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Sound-absorbing panel

Photo: depositphotos.com
Photo: depositphotos.com


Sound-absorbing panels are typically made from materials that have porous surfaces or are fibrous in nature. These materials are designed to trap sound waves and reduce reverberation within a room. Common materials used include:

  1. Acoustic Foam: Polyurethane foam or melamine foam that has an open-cell structure, allowing it to absorb sound waves effectively.

  2. Mineral Wool: Comprising rock wool or fiberglass, it is dense and has a fibrous structure that can trap sound waves. Further, it often has fire-resistant properties, making it a safe choice for many environments.

  3. Fabric Wrapped Panels: These are often composed of an absorbing material like acoustic foam or fiberglass wrapped in decorative fabric. The fabric allows some sound to pass through and be absorbed by the underlying material.

  4. Wooden Panels: Perforated or slotted wooden panels can also serve as sound absorbers. The wood itself doesn't absorb much sound, but when designed with specific patterns, it allows sound to pass through to an absorbent material behind it.

  5. Polyester Fibers: PET (polyethylene terephthalate) acoustic panels made from highly compressed polyester fibers can also be effective sound absorbers.


The functionality of sound-absorbing panel materials lies in their ability to convert sound energy into minute amounts of heat as the sound waves pass through the absorptive material's structure. This process diminishes the amount of sound reflection back into the space, therefore reducing echo and reverb.


  1. Wall Panels: These are applied directly onto walls or suspended a short distance from them to absorb sound reflections.

  2. Ceiling Panels: Often used in commercial spaces, these panels can be suspended from the ceiling and are particularly effective in managing sound in large, open-plan areas.

  3. Desk Screens: These smaller panels attach to desks or workstations, helping to absorb sound in an office environment and providing a degree of speech privacy.

  4. Baffles and Rafts: Hanging from the ceiling, these units absorb sound in an omni-directional pattern and are particularly useful in large and industrial spaces.

  5. Modular Systems: These include free-standing panels that can be moved and rearranged as needed for flexible sound management solutions.


Sound-absorbing panels are used in a variety of settings:

  • Auditoriums and Theaters: To improve acoustics by reducing unwanted reverberation.

  • Recording Studios: To capture pure sound without echoes.

  • Offices: To minimize noise distractions and create privacy.

  • Restaurants and Cafes: To create a more comfortable acoustic environment for patrons.

  • Educational Institutions: In classrooms or lecture halls to enhance speech intelligibility.

  • Home Theaters and Living Spaces: To improve the audio experience and reduce noise transfer to other rooms.


For a material to be effective as a sound absorber, it must have a good Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC), which is a measure ranging from 0 (completely reflective) to 1 (completely absorptive). Most good quality sound-absorbing materials will have an NRC of 0.5 or higher.


The choice of sound-absorbing panel material depends on the specific requirements of the space, including aesthetic preferences, the frequencies that need to be absorbed, fire safety considerations, and environmental factors such as humidity resistance. Proper selection and installation of these panels can significantly improve the acoustic comfort and functionality of any interior space.

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