What is acoustic treatment and how is it different to soundproofing?

What is acoustic treatment and what does it do?

Acoustic panels are designed to control and oftentimes diminish the echoes and reverberations experienced when sound is produced within  a room. Whilst a lot of the time, acoustic treatment is carried out with the aim of reducing the amount of echo or reverberations, sometimes it is instead used to redirect or concentrate the ways in which sound echoes across a space. The use of acoustic treatment to redirect rather than diminish reverberation or echoes is best demonstrated in music halls, opera houses or choral chambers. Acoustic treatment can be carried out on either just the floor, walls or ceiling of any room you desire, but for the best and most effective acoustic treatment it is best to treat all three.

What types of acoustic panels are available?

Typically acoustic panels come in two forms – soft to the touch panels or hard to the touch panels. Soft to the touch acoustic panels are made from, you guessed it, soft materials. These include fabric, acoustic foams, polyester or mineral wool. Hard to the touch acoustic panels however, are often made from wood, metal or acoustic plaster. Soft acoustic panels tend to have better noise reduction capabilities than hard, as they absorb the echoes more effectively than the harder panels which reflect more of the sound. Ultimately the best type of acoustic panels for you, depends on the type of room you are looking to treat and how you want the room to sound.

How is acoustic treatment different from soundproofing?

Soundproofing is a process designed to try and manage sound from exiting or entering a room, whilst acoustic treatment is about managing the levels or sound in a room, not putting a stop to it. It is for this reason that acoustic treatment is often a much simpler process than soundproofing. However, it isn’t a crime to get the two confused as acoustic treatment and soundproofing are linked. If you want a room which doesn’t allow sound to enter but also has no echoes then both acoustic treatment and soundproofing needs to be completed.

Which rooms benefit the most from acoustic treatment?

Acoustic treatment is typically used in music studios, rooms for band practice or recording rooms. However you can have acoustic treatment carried out in any room that takes your fancy. Before any acoustic treatment or soundproofing is done, a test is completed to assess the best type and amount of either soundproofing or acoustic treatment. This test is usually a RT60, and it measures the amount of time it takes for an echo or reverberation to decay. Typically though the smaller your room the less need there is to shorten this echo decay time, therefore the less soundproofing or acoustic treatment your room will need.

Contact us for a soundproofing quote

Now that you have a grasp on what acoustic treatment is, and its benefits if you are interested in having acoustic ceiling, wall, or floor installation GET A FREE QUOTE or CONTACT US today to discuss a project or to learn more about the benefits of acoustic treatment and soundproofing.