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Sound Absorption vs. Soundproofing

By July 10, 2011July 15th, 2014No Comments

Sound absorption deals with the absorption of energy within our room boundaries. Our room is a vessel into which we put sound energy in through the use of amplified sound. If we have too much sound energy for the room or “vessel” to handle, we must reduce that sound energy through sound absorption. Sound absorption technology deals with the sound energy within the room itself.

This is true for all frequency ranges. Excess low frequency energy into our rooms causes numerous listening issues. Specially designed sound absorbers must be used to control this type of energy in our rooms, so the low frequency energy does not smother the other frequency ranges. Middle frequencies are important in the accurate portrayal of our vocals. A balance of sound absorption and sound diffusion works well for mid range frequencies. High frequencies are usually controlled through the use of sound absorbing foam technology.

Soundproofing refers to the energy within our rooms and also to the energy outside our rooms. We use soundproofing technology to keep noise outside our rooms from entering our rooms and interfering with our speech or musical presentation. Soundproofing technology can also be used to keep the energy within our rooms from “bleeding” into other rooms or adjacent rooms. This is especially true for low frequency issues or “bass boom”. Soundproofing technology is complicated to design and expensive to implement. One has to spend a lot of money in soundproofing materials to affect a small amount of change.


I am a structural engineer as well as a master furniture maker. I design cabinets for low frequency, activated carbon absorbers. Connect with me on Google+

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