Enhancing Meetings with Conference Room Sound Dampening
I’m constantly impressed by customers that reach out to me about wanting to improve the acoustics of their conference rooms. It impresses me because I know how much difference can be made by properly treating a room acoustically, and how that will translate to making the conference room environment even more professional.
Especially in the new era of video conferencing and teleconferencing, it pays dividends to make sure sound quality is as pure and professional as the meetings and deliberations taking place. There is no denying that a poorly functioning mic, background noise, or excessive echo quickly becomes a distraction and appears unprofessional. In a conference room, where some of the biggest, most important decisions of all are discussed and executed, it’s critical to make sure the room makes a strong first impression and allows speakers to be clearly heard and understood.
I’ve had so many customers reach out after a beautiful renovation of their conference room, only to use it for the first time and realize that it was nearly impossible to hear anyone because of all the noise and reverberation. For folks joining meetings in those rooms via teleconference the experience is exponentially worse. I’ve heard all about make or break calls with potential clients that were continually interrupted because the client couldn’t hear them. Large and minimalist conference rooms with modern decor look incredible, but can sound awful because sounds literally ricochet off every surface.
So in this article, I’ll show you the best techniques and products to enhance your meetings (and business!) via sound dampening in your conference room. We’ll look at how we can block sounds from outside the conference room, as well as how to best control the sound to make it sound as best as possible.
A Quick Understanding: Sound Dampening via Soundproofing and Sound Control
When it comes to dampening the sound in a space, it’s important to separate two distinct concepts: soundproofing and sound control.
Soundproofing, or sound blocking, is when materials are used to actively block sound from entering the room or escaping. Soundproofing treatments make sure that sound coming from outside through the windows or from the other side of walls and the door are blocked so that they cannot be heard, or at least are severely reduced. If you are having private conversations in your conference room, soundproofing is an important step.
Sound control, on the other hand, is how we hone the sound within the room. If a room has a lot of echo and reverberation, sound control products help to eliminate it so the sound is “cleaner” and more pure. Products like acoustic panels and bass traps serve to hone and control the frequencies of sound so that speech and music are able to sound as they should.
In terms of sound dampening a conference room, we will employ both of these measures to make the most professional sounding space possible.
Methods to Soundproof the Conference Room
Let’s start from the foundation and make sure the conference room is soundproof before we turn to making the sound better with sound control. In order to soundproof a space, you have to essentially seal it with sound blocking materials to keep sound from escaping. That requires treatment on both walls and ceilings.
Soundproofing Drywalled Walls
The best ways to soundproof involve infusing walls with sound proofing materials to block sound entering or exiting through the assemblies. I recommend the combination of AudioSeal® Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) Soundproofing Barrier, Resilient Sound Isolation Clips (RSIC-1), and Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound.
AudioSeal® Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
AudioSeal® Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a dense vinyl that is used to reduce the amount of airborne sound that is transmitted through walls, floors, and ceilings. It is used in new construction or renovation projects and is the main blocker of sound in this soundproofing combination.
Resilient Sound Isolation Clips (RSIC-1)
Resilient Sound Isolation Clips (RSIC-1) are an effective and economical way to float walls and ceilings in order to provide an air gap between drywall and studs. Along with installed MLV, this technique creates a high STC rating for your wall or ceiling assembly.
Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound
Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound is added to the assembly to further reduce noises entering or escaping. When Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound is used between two layers of drywall or other rigid construction materials it forms a damping system to isolate sound and vibration which can significantly reduce sound transfer between rooms.
If the conference room features drop ceilings, I have a fantastic soundproofing product. I recommend our PrivacyShield® combination product that combines PrivacyShield® Ceiling Tile Barriers and PrivacyShield® Light Hoods. The ceiling tile barriers are installed on top of the ceiling tiles while the hoods are for light fixtures. This is a fantastic duo with quick install that will dramatically reduce sounds penetrating from above the drop ceiling.
Soundproofing Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are more straightforward than wall and ceiling assemblies because they can be treated without major renovation. Even if you chose to replace the doors and windows, it is a smaller project than redoing walls. In many cases, I’ve found that windows and doors are actually the main problem of sounds entering a space.
To treat windows, adding a PrivacyShield® Window Seal Kit is a fantastic and easy way to achieve soundproofing. Depending on where the conference room is situated, there might be a lot of outside noise contributing to a small buzz or even loud annoyance. Adding this product is an excellent way to significantly reduce or entirely remove exterior sounds, depending on how loud they are.
For doors, I recommend installing a solid core door and using our PrivacyShield® Soundproofing Door Kit with Acoustic Threshold to add jamb seals, a threshold seal, and an automatic door bottom for the door to complete the soundproofing of the conference room.
Now That We’re Soundproof, Let’s Make It Sound Crystal Clear and Professional
Now that we have our foundation, it’s time to make the sound in the conference room – whether voices, voices from speakers, or video presentations – clean and sleek. The ideal solution is to employ acoustic panels to control echo and reverberation. I love our AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panels and find them to be an excellent choice not only to achieve our sound control goals, but aesthetics, too.
Wrapped in high-quality Guilford of Maine acoustic fabric, the panels are sleek and offered in a wide array of colors to match your company’s brand and the aesthetic of your conference rooms.
For those looking for more in terms of aesthetics, I suggest our AlphaSorb® Designer Premium Acoustic Felt Hexagon Wall Panels. These panels offer more design flexibility while still meeting sound control requirements with their ability to be arranged in unique ways. Many clients enjoy our AlphaSorb® Designer Acoustic Slatted Wood Wall Panels. With a trendy interest in natural – “biophilic” – design, they are a great option!
Dampening the Sound in Your Conference Room the Right Way with Acoustical Solutions
Just as visual presentation is important to professionalism, so is the auditory.
I’d love to hear about your unique issues with your conference room and how we can best design a plan to perfect its acoustics. Perhaps you’ve got concrete walls and just need sound control, or maybe you are considering renovations and would like to improve soundproofing while also controlling sound better. Whatever the issue, we can solve it.
Contact me today and we’ll steer you down the right path and have your conference room sounding perfect!
To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.