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In response to my “What are the best sound damping materials” video, which you can see further down the page, I was asked by a YouTube subscriber is sound damping is a result of absorption. Well the answer is no. Damping is more vibrational acoustics and sound absorption is more airborne energy. So two different scenarios. When you’re damping you’re minimizing vibration and here’s a way to think about it. Speaker manufactures damp their cabinets to control resonances but the speaker itself produces the energy out of that cabinet.

So the sound quality you get is a combination of the cabinet resonances and the driver itself and then the room sound. So three things producing sound so to speak. I remember back twenty five, thirty years ago with subwoofers, the cabinet shook so bad I couldn’t tell what was making the sound, the cabinet or the driver because the cabinet was shaking. So you need to damp that activity, those vibrations. That’s a different science, different technology, different application, different materials.

So one’s managing vibrations and one’s managing acoustical energy that’s in the air. So we’re going from an air medium to a solid medium. So a little bit different science, some of the same stuff does apply. Why do you control resonances? Well because resonances are speakers, think about that, they are. Think of the garbage truck going past your window. It produces a resonance in your room because you hear the window in your room vibrating.

So the low frequency or middle frequency energy from the garbage truck strikes the window and causes the window to move, so dampening technology would be applied to the window. The garbage truck, I don’t know what you’re going to do with that.

In Summary

So I hope that helps you. If you would like your room acoustic issues analysed for free by me then please fill in the form here and I will be happy to take a look for you.

Thanks and speak soon

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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