The different types of acoustic panels

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Thanks to the rise in open-plan offices and industrial warehouse conversions, designers are constantly looking for ways to absorb sound in these large, echoey spaces. As a result, acoustic panels are growing in popularity.

With so many options out there, this blog aims to cover the different types of acoustic panels and how they can improve your space from both an acoustic and visual perspective.

The study of acoustics

Traditionally, the study of acoustics has focussed on dealing from sound coming from one source. For example, a musician on a stage in a concert hall. The rise in open-plan environments means that sound sources are much more chaotic, with dozens of people talking at one time, noisy machinery and other disturbances.

These challenges require acousticians to consider the type of acoustic treatment needed, along with how many panels are appropriate for the task at hand.

How many acoustic panels?

This depends on your aim. Loading a room with acoustic panels would create a library-like atmosphere, which can be off-putting and even inhibitive. Therefore, it’s important to locate sound sources and reflection points, which can be achieved with the ear of an experienced acoustician.

Our advice for architects would be to think about how you can use varied acoustics to shape how space is used. Cafeterias and meeting spaces could be lighter and brighter, whilst more intimate spaces such as work hubs and private meeting rooms could be more insulated.

Different types of acoustic panels

Wall-mounted acoustic panels

If you choose to specify a wall-mounted acoustic panel, there are lots of options available. Wall-mounted acoustic panels allow you to experiment with art, creating a unique aesthetic. Our Wall Panel Pros are fabric wrapped with the option to have your own design printed on the front of it.

Many of our clients like the visual effect of our acrylic fronted wall panels. They create the perfect balance between absorption and reflection to fine tune a rooms acoustics. These panels contain the sound-absorbing materials inside, creating a more discreet effect.

Sound-Zero's acrylic Wall Panel Pro
A stylish approach to controlling acoustics with the white fronted acrylic acoustic panels with the foam absorption material creating a striking contrast

Free-standing acoustic panels

Freestanding panels can be placed in rooms where there’s limited access to wall space due to the room’s size and design.

Then there is acoustic pods with integrated panels. We recommend ACOUSTIC PODS by BLOCK LONDON. These free-standing pods provide you with the opportunity to escape the chaos and enter a world of tranquil bliss. Workers can fully immerse themselves in a project, without distractions from the outside world.

Suspended acoustic ceiling clouds

When lighting and wire tracks prevent us from acoustically treating a large ceiling space, we recommend suspended ceiling clouds that will create a modern appearance combined with noise reduction and reverberation from different levels of frequency.

Suspended ceiling clouds
The range of suspended ceiling clouds Sound Zero can design and implement means the possibilities are endless

Absorptive Vs diffusive ceiling rafts

These are large, suspended panels that hang from the ceiling with an approximate two-inch shallow gap around the edge. Cladded on the topside with absorbing material, the rafts create an entirely false ceiling, lowering the ceiling height of a room.

Suspended acoustic baffles

Suspended vertically from the ceiling, these large, rectangular panels absorb sound on both sides, lowering the noise level in a room. Whilst demonstrating strong visual impact, these baffles (sometimes referred to as arrays) can be quickly retrofitted, even in the most challenging of architectural designs.

suspended acoustic baffles
Even on ceilings with a lot of existing obstructions, suspended acoustic baffles can easily be retrofitted without the need to remove obstacles

Conclusion

Modern architecture incorporates a variety of hard reflective materials such as glass, steel and concrete. Whist these designs provide a stylish aesthetic, they don’t do much for acoustical comfort. To combat this, why not combine outstanding architectural design flexibility with visual interest.

Get in touch today to learn how we can improve and enhance your space to meet your artistic requirements.

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