Sound Proofing vs Sound Treatment
The Truth about Room Acoustic Treatments
There’s an urban myth that suggests sound proofing and sound treatments are one in the same. I get to see a lot of amazing residences and invariably the same questions arise? How can I isolate the sound? Can I add some home theater acoustic panels to keep the sound in? How about some bass traps?
I can understand a customers source of confusion though, the internet is flooded with products claiming far fetched solutions for sound isolation all cleverly marketed to the consumer to block noise and improve sound.
The fact is sound proofing or sound isolation is a job that needs to be tackled during construction or renovation. There are no magic home theater acoustic panels or bolt on sound proofing foam to dodge this bullet. True sound proofing requires mechanical separation between the wall surface and the internal structure of the walls and ceiling.
A similar method is adopted for the floor depending on the surface structure.
There are several sound isolation products used within this process. Vinyl sound barriers, sound glues or viscoelastic compounds that have sound isolation properties. Isolation clips and floor joist isolators to name a few. Suffice to say having a room sound proofed is something that requires some planning. You will need a sound isolation design blueprint and a quality builder who will work according to the design closely.
Sound Absorbing Panels
Internal sound treatments are used within a space to absorb and diffuse certain sound frequencies. Home theater acoustic panels are used in this way as are bass traps and acoustic foam. Not all panels are created equal different panels have varying degrees of absorption based on the construction material and the frequencies they are designed to absorb.
These panels can be hung externally on walls and ceilings.
Some acoustic treatments are designed to go inside fabric covered wall surfaces. There are a wide range of aesthetically appealing options available for the residential & commercial market.
Home Theater Acoustic Panels
Will an acoustic treatment improve my sound? ABSOLUTELY! If you want to experience the best from your AV system I suggest investing in an acoustical design for your listening space.
An audio visual consultant can do an analysis of the room to provide the acoustic framework and document the correct placement for speakers and acoustic panels.
Room acoustic treatments in my opinion easily offer the biggest dollar for dollar upgrade on the quality of your sound. A moderately priced system in a treated room will easily out perform a more expensive system in an untreated room.
The calibration tools in the box with modern AV receivers cant compare to having the room treated. Those calibration tools will be far more effective after the room is treated.
Choosing the right acoustic solution for your space is important. Understanding reflection points that require absorption or diffusion will have a large effect on the result. Some manufacturers of acoustic products will assist in configuring your room if you purchase their product.
Alternatively get in touch with an audio visual consultant who can advise and point you in the right direction in terms of the correct placement, product and installation.
Custom home theaters and studios should always have a professional acoustical analysis and design.