The Sound Advice Blog

Noise Reduction in Open Public Spaces

cant hear you

What? I can’t hear you!

My wife and I were sitting at the bar at one of our favorite brunch spots last Sunday and during our conversation she turned to me and told me to stop shouting in her ear. This of course led to me speaking more softly in my normal speaking voice and she told me to stop joking around because now she couldn’t understand what I was saying. As a result of my helping fix noise problems every day, I started explaining what was happening and realized that this would be a great topic for a blog. So here goes…

A question that is frequently asked of me by people with noisy public spaces who are considering an absorptive solution is “How many decibels of noise reduction will we get from this solution?” There really isn’t a clear cut number we can put to this, and here’s why.

When you have an environment where most of the surfaces around us are hard, sound will bounce around and stay in the air for quite a while. Meanwhile other sounds are joining them and “muddying up” the ambient sound around you. This makes it difficult to understand others when carrying on a conversation, so we tend to speak more loudly in order to be heard more clearly. Sound absorptive products like our wall panels, baffles, clouds or ceiling panels take the energy out of sound waves and stop them from bouncing. The original sounds being created aren’t really reduced in volume from their sources, but their duration and distance they travel are greatly reduced. This provides an additional psychological result in that we now (as a group) tend to speak more softly as we can now understand others easily.

The net result is a much more intimate quiet setting that provides comfort and privacy in your personal space.

Kevin McIver | Acoustical Solutions

Kevin McIver

Acoustical Sales Consultant

800.782.5742 Ext. 119

Direct: 804.349.0049

Message Kevin