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The search term insulated listening is an interesting one which has multiple meanings. Let’s examine the individual parts of this search term insulated listening to attempt to get to a meaning. The term insulated implies that you are trying to protect from something. Insulated can mean keeping your room warm or cool using the proper R-value in the building insulation used within the walls of the room. The second part of the search term insulated listening implies a two channel or multiple channel listening room. After looking at both terms of insulated listening, I believe we are looking at a room that has a low noise floor for listening to music and voice. The search term insulated listening is an attempt to have a quiet room This will be the premise we operate from for this discussion. This search term insulated listening is more about noise transmission than keeping the room warm or cold.

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How do we make a listening room quiet? That is the question that needs to be answered. The term insulated listening is all about creating a quiet room. In acoustics, this is termed lowering the noise floor. A noise floor is defined as all the accumulated background noise within your room. It can be noise from the neighbors stereo. It can be outside traffic noise or any external activity that noise is created from and that travels into your room. The term for these processes is called noise transmission. It is noise transmitting from a source to a receiver. The way to reduce this noise transmission is to build a barrier. A barrier is a structure that you build between yourself and the noise. The barrier is a permanent construction build. There are no wall hanging panels that will stop noise.

Low-Frequency Barrier Technology
Low-Frequency Barrier Technology

Every barrier design is frequency and amplitude specific. This means that every noise issue must be addressed by a barrier design that is specific to that frequency and amplitude of the noise. The frequency of the noise is where the noise lives in our human hearing system. We have low, middle, and high frequency energy. Each part of the noise spectrum requires a specific barrier design in order to minimize the transmission of the noise. Lower frequency noise issues will require one barrier type. Middle and higher frequency vocal energy will take a completely different barrier type. This is why it is critical to always measure all noise issues, so you can quantify and qualify the issue so the appropriate barrier can be designed and implemented. Guessing with noise is foolish. Most guess wrong and build something that does not have any chance of working. The fix for guessing is usually to demo the existing work and start over. This is hard on project budgets and the patience of the owner.

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The noise measuring process has been made simpler by using our apps on your phone. At Acoustic Fields, we have a process where we send you apps for your phone. You download the apps and take noise readings over a seven day time period per our instructions. You take noise measurements at the quietest part of each day and at the noisiest part of each day. We need to measure over a week’s time period so we can discover what days the noise is the loudest and what day it is the quietest. You want to be able to use your room free from noise at any time. When you measure noise over a week’s time period you have a complete picture of which day and time produces the most noise and what day and time produces the minimum noise levels. We design the barrier to mitigate the noise on the loudest noise day. With a barrier design for the maximum pressure days all the quieter days will be managed.

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Once you take the noise measurements, you will fill out an online form and submit the data to us for analysis. We will analyze your noise numbers and compare your data with our existing database of over 300 rooms. We will then send you a drawing of the proper barrier design that is specific to your noise issues. The barrier design is guaranteed if built using our installation instructions. When you have a quiet room with a low noise floor, you hear more music. The goal is to hear all of the fundamentals with their associated harmonics. We want to be able to hear all of our music. With the cost of hi fi equipment today, we must try and squeeze everything out of the sound quality. The cost of each watt of power to produce our music today has risen dramatically and we must do everything within our budgets to stop as much noise as we can.

Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.

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