Acoustical Solutions
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Introduction

Steve Snider

Author: Steve Snider

Sound Diffusion is the act of evenly spreading sound waves throughout a space. This is typically achieved by using sound diffusers, acoustic diffusers, wood sound diffusers, audio diffusers, or sound diffuser panels. When a sound wave strikes a flat, even surface it bounces off that surface at the angle in which it hit. This is much like billiards and banking shots. But, when a sound wave strikes an uneven surface, it reflects in multiple angles, evenly distributing the sound through a given space.

What are Sound Diffusers?

Sound Diffusers are tiles or panels that are feature an uneven facing and typically a hollow core. Also called Acoustic Diffusers, they can be constructed from fiberglass, wood, or even plastic. They can feature a barrel, concave, or convex facing. Diffuser panels typically do not feature a flange as they are mounted on a wall. Diffuser tiles do typically feature a flange to help suspend them from a standard ceiling grid.

Why is Sound Diffusion Important?

Sound Diffusion Diagram

Sound Diffusion Diagram

Ever been in a room and one spot sounds great while another spot sounded lackluster? That room needed sound diffusion. The basic reason is that sound waves travel in straight lines. They will continue that path until they strike an object that changes their path. Once they strike something they reflect at the opposite angle. So, a rectangular room with parallel walls will get “slap echo” or sound wave bouncing back and forth between the two walls. If an audio diffuser was placed on one of those walls, the sound wave would reflect more evenly and help eliminate “dead” spots in the space. Sound Diffusion is extremely important in mix rooms, live performance spaces, and home theater spaces.

Examples of Sound Diffusion Products

Woodberry Forest School used Barrel Sound Diffusers and Black Theater Board in ceiling.

Woodberry Forest School used Barrel Sound Diffusers to provide Sound Diffusion.

Some examples of products that offer sound diffusion are:

Tips and Reminders for Sound Diffusion

  1. Sound Diffusion is the act of evenly distributing sound waves throughout a space.
  2. Two parallel surfaces can create a slap echo.
  3. Sound Diffusion is an essential way to acoustically treat mix rooms, performance spaces and theaters.

Summary

Think of sound like a bouncy ball, when that ball is thrown straight at a wall it comes straight back, but if it’s thrown at an old, weathered brick wall it may reflect at any variety of angles, depending on where it hits the wall. Sound waves travel in straight lines, they hit something and reflect out. When sound waves hit a diffusor, the reflection comes off in a wide array of angles, evenly filling the space so there really is not a bad seat in the house.


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.