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How to Build Your Own Acoustic Panels (DIY)

Make Low cost, Straightforward, Engaging DIY Sound Absorption Wall Panels

Revised and up to date September 01, 2018

Additionally Take a look at our Full Information to House Theater Acoustics for extra info, together with where to place your acoustic panels.

Gear Listing (per panel)

Complete Value is about $20 per panel, or $2.50 per sq. foot.

Instruments Required

Sound absorption panels lure acoustical power (sound) and stop it from reflecting off of the surfaces they cover.  The panels are used to remove echoes and reflections that muddle or shade amplified music and speech.  These wall panels may also scale back reverberation levels in a room, which may typically present ambient noise discount.*

*Word that choral music, piano, orchestral instruments, group singing, and pipe organ profit from fairly reverberant acoustics, with many reflective surfaces.  Set up of sound absorption material can harm musician performance and sound high quality for these specific purposes.

Appropriate purposes for sound absorption panels embrace:

  • Enhancing surround-sound imaging and readability for dvd/blu ray films, sports, or video games in a house theater
  • Decreasing slap-back echo and reverberation in giant halls, auditoriums, and modern church buildings
  • Decreasing chatter, din, and noise in crowded gathering spaces, eating places, or bars
  • Offering more correct listening circumstances in recording studios and management rooms

Notice that sound absorption materials is usually referred to as “soundproofing.”  I consider that the time period “soundproof” is often misapplied, which shall be discussed in one other submit.  Sound absorption panels are NOT in a position to significantly scale back sound transmission by means of a wall between two adjacent spaces; they are meant to improve sound quality inside the room that they’re put in by attenuating sound reflections and decreasing reverberation/decay occasions.  In case you are wanting to scale back sound transmission by means of a wall, please see our listing of noise control products and solutions here:

Commercially-manufactured sound absorption panels are available in two widespread varieties:

1) Molded melamine foam wedges and eggcrate (e.g. Auralex, Sonex, and so on.):

Auralex Studiofoam

2) Ornamental fabric-wrapped fiberglass panels (e.g. Golterman &#zero38; Sabo, Wall Know-how, Fabricmate, and so forth.):

Wall Technology Panel

The acoustic properties of each of those are very comparable, with all of them absorbing roughly 100% of incident sound power at mid and upper frequency ranges.  Be happy to examine Sabine absorption coefficients at your leisure.  These material varieties are principally differentiated by their visible look.

An necessary consideration for any sound absorption panel, although, is thickness.  A thicker panel will more effectively take up a longer wavelength (decrease frequency) of sound.  Subsequently, when choosing an acoustical material, contemplate the frequency content (tonal spectrum) of sound that you simply search to take up. For placement on drywall surfaces, the following rules of thumb must be useful:

– For human voices, crowds of people, and speech use 1” absorber thickness

– For amplified music with bass and drums or cinema surround-sound use 2” absorber thickness (or higher)

The required quantity and placement of sound absorption materials for a given area is decided by the precise sort of listening features occurring there.  Extreme ends of the spectrum vary from traditional/classical worship spaces that are completely hard-surfaced (great for pipe organ and choral music) to THX-certified cinemas and film theaters which have sound-absorbing supplies on all wall, flooring, and ceiling surfaces.

Think about which wall and ceiling reflections need to be eradicated and cover those complete areas with sound absorption remedy.

Pricing for manufactured, two-inch thick, fabric-wrapped fiberglass sound absorption panels is often $6 to $8 per square foot. I’ve seen sound absorption panels priced as high as $12.25 per sq. foot! Given the massive square foot space that needs to be coated to obtain an appropriate residence theater acoustic, this falls properly outdoors of the typical shopper’s finances.

I’ll annoy a number of individuals by telling you this, however you can also make your personal sound absorption panels for MUCH much less.  What follows are explanations, directions, and specifications for very effective sound absorption panels.

The important parts of a sound absorption panel embrace:

1) The sound-absorbing core material (performs the acoustical work)

2) A sturdy wood frame (holds the fabric tight, offers something to repair mounting hardware to)

Three) An acoustically-transparent, decorative material cover (makes it look good)

Step 1:  Select a sound-absorbing core material

The sound absorbing core material should have the following characteristics:

  • Dense fiberglass or mineral fiber board insulation (not unfastened batt)
  • Unfaced
  • 3lb to 8lb per cubic foot density (6-8 pcf is optimal)
  • 2” thickness

Three acceptable materials choices embrace:

Owens Corning Fiberglas 705 6lb pcf, 2″ thick: ~ $Three.00 per sq. foot.

ROCKWOOL/ROXUL Rockboard 80, 8lb pcf, 2″ thick: ~ $1.00 per square foot.

Johns Manville Inusul-Defend 600 2″ Unfaced 6lb pcf, 2″ thick: ~ $Three.00 per square foot.

*Notice:  Insulation costs can range drastically relying in your provider and site, so verify into all three or other equivalent 3-Eight lb fiberglass or mineral fiber insulation board merchandise.

**Also Word:  Fiberglass and mineral fiber insulation are recognized irritants.  Please put on a masks, gloves, and glasses when handling the insulation.  Comply with the manufactures tips for protected utilization.

You possibly can often find the perfect prices for these insulation merchandise at your local insulation provide vendor.

Click to discover supplier locators for:  Johns Manville  –  Owens Corning  –  ROCKWOOL

My prototype panels have been built with the Roxul RHT 80 insulation, which is the least expensive sound absorption material that I’ve discovered.  The Roxul acoustical performance is analogous to the Owens Corning and Johns Manville merchandise, but it’s softer and has a less common shape.  The manufacturer-supplied sound absorption coefficients are as follows:

2″ Roxul RHT 80       2” Owens Corning 705        2” Johns Manville 817
125 Hz = zero.39             125 Hz = 0.16                          125 Hz = 0.38
250 Hz = zero.84             250 Hz = 0.71                         250 Hz = zero.93
500 Hz = 1.08             500 Hz = 1.02                         500 Hz = 1.10
1000 Hz = 1.01          1000 Hz = 1.01                       1000 Hz = 1.07
2000 Hz = 1.02          2000 Hz = zero.99                       2000 Hz = 1.07
4000 Hz = 1.01          4000 Hz = zero.99                       4000 Hz = 1.07

Sabine absorption coefficients are roughly the ratio of reflected sound absorbed.  So, at a given frequency vary, a 1.00 coefficient equals a 100% absorption fee* (zero.71 equals 71%, and so on)*.  Notice that these figures are offered by the individual producers and examined in several labs.  It’s protected to assume that every of those supplies is equivalent to the others.

*Edit: Sabine absorption coefficients will not be a true power absorption coefficient and may exceed 1.00.  Subsequently the interpretation into % absorption of mirrored sound power shouldn’t be fairly correct from a physics perspective.  Nevertheless, for the needs of acoustical design in architecture it’s a great way to perceive and examine totally different materials.

Step 2:  Build a wood frame around each panel

For the wood frame, I used a 1” x 2” furring strip, which is inexpensive and obtainable at any ironmongery shop/lumber supplier.  Due to precise dimensions being less than nominal, a 2″ deep furring strip will give the finished panel a “beveled edge” look.  A Three″ deep furring strip will give the panel a wonderfully flat face.  Rigorously verify every strip to be sure that it is straight and never lacking vital chunks of wood.

  1. For every panel frame, reduce two segments of furring strip to 49-3/Eight” and two segments to 24” (examine measurements together with your sound insulation panel and furring dimensions).
  2. Apply a heavy dose of spray adhesive to whole perimeter of insulation. (glue will maintain the insulation in position inside the body).
  3. Place the insulation such that the bottom face of the panel is flat and degree with the wood body.
  4. Organize wood segments across the fiberglass panel.  You want the body to secure tightly across the insulation, compressing it slightly.
  5. For every corner:
    • Pre-drill a pilot gap for one nook to guarantee alignment and stop the wood from splitting.
    • Apply wood glue.
    • Screw wood segments together.
  6. Permit 24 hours for wooden glue and spray adhesive to dry.

Step 3:  Select a sound-transparent material; wrap the panel

The aim of the material cowl is to give the panel a good-looking, decorative look. To ensure that sound penetrates by way of to your fiberglass insulation (slightly than displays off the floor), you should be sure that your material is acoustically clear.  A easy method to check this is to maintain the fabric to your mouth and exhale by means of it.  You will sense a degree of airflow resistance by means of the material.  Choose a cloth with very little resistance.  Strong vinyl, leather-based, or acrylic-backed material is just not acceptable for this software.

The most typical material selection for business panel producers is Guilford of Maine Panel Textiles.  This can be a high-quality material.  That being stated, there are an incredible variety of inexpensive materials that can work equally properly.  Colored burlap is a quite common selection.  My prototype panels use a Souvenir Calico paisley material bought from an area material store.  Issues on your material cowl:

  • Have to be “breathable” and sound-transparent
  • Be sure that your fiberglass panel just isn’t seen via the material
  • Beware that material with visible patterns might be tough to line up squarely when stretched over the wooden body

To stretch the material to your panel:

  1. Lay a 62” length of cloth (face down) on the ground.
  2. Place your framed panel on prime of the fabric with the flat/degree/even aspect dealing with up.
  3. Have a pal wrap the material across the backside of the panel and staple it to the wooden frame every Three” along one of many edges.
  4. Stretch the fabric tightly along the other edge and staple, persevering with alongside the panel edge at 3” intervals.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the top and backside edges, taking care to neatly fold each corner.
  6. Apply spray adhesive beneath the remaining unfastened material areas on the back aspect of the panel.

Panel Back

Panel Entrance

Step 4:  Mount the panel to your wall or ceiling

Detailed steps for locating the most effective placement places for sound absorption panels in a home theater might be found in our detailed article: The place to Place Sound Absorption Panels in a House Theater.  Notice:  Adding a small airspace (1.0 to inches) behind the panel will significantly improve low frequency sound absorption efficiency.

These panels might be mounted similarly to a heavy piece of paintings.  Use your discretion and judgement to ensure that your panel is protected, safe, and secure.  I screwed two heavy-duty D-Ring hangers on both sides of the wooden body, measured to actual spacing. These have been hung on two 20-lb rated image hangers.  See the Gear Record under for hardware recommendations.

Step 5: Pay attention

Now you’re prepared to take pleasure in your music or house theater the best way that it was meant. Most individuals are stunned to hear what music and films sound like in a properly-treated acoustic setting. The audible difference cannot be overstated; it’s like night time and day.

You’ll in all probability want fairly a number of of these panels to get the specified consequence, so repeat the above steps in an efficient assembly-line course of till you could have handled all the desired wall and ceiling surfaces.

June four, 2014 update:

Listed here are some pictures from a current construct by our reader Mike:

photograph 1 photograph 2 photograph Three