Continuing our series on demystifying acoustics, our ‘7 Rules of Sound Absorption’ focuses on how to optimise the use of sound absorbing materials to achieve the perfect acoustic environment. With years of experience of working with a huge range of room types and noise problems, we have honed a few simple principles that ensure the best level of acoustic comfort is achieved with every project we work on. So here are our 7 key rules:

  • Calculate how many square feet of coverage is required to get optimal acoustic comfort. There’s no need to cover every square inch of your room in acoustic materials – we calculate exactly what is needed so that there is no waste when it comes to materials or budget.
  • Choose quality materials and think about the lifecycle of your space – it’s better to cover less space in Class A materials (that afford 90% sound absorption) than it is to cover everywhere in sub-standard materials.
  • Aim to cover a minimum of 1/3 of your space with sound absorbing materials for optimal results – our acoustic assessment can determine how much above this is needed to get the best result.
  • Spread out the acoustic treatments as much as possible – this ensures that sound absorbed from as many directions as possible.
  • A mixture of ceiling and wall panels are ideal. Again this ensures that sound is absorbed from different parts of the room and prevents echo.
  • Choose the right acoustic product for the right room type. There’s an array of acoustic products out there all with their individual merits. It’s important that the products used fit the purpose – i.e. a boardroom would require high spec finish whilst a sports hall would require impact resistant materials. But using high impact panels in a boardroom would be unsuitable and vice versa.
  • Understand your room type and the role acoustics can play in a space. Some spaces need an element of liveliness about them. Absorbing too much sound can deaden the space and make it sound flat. In social spaces such as restaurants and in studios where the sound of a voice is key, it’s imperative to get the balance right between a room being too reverberant and too dry.

Keeping to these 7 simple rules helps us create the perfect sound environment – no matter the room type or the noise problem. For more in-depth information on sound absorption and acoustics in general, our Acoustics Page has a huge range of information.