going to have to spend every waking moment working to afford a mortgage, I deserved to finally have a place I could renovate into the ultimate entertainment space – one that brought me joy and satisfaction as I enjoyed ear-splitting volume levels without the risk of eviction.

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