Are acoustic treatment and soundproofing the same?
Do you want to stop hearing the baby crying in the room next door? Or are you trying to kickstart your music career with a new at-home studio? No matter the situation, the volume and quality of sound attributes to the quality of music and everyday conversation. In designing a room, you may want to know the difference between soundproofing and acoustic treatment to foster an environment with the best sound.
In this guide, we will discuss how soundproofing and acoustic treatment can be done together, but are entirely different concepts.
Soundproofing is to stop sound that is produced in a room from exiting, and to stop sound from outside of the room from entering. It may be required where you want to have privacy in your conversations, or where you don’t want to disturb your neighbours. In a home, the most common places where sound can escape is through windows and doors. To soundproof, barriers are used to reduce the travel of sound in and out of the room. The energy produced from a source within the room will bounce off the barriers and be maintained in the space. Soundproofing is most effective when the room is first designed and built. Later addition of soundproofing barriers can be costly and troublesome. On top of that, the quality of soundproofing materials can determine how well sound is maintained within the room.
A reminder that a room does not need to be 100% soundproof for it to be effective!
Acoustic treatment is the control of reverberation within a given space by reducing sound reflections. The result of acoustical treatment is important for effective space design but often ignored over other visible design elements! London architect Richard Mazuch dubs acoustic design the “invisible architecture” for this reason. Closer observation shows acoustical treatment carried out in thoughtfully-designed cafeterias and offices to facilitate better conversations;Studios and conference rooms with high ceilings often suffer from large reverberations, which are commonly remedied by installing acoustic panels.
Acoustic panels come in various materials, but they are usually lightweight panels containing sound absorbing material that reduces unwanted reverberations and echos. Effective acoustic treatment will help produce a purer sound that is closer to the original sound from the source.
To determine the effectiveness of the acoustic treatment, acoustic tests can be done to get the exact measurement of various acoustical qualities of the room. However, acoustic tests are relatively costly for smaller projects that do not require an objective measurement. A simple clap test can be used to see whether your new acoustic panels are sufficient. When you clap in an acoustically-problematic room, you will hear reverberations too excessive for your preference or need. Good acoustical treatment absorb reverberations sufficiently when you do the clap test, leaving a clean sound from a single clap.
To find out how to get the optimal acoustical environment in your office, or studio, speak to an acoustic specialist now at firstname.lastname@example.org!