What Are Acoustic Panels?
Acoustic panels, put simply, are wall panels with acoustic properties. They improve acoustics in a space whilst acting as a decorative addition to the interior. As they’ve become more popular, the range of colours, designs, shapes, and sizes, has become almost endless - there’s no excuse for having bad acoustics!
How Acoustic Panels Work
To understand how acoustic panels work, you first need to get an idea of how sound waves behave in a space and how reverberation and echo is created.
Echo and Reverberation: What’s the Difference?
Echo and reverberation are separate phenomena. If you’ve ever stood in a large cave or been in a large, unfurnished banquet hall, you’ll most likely notice an echo. This is because when sound hits a hard, flat, smooth surface it reflects and returns to our ears. In a large open space, this causes an echo.
Reverberation, on the other hand, is when sound persists even after the source of the sound has ceased. Reverberation is much less clear and occurs more often in smaller spaces.
How Acoustic Panels Reduce Reverb and Echo
Acoustic panels work by absorbing sound waves instead of letting them reflect back into the space. These sound absorbing properties can lessen internal background noise and, as the sound is absorbed before it can reflect, reverberation and echo are heavily reduced.
Do Acoustic Panels Reduce Noise?
Soundproofing and acoustic treatments are different. Soundproofing products blocks noise and stop sounds from transferring between spaces whereas acoustic treatment improves sound quality within the space. Acoustic panels do reduce noise, but only within the space they are installed into, they won’t stop noise from leaving or entering the room. You might be thinking ‘well what’s the point then?’ but acoustics do play a significant role in our day to day lives, whether we notice it or not. A restaurant with acoustic treatment, such as panels, will give you a completely different experience to one with no acoustic treatment installed.
Different Types of Acoustic Panel
Over time acoustic panels have evolved to meet the demands of both aesthetic and acoustic needs. There is now a plethora of different types of acoustic panels available online.
Fabric Acoustic Panel
Fabric acoustic panels are wall panels that have been fabric wrapped to give them a soft, sound-absorbing exterior. These panels delivery impressive acoustic performance due to their incredible sound absorbing nature.
Printed Acoustic Panel
Printed acoustic panels, also known as decorative acoustic panels, are highly decorative wall panels. They are made to look like regular wall art so they don’t have a negative effect on your interior design, but they still effectively reduce noise and reverberation to improve the overall acoustic environment.
Suspended Acoustic Panel
Suspended acoustic panels are normally referred to as acoustic baffles or acoustic rafts, but essentially, they are acoustic panels that are hung from the ceiling. Whether it’s a baffle or a raft is dependent on the orientation that it is hung. Acoustic baffles are suspended vertically whereas acoustic rafts are suspended horizontally.
Where to Buy Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels are very readily available across the internet, but it’s important to buy high-quality acoustic panels from a company that knows acoustics to achieve the full acoustic benefits. Here at Muffle Acoustics, we sell a wide variety of high-performance acoustic panels from world leading acoustic brands, as well as our very own branded acoustic panels. As a bonus, the Muffle team are experts in all thing’s acoustics, so we’re always on hand to answer any questions or offer acoustic guidance to get you the best acoustic treatment for the best price.
Looking to buy some acoustic panels? You can shop our broad range of panels here or contact us to get recommendations on the best panels for your space.