The things we put into our bodies affect our health. It doesn’t stop with food, drink, and air quality, either. Chronic exposure to noise can have harmful effects as well. As such, it’s important to mitigate our exposure.
The easiest environments for us to control are interior spaces. There are a number of products that we utilize to reduce indoor noise, and when it comes to acoustic panels benefits are plentiful. Sound absorbing panels offer benefits that combine form and function in ways few other acoustical products can. So, how effective are sound panels? Let’s begin with a quick rundown on what they are and how they function.
What are acoustic panels?
Acoustic panels are decorative panels that we use to improve the acoustics in interior spaces. They do this by trapping sound waves in their porous cores, preventing the reflections that cause acoustical issues.
Acoustic panels may be mounted to walls or partitions and can even be suspended from ceilings. Their best placement depends largely on your use case. No matter where they’re placed, the benefits of absorbing panels are that they trap unwanted sound waves and reduce the occurrence of acoustical issues.
Most of the acoustical issues we face indoors can be attributed to sound waves that bounce off of hard, reflective surfaces and return into the open space. By absorbing them, we reduce the likelihood and impact of acoustical problems. The main issues we encounter are echo and reverberation.
Echo is caused when a sound wave travels across space, reflects off a hard surface, and returns to the source. The repeated sounds we hear can make it difficult to communicate clearly by competing with speech. They can even amplify in volume if too many reflections are present.
Reverberation, or reverb, is a buildup of reflected sound waves in a space. Those waves have an additive effect, and become louder as more reflections are added to the equation. As the room becomes louder, the people inside generally speak louder to compensate, adding to the overall room volume.
All of this translates into excess noise and acoustical issues that can lead to communication breakdown, increased stress, and even health problems if left untreated. Utilizing acoustic panels benefits us in a number of ways. Let’s look at the top five.
Top 5 Acoustic Panels Benefits
While there are numerous benefits of acoustic panels, we’re going to focus on the top five. These benefits concern protecting our health, hearing, and our ability to communicate with friends and family. Some will even encompass a variety of benefits that enhance our lives in multiple ways.
Improved acoustic quality
The first thing you’ll notice with acoustic panels is an improvement in the acoustic quality of the space. Utilizing acoustic panels benefits us in this arena by introducing the soft, absorbent materials into interior spaces that trap excess sound waves and prevent reflections.
This enhances the space by improving the sound of our music and movies, making communication more effective, and by providing more peace and quiet in our lives. These are all things we can use in today’s busy world, and acoustic panels provide them nicely.
Acoustical issues can cause communication breakdowns if we don’t recognize and address them. Repeated speech in the form of echo, as well as increased room volume due to reverberation, both make it harder to communicate clearly. Reduced volume and competition are some of the wonderful acoustic panels benefits where communication is concerned.
Complying with building codes and regulations
Another one of the great benefits of using acoustic panels is compliance. Acoustic panels help keep noise from traversing walls and affecting the neighbors. They do this by reducing the overall volume in the room, reducing the amount of noise that needs to be contained. Not only does this allow you to maintain positive relations with the neighbors, but it also keeps you on the right side of building codes and regulations.
Most home and office buildings designed to house multiple tenants have codes and regulations in place to reduce noise from traveling between one unit and the next. Adhering to them makes everyone happy.
Next, we’ve got to cover the health benefits. Reducing noise in interior spaces delivers a host of health benefits and the go-to solution audio professionals turn to for effective acoustic design is the acoustic panel. Here’s how chronic noise can impact your health.
First, chronic exposure to noise can have adverse effects on your ability to hear. It can make it harder to communicate in the short term, but it can seriously damage your hearing in the long run. Reducing ambient noise reduces the need to compensate for it when we speak and prevents the room from becoming even louder. All this helps protect our hearing.
Another health benefit associated with noise reduction is a reduction in stress levels. Stress can mimic a number of different health problems, and can have serious health implications if you don’t take steps to reduce stress in your life. Luckily, reducing your exposure to noise is a fantastic way of doing just that.
Noise can also make us irritable. Combine that with elevated stress levels and you’ve got a recipe for high blood pressure and heart problems. Reducing noise levels with acoustic panels benefits us in so many ways, it’s become standard practice in offices all across the country.
Chronic exposure to unwanted noise can cause a lot of problems, and in the workplace, one of the most impactful ones is lost productivity. When noise pollution reaches the point of communication issues and increasing stress levels, it will also affect our ability to concentrate and focus. This very often leads to decreased productivity and increased agitation levels.
Utilizing acoustic panels benefits the whole office by reducing the noise that negatively impacts our productivity. Not only do we see stress levels decline due to reduced ambient noise, but we also see them decline due to an increased ability to focus and hit deadlines.
Are acoustic panels appropriate for all types of workspace environments?
Noise reduction panels offer benefits to suit all needs. Some deliver a high end look, while others are rugged enough to stand up to moisture and impact. No matter what type of environment you work in, there’s an acoustic panel to serve your purposes.
How do acoustic ceilings contribute to productivity in commercial spaces?
One of the largest reflective surfaces in any office is the ceiling. It’s usually the biggest stretch of uninterrupted space, and often reflects speech and impact sounds back down into neighboring spaces. Suspending acoustic panels from the ceiling can minimize this. Utilizing acoustic panels benefits the office by keeping conversations private and allowing everyone to communicate with ease.
Can acoustic panels be customized to align with the design of my commercial premises?
Acoustic panels are available in a vast array of colors and configurations, meaning you’ll find something to improve your acoustics without sacrificing aesthetics. Whether you want to mount them on walls, cubicle dividers, or suspend them from ceilings, the addition of acoustic panels benefits the aesthetics as well as the acoustics.
What other acoustic solutions are appropriate for commercial buildings?
If you’re looking for a complete solution for your office space, there are a number of complementary products that will help you get the most out of your custom acoustical design. They include products that add mass and density to your walls and ceilings for soundproofing and absorption solutions for every surface in the space.
If you don’t know whether to go with green glue or mass loaded vinyl for your soundproofing project, we can help. Maybe a simple set of acoustic panels benefits your space the best. We can guide your setup for the best results possible.