There are many things in common in the rooms we have to work in, play in, listen to music or watch movies. Four walls enclosing the area, a floor beneath and a ceiling above. These six surfaces are our main concern when dealing with sound energy within a room. Think of a closed hall room of size 20’ wide x 30’ long x 18’ tall. So if you clap in this room you’ll hear the repeated sound of your clap. The intensity of the clap sound gets weaker with each repetition and eventually cannot be heard. This phenomenon is known as an echo.
To better understand this let’s throw few bouncing balls randomly in multiple directions in the same room with your full strength and they keep bouncing and bouncing everywhere through the room hitting the hard surface (side walls, ceiling and floor) repeatedly and eventually stop bouncing. Now imagine that all the surfaces are covered with thick foam and repeat the same experiment by throwing the same number of bouncing balls in multiple directions. This time when they hit the wall/ceiling/floor they don’t bounce. The energy from the ball was absorbed more when they hit the foam then the former which makes the ball bouncing more. A sound wave inside this room is just like that bouncing ball which tends to reflect or bounce of any hard surface but will be absorbed by a soft surface.
To fix the reflections from all these surfaces, the appropriate frequency and level of absorption technology must be added to the surface areas. The type of treatment that you use depends on the amount of noise in the house.
Many people have an issue with noise often look for a soundproofing solution. Businesses board rooms, Auditorium, Restaurants, Theatres and Hospitals has a necessity to control sound inside. For some, it’s the sound within the room that needs to be lessened, while for others, it’s the sound from elsewhere that needs to be blocked from leaving or entering a room
The two methods of controlling sound energy are:
a) Sound absorption
b) Sound proofing
Acoustics or Sound absorption:
As the name suggest, this is a process to absorb the sound energy within a space. It’s a method to lessen the echo and noise within the room through sound absorption technique. Products designed to absorb sound are generally made with soft materials that can absorb the sound waves as it hits its surfaces. Placing the products in the wall and ceiling intelligently can help to reduce excessive noise or resolve an array of noise issues in an office, classroom or echo in a hall.
Soundproofing is also known as sound blocking. Soundproofing is done with sound-insulating material to stop sound from entering or leaving a room. Materials used for proofing are mostly solid and dense enough to not let the sound pass the barrier. Theatres, Cinemas and TV/Radio studios often need to use soundproofing to resolve issues sound entering or leaving a room.
There are few scenarios where proofing with absorption is necessary. So one method blocks sound, the other one absorbs.
Below is a few category of products that are used for sound absorption:
Acoustic Foam: This is also known as Studio Foam, has a distinctive wedge or pyramid shape that is highly effective at absorbing sound. They are used as wall panels, ceiling baffles or placed in the corner to trap bass. Can be used in improving sound quality in small rooms, recording studios, control board rooms and even small home theatres.
Acoustic Panels/Boards: These are sound-absorbing panels placed on walls or ceilings to control and reduce noise, eliminate slap echo and control comb filtering in a room. These are acoustic insulation and noise-absorbing foam decorative models.
Acoustic Fabrics: Acoustics fabrics are a sound-absorbing fabric that absorbs more sound than standard fabrics. Acoustical fabrics are thicker and heavier than other fabrics and used in theatre curtains, blackout curtains, and studio blankets.
: Insulation board made of mineral wool or fibreglass wool is used in buildings and homes to reduce the amount of sound entering or exiting to/from other parts of the building.