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Designs My Studio Tiles Installation About Acoustics 101 Shop

Zack the acoustician tests felt right tiles

Why do acoustics matter?

Good acoustics promotes comfort, productivity, and well-being.

Noisy spaces cause fatigue and miscommunication, even when sound isn't an obvious problem.

What is noise?

Noise is hard to define, but we know it when we hear it. Noise is often described as any unwanted sound. It can be loud or soft, or it can linger or be brief. If sound gets in the way of your activity, communication, health, and well-being, it can probably be called noise.

Vacuuming
What makes a space noisy
Vacuum Acoustics

There are a few causes of noise. The most common is the hard materials that make up our living spaces. Tile, drywall, concrete, woord, and glass all promote the lingering of unwanted sound. Other causes of noise are machinery, and transfer of sound across walls and through floors.

What can I do to improve my space?

Change the balance of the materials in the space by covering some of the hard surfaces with soft, sound-absorbing materials. Everybit counts, and the more you add, the more the acoustics of the room will change.

Vacuum Acoustics
Sound Basics
Sound can be thought of as pressure variations moving in air. When you clap your hands together, you create a high pressure area between them, and a low pressure area around them. These pressure variations expand outward. Hearing is the sensation of this moving energy, as our ears convert it to a signal the brain can understand.
Sound Pressure
Sound in air

Sound moves quickly, more than 1100 feet per second. It is far slower than light, though, which is why you can see lightning before hearing the thunder that follows.

Wavelengtht is the distance between high and low pressure areas. Sound waves can be very large, ranging from less than an inch to nearly sixty feet. We hear those different wavelengths as differences in frequency, or pitch. The larger the wavelengths, the lower the frequency - known as bass - and the smaller the wavelengths, the higher the frequency - known as treble. Humans can hear frequencies of 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz. The human voice occupies the central region of this range.

Wavelength
Loudness

The loudness of a sound is known as level, and humans can hear an incredible range of levels, from the quietest whisper to the loudest jet engines. Level is measured with the decibel, where 0 decibels is the quietest audible sound and above 100 decibels might cause hearing damage.

Loudness

When a sound is made in a room, it interacts with the surfaces of that room. The surfaces can be transparent, reflective, diffusive, or absorptive. If too many reflective surfaces cover the room, sound can reverberate and cause acoustic problems.

Transparent
Reflective Diffusive Absorptive
Measuring Sound Absorption

Absorptive surfaces soak up the reverberating sound. Absorptive surfaces are rated using NRC, noise reduction coefficient. NRC ranges from 0 to 1, with higher values meaning more absorption per square foot. To get the total absorption i nsabins, just multiply th eNRC by the square footage of felt used. Here is the NRC test report for Felt Right Tiles:

Felt Right Tile Sound Absorption
Finding a Solution
1. Identify the acoustic problem
  • Reverberation - sound lingering within a space
  • Sound isolation - sound transferring across walls, floors, or the building enclosure
  • Background noise - the hum of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems
  • Audio systems - speaker systems including televisions, computers, and video conferencing systems
Reverbant Controlled

Felt Right tiles are engineered to reduce reverberation and make the sound of audio systems more clear. They sometimes help with sound isolation and background noise, but often those problems involve building construction and mechanical system expertise. If you are reducing reverberation or making audio system playback more clear, move to Step 2.

2. Understand the acoustic problem

Reverberation can be quantified using the parameter reverberation time, which is the amount of time required for sound to decay by 60 decibels in a room. For rooms where speech and communication are important, reverberation time should be no greater than 1.0 seconds. Long reverberation is bad for communication because words already spoken linger and obscure the words that follow.

Reverberation time can be measured or calculated. If you'd rather not get that specific, just remember the following rules:

  • The bigger a room is, the more reverberant it will be
  • The more hard, reflective materials a room has, the more reverberant it will be
  • The larger and more reflective a room is, the more absorption will be needed to tame that room
Credited Graph
3. Solve the Acoustic Problem

Felt Right acoustic tiles absorb sound energy, converting it to small amounts of heat and making spaces more comfortable.

Felt Right acoustic tiles are rated at NRC=0.35. This means each square foot of coverage adds 0.35 sabins of absorption to the space. If you aren't sure how many sabins you need, it's ok.

There is no distinct line between good and bad acoustics. Every square foot helps, and the more you add, the more improvement you will hear.

Location of absorption isn't as important as quantity. Place it wherever it looks good, or wherever it serves another function, like a pinnable surface.

Acoustics