Whether the sound is coming from inside or outside, if you want a peaceful, noise-free home it is essential to deal with both of these situations. Though you may say soundproofing helps, it is not enough to reduce the impact and effect that different noises originating in a room.
Hence, if you are serious about noise cancellation and want to do something about it, sound absorption is what seals the deal for you. We have already done the hard part of gathering info on the best sound absorbing materials and will be discussing them in details in this article.
What Is Sound Absorption?
Sound absorption differs significantly from soundproofing, in the sense that it deals mostly with the reduction of the noise generated by echoes and reverberations across the area.
To that end, you need to understand that when a sound wave hits an object, it can either be absorbed, which is the science of sound absorption or reflected back from it, as per the science of soundproofing.
So, if you plan on preventing the noise from entering or leaving a space, soundproofing comes in handy.
However, sound absorption improves your room’s acoustics. That means you are significantly reducing the echoes and reverberations generated in the room, to create an environment where clear and crisp sound is distinctly audible. This is ideal for home studios, recording studios, theaters, auditoriums, schools and concert venues among other places.
As they have such a wide range of application, let us find out different types of sound-absorption materials we generally use.
What Are Sound Absorbing Materials?
Otherwise known as sound absorbers or sound diffusers, these materials are almost always soft, light, fluffy and porous, which proves helpful in absorbing echoes successfully.
Not only do they soften up and clean the layer of air in the room, they also add into the overall aesthetics of the room. However, their primary function is to distinctly improve the quality of sound reaching your ears.
However, it must be kept in mind that the sound absorbing criteria of a material is not the same in all cases. It varies depending upon the frequency of the incoming sound.
For instance, sounds with lower frequencies such as below 500 Hz are harder to detect and absorb than higher frequencies which are much easier to absorb.
These sound-absorbing materials are divided into three categories.
3 Types of Sound Absorbing Materials
#1 Porous Absorbers
As the name suggests, these sound absorbing materials are made of porous materials. When the sound waves hit the porous surface, they are allowed to penetrate inside the surface of the material and seep into its cellular or fibrose structure. Here, they are dampened and converted to a negligible amount of heat energy (less than one millionth of a watt).
By converting the sound into heat energy, it ensures that only a very small amount of the sound is reflected back into the room.
Useful for dealing with mid-range frequencies, common examples of these materials include carpets, curtains, different textiles, glass fiber, open-cell foams and mineral wall insulation.
#2 Membrane or Panel Absorbers
These are non-rigid and non-porous materials that are most effective in lower frequency ranges. Often people ignore them due to their solid appearance and feel but they are found to be a standard feature in your day-to-day lives.
You would be surprised to know the common building elements—including windows, doors and floors—- all function as panel absorbers along with table, chairs, closets and other furniture.
#3 Resonance Absorbers
They come with a specially designed mechanical or acoustical oscillation system where the plates have an air space inside them. These plates can either be of perforated materials or with a hole or opening.
These holes and openings have a bottle-necked structure which enables them to successfully capture the noise inside, thus visibly and drastically reducing the echoes.
Again, they serve as one of the most effective ways to absorb sounds of bass frequency range.
5 Best Sound Absorbing Materials You Shouldn’t Miss
A classic example of porous absorbers, these sound absorbing panels attached to your wall and ceiling will obstruct the sound waves from hitting the hard surface and instead, trap them inside its porous surface.
Their most common size of these panels is 12 by 12 inch, although they come in different other sizes as well. The sound absorbing foam panels come in packs including different number of pieces and have a variety of thicknesses and patterns of foaming.
However, the foaming patterns don’t affect the absorbing quality unlike the thickness.
Attaching them to your walls has different methods, ranging from use of spray adhesive to simple straight pins. You can choose any one of those methods depending on your convenience and affordability.
One of the best acoustic foam panels available in the market right now are the Mybecca acoustic foam products.
Made from natural cotton fibers, these acoustic cotton batts are softer than other products and come with a much less chance of germ infection. Known to be friendly to the skin, it is very useful for people with children, which demands proper health and hygiene.
Furthermore, also being resistant to molds, fungi and flames, it is considered as one of the best sound absorbing products available on the market today.
It can be easily installed in homes, offices, auditoriums and theaters among other places.
Made from 100% polyesters, acoustic partition is a cheap sound absorbing material that is used for multiple purposes—both lightweight and heavyweight.
The lightweight partitions can be easily transferred from one place to another. They are, therefore, used more commonly to divide a room into small places where you can spend time with yourself.
For instances, they are very useful in separating rooms or cubicles in homes and offices.
Available in a range of colors and sizes, these partitions stop and absorb the sound waves from bouncing across the room, yet are not useful for blocking them out completely.
Unlike acoustic panels, these sound absorbing fabric panels have a solid wooden frame and are wrapped in fabrics like burlap or microsuede.
They mostly have measurements of 24 inches wide and 34 inches long, along with 2 inches in thickness, which aids them in optimal sound absorption.
They are certainly more visually appealing than other sound absorbing products on the market today and can be easily taken up as a fun, DIY project.
Using proper insulation, a wooden frame, fabric, nail gun and stapler, these panels are super easy to install.
Sound absorbing underlayment is made from materials such as foam, vinyl and rubber. These are generally applied between flooring and sub flooring.
Their high density allows them to act as great sound absorbers as well as a soundproofing material.
They come in various forms such as acoustic foam, felt and plywood, with felt being the most effective in sound absorption and reduction of echoes.
Setting this on the floors ensures a much softer sound with clarity. It reduces unwanted echoes of footsteps and other noises as well.
These sound absorbing products work perfectly well, promising you with a noise and echo free atmosphere where every sound produced is distinctly audible and comes with immense clarity. Scientifically designed using cutting-edge technology, their absorbing properties are unmatched and unparalleled.