The Difference between Soundproofing and Echo Absorption

Written by: Foam Factory, Inc.

Many people search for a solution to try and keep sound out of their room. With egg crate foam being one of the most common types of foams seen around professional studios, the misconception is that by layering your room with this foam will soundproof it completely.

What these egg crate foam placements do is absorb the echo from the room providing recording studios with a cleaner audio. These products are not meant to block the sound completely. There are several different types of sound proofing foam available on the market today that are primarily used for blocking sound completely.

There are certain types of products that both absorb echo and reduce noise which are called acoustic foam panels. These are composites which function as both a suppressor and an enhancer. They are often used in conjunction with other foam products to enhance sound.

Foam products generally are for absorbing the room’s echo. Think about it like this, if you’re looking for absorption rather than echo, look into soft and fluffy products like foam. Your room’s surface is hard which increases the acoustic level throughout and levels of echo are being tossed around the room like a rubber ball. Reducing these levels require a soft material for it to catch and get trapped in. Almost like a fly caught in a spider’s web.

When you want to completely block off the sound in a room, you’re going to need a heavy and dense material. These are almost always found inside wall construction where cumbersome materials are placed. When more mass is added inside a wall, noise suppression greatly increases. Sound deadening foam has also been created by companies that are have the texture of foam but also can block out sound at the same time. No longer are the days where one can’t be the other. Versatility has always been a key aspect of foam.

Now that you know the difference between the two, you can go ahead and experiment with which type of materials you need for either soundproofing or echo absorption.

Although you have great insight on how acoustics and soundproofing works, you’re only scratched the surface. You need to understand how many layers are needed to reduce decibel levels as well as differentiating between the different foams and panels available on the market. Before you begin soundproofing your room by yourself, understand the concept of acoustics and how your foam placement can affect the noise of your room.

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