How Thick Should Acoustic Panels Be? And Why It's Important?
One of my favorite things about this job is my work with people, customizing their sound environment. One of the most crucial elements of designing acoustical solutions is understanding what you need and how much of it you need. That starts with understanding the science behind acoustics.
Acoustic panels are a go-to acoustic solution for almost every space. Of course, you have to know what you’re looking for and how thick your acoustic panels should be. So, let’s break that down. Here’s everything you need to know to answer the question: “How thick should acoustic panels be?”
1” Acoustic Panels vs. 2” Acoustic Panels
We’re proud to offer a range of acoustic panels, primarily in 1” and 2” thicknesses, which are ideal for almost any scenario. Unfortunately, choosing the right one isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. It’s all about understanding your space, the sounds within it, and how you interact with those sounds.
1” Acoustic Panels
Here’s our general rule of thumb. If you’re dealing with mostly people talking or normal voices, 1” panels are ideal. They primarily absorb the frequencies most often associated with human speech and should be more than enough to complete the job.
However, they might not be the best fit for areas with lots of music or environments with lower-frequency sounds. In these cases, the 1” panels might absorb the higher frequencies, which leaves the lower ones to bounce around and create a ton of unwanted acoustic reverberance.
2” Acoustic Panels
For a more comprehensive sound absorption, especially in spaces with varied audio ranges like music studios or home theaters, 2” panels are the way to go. 2” panels are adept at soaking up a wider range of frequencies, especially the challenging low-frequency sounds. I might even recommend these in a situation where you have a male speaker with a lower frequency voice because sometimes, 1” panels aren’t enough.
Top Acoustic Panels from Acoustical Solutions
At Acoustical Solutions, we offer the best acoustic panels on the market, each designed to cater to diverse needs and design aesthetics. Here are my top picks for almost any project:
1. AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panel
Our AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panels are more than just sound absorbers. They’re a testament to our commitment to both acoustical efficiency and design elegance. Available in various colors and textures, these panels integrate seamlessly into any interior décor.
They’re available in both 1” and 2” thicknesses to create versatile solutions for different acoustic challenges. Plus, their fire-rated safety feature adds an extra layer of security.
2. AlphaSorb® Designer Felt Acoustic Panels
The AlphaSorb® Designer Felt Acoustic Panels are where functionality meets modern art. Available in a variety of vibrant colors and shapes, these panels add a ton of style while continuing to address acoustic needs.
Their unique design, which includes an air gap, enhances their sound absorption capabilities to make this an ideal option for creating visually stunning, acoustically balanced spaces.
3. PolyPhon™ Polyester Acoustic Panels – Acoustical Solutions
Our PolyPhon™ Polyester Acoustic Panels are the epitome of sustainable acoustic design. Made from 100%-recyclable polyester, they are an eco-friendly solution to your acoustic challenges. These panels are versatile, durable, and effective in both 1” and 2” thicknesses, which makes them suitable for almost any sound environment.
The Purpose of Acoustic Panels
Understanding the role of acoustic panels is crucial. They are designed to absorb sound, not to block it. This means they manage echo and reverberation within a room, to create a more pleasant and peaceful sound environment. It’s all about enhancing the quality of your sound by managing its behavior within your space.
How Acoustic Panels Work
When looking at a sound wavelength, you can see that it’s a series of peaks and valleys that represent everything from low to high frequencies. Well, there’s an acoustic rule we follow as sound technicians called the “Quarter Wave Rule” that simply states, you need a quarter of that distance to start the absorption process, but you need 100% of it to absorb that wave’s energy in its entirety.
Case Studies Featuring 1” and 2” Acoustic Panels
Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of tackling a variety of acoustic challenges and applying our expertise with both 1” and 2” panels. The following case studies are not just testimonials of our products’ effectiveness, but also a showcase of our ability to tailor solutions to specific needs:
Williamsburg Regional Library
At the Williamsburg Regional Library, we used our AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panels to tackle the echo problem in the children’s reading area head-on. The solution: we used 1” thick fabric-wrapped panels since the primary concern was voice reverberation. They not only improved the aesthetics, but significantly enhanced the acoustic quality and made it a better space for learning.
Sam Houston State University Music Building
For the Sam Houston State University Music Building, we used our AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panels to provide an aesthetically pleasing and effective acoustic solution. Our panels fit seamlessly into the existing décor while simultaneously enhancing the sound quality. We ended up using 2” thick fabric-wrapped panels for this project because it is a music space with lower frequency noise issues.
King Family Vineyards
At the King Family Vineyards, our PolyPhon™ Polyester Acoustic Panels transformed the main event room by reducing echo to create a more inviting, comfortable atmosphere for guests. For this project, we used 1” panels, and they worked like a charm!
Bellevue Elementary Cafeteria
The Bellevue Elementary Cafeteria was a challenging project, but we eventually figured it out! Our combination of AlphaSorb® and PolyPhon™ panels turned a noisy cafeteria into a calm, enjoyable space, to make meals more pleasant for students and staff. For this project, we used 2” panels because of the sheer amount of noise in the cafeteria.
Looking for Premium Acoustic Panels for Your Space?
Choosing the right acoustic panels can be a challenging process if you aren’t familiar with acoustics, but it’s something we excel in. Here at Acoustical Solutions, we’re here to help you find the perfect match for your space, no matter your needs or the size and challenge of your space.
Contact us today to learn which acoustic panel thickness is right for you!
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.