Acoustical Materials 101


Acoustical Materials that are engineered to absorb sound and reduce reverberation (echo) are the most basic and widely used acoustical materials available. Absorbers reduce reverberation and noise by absorbing sound. Performance is engineered by product type, location, and the amount of absorbing material in your space. Absorbers are used in any reverberant space from corridors to expansive arenas. There are many types of absorbers available and are typically porous, open-cell acoustical materials manufactured out of foam or fiberglass. Sound absorption efficiency is observed as an NRC rating or Noise Reduction Coefficient rating. The higher the NRC rating, the more efficient the product is at absorbing noise energy.

Acoustical absorbers DO NOT BLOCK noise from transferring from one area to another.

These products include:

  • Fabric Wrapped Acoustical Panels
  • Acoustical Ceiling Clouds
  • Acoustical Baffles and Banners
  • Acoustical Foams
  • Acoustical Absorption Blankets

Soundproof Noise Barriers

Noise barrier acoustical materials are engineered to block noise from transmitting unwanted noise from one area to another. These types of acoustical materials are typically made of flexible mass-loaded vinyl or other engineered materials. Performance is measured by the placement of these materials between the noise source and noise receiver and is measured by an STC rating. All Noise Barriers are rated by an STC number or Sound Transmission Classification. The higher the STC rating, the more efficient the product is at blocking the noise path between the noise source and the noise receiver.

These products include:

  • MLV Sound Barrier
  • Acoustical Barrier Blankets
  • Acoustical Door Seal Kits

Composite Materials

Composite acoustical noise control produsts are materials that combine both Noise Barrier & Sound Absorption materials. These products when engineered together typically allow for the greatest levels of dB and noise reduction in the lab. Composite acoustical materials have both an NRC (Absorption) and STC rating (Blocking). Again, the higher the NRC and STC rating, the more efficient the material is at reducing noise levels.

These products include:

  • Barrier Ceiling Tile Covers
  • Combination Acoustical Blankets
  • Blanket Enclosures
  • Barrier Wall Panels
  • Composite Absorber/Barrier Ceiling Tiles