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Soundproofing Vs Sound Absorbing – the Difference

Companies never want to face noise issues within their space which is why it is extremely important to search for the right products. Knowing what products to opt for will take you down a rabbit hole of confusion if you do not have any experience with noise control. A couple terms to be aware of are soundproofing and sound absorbing. While both these terms are used interchangeably, they’re different concepts and their products serve distinct purposes. Here we will look at the difference between these two terms, and will explore their products and how they work.

Difference between Soundproofing and Sound Absorbing

Soundproofing is the process of blocking noise from entering or escaping a room. It prevents sound waves from traveling through a surface and using soundproofing products help in blocking or reducing sound transmission.

Sound absorption is a process of absorbing sound waves within a room or a space and is also known as acoustic treatment. Sound absorbing products are known to reduce or eliminate echo, reverberation, and amplification within a room.

Soundproofing and Sound Absorbing products

Soundproofing products are heavy and are used inside the wall or ceiling as part of the construction material. Recording studios, theatres, and cinemas are some spaces that make use of soundproofing products to resolve issues of unwanted sound entering or exiting the room. Since these materials are dense, they often reflect the sound back into the room rather than allowing sound to penetrate through to the other side.

On the other hand, sound absorbing products are used to improve the quality of sound inside the room or the space that they are installed in. Sound absorbing products are created using soft materials that can soak up the sound as it hits them. They are usually installed on the walls and ceiling as a finished surface in the room. Office spaces, classrooms, and hospitality spaces make use of sound absorbing materials and products to address excessive noise, poor speech intelligibility, and a disturbing echo.

Applications for Soundproofing and Sound Absorbing products

Now we know that soundproofing and sound absorbing products serve different acoustic purposes, we will now see their applications. Soundproofing products like acoustic barriers include mass loaded vinyl, fiberglass, and more to reduce the amount of airborne sound transmitting through enclosures, firewalls, housings, cabs, and heavy equipment. Some examples of sound absorbing products are acoustic panels, acoustic wall and ceiling systems, and acoustic baffles. These products are cleverly and strategically placed in a space to resolve the internal noise problem.