How to Reduce Echo in a Room: 9 Effective Solutions
An echoing room can make conversations difficult, conferences impossible, and loud noises unbearable. The experience of going to a noisy restaurant comes to mind. We’ve all been there. You’re trying to order your meal, and your server can’t hear you, or you’re trying to catch up with your friend, and you can’t hear each other, so you’re stuck trying to yell at each other across the table. Talk about frustrating.
People tend to assume that agitating restaurant experiences are just an issue with too many people trying to have conversations in the same space. However, the problem is actually an echo issue.
I always like to describe echo this way:
Let’s say you’re all alone in a big echoey space and it’s dead quiet. If you clap your hands once you’ll hear the sound reverberate around the space. Think of this clap as a super ball. When you clap, the super ball flies into space. It’s unaffected by gravity, but every time it hits a hard reflective surface, it loses some energy, changes directions, and then flies off that surface and does this same thing repeatedly until it eventually loses steam.
If that same super ball were to hit a pile of sand, the sand would take all the energy out of the ball, and it would stop bouncing. Sound absorptive materials are a lot like sand. They help absorb the energy of sound to prevent echo. Pretty cool, right?
However, you can’t just put any sound-absorptive material anywhere in a room and call it a day. Numerous factors come into play when trying to reduce echo in a room. For example, budget, room size, aesthetic goals, and more are all important considerations.
That’s why we’re taking some time today to discuss how to reduce echo in a room. From using acoustic panels to reduce echo to using everyday home items, we’ll share everything you need to know to reduce room echo on your next project.
How to Stop a Room from Echoing: 9 Steps to Stop Echo in a Room
Are you curious about how to get an echo out of a room? These nine steps should help:
1. Utilize Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels, or echo reduction panels, are one of the most straightforward ways to reduce echo quickly and effectively. Acoustic panels are manufactured specifically for noise absorption and echo reduction, so it’s no surprise that incorporating them into your room or space is an ideal solution for stopping unwanted echoing.
Acoustic panels are incredibly versatile, too. There are numerous fabric options and seemingly countless colors to customize the overall look and feeling of acoustic panels. At Acoustical Solutions, we can also custom-create acoustic panels to fit any size, shape, or setting. There are also other options, like barrier wall panels, tackable wall panels, high-impact panels, and more. The possibilities are virtually limitless with acoustic panels.
2. Consider Acoustic Foam
Acoustic foam is a terrific and cost-effective solution for reducing echo and reverberation. It’s commonly found in recording booths, but you can use it in numerous applications in businesses or homes to quickly mitigate or stop room echo. Foam may not be the most aesthetically appealing option, but it comes in various colors, and with the right eye for design, it can also fit into existing motifs. In the end, some acoustic foam products are more fragile than other options, but it’s available in a range of price points, which makes it an ideal option for many people.
3. Incorporate Art and Textiles Into the Space
Echoing happens because there’s nothing to absorb sound waves. Art pieces and textiles can help slightly absorb some of the noise in a space and reduce echo in a room. While art and textiles are unlikely to control the echo completely, they can help, especially when used alongside some of the other suggestions on this list. (Be sure the art you choose doesn’t have a hard surface, like a glass frame or oil painting. Instead, you want it to be soft and sound-absorbing).
For extra sound absorption, consider our AlphaSorb® Acoustic Art Panels, which allow you to print art right onto sound absorbing panels or Crosspoint™, which is like a rug you can hang right on the wall, or our EcoSorpt® Cotton Acoustic Panel, which is a nice textured product.
4. Use Stylish Acoustic Panel Accents
If you don’t want to give up style or function, consider a stylistic or geometric acoustic panel accent wall like the photo above. The hexagonal-shaped acoustic panels absorb sound while adding a statement piece to any room’s design. These panels come in all types of materials – acoustic felt, wood fiber, and cotton.
5. Consider Adding Bookshelves
Tall bookshelves with lots of books, decorations, and knick-knacks are an excellent solution to reducing echo in a room. Rather than just absorbing the sound waves, bookshelves with lots of stuff on them act as diffusers that force the sound waves to bend so the sound diffuses and scatters rather than just bouncing back. If you use this solution, use different-sized decorations and place books at different depths for maximum results. Not a reader? No problem. You can get better results with an actual sound diffuser.
6. Cover Bare Floors with Rugs
Much like art and textiles, covering hard floors with rugs is a great way to help absorb some sound. That’s why carpeted rooms often have less echo than rooms with hard floors. Rugs can be extra beneficial in rooms with taller ceilings and are an excellent way to stylistically combat echo. If you’re looking for some extra sound absorption, having a pad under the rug can make it even more absorptive.
7. Incorporate Bass Traps
If you’re looking to stop an echo in a conference room, recording studio, place of worship, or home theater, you might consider adding a few bass traps to your space. Bass traps help absorb lower-frequency sound waves, whereas acoustic panels absorb more of the mid to high frequencies. If your space has a build-up of lower-frequency sounds, a bass trap can help remove some of the echoes in the room to provide clearer overall sound.
8. Use Thick Window Curtains
Don’t overlook the impact of heavy window curtains. If your space has large windows, sturdy curtains can help decrease the room’s overall echo. The only downside here is that it also reduces natural light in the process. However, it’s one way to cost-effectively reduce echo with something you’re probably already going to purchase or need for the room or space.
9. Consider a Sound Blanket
A sound blanket is the way to go if you need to reduce echo in an industrial, manufacturing, or construction space. Sound blankets can even reduce noise and absorb sound in hot, hazardous, or loud areas. Although they won’t completely eliminate noise, they can easily reduce noise and echo in industrial spaces.
While they’re most commonly associated with industrial spaces, sound blankets can also work in residential areas and are popular for apartment dwellers who are limited in how they can modify the space. At Acoustical Solutions, we also offer blankets with sound barriers. When a sound barrier blanket completely covers a wall, they are a great solution for musicians, folks with noisy neighbors, or those with an elevator bank nearby.
Decrease Echo in a Room Quickly and Effectively with Acoustical Solutions
Now that you’re aware of how to get rid of an echo in a room, you probably need some high-quality foam, panels, bass traps, sound blankets, and more. At Acoustical Solutions, we specialize in manufacturing sound echo reduction and noise absorption solutions.
Since 1989, we’ve been the trusted manufacturer of acoustical solutions, and we take pride in our high-quality products and top-notch customer care. Take a look at our echo reduction products, or contact us today to learn more!
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.