Installing soundproofing panels may seem like an easy task. But the physics behind sound propagation is pretty complex. You may be wondering where to put your soundproofing panels. Well, the correct soundproofing panel placement depends on your goal.
If you want to manage surround systems, panel placement should be at the center of the reflection points. But if you need to control people’s voices, you should place your soundproofing panel at the same level as the sounds or noise created.
Note: The soundproofing panel is actually an acoustic panel because it absorbs sound and does not block it.
However, there are still several things that you need to consider in terms of soundproofing panel placement. Knowing what you need to do will allow you to make the best out of your acoustic panels.
Why Do You Need a Soundproofing Panel?
Rooms not treated with acoustic panels feature an uneven frequency response. The sound you hear in the room you are in is a mixture of direct and reflected sounds. Direct sound refers to the waves that travel straight to your ears.
Meanwhile, reflected sounds are the sound waves bouncing off your ceiling, walls, floor, and anything in the room before they reach your ears.
While reflected sound can provide a delightful spacious effect, it also tends to distort sound by making notes seem louder or quieter.
The bouncing soundwaves can also turn treble and midrange sound too harsh while bass noted become boomy. Additionally, reflected sound leads to:
- Vague soundstage (a 3D effect that makes listeners feel like they are listening to a live performance)
Soundproofing panels make a room, your home theater, for instance, quieter by blocking external noise and preventing sound reflections.
Where Should You Put Your Soundproofing Panels?
Every room is different. For this reason, it is essential to consider the features of the space that you want to soundproof before installing your soundproofing panels. True enough, you can go the easy way and put the panels on the walls of your room.
However, if you want to achieve the top benefits of installing the soundproofing boards, you need to do an in-depth study of the room where you want the panel placement.
Moreover, the main spaces where your soundproofing panels should be placed are:
- Home theaters
- Large rooms or offices
- Recording studios
1. Placing soundproofing panels in home theaters
Your home theater has prominent speakers for an excellent movie-watching experience. The speakers produce bass and trebles, which, if not managed, will bounce off the walls, creating distorted sound.
Additionally, soundproofing will also reduce the sound leaking outside the room.
Your family members and your neighbors should never be disturbed by the sound of what you are watching. For this reason, soundproof your home theater as much as possible.
There are two easy ways to soundproof your home theater:
- Using acoustic-deadening drywall
- Using sound-absorbing materials like drapes, carpets, and of course, sound panels.
To control speakers, you need to put the acoustic panels at the center of the walls. If the panels are rectangular, you should install them vertically.
For an added soundproofing, you should install carpets on the home theater’s floor. They can prevent the sound from bouncing off the entire space, making your movie-watching time more enjoyable.
2. Soundproofing panel installation on large rooms and offices
Most of the time, large rooms, conference rooms, and offices do not have many things inside other than chairs and tables. They are also enclosed, resulting in the production of more echoes.
Such can affect when you are having a meeting or a presentation. Fortunately, acoustic panels can limit echoes and reverberation, thus clarifying speech and making it sound better.
To control bouncing soundwaves on walls of enclosed rooms, the soundproofing panels should be at the same level as the sound generates.
That means for a conference room with people standing, and you should install the boards around 5 to 7ft high. If you are using rectangular panels, vertical placement is appropriate. (1)
On the other hand, installing soundproofing panels in a working office should be a little lower. You should mount them about 4 to 5ft off the floor.
It is important to note that the panels should be at the center of where the sound generates. This way, you can ensure that they are capturing the loudest and most direct soundwaves. (1)
Another thing worth noting is that incorrectly positioning the panels will result in the sound bouncing around your space.
3. Mounting soundproofing panels in recording studios
Soundproofing panels are essential for recording studios. They make the audio quality better and keep the noise within the room to avoid disturbing other people.
There are several ways to soundproof a recording studio:
- Building a thicker wall
- Carpeting the floor
- Using acoustical glue
However, the best and easiest method is to install soundproofing panels.
When mounting the panels, you can either cover the entire walls or put them precisely at the place of the reflection point. With this in mind, if you are recording podcasts or audio at a desk, soundproofing will require you to soundproof not only in front of you but also on the sides of the desk.
This way, you can ensure that none of the sounds you are making will bounce off the space.
How Much Space Should I Put Between Each Soundproofing Panel?
The spaces that you need to allot between soundproofing panels differ from one case to another.
For offices, you should mount conference rooms or any other large spaces, a 2ft x 4ft panel lengthwise.
There should also be no space between each of them. In the end, you will get a continuous strip of the acoustic board around the entire room. They should also be placed right at the height of whatever is producing the sound. (1)
For studio rooms where you do audio recordings, you will want the soundproofing panels to be close together.
Find where exactly the reflection point is. In addition, it is worth noting that you may need more panels depending on how far the sound will spread out.
On the other hand, applying panels on home theaters will require the same rule as the one that applies to recording studios. Always remember that finding the reflection points is significant.
The reason is that they are the ones that need soundproofing to prevent soundwaves from bouncing off the entire space. This way, your audio records will sound more professional with less background noise.
Soundproofing panels are an essential aspect of spaces that produce sounds for audiences. For instance, in a home theater, these panels will make the sound your speakers produce sound better.
Meanwhile, installing soundproofing panels in an ample space like conference rooms will reduce the echoes produced when someone is giving a presentation.
In addition, incorrectly installing your soundproofing panels will mean a waste of time, money, and effort. That said, make sure to take time in considering your goals when planning to soundproof your room.
If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, you can drop them in the discussion section below, and we will gladly answer them for you.
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- Chris Mayes-Wright, A Beginner’s Guide To Acoustic Treatment, Sound On Sound, https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/beginners-guide-acoustic-treatment/ Accessed April 25, 2021
- Jim Richardson, Steve Kinding, Room Acoustics Guide, Crutchfield, https://www.crutchfield.com/ISEO-rgbtcspd/learn/room-acoustics-home-audio.html/ Accessed April 26, 2021
- How to Soundproof a Room for Music Recording, E-Home Recording Studio, https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/soundproof-room/ Accessed April 26, 2021
- How to Hang Acoustic Foam, WikiHow, https://ehomerecordingstudio.com/soundproof-room/https:/www.wikihow.com/Hang-Acoustic-Foam/ Accessed April 26, 2021
- Terry Ulick, How to Soundproof a Home Theater, HGTV, https://www.hgtv.com/design/remodel/interior-remodel/how-to-soundproof-a-home-theater/ Accessed April 26, 2021