When it comes to building a house, a good foundation is essential. The first few years of a home’s life are critical, and a poorly built house will need to be torn down and rebuilt. So, too, is true for a building’s acoustic panel system.
But many builders assume that acoustic panels are simply a matter of covering up an old system and adding insulation. And they’re right in some cases. But that is not always the best approach. And there are other ways to accomplish soundproofing, including hidden acoustic panels.
In our experience, hidden acoustic panels do work. But I have to say that I haven’t seen a case study or testimonial where it has been 100% effective. Let us learn how and why that is the case!
First Things First! What are the Prerequisites?
- What types of noises do you want to reduce?
- What are the size and shape requirements for acoustic treatment?
- Where are the sources of noise coming from in your room?
- What other noise issues are there?
In order to determine the effectiveness of acoustic panels, you'll need to measure the noise levels in your home/office/room/area. Measurements will need to be taken over a range of hours.
It's important to make sure the measurement is not made at times when the treatment unit is not running. To make a good measurement, the noise should be measured in the direction of the panel, not across it. Make sure you use an accurate sound level meter, preferably one that has an acoustical probe and a microphone. The type of meter you use won't matter nearly as much as the fact that it measures SPL (sound pressure level) and not dB (decibels).
The SPL meter should be set to a range of decibels from 60 to 90 dB. While these are arbitrary numbers, you should use these numbers to guide the measurements you take. For example, if you were recording 80 dB at night and 70 dB during the day, you'd want to take a note of those numbers and determine whether you think you'll need to invest in additional acoustic panels.
You'll also need to know what your specific needs are. Do you want to treat the entire room? Are you interested in creating a single desk or the corner of a room? Do you want to block out music? Do you want to treat a single source of the noise? This will determine the size, shape, and type of acoustic panels you purchase.
- If you plan to purchase an entire panel, consider which sizes and shapes work best for your situation.
- If you plan to treat just one source, then you'll likely want to purchase an acoustic diffuser.
If you're purchasing an acoustic diffuser, it will likely be available in both 3D and 2D. A 3D diffuser will provide better coverage of the area it's being placed. This can be important when you want to cover a specific object or furniture piece. A 2D diffuser will give you greater flexibility in the placement of the acoustic treatment units. It also allows for easier and less expensive construction of your acoustic treatment wall system.
Is Hiding the Acoustic Panels a Good Idea?
Sound-absorbing panels need to be exposed to any sound waves in order to absorb them before they get the chance to bounce off the walls multiple times. If you’d like to learn more about how to hang acoustic panels, please see our article Where to Place Acoustic Panels. Essentially, it doesn’t really matter where sound absorbing panels are placed, but you do need to be sure they’re spread out evenly throughout a space. If you bunch them all together in one corner or keep them just on one wall, the sound will still reverberate off of the untreated walls.
Acoustic panels don't need to be hidden, but they do need to be able to work at their best by being exposed to sound waves. This means they need to be positioned somewhere where they'll receive the best acoustic treatment. They shouldn't be placed near anything that will bounce the sound back toward them because the sound waves will then rebound off of the panel's surface multiple times and distort its effectiveness. Panels should be hung anywhere they're needed but they should also be able to work the best when they're visible and exposed to all sounds.
Acoustic panels need to be exposed to any sounds that may bounce off the walls. Placing panels on a wall behind furniture will ensure that the sound can't be absorbed, so you need to hang them on the ceiling or make sure they are all spread out evenly throughout the room for maximum exposure to direct sound!
Placing panels in corners isn’t going to magically stop sound waves from bouncing off the walls, it’s just going to create a bigger and more pronounced echo.
For the best deals and suggestions and/or acoustic panels with Real World tested standards, such as UL Gold Greenguard Certification (green/environmental material no smell) and stand 100 (no harm no toxic), contact buybubos.com.