If you have ever met a friend who was trying to soundproof his room by placing egg crates or acoustic foam on the wall, you would have realized that he had failed miserably. This is due to the fact that soundproofing does not work that way and acoustic panels are actually meant for acoustic treatment. If you wish to learn more about these different methods, read our article to find out how each method differs from the other.
Acoustic treatment is the proper control of echoes and sound reverberations that are found in a particular space. It does not get confined to the process of reducing reverberations and echoes as some acoustic treatments require echoes to be redirected instead.
Types of Acoustic Panels
There are many different types of acoustic panels that can serve different purposes. Some can be hung on the wall for quality sound absorption as well as to look appealing at the same time. Certain acoustic panels are soft to the touch such as foam panels and fabric panels whereas hard panels include perforated metal panels and timber grooved panels. When selecting acoustic panels for your space, a rule of thumb is that soft panels are better at reducing noise than hard panels.
Different rooms have different requirements depending on the echoes inside. For smaller rooms, echoes are usually lower which in turn need lesser acoustic panels.
Soundproofing may at times be referred to sound isolation which is very different from acoustic treatment. It is tougher to soundproof a room than it is to acoustically treat it. The different elements required to soundproof a room will be discussed more below so you can expect what you need to look out for.
Sound can travel by air and it can also travel within a structure. Whether it is a low frequency sound or an echo, the process of soundproofing the medium requires common products such as rubber mats, resilient channels, sound isolators, and springs.
To fully soundproof a room, there needs to be a separate room built within it. When these two rooms are connected, the buffer area in between them will have isolators and springs inside the ceiling. Such a structure will also convert sound energy into heat energy which allows maximum sound absorption to take place. During the process, always bear in mind to prevent potential short circuits which can be prevented by fixing foams or rubber strips.
Always note that soundproofing is not an easy job and only a professional team can perform an efficient job. A DIY project may end up causing sound to leak through unseen gaps.
Putting It All Together
In order to build a room where noise cannot enter and where there are no echoes, both soundproofing and acoustic treatment need to be performed together. A room that has been acoustically treated but not soundproofed cannot achieve optimum results as outdoor sounds still can come in. As for a room that has been soundproofed but not acoustically treated, echoes can be heard as sound cannot escape.