What’s the difference between soundproofing vs acoustic panels?
What’s the difference between acoustic treatment and soundproofing? This is a common question as often the two are thought to be the same. They are two completely different subjects with different methods to treat, and we want to ensure to set correct expectations for how our room treatments perform, and the best overall ways we have found to improve both.
Changing the sound inside the room for clarity.
We design and build acoustic treatments: products designed to change the dynamics of how sound waves move within a space. Most acoustic treatments absorb sound waves which improves the sound within a space, giving the listener a true-er and better sonic experience.
Acoustic treatment’s primary focus is to reduce naturally occurring reverberation that occurs in a room, including low-frequency build-up in corners, standing waves, room modes, and other issues. The applications are useful for listening rooms, recording studios, lecture halls, concert halls, restaurants, offices, churches, and any environment where critical listening is important.
Soundproofing and Isolation
Soundproofing is preventing sound from traveling outside (or bleeding into) the space.
Our products are designed to improve the sound within a room. They will somewhat dampen sound that bleeds from one room to the next, but they will not 100% mitigate sound from traveling between rooms.
If you are looking for sound proofing – which is sound isolation – the only real way to achieve that is with mass. And that means construction. You’d need to build additional walls on top of existing walls, allow for an air gap, and provide insulation. The physics of sound is such that mass is the only way to fully isolate sound from bleeding through walls. And please be careful about other companies that may tell you otherwise. They’re not being honest if they tell you they have a product that will soundproof your room; it just isn’t possible with the laws of physics. We would hate for anyone to be misled by a dubious company.
If you were dealing with other frequencies (say low bass tones from music), and you wanted to soundproof a room; we would have to examine other solutions.
Mitigating unwanted external noise
If you need soundproofing – prevent sound from bleeding into or out of a space – some of the easier and cheaper methods have to do with doors and ceilings. Consider these suggestions:
- Better sealing around windows and doors. Consider installing new windows or sealing (weatherstripping or caulking) around existing windows. Higher quality windows & doors usually mean more mass and an airtight seal. Weather stripping / sealing doors and windows is always helpful.
Casement windows will have what looks like your refrigerator door around the perimeter. Double hung windows have sweeps that are felt/rubber where the two windows meet and along the sides and top/bottom.
- Blown-in insulation in the walls will help reduce noise. If you can’t put insulation in the shared wall with the noise source, then lining the entire wall with absorption panels (like our 244 Bass Traps) will likely approximate that in performance.
- And it may sound simple, but re-positioning your seating away from windows is an easy fix.
Our team of designers is available to examine the dimensions of your room, any drawings or sketches you have, as well as photos to recommend the best products for the issues you’re having. We work with over 5,000 rooms a year providing acoustic advice in this way. It’s definitely in our wheelhouse and something we can help with.
The easiest (and most recommended) way to start the process is to complete our quick online Acoustic Advice Form. The form asks all the pertinent questions about your room and you can even upload images or drawings. Once you’ve submitted the form, one of our designers will get in touch with you to discuss the project and make recommendations.