In an enclosed space, when a sound source stops emitting energy, it takes some time for the sound to become inaudible. This prolongation of the sound in the room caused by continued multiple reflections is called reverberation. Reflective corners or peaked ceilings can create a “megaphone” effect potentially causing annoying reflections and loud spaces. Reflective parallel surfaces lend themselves to a unique acoustical problem called standing waves, creating a “fluttering” of sound between the two surfaces. Reflections can be attributed to the shape of the space as well as the material on the surfaces.
Domes and concave surfaces cause reflections to be focused rather than dispersed which can cause annoying sound reflections. Absorptive surface treatments can help to eliminate both reverberation and reflection problems.