Acoustic Panels vs. Acoustic Foam

Acoustic Panels vs. Acoustic Foam
August 03, 2021

Table of Contents:
Acoustic Panels
Soundproof Foam
When to Use Acoustic Panels
Acoustic Panel Benefits
When to Use Acoustic Foam
Acoustic Foam Benefits

Soundproofing can seem like a daunting subject to explore. However, if you want to experience better acoustics for your specific needs, soundproofing is the way to achieve it. As you consider different soundproofing options available to you, two often rise to the top of the search list. These options are acoustic panels and acoustic foam.

When choosing between acoustic panels vs. foam, people have differing views on which you should use. But ultimately, all that matters is that you select the correct product for your unique needs. Let’s take an honest look at these two soundproofing options to compare acoustic panels vs soundproofing foam.

Differences Between Soundproofing Foam and Acoustic Panels

Acoustic foam and acoustic panels often come up in the same conversation about soundproofing because both options have their merits. If your goal is to experience better acoustics, either could make some improvement to your space. But the results you’re looking for will play a significant role in which option you should choose. The first step in deciding is understanding the differences between these two soundproofing materials.

Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels consist of dense materials such as wood for broad-frequency sound absorption. Acoustic panels’ thick, rigid construction allows them to absorb the full range of sound, from piercing highs to rumbling lows. These panels are often tall and broad, and can take up several square feet of space with varying thicknesses. Acoustic panels often have a fabric wrapping or perforated wood over an acoustic core.

Most people hang acoustic panels from ceilings or place panels on walls in strategic locations. Their purpose is to absorb excess soundwaves to reduce ringing, echo and reverberation. They take up a lot of space, making them hard to miss. That’s why some companies offer art acoustic panels to showcase your style and personal flair. Acoustic panels come in various shapes to add a geometric sense to a room. Depending on your decorating savvy, you can use acoustic panels to enhance your room’s appearance.

Soundproof Foam

Soundproof foam is an air-puffed, open-celled foam that you can buy in small precut sections. One side is usually flat, while the other has repeating shapes of cones or triangles, reminiscent of the inside of an egg carton. Soundproof foam is excellent at absorbing high-frequency sounds, but thicker variations are necessary to control middle and high frequencies.

Because of its smaller size and lightweight material, soundproof foam is a bit more manageable and customizable than acoustic panels. However, ensure you use enough of it to experience the soundproofing level you’re looking for.

When to Use Acoustic Panels

When to Use Acoustic Panels

To help you understand if acoustic panels are right for you, let’s take a closer look at some of the best situations for using them. Here are the scenarios when you may want to use acoustic panels.

  • Enhancing your home theater: If you want the ultimate sound experience for a home theater, acoustic panels are the way to go. Hang them from a high ceiling or place them on walls to tighten up the sound in your theater, making your films a genuine pleasure to hear and watch.
  • Soundproofing a public space: High school cafeterias, busy foyers and bustling restaurant dining rooms are perfect candidates for acoustic panels. Hang them out of sight or incorporate them into the room’s aesthetic to enjoy more pleasurable sound levels for everyone. Excited chatter can build and become overwhelming in these spaces, but acoustic panels can manage the noise.
  • Preserving an area’s visuals: Places like offices, schools and some public spaces rely on sight and sound to facilitate thought and activity. Lining the walls with acoustic foam may give the wrong impression in some instances. Choose acoustic panels instead to enjoy better sound quality without sacrificing looks.

Benefits of Acoustic Panels

You may already have noted some benefits of acoustic panels in the above section, but we’ll lay them out here to help you compare them to acoustic foam more closely.

  • Aesthetics: When you care about your room’s appearance, acoustic panels can absorb sound while preserving your unique style.  Acoustic panels look great hanging from walls or ceiling, and you can match them to the room’s vibe to make them as noticeable or discreet as you want.
  • Sound quality: Acoustic panels do a lot for a room’s sound quality by reducing audio artifacts like echo and reverb. If you’re recording or listening to audio, acoustic panels will help keep the sound as clear and natural as possible.
  • Customization: People will enjoy looking at acoustic panels in a room, whether you arrange them in geometric patterns on the wall or hang them from the ceiling in a repeated array. It’s up to you how to configure their look. Enjoy soundproofing freedom when you use acoustic panels.

When to Use Acoustic Foam

Here are some of the instances when you may want to consider using acoustic foam.

  • Prepping a recording studio: Acoustic foam is an ideal option if you’re soundproofing a recording studio. Cover the walls in areas where you want the highest-quality recordings possible to ensure your audio sounds crisp and clean on playback.
  • Soundproofing a small space: Sometimes, acoustic panels are too big for your needs. Here is when acoustic foam comes in handy. The small, flexible foam panels can fit in tight spaces, and you can cut them to the specific size you need. Acoustic foam is also excellent if you only need to soundproof a particular area like a vocal recording booth.
  • Reducing sound transfer: Acoustic foam helps reduce the sound that escapes your room and any noise pollution that can enter from the outside. Isolate your sound and protect your room from other noises with acoustic foam.

Benefits of Acoustic Foam

Besides the above uses, acoustic foam has the following advantages.

  • Easy to use: Acoustic foam is lightweight and comes in smaller sizes than acoustic panels, making it a breeze to use. You can feel confident soundproofing your space by yourself with easy-to-manage pieces of acoustic foam.
  • Flexible sizes: If you value versatility, acoustic foam may be your go-to option for soundproofing. Acoustic foam’s smaller sizes mean you have more options with where to put each piece. You’ll also have less difficulty moving them around if you ever need to adjust the layout of your space.
  • Adjustable: Many people enjoy acoustic foam because of how flexible it is. If you need to cut a piece to a specific size or create custom angles and edges, you can do it without worrying about damaging an expensive piece of material.

Shop Acoustic Foam and Acoustic Panels From Soundproof Cow

Whether you’re looking for acoustic panels or sound-absorbing foam, Soundproof Cow has the products for you. We dedicate ourselves to helping people like you experience better acoustics in their building. Whether you’re at home or work, soundproofing will go a long way in giving everyone a more comfortable audio experience.

Contact us today for more information about how acoustic foam and acoustic panels can help transform your space for the better. We look forward to serving you!

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About Justin Salmon

Soundproof Cow Representative Justin

Justin Salmon joined the team at Soundproof Cow in 2017. He has extensive sales, production, and managerial experience. He first served the team in the production department and then expanded his role and responsibilities by moving to the sales team as an Account Manager. The experience gained while working in the production department at Soundproof Cow proved invaluable to his role as a SoundproofCow Account Manager. Working hands on with the materials gave him a greater understanding of all the soundproofing product lines. This knowledge allows him to better assist clients in selecting the appropriate products for their needs. Justin’s background in sales, has built his career on a foundation of relationship building. He takes pride in serving the needs of his customers, from consultation through project completion.

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