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Acoustic Panels: 5 Great Options To Maximize Sound Absorption

June 11, 2023 
BY DAN SPENCER
Last Updated on October 23, 2023

Acoustic panels are a popular solution for reducing unwanted sound in a room. Whether you're an audiophile, setting up a home theater, or a professional seeking to improve the sound in a recording studio or office, effective sound absorption is crucial. But not all acoustic panels are created equal.

In this post, we'll discuss five excellent options that you should consider when aiming to maximize sound absorption. We'll compare their effectiveness, aesthetics, ease of installation, and budget to help you find the perfect solution for your needs.

So if you've ever been plagued by echo's in your home cinema, found it hard to focus in a noisy office, or experienced less-than-optimal sound quality in your music studio, keep reading. These acoustic panels might just be the sound solution you've been searching for!

What Are Acoustic Panels?

Acoustic panels are designed to absorb sound waves, limit echoes, and improve sound quality in a room. They reduce the sound that bounces off hard surfaces, like walls, ceilings, and floors.

They can also help to reduce noise pollution and create a more comfortable environment.

Acoustic panels are commonly used in recording studios, home theaters, conference rooms, and other spaces where sound quality is essential.

They’re available in various sizes, shapes, and colors, and can be customized to fit any room.

Whether you’re building a recording studio, conference room, or home theater, acoustic panels are an excellent way to create a more immersive and enjoyable experience.

Types Of Acoustic Panels

There are two main types of acoustic panels: absorbers and diffusers. Absorbers are designed to absorb sound waves, while diffusers scatter them around in different directions.

Absorbers are typically made from rock wool, fiberglass, and foam. On the other hand, diffusers are often made from wood or other hard materials.

In this article, we are strictly focusing on absorbers.

Do Acoustic Panels Really Work?

Acoustic panels work on reducing the amount of sound that’s reflected in a given space. They absorb sound waves rather than reflect them.

When sound waves hit the acoustic panel, they enter a porous material and get trapped inside instead of bouncing off a wall or hard surface. In turn, this minimizes the amount of sound that gets lost in space.

The degree of effectiveness depends on various factors, including density, placement, and the environment they’re used in.


Related Article: How To Set Up A Home Recording Studio For Beginners


Acoustic Panel Options For All Budgets

While acoustic panels are an excellent way to enhance the sound quality in your space, not all options are wallet-friendly.

In this list, we’ve gathered several panels that fit sizable and small budgets alike.

1. Focusound Acoustic Foam

Top Pick
Focusound Acoustic Foam
7.8/10Rating

Interested in getting this acoustic foam? Click the link below.

The Focusound acoustic foam comes in a pack of 50, each measuring 1 x 12 x 12 inches. They come with triangular groove structures to enhance their noise absorption capabilities. 

Included are double-sided adhesives that facilitate the installation process of these foam pieces. Not to mention, they're easy to remove, so they don't damage your walls.

This multi-purpose kit can work for the office, recording studios, control rooms, and vocal booths.

The foam ships smashed in a box. If it doesn't take it's full form after unpacking it then you can soak it in water for a few minutes and let it dry for 24-48 hours.

Finally, they’re fire-retardant, which means you won’t have to stress about fire hazards. They’re also made of non-toxic materials, so you’re safe being in a room full of these foam pieces for however long you like.

Pros
  • Groove structures enhance absorption
  • Come with an adhesive that’s easy to remove
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Not the most absorbent

2. Arrowzoom Acoustic Panels

Top Pick
Arrowzoom Acoustic Panels
7.4/10Rating

Interested in getting these acoustic panels? Click the link below.

The Arrowzoom acoustic panels come in packs of two, four, or eight panels. There are two size options: 11.8 x 11.8 inches and 23.6 x 23.6 inches.

These panels are fabric-wrapped and you can get them in black, blue, burgundy, grey, red, green, or ivory. They’re made from 100% brand-new fiberglass and high-quality fabric. They provide an appealing aesthetic that suits refined spaces.

The design enables the panels to reduce unwanted interior noise by up to 100 dB! Not only that, but they also come with edge protectors so that the corners aren’t damaged or dented.

Like the Focusound panels, these are safe from fire hazards as they come with fire-retardant specs.

Pros
  • Great sound absorption
  • Come in a variety of colors
  • Various pack size options
Cons
  • A little pricey

3. ATS Acoustics Panel 

Top Pick
ATS Acoustic Panels
9/10Rating

Interested in getting these acoustic panels? Click the link below.

The ATS acoustic panel comes in black, burgundy, ivory, and natural colors. It's a great choice for office setups as they give you a sense of professionalism. This is especially true thanks to the textured fabric that complements living spaces.

It comes with superior sound absorption (NRC 1.0 out of 1) and gives you excellent echo and reverb minimization.

The ATS panel comes with a solid wood internal frame that prevents any damage or dents to the corners and edges.

The panel is 24 x 2 x 28 inches and weighs 10.5 pounds, and is truly designed to look good in any space.

Pros
  • Top-notch absorption
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Aesthetically pleasing
Cons
  • Not the best fabric quality

4. Auralex Alpha-DST Roominator Kit

Top Pick
Auralex Roominator
10/10Rating

Interested in getting this acoustic treatment kit? Click the link below.

The Auralex Alpha-DST Roominator Kit comes in packs of 32 (DST-112s), 32 (DST-114s), and (4) DST-LENRD bass traps in charcoal color. 

They measure 14.14 x 8.32 x 4.68 inches and aren’t too tough to set up. They’re a fit choice for small studios and are easy to install. Also, they meet the UL 94 HF-1 flammability standard, so you’re safe from fire hazards. 

Although the Auralex Alpha-DST Roominator kit is expensive, it’s worth every penny. 

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Three color combinations
  • Safety from fire hazards
Cons
  • Not the most wallet-friendly

5. Primacoustic London 12-Room Kit

Top Pick
Primacoustic 12 Room Kit
10/10Rating

Interested in getting this acoustic treatment kit? Click the link below.

The Primacoustic London Room Kit comes in black, beige, and gray. The kit comes with 22 panels that measure 50.5 x 21.5 x 14.8 inches.

The panels are suitable for rooms spanning up to 150 square feet in height but are ideal for 120 square feet rooms. 

They come with fabric that’s class-A fire rated-safe to use anywhere. Moreover, they’re covered in high-density 6-pounds per cubic foot fiberglass that add to the dampening effect. 

Not to mention, they offer up to five times more effective absorption than typical low-cost foam alternatives.

To facilitate setup, the panels come with live-end and dead-end (LELE) room designs, which means you can hang them up with screws and easy-mount hardware.

The Primacoustic London kit is ideal for studios, control rooms, and home theaters.

Pros
  • LELE room designs
  • Fiberglass enhances sound clarity
  • Excellent value for money
Cons
  • Tough to install
  • Not the most visually pleasing

 


Related Article: Bass Traps: The Secret to Making Your Room Sound Better


DIY Acoustic Panels

Making DIY acoustic panels is a cost-effective way to improve the acoustics of a room. You can make one with a few simple materials and they are easy to install.

In this section, we’ll outline the materials you’ll need and provide you with a step-by-step guide to get you going.

Materials Needed

The materials needed for DIY acoustic panels are readily available and can be found at most hardware stores. 

Here’s a list of the materials needed:

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Cut the wooden frame to the size you need. The size of the frame will depend on the size of the room and the amount of sound absorption needed. The standard size for DIY acoustic panels is 2 feet by 4.
  2. Cut the fiberglass insulation to fit the frame. The insulation should be slightly larger than the frame to ensure that it fits well and tightly.
  3. Place the insulation inside the frame. Be careful not to compress the insulation too much, as this will reduce its effectiveness.
  4. Cover the frame with fabric. The fabric should be pulled taut and stapled to the back of the frame. Be sure to staple the fabric to the frame at regular intervals to ensure it’s secure.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for each panel that you need.
  6. Install the DIY acoustic panels on the walls of the room by using screws or picture hangers.

Final Thoughts

Acoustic panels are a great solution for reducing noise in a room by absorbing sound waves. However, it’s important to note that while acoustic panels reduce noise, they’re not a final solution.

To get their full potential, you should use them in conjunction with other soundproofing techniques. These include soundproof curtains, weatherstripping, and door sweepers.

Finally, acoustic panels can be a little pricey, but they’re worth the investment. They’re easy to install and can be mounted on walls via screws, adhesives, or brackets.

The Focusound is a good option if you’re looking for an all-around option. On the other hand, the Arrowzoom is a viable choice for a budget-friendly option, while the ATS Acoustics is a durable choice that gives you good value for the money.

If you’re looking for premium performance and you’re willing to spend some more, you can opt for the Primacoustic London room kit or the Auralex Alpha-DST Roominator.

If you found the information in this article helpful, please considering subscribing to our blog for more music production tips, tricks, and advice.

"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

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