skip to Main Content
Autex Cube - Acoustic Panels - A Beginners' Guide

Acoustic Panels – A Beginners’ Guide

Made from a range of materials, acoustic panels are used to absorb sound in spaces where there is more reverb or echo than is wanted. Excess reverb in a space can cause many problems for a room’s occupants such as:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased stress levels
  • Difficulty in hearing and understanding people nearby
  • Lower productivity levels

 

These symptoms of a poorly sounding room can be easily treated using acoustic panels on the walls and/or ceiling

How many panels, where to place them and which materials are best for the problem at hand are questions for the experts. There are several choices when it comes to the acoustic panel selection, examples of which can be found in the guide below

Types of material:

The choice of material used to manufacture acoustic panels affects their mass, absorptive properties, colour choices and design options. There are 4 main materials ClearSound work with:

  • PET – usually with a high recycled content PET is a common material for acoustic panels. It is cuttable and therefore available in different shapes and sizes. Autex Cube is an example of PET panels, as are Vicinity Acoustic Desk Screens
  • Melamine Foam – superlight weight foam which is usually wrapped in foam. Class A at 50mm. It is a versatile product which is also cuttable to create different shapes easily. Echo Panels are examples of melamine foam acoustic panels
  • Wood Wool – Baux Wood Wool is an environmentally friendly acoustic product which is natural and recyclable. It has a high mass to absorption ratio, so when needing high amount of absorption, many panels are required. Wood Wool panels make excellent centre pieces for rooms and with the range of shapes available as tiles, there are endless design possibilities
  • Glass Wool – Ecophon’s Solo range are one of the industry standard glass wool acoustic absorber. Available in a range of sizes, glass wool is of medium mass and density making the installation of the panels not overly challenging. Ecophon are continually improving their environmental and occupational health impact and have recently changed many of the chemical used to make the panels for more environmentally sound products. Class A at 40mm, Ecophon Solo is an excellent choice for office fit outs

Absorption coefficients:

The absorption coefficient is essentially a number assigned to a product which represents the equivalent surface area absorption of the product at a given frequency

Absorption coefficients are can be averaged out, usually weighted towards the frequencies which are most prevalent in the human hearing spectrum, and represented using a the Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) which is often the figure provided for acoustic materials

An NRC of 1.00 would mean it absorbs 100% of the sound that hits it, and 0.50 would mean it absorbs 50% and so on. This is, of course, a very simplified explanation and it is more complicated than that in reality. When choosing a product, however, it is important to understand the absorptive qualities of the material so as to ensure you have adequate absorption in the room

PET and Wood Wool based acoustic products

Generally with an NRC of around 0.40 to 0.50, these panels and fabrics are excellent to work alongside other treatments as part of a wider solution, as full wall coverings and in spaces in which a more highly rated product would provide ‘overkill’ and make the room too ‘dead’

Remember, a lower NRC rating does not reflect on the quality of the product; product choice should depend on needs of the space

Glass Wool and Melamine based acoustic products

Glass Wool has an NRC of 1.00 at 40mm and melamine at 50mm. This makes them extremely effective for treating spaces which require a lot of absorption and for those spaces which do not have lots of available space

 

Acoustic panels are available in large array of sizes, shapes and colours including custom cut shapes and designs.

The needs of each space are different, ranging from a few panels to full wall coverage depending on the problem, there is no one-hat-fits-all approach to acoustic treatment. Here at ClearSound, we have the expertise to advise on all acoustic and soundproofing matters and can provide impartial and honest guidance on the best treatment method for your space. Contact us with any questions and for general acoustic and soundproofing advice

Back To Top