How to Choose Acoustical Panels

9 Tips For Choosing Acoustical Sound Panels

If you are experiencing unwelcome levels of noise in your office space, gym, cafeteria, or church and want to lower the level of echo, a series of wall or ceiling mounted sound panels is your answer.   Place them in your room, they’ll absorb echoes, lower noise levels, and deliver back great quality sound.   Here are 9 tips for choosing your panels:

1.  Fire Ratings Materials Used to Control Sound

Fiberglass panels are class A fire rated.  Foam panels made of melamine foam are also class A fire rated.  But polyurethane foam is not.  If you are in a public venue target class A fire rated sound panels.  See Fabric Panels.

2. The Durability of Typical Soundproofing Materials

Foam panels are effective for controlling echoes, but they have a shelf life to them.   Eventually they will deteriorate over time, crumbling to dust and becoming less and less effective.  Their average shelf life is about 7 years.   Foam is great for music rooms, studio settings, drum booths, etc..but not public venues such as gymnasiums.

3. The Beauty of Acoustic Control Panels

Foam panels are sculpted to deliver a variety of patterns.  But fiberglass panels are wrapped in colored cloth, and can also be custom color paint matched or have digital images printed onto the face of the panels.   Large beautiful murals that control noise.

4. The Thickness of Sound Absorbing Materials

Thicker panels absorb more low base frequency noise than thinner panels do.   If you have drums, get 3″ thick foam or 2″ thick fiberglass panels.   If your noise source is a human voice, thinner panels will work great.   2″ thick foam or 1″ thick fiberglass panels.   See Pyramids.

5.  Placement of Sound Panels is Important

Despite what you may have been told, the location of your panels matters less than does the amount of panel you are introducing into your space.   The key is to not under treat your room.   Check with your sound consultant to confirm targeted coverage amounts appropriate based on the size, shape and surface textures of your room.

6.  Perimeter Walls Can Be an Obstacle to Acoustics

If your perimeter walls are glass, cabinetry, door stages, and other obstructions, then take the same panel system and “float” it as a cloud over the top of the room.   The sound values will still generate.  See Ceiling Clouds.

7.  Weather Resistant Soundproofing Panels

If your treatment is outdoors, do not use foam.  Get fiberglass panels that upgrade to an outdoor silicone skin.  See QBO Blankets.

8.  Moisture Will Decrease the Effectiveness of Noise Reduction Treatment

If you need moisture resistant panels, again, don’t buy foam.   It can’t take moisture.  Get a fiberglass panel with a waterproof membrane.   See Wet Room Panels.

9.  Baffles Can Improve Soundproofing

Rather than surface mounting a sound panel flush to your wall or ceiling surface, consider suspending a vertical sound baffle that will expose both sides to the room.   This will increase your absorption coefficients.   See VET Baffles.

Questions on Soundproofing?  

Call NetWell Noise Control for more help in selecting your sound panels.  1-800-638-9355.

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