Acoustic panels sure are the go-to weapons to impede sound issues, but once in a while, you’ll still hear things like “are acoustic panels worth it?” or “do acoustic panels really work?”
Acoustic panels are worth your investment. They remarkably absorb all unwanted sound waves that otherwise would just bounce off and mess with the room’s sound. Acoustic panels are the best solution for reducing mid and high-frequency sound waves in the room.
The difference is day and night between an acoustically treated room and an untreated one. These panels are a specialty product designed to reduce reverberations, echo, and dissipate sound waves in the form of heat. However, there’s a lot more to what makes acoustic panels worth it!
Do Acoustic Panels Really Work?
Acoustic panels do work! And they work pretty well to keep sound crisp, clear, and distortionless. Professional recording studios use their incredible absorption with a combination of foams and bass traps to produce high-grade music.
Sound energy travels via a medium and travels until it meets resistance. This resistance will cause the sound wave to reflect and travel again. These reflections cause reverb and unpleasant echoes if not absorbed.
Acoustic panels have soft, porous surfaces that take in such waves and limit the number of reflecting waves from the air! Think of an acoustic panel as a part of your wall that’ll just soak up high and mid-frequency waves coming their way. This will reduce problems like standing waves, flutter echoes, comb filtering, bass issues, and other manifestations of extra bouncy sound waves.
What Do Acoustic Panels Do?
Acoustic panels are large blocks/ boards with a sound-insulating core such as mineral wool or PET inside a wooden frame. They’re covered in porous fabric to allow sound to penetrate to the core, get absorbed, and produce small amounts of heat from the vibrations.
They deaden and dampen the sound by eliminating or limiting the bounce of reflected sound waves. Restaurants, libraries, co-working spaces, houses, and professional recording studios use them to refine the sound in their spaces. They are laid out after proper planning in a room to efficiently absorb reflections and ensure that direct sound gets to your ears.
Thus, by taming muffles and scatters of the sound vibrations around a room, acoustic panels greatly enhance sound quality.
What Makes Acoustic Panels Worth the Money?
Acoustic panels are massively known to reduce the impact of noise within a closed space. Here are some benefits of acoustic panels to better understand why they’re worth your money and why you should get acoustic panels.
1. Noise Reduction
Some places are naturally noisier than others, such as lobbies, conference rooms, or clubhouses, and need better equipment to control noise from people in addition to echoes and resonance.
Acoustic panels not only help reduce noise but also add a piece of decoration to the room. Public place owners particularly incorporate acoustics in their architecture to provide a peaceful and disturbance-free environment.
2. Improved Productivity
As discussed, the use of acoustic panels drastically improves the quality of sound in a space. These panels work to eliminate distracting factors from the environment and increase concentration, productivity, and responsiveness.
Places like offices, co-working lounges, lecture rooms, libraries, and examination halls enhance their acoustics the same way. With less noise in the background, workers are better able to interact with customers or make phone calls in a comfortable voice.
3. Reduces Health Related Issues
As noise is one of the causes of stress and the main trigger for anxiety, workers often complain about echoes and background clutter for interfering with their results. Over-exposure to abnormally loud noises, for example, working near a railway track, can also cause hearing impairment.
Ignoring these factors from your everyday life can also end up in long-term hearing issues. Moreover, many non-auditory health problems may arise such as cognitive impairment, stress, sleep disturbances, or annoyance.
Installing acoustic treatment, even a handful, would reduce the occurrence of such issues. So, are you still searching why acoustic panels are worth it?
The best advantage of getting your space treated with acoustics is that you no longer have to compromise privacy. Whether you’re resting, having a party, or working, acoustic installations on your walls or ceiling will keep you and others free of noise.
Other than that, you can easily and freely conduct private conversations without being overheard. Although acoustic panels do not necessarily soundproof a room, they muffle sounds and absorb the excessive sound waves to a point that they’re not the cause of disruption or inconvenience.
5. Abiding by the Law
The section above discusses how severely noise from the environment can affect our lives. Considering this negative impact, many countries have strict laws and protocols regarding loud noises.
Humans can hear sounds up to 120 decibels, anything beyond this limit is considered as noise and causes harm. Some laws restrict noise above this certain level, hence, using acoustic panels can result in the health and safety of many around you.
What NOT to Expect From Acoustic Panels?
Acoustic panels sure control a lot of problems causing sound frequencies around you, but they’re not so good at handling a few things.
Acoustic panels are not designed to entirely block sound out of a room or soundproof it. It’s a pretty common misconception that acoustic panels would soundproof an area. They won’t! This stems from the interchangeably using the two terms; soundproofing panels and soundproofing foam.
Acoustic panels deal with the richness or quality of sounds just by absorption of unwanted reflections. They cannot trap sound in or out of a room.
Other than that, acoustic panels have a dense, porous core. This means they cannot absorb low-frequencies as efficiently as mid or high ones. Low frequencies have longer wavelengths and to mitigate them you need acoustic arrangements made from fibrous, dense, and weighty material.
Since acoustic panels have different properties, they fail at absorbing bass. Bass traps in all corners (where all these frequencies accumulate) are the right solution!
With varying thicknesses (1, 2, 3, or 4-inches), heights, designs, and forms, acoustic panels become perfectly capable of adding the nice zing (sound-wise) to any space. Make sure you consult a professional for the correct placement of these panels to benefit from them.
Summing it all up, are acoustic panels a good investment? Yes! Will acoustic panels solve all your sound issues? No!
Acoustic panels should be used in the right way and for the right purposes. Weigh in factors like the size and shape of your room, environment, kind of sounds you’d be dealing with and the type of aesthetics you prefer, etc. Acoustic panels that work for an office might not work for a music recording studio.
Hence, do your research, know your space, plan and treat your ears!