What Does an Acoustic Panel Do?
Acoustic panels change the sound environment in a room, creating a more acoustically comfortable, safe, and enjoyable experience for its occupants.
How does a panel achieve this goal? With a proper room assessment, sound-absorbing materials, and correct placement, acoustic panels can deliver a practical and often decorative solution to noise control.
Why use acoustic panels?
To provide an effective and quality experience for building dwellers — students, audiences, workers, worshippers, and patrons — the sound environment is critical. Spaces where many people gather at once tend to be large (and sometimes cavernous), so sound waves are prolonged, creating reverberation. If the reverberation goes uncontrolled, voices and music quickly become unintelligible, and audiences, for example, will experience mediocre entertainment at best. Naturally, folks lose interest in returning to an acoustically inferior venue, so it pays to invest in acoustical treatments.
As for restaurants, we’ve all heard complaints about how “that place is so loud.” If dining patrons must strain to hear each other, they are less likely to favor the restaurant. Restaurant owners need a solution to this problem, and sound-absorbing acoustic panels can be just the fix.
What is sound absorption?
Good question. Objects absorb sound waves to varying degrees as they spread around a room. In other words, some are more absorbent than others. For example, hard, nonporous surfaces such as glass, wood, plaster, brick, and concrete hardly absorb sound at all (2%-5%). Carpet and fabric absorb sound at a much higher rate (up to 71%), depending on other factors in the environment.
Acoustic panels are designed to absorb sound waves by trapping them in their core and preventing them from traveling further. Their noise-reducing properties make them ideal for adding to spaces with sound problems.
We’ve converted thousands of spaces from noisy to calm. In many types of buildings, including churches, restaurants, offices, and schools, acoustic panels improve the atmosphere remarkably. Head here to see firsthand accounts of results from our acoustic panel installations.
How Much Acoustical Material is Required?
The answer depends on specific measurements involving acoustical principles. READ MORE
What are acoustic panels made of?
Panels have the ability to absorb noise or sound because of their fiberglass core. MBI has invested in sound tests to make sure that the right amounts of adhesive, backing, and fabric support the absorptive ability of our acoustic panels. They have been tested and achieved flame spread ratings to comply with industry safety standards.
Where should acoustic panels be installed?
Strategically locating acoustic panels on walls and ceilings heightens their effectiveness. Upon assessing a given space, we identify the reflection points of sound waves which cause the worst acoustical effects. These are points where we typically install sound-absorbing panels to reduce the resulting noise, letting the direct sound be heard as intended — without the added reflected noise.
We install acoustic panels on walls and ceilings, depending on the room’s size, shape, and objects. However, MBI Products recommends obtaining actual sound level measurements from a competent acoustician who uses proper equipment to determine the most accurate placement of acoustic panels. A thorough professional analysis and evaluation usually lead to better acoustic results, lower overall cost, and accuracy.
What does an acoustic panel look like?
MBI Colorsonix® Acoustical Wall Panels are custom-made to order and come in wide-ranging colors, styles, and sizes. A typical acoustic wall panel is a geometrical shape finished in a specified color fabric like polyester or vinyl.
- Standard sizes available:
2' x 4'
2' x 5'
2' x 6'
2' x 8'
2' x 10'
3' x 4'
4' x 4'
4' x 5'
4' x 6'
4' x 8'
4' x 10'
- Custom sizes available
- Thickness of 1" through 4"
If acoustical products are doing their job, you might not notice them. That is, unless they are decorative acoustic panels purposely designed to have a visual impact and acoustical advantages.
MBI’s Decorative Acoustic Panels Enhance the National Mounted Warrior Museum
A recently completed project at this new museum blended acoustics and aesthetics.
What acoustic panels do not do: sound absorption vs. soundproofing
Colorsonix acoustic panels are designed to absorb sound and improve the environment inside a room, whereas some other acoustic products block sound from escaping, or soundproofing a room. These are two different functions that require different materials, installation, and design approaches.
When soundproofing a room, the goal is to seal it off from abutting spaces — hallways, upstairs, or the room next door. But doing so does not improve the sound quality inside that room. Installing acoustic panels on the wall or ceiling accomplishes the sound absorption desired to reduce extraneous internal noise. In short, our acoustic panels do not insulate a space; they trap reverberant noise within it.
How are acoustic panels installed?
To ensure the best outcome possible, professional installation of acoustic panels is important. Safety and security are the top priority in mounting MBI’s acoustic panels.
Hardware used to mount acoustic panels on walls or ceilings might include any of the following, depending on the specifications of the job:
- Impaling clips and adhesive (the preferred method)
- Z-track clips with full wall fast track
- Concealed spline
- Floater track
Benefits and outcomes of installing acoustic panels
The addition of acoustic panels to a noisy room usually has a very beneficial effect. We’ve improved classroom learning improvements, created busier dining rooms in restaurants, and enabled more productive office employees by installing our Colorsonix wall panels. A less chaotic sound environment is a more pleasant atmosphere for people to enjoy.
Consider acoustic wall panels from MBI Products for bars, kennels, band rooms, classrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, or recording studios, as well. The results will be a resounding success!