Home Theater Riser – How to Build a Riser for Home Theater Chairs

Need a home theater riser to get the rear seats of your home theater up above the front rows? We show you how and it is easy if you have a little elbow grease to go along with the project.

This is a two function riser. It will both act as a bass trap and put your rear chairs up about 7″ total. You can make adjustments to the design to fit your needs.

Get the materials

The size of your riser will determine just how much wood, carpet, and floor decking you will need. So I won’t go into detail on that here as you have to determine the size then go from there. What I will show you is the basic design.

To make a comfortable riser use no more than 2×8’s for the building  of the frame. If you plan to make the riser more than one step high, then you could use larger joist lumber like 2×10’s or 2×12’s.

In its simplest form your riser will look something like this (see pictured)

home theater riser-2home theater riserAlways cut large circular holes into the front of the fascia so that the insulation inside can also act as a sound trap, this will give you further sound absorption and help even out your bass.

The photo below shows the holes cut into the front of the riser board. When carpet is later stretched over the riser, sound will be able to enter past said carpet and be absorbed by the internal insulation.

The larger the internal volume of the home theater riser the more bass energy your riser will be capable of absorbing.

So it is a good idea to make the riser as large as you need. Don’t skimp on materials here. Make the platform comfortable in the room and make it big enough to keep your guests who sit back there from falling off of it because it is too small.

Give some space around the home theater chairs if you have the extra floor space. Not all home theater rooms are large enough to do this, but some risers are built unnecessarily small and could easily have been made larger.

Stuff it

Don’t just build the thing and not stuff it with insulation. This is a critical step. It needs to be able to do more than just lift the chairs, this is such a waste when we see this. The home theater riser is perfectly situated and positioned to be a great bass absorbed. So make sure to use it to full affect.

Helmholtz Resonator

It is also possible to tune your home theater chair riser as a Helmholtz resonator. This will take a bit more work. You will need to first figure out what bass frequencies you need to tame. Then you can make inner chambers inside the riser that will impact those frequencies. The port size or holes in the front of the riser panel are also critical here, so all of this will need to be calculated. For more on that go to this page. The actual room mode calculator is here.

When you enter your room dimensions you can see where your room modes will be. Whenever you see duplication of modes, those are going to be the strongest modes. So tackle those first as they will likely be amplified by the room highest. Then go from there.

Happy home theater building!