The world of acoustics has grown exponentially over the past decade, as the benefits of good room acoustics have become well known through scientific research. Acoustic panels have become popular within office and other spaces including restaurants, bars, halls and any space which suffers from acoustic issues.

Sonio supply products that solve acoustic issues WITHIN the space. The products available are all designed to absorbed excess noise and reverberation within the room, which in turn reduces the overall noise level. As we know, high noise levels are one of the biggest complaints in the workplace and has significant impact on so many things including health, happiness and productivity.

What is an acoustic panel?

A acoustic panel absorbs sound within a space.

The term ‘Acoustic panels’ is quite a broad characterisation of acoustic products which consists of wall panels, ceiling panels, ceiling rafts, baffles, screens and more. Each of these can be considered acoustic panels which absorb sound and background noise, reduce reverberation and echo within a space, whilst also adding to the aesthetic and design of the space. Although, generally the most common panels used are wall and ceiling panels, which tend to provide the most effective solution to the common acoustic issues within most spaces.

How do acoustic panels work?

Acoustic panels are designed to absorb and trap soundwaves to control reverberation in enclosed areas. In spaces with many solid and hard surfaces, sound will bounce off these surfaces creating loud echo and increasing the overall volume within the space. There are so many different types of acoustic panel, but all will have some absorbing core material which does the bulk of the work.

When to use acoustic panels? 

Correcting the acoustics within a room has many benefits; but they all essentially come from improving the acoustic comfort within the space. Noise irritates us, it makes us uncomfortable.

Acoustic panels can be used in almost any space that has a noise problem. Most interior acoustic issues relate to high reverberation, where sounds produced tend to hang around much longer than it should. If your space feels loud or echo-ey when you are in it, the issue is likely that the reverberation time is too high.

After years of working with a plethora of issues in various spaces, we have developed our own set of RT guidelines which can be used as a benchmark for solving noise problems. The efficient and effective selection and installation of sound absorbing acoustic panels will reduce the RT to suitable levels which will drastically transform the acoustic comfort of your space. This is especially important in spaces like AV Rooms and Village Halls.

 

Room Type Suggested RT
Open Plan Office <1 second
Enclosed Office <0.6 seconds
Meeting Room 0.6-0.8 seconds
AV/VC Room <0.5 seconds
Primary School Classroom <0.6 seconds
School Classroom <0.8 seconds
Nursey School Classroom <0.6 seconds
Small Lecture Room <0.8 seconds
Large Lecture Room <1 second
Assembly Hall 0.8 – 1.2 seconds
Sports Hall <1.5 seconds
School Corridor/Stairwell <1.5 seconds
Dining Room/Canteen <1.0 second
Restaurant 0.5 – 0.7 seconds
Church/Village Hall <1.5 seconds
Library <1.0 second
Swimming Pool <2.0 seconds
Call Centre <0.8 seconds
Theatre/Auditorium 1.5-2 seconds
Cinema 0.8-1.2 seconds

 

Where to apply acoustic panels?

In smaller rooms, such as meeting rooms or private offices, sound waves will usually hit the walls first. For these closed spaces, acoustic wall panels fitted on at least 30% of the wall surface will reduce echo and reverberation considerably. Installing acoustic panels can be a simple project for a handy DIYer; why not check out our guide to installing acoustic wall panels.

For larger, open spaces a combination of wall and ceiling absorption is often required, as there is much more area for the sound to travel through and more surfaces to bounce off. Hanging panels from the ceiling will perform the bulk of the work in absorbing sound in large spaces, but also adding wall panelling will ensure the most efficient absorption.

 

Visual design of acoustic panels

Whilst the benefits of acoustic panels are clear, they can also improve the visual appearance of your space. With so many different products available, you’re sure to find something that suits your desired design aesthetic.

 

Want us to install acoustic panels in your space? View some of our install projects here.