The Difference Between Soundproofing & Sound Absorption

When you think about it, there are many similarities between sound and air. One can even say the sound is a lot like air. Just like air, sound doesn’t have a shape or form, and sound will travel wherever air does. Sound shapes and molds itself to its surroundings, and can be absorbed by some materials, or controlled by others. Nowadays, whenever you have a noise problem, your initial reaction is to search the internet for soundproofing and sound absorption solutions. But what is the essential difference between soundproofing and sound absorption…

Soundproofing And Sound Absorption: The Essential Difference

Whether you want to keep the sound in your room, or keep the sound out of your space completely, you need to understand the essential difference between both tactics, and install a solution accordingly. The simplest way to describe the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption is that one blocks or stops the sound, and the other absorbs echo within a room.

What Is Soundproofing?

Blocking sound, or soundproofing, on the other hand, is a more advanced method of preventing noise. Materials used for soundproofing minimize the sound from entering or leaving the room. There are many soundproofing products that we sell at Hush City that will help you mitigate the sound in your home, condo or workplace. Whether it be soundproofed windows, resilient channels, acoustic insulation, green glue, sound control underlayments, we have it all! In some cases, soundproofing is a more suitable method of blocking noise. For example, theaters, cinemas, and TV or radio studios need to block unwanted sound from entering or leaving the room.

Sometimes, people need to create an acoustic environment and completely block sound from travelling from one room to another. Sound absorption will not help with that. In the example with the wall, instead of sound absorbing materials, you install soundproofing materials. Now, you can yell if you want, but there is no way you or your colleague can hear each other.

What Is Sound Absorption?

For sound absorbing, products are usually designed to be soft, light, and fluffy, however there are other options as well. The goal is to soften up the surface within the room, and reduce the echo in that space with immediate effect. Controlling noise through absorption is an effective way for lessening the echo and noise within your space. Usually, people end up with a sound absorption solution, even though they wanted a soundproofing solution. That is where Hush City comes in, as we provide free consultations, and we determine whether you need soundproofing or sound absorption.

One way to visually explain the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption is with a wall. Let’s say you have a wall between two rooms. You’ve installed sound absorption material on both sides of the wall. And you and your colleague stand on opposite sides of the wall. If you start talking, you will be able to hear yourself.

To summarize the main difference between soundproofing and sound absorption, we have to look at the overall goals for each one in turn:

– The goal of soundproofing is to prevent external noise from entering or escaping a room or building.

– The goal of sound absorption is to reduce the effects of sound waves. In more technical words, you prevent the sound from switching from one side to the other, without creating reverberation.

No matter if it is soundproofing or sound absorption you need, Hush City Soundproofing can do it all!

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