The best sound absorbing material, which one to buy?

The best sound absorbing material, which one to buy?

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Sound absorption is the ability to absorb sound energy. There are many sound-absorbing materials that can improve the acoustics of a room at home or in an office.

When we talk about sound absorption, we mean something very different from soundproofing: in fact, soundproofing serves to not allow a noise to enter or exit a certain space, while sound absorption allows you to improve the acoustics of a room. attenuating or completely reducing the annoying echo. Without echo, you can get better and clearer sound in a room. Some sound-absorbing materials, located on the walls, on the floor or on the ceiling, are able to absorb sound waves very well: they only serve to eliminate the echo and the sound produced in a room will not be soundproofed, but can be heard in an adjacent room. The sound-absorbing materials improve acoustics and minimize noise, making us perceive a more peaceful and quiet environment, but they do not soundproof a room.

When we speak aloud in a room without furniture we perceive the echo and reverberation, while in a furnished room or in a closet with clothes and soft objects we perceive it little or not at all. From this trivial example, we can understand that sound is absorbed by soft objects, even better if they have this purpose for that purpose. With the right sound absorbing materials, the sound will be clearer, drier and cleaner, without the annoying reverberation. Some sound-absorbing materials on the market, in addition to being useful for sound absorption, are also aesthetically pleasing and allow you to improve the visual impact of a room in your home or office.

Acoustic absorption occurs in various ways: by porosity, by resonance of cavities and by resonance of the membrane (or absorber panels). Especially to attenuate the medium and high frequencies, the most used sound-absorbing materials and most suitable to act to eliminate the echo are porous absorbers, while the absorption by cavity resonance and the absorption by membrane resonance are obtained through structural elements. more complex.

The porous sound-absorbing materials absorb the annoying echo by exploiting convective motions; they are divided into fibrous sound-absorbing materials and open-cell sound-absorbing materials. Fibrous materials that allow the sound wave to be absorbed can be cork, glass wool, rock wool, chipboard, curtains, etc .; open cell sound absorbing materials absorb sound, on the other hand, from the air movement of sound waves through the passage of the material: they can be expanded clay, expanded perlite, expanded polyurethane and many others.

The sound-absorbing materials for cavity resonance are all those materials with holes or openings, such as to allow the sound wave to be trapped inside, successfully reducing the propagation of the annoying echo. They are used to better attenuate the low frequencies: the sound absorbing materials by cavity resonance trap the low frequencies by spreading the sound that they cannot absorb. These materials are perforated panels positioned at a slight distance from the wall, and the most common ones have the neck obtained from the thick thickness of materials such as wood or plaster; the space between the panel and the wall forms the resonant cavity.

Finally, the sound absorbing materials for membrane resonance (or absorber panels) allow to dissipate the sound energy thanks to the phenomenon of damping of the oscillation of a vibrating surface. They are used to obtain the sound absorption of low frequencies.

Now let’s see the best sound absorbing materials to improve the acoustics of a room by attenuating echo and reverberation to the best.

The 7 best sound absorbing materials:

Acoustic Foam – See price or buy

One of the most commonly used sound absorbing materials to give a room better acoustics is definitely acoustic foam. Acoustic foam panels are the ideal material for the construction of voice recording booths. In addition, they are very useful in small and medium-sized rooms, as they reduce reverb to the maximum, especially in the mid and high frequencies. Acoustic foam panels are easy to install and, not least, very economical. They are rusticated sound-absorbing panels and, thanks to the dense foam rubber, they can last a very long time. They are really effective in sound absorption and are also appreciable from an aesthetic point of view. The shapes and designs of these acoustic foam panels are different. Convex acoustic foam panels are ideal in recording studios and have a pyramidal design typical of egg containers; the aluminum panels, on the other hand, protect more from heat and are very useful for very hot environments; finally, the fabric-covered acoustic foam panels allow easy installation even in larger rooms.

Acoustic fabric panels – See price or buy

Other effective materials for sound absorption are, without a doubt, acoustic fabric panels. Reverberation and echo are eliminated thanks to the installation of these fabric panels, available on the market in various colors. They, in addition to being effective, allow you to decorate the room or office with a nice design also from an aesthetic point of view. Fabric acoustic panels are constructed with a frame made of wood material wrapped in a fabric. The fabric also contains other specific sound-absorbing materials such as foam or fiberglass. These panels are ideal for low frequencies.

Floor panels for acoustic insulation – See price or buy

These panels make the sound of a room much softer and avoid as much noise as possible, especially those coming from below. These sound absorbing panels are applied to the floor and can be formed from rubber, vinyl or foam material. This sound absorbing material is commercially available in various forms, such as acoustic foam, felt and plywood. Felt, produced with the felting of fibers, is one of the best possible solutions, being very effective in reducing general sound absorption. These panels are light, strong and very flexible, easy to handle and to install in almost any conditions.

Acoustic dividing panels

The dividing panels absorb more than 85% of the sound that passes through them: this feature is really useful to give a more silent workspace. They are very light and easy to move panels; they can be used to divide a room, for example, when a quiet space is needed. On the market there are acoustic partition panels of the most varied shapes and sizes; moreover, it will be possible to choose the desired color according to personal aesthetic tastes. Often, these dividing panels are expandable, so that they can separate and cover larger areas. They are made of 100% polyester.

Insulating cotton

The insulating cotton is made from recycled material and allows to attenuate the echo and reverberation in a room. It is made from recycled cotton and denim fibers and is a very soft material. One of the main advantages of this sound-absorbing material is its hygiene, since it is very difficult for bacteria and germs to infect this product. It is a very easy to install, non-flammable material and is resistant to fungus and mold. Cotton-based insulation materials are produced from the fuzz that covers the seeds of the cotton plant. This sound-absorbing material is one of the best on the market and is also very affordable. On the market this material is found in various forms, from rolls or panels up to 20 cm thick, to braids and bows for blowing and padding.

Rock wool – See price or buy

Rock wool is available on the market in panels, flakes or rolls and is one of the most widely used sound-absorbing materials: its fibers are able to effectively absorb sound waves. This mineral material is hit by the sound wave; the latter is dissipated thanks to the phenomenon of friction, generating heat. Rock wool is perfect for eliminating the annoying echo inside the walls; it is applicable wherever there is a support or a frame. This material is very easy to install and is also very economical; in addition, it is fire resistant and does not absorb moisture. In addition to its cheapness, rock wool has a double utility: in addition to being one of the best sound-absorbing materials on the market, it is also excellent for improving the soundproofing of a room. At certain frequencies, it manages to attenuate vibrations well.

Hanging baffles

They are very useful when there is not enough space on the wall: in fact, they are hung from a ceiling to create sound insulation and are installed with chains and hooks. This detail makes sure that the suspended baffles are also aesthetically very valid and often used in offices and places open to the public. From the point of view of the absorption of the echo, they are effective, but, obviously, better results are obtained with the other materials seen above: if your desire is to attenuate the echo without spending a lot, they they certainly represent a fair compromise.