Sound Isolation – What is it?
Have you heard someone use the word “sound-proofing”? Many times, it is used in a general sense to mean any kind of acoustic treatment. Sound Isolation, or making a room “sound-proof,” can be a complicated, time-intensive, and expensive process. Frequently, we find it’s important to remind people that acoustic wall panels (made by Auralex or any other manufacturer) are not designed to stop the transfer of sound in a room.
You Deserve Good Treatment… And So Does Your Room!
Think about a completely empty room: the sound is echo-y, loud, and can be downright unpleasant. This harshness is caused by the sound waves reflecting off of the wall surfaces, ceiling, and floor. The effect is amplified when the surfaces are made from hard or extra reflective materials like; plaster, concrete, glass, etc. For example, consider the industrial-chic look that is popular for restaurants and breweries. Although is it cost-effective and creates a vibe, these materials are unfortunately very bad for sound quality.
The Difference Between Sound Isolation and Absorption
Acoustic wall panels, no matter the core material, are used to help improve the sound INSIDE a room. This material helps absorb sound waves and prevents them from causing slap back echo and reverb in a small room. This problem mostly occurs with high and mid-level frequencies, so acoustic wall panels are typically 1″-4″ thick to target this range of frequency. In many residential rooms, Bass (low frequency) usually becomes an issue simply because the room isn’t large enough. When a room is too small it makes it difficult for sound waves to fully develop and this produces problems like “boominess,” bass build-up, or even the cancellation of certain frequencies. When a room is small and untreated, it is often noticeably sonically inaccurate, even to untrained ears.