Maybe your neighbor told you that you needed sound absorption panels in your home theater, and you didn’t want to ask. Or maybe you have a big echoey office with lots of people working in it and the boss told you to go buy some sound absorption and then jetted off to Tahiti without further explanation. It happens…that’s ok because I’m here to help.

What is Sound Absorption?

Sound Absorption and Transmission

Sound Absorption and Transmission

The easiest way to understand sound absorption is with an analogy:

An ocean wave rolls in and hits a big flat concrete storm wall, it’s going to bounce right off it and head back out to sea unaffected. That is what a reflective panel would do, or drywall would do, or concrete… or anything hard and flat would do to a sound wave.

Now say a wave comes in off the ocean and hits a marshland with a bunch of reeds and grasses and muck. The wave is going to hit all those hundred billion little things which move around and dissipate its energy nearly completely and so the wave disappears. That’s what a sound absorbing acoustic panel will do to a sound wave.

Why is Sound Absorption Important?

Adding sound absorption to your space can make all the difference. Absorption will lessen the echo and reverberation within the room and improve speech intelligibility and overall clarity.

Echo and reverberation can often give the impression that there is an unpleasant background noise. This is mainly caused by the overall volume in the room. This can lead to ear fatigue and lower concentration for the listener.

Regardless of the space, adding sound absorption to your room will make a noticeable difference right away.

Examples of Sound Absorption

What do Acoustic Panels Do?

Faith Baptist Church — Before and After

Acoustic Panels — Panera Bread

Acoustic Panels Tame Echo at a Panera Bread Location

Acoustic Panels Tame Echo at a Panera Bread Location

Acoustic Panels — Lucas Salon

AlphaSorb Fabric-Wrapped Panels Treat Reverb at Lucas Salon

AlphaSorb® Fabric-Wrapped Panels Treat Reverb at Lucas Salon

Acoustic Panels — Meadview Civic Association

AlphaSorb Fabric-Wrapped  Acoustic Panels Reduce Echo at the Meadview Civic Association Clubhouse

AlphaSorb® Fabric-Wrapped Acoustic Panels Reduce Echo at the Meadview Civic Association Clubhouse

Tips And Reminders For Sound Absorption

Absorbent acoustic panels DO NOT stop the sound from going through a wall. They are for reducing echoes within the room they are installed in, only. Things that stop sound from going through a wall have a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating. This is entirely different class of materials utilizing much different principles of physics to block sound waves. I will have a different blog covering that topic soon.


From here, one could make the leap to: “Well OK, but how many panels do I need then?” That’s a little more complicated, but not too much. Your best bet for that would be to go ahead and get the measurements of the length, width, and height of the room in question and call or email us with the info. Based on that I can run a model and shoot you back the results with a quote for materials.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I loved typing it.

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