Sound Absorption and Soundproofing: What's the difference? Soundproofing products trap the sound. Sound Absorption products soak it up.
Sound is like water. It doesn’t have a shape or form, but molds itself to its surroundings. And like water, sound can be absorbed by some materials and contained by others. Click here to learn more sound basics. Soundproofing products trap the sound. They contain the sound within a space, making it impossible for the sound to move to other parts of the building. They also stop unwanted sound from entering the room. Click here to learn more soundproofing basics. Sound absorption products, on the other hand, soak up sound. They absorb sound waves and prevent them from bouncing off the walls. They improve the quality of the sound within a room. Click here to learn more sound absorption basics.
What is NRC? This is the ability to compare different sound absorption products.
To be able to compare the performance of different sound absorption products, we rate them by how much sound they can soak up. This rating is called NRC, which stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient. Generally, the higher the NRC rating, the better the product is at absorbing sounds.
How is NRC Determined? Sound absorption material is tested using a speaker and a microphone.
NRC Depends on the Install - The achieve the same results, your product needs to have been installed using the same construction method.
It’s important to note the NRC rating is based on testing a product that has been installed in a specific way. To achieve the same results, your product needs to have been installed using the same construction method. If your product has not been installed properly, it will not be as effective (have as high of an NRC rating). Before you purchase any sound absorption product, be sure to check the NRC reports to determine if your construction method will achieve the results you want.
One soundproofing product is tested at a variety of frequencies. A product can have different results for each frequency. It’s important to verify the STC rating advertised is for the frequency you’re trying to treat. Some products with low STC ratings perform better than those with higher STC ratings for certain frequencies.
If you’re not sure the STC rating is for the frequency you’re trying to eliminate, request a copy of the Transmission Loss data. The Transmission Loss data provides details on the sound blocking product’s performance at each frequency level tested.