What Are Acoustic Wall Panels?
Acoustic wall panels, also known as soundproofing tiles or baffles, are flat panels made of board, covered with a layer of insulating and soundproofing foam and finished with a choice of fabric. They are designed to be fixed to walls or ceilings to help prevent sound from echoing around a large room, offering a quieter and more peaceful working environment. Our acoustic panels are available in a range of different shapes and sizes, as well as different thicknesses. You can configure them in colourful geometric patterns for an eye-catching piece of practical art, or keep them tone-on-tone for a sleek and subtle look.
How Do Acoustic Wall Panels Work?
Acoustic wall panels are designed to reduce the amount that sound can reverberate around a space; they can help to significantly mute noise in a room.
As sound hits a hard surface, it reflects back out into the room; this is reverberation. With no soft furnishings such as carpets, curtains, sofas etc. to absorb and control those reverberations, sound will continue to reflect around your office. Modern workplaces have multiple sources of distracting sounds; from employees chatting to work calls, and even machines such as printers. Studies have shown that acoustic wall panels can reduce reverberation time (the length of time required for sound to decay 60 decibels from its initial level) by up to 70%, helping to minimise noise pollution in the workplace. It’s worth noting that while using acoustic panels in large numbers can almost entirely soundproof a room, using them on their own without other design changes (such as soundproof doors/seals) will not offer complete soundproofing.
The effectiveness of acoustic panels is measured using an NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) number. The NRC is an average rating of how much sound an acoustic product can absorb; for example, an NRC of 0 means that the product absorbs no sound, whereas an NRC of 1 means that the product absorbs all sound. The higher the NRC, the better the product is at soaking up the sound.
Studies have shown that an empty room, measuring 3m x 4m x H2m, will have a reverberation time of 1.0 second (reverberation time is the length of time required for sound to decay 60 decibels from its initial level). Covering 60% of the room’s walls in 40mm-thick acoustic wall panels (with a NRC of 0.55) reduces the reverberation time to 0.5 seconds, for a 50% reduction. Installing 64mm-thick acoustic wall panels (with a NRC of 0.90) across 60% of the room’s walls will reduce the reverberation time to 0.3 seconds - this is a 70% reduction.
Where Should You Install Acoustic Panels?
In terms of location within a room, you will get the benefits of acoustic baffles’ sound-absorbing qualities whether you place them on the walls or the ceiling. We recommend 15-20% room coverage to get the best effect from your acoustic panels.
Acoustic soundproofing panels are ideal for busy, noisy environments such as open-plan offices, call centers, sales departments, schools and training colleges. As they can be fixed to walls or ceilings, these panels offer an excellent alternative to acoustic screens or partitions as they will not take up any valuable floor space.
Are There Freestanding Alternatives to Wall Panels?
Yes, as well as our ranges of acoustic wall panels, we also sell a variety of acoustic office screens and dividers which can be used in a variety of different ways to introduce soundproofing to your workplace.
Acoustic wall panels and acoustic screen partitions are both highly effective ways to reduce noise pollution in busy workplaces, though they serve slightly different purposes. The wall baffles minimise sound reverberation across the entire room, reducing both the echo effect and the distance that sound is able to travel. Freestanding partitions offer a more focused effect; installing them around desks or to create meeting spaces helps to trap the sound within these smaller areas. We recommend using a combination of both for the maximum soundproofing effect.
For more information on acoustic products or any of our Office Screens, please call our team on 01733 511030 or Contact Us.