Salem Music - Winston Salem, NC (photo by NGA)

Simply put, an acoustic panel is a fabric wrapped frame, with an inner core, composed of various sound absorbing materials.

But that doesn't tell us very much, So to get a better understanding of what an acoustic panel is, lets look at what they do and how they work.
Acoustic panels have a very simple yet important job- absorbing sound.  You can think of them like acoustic black holes – with the goal of sound going in and not coming back out. Acoustic panels can't make a sound go away, but cutting down on echoes and harsh ringing/reverberating sounds bouncing off of walls can make a HUGE difference of the volume levels within a particular room.

So how does reducing "echoes" make a room sound "better"??

The length of time it takes for a sound reverberation (or echo) within a room to die off to inaudibility is called the RT value of the room.  RT stands for reverberation time. Or think of it as the amount of time a room echoes.  

In an untreated room the RT value OR Reverberation time can carry for up to 10 seconds or longer. This creates a big issue. The problem is that the human ear can only tolerate 1.5 to 2.0 seconds worth of sound reverberation. Anything beyond this level, sound reflections become blurred, competing with new sound signals, and delivering unhealthy levels of what is called “background noise.”


So you may be asking yourself, why does this matter to me?

Good quality sound absorption will serve to slow down the sound wave reflections, cleaning out unhealthy levels of background noise in a room, while restoring the room back to good acoustic balance with good clarity to original sound.  For commercial settings, less background noise will trigger a more comfortable acoustic environment for groups of people that congregate in one room.  No longer will people need to shout over the background noise to communicate.

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