WHAT IS SOUND?

We are often so preoccupied by our busy lives that we take for granted something that happens all around us. Something that is often missed until we slow down and let our senses detect...sound!

Sound Waves

SOUND ENERGY

Sound is a vibrating energy that travels through air, through water and even through what we think of as solid matter. This energy also causes these solids, liquids and gasses to vibrate at some level. Here is a video showing how the energy created from vibrating one tuning fork can cause another tuning fork to vibrate, even though it was not physically tapped by the mallet:

Video about an Experiment with Sound Vibration: Wikimedia

(Notice that the sound stops when the experimenter puts his hand over the second tuning fork, even though he didn't tap it with the mallet)

SOUND AND OUR SENSES

Our ears act like receivers and our brain registers the vibrations as different kinds of sound. Sound can also be detected with other senses too! We can't see sound waves directly but we can see something that vibrates as a result of the sound energy. We can also feel these vibrations if they are intense enough--think about how it feels to put your hand in front of a loud boombox or speaker.

Sound vibrations

UNDERSTANDING HOW TO CONTROL SOUND IN YOUR SPACE

For the purpose of Soundproofing and Sound Absorption, it's important to think about our surroundings and how sound travels through them. For example, think of a typical furnished room in a house, apartment or office. Most of the space is taken up by air. Sound travels very easily through air. Think about what else is in the room. There is furniture, a floor, a ceiling and walls.Sound also travels through these things, but in a different way than through the air.

Remember that sound energy can cause things to vibrate and make more sound energy. This means that a sound that comes from the other side of a wall or window can travel from outside to inside your room. Since sound is a vibrating energy, it also makes sense that if a material can minimize the vibration, the sound will decrease in volume. That is why choosing the right sound absorbing material is important to reduce unwanted noise and sound in your space.

IDENTIFYING SOUND

We often think of the intensity of sound as the volume. When we're driving in a car and can't hear the radio because a loud truck is next to us, we increase the volume. That applies more sound pressure or sound energy through the car's speakers so our ears can more clearly understand the radio sound versus the truck noise.

Soundproofing works in an opposite manner. We want to decrease the external noise by dampening it. This allows us to hear ourselves speak without raising our voices.

THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR YOU

To identify how well a material blocks or absorbs sound, a term called Sound Transmission Class (STC) is used. Different materials have a higher or lower STC rating to help you understand if it will do the best job for absorbing different kinds or levels of sound. Our team will offer different solutions with a range of materials, depending on if you require Soundproofing, sound absorption or just some sound control.

STC Speech-blocking Effect
20-25 Quiet speech is audible
25-30 Ordinary speech is audible and intelligible
30-35 Loud speech is audible and intelligible
35-40 Loud speech is heard but is rarely intelligible
40-50 Loud speech can be heard, faintly
50-60 Loud sounds can barely be heard

There are other more complex factors that need to be considered, including the frequency of the unwanted sounds. We make sure to provide a comprehensive analysis of the sound situation to present the most cost-effective solution for you.

 

SOUNDPROOFING vs SOUND ABSORPTION vs SOUND CONTROL

The difference between soundproofing, sound absorption and sound control is how critical the control of sound in your space is. If you are setting up a Recording Studio or Radio Station, you need Soundproofing because the only sound you want is the sound you are producing yourself.

If you need privacy where the conversations you are having must be kept discreet, you want Sound Absorption. This is ideal in psychiatrist`s offices, lawyer`s offices, law enforcement rooms or important business conference rooms where special sound absorbing panels are added to walls to keep sound from being heard outside the room. The sound doesn`t need to be completely blocked, it just cannot be understood from an outside listener. It would sound muted and speech would be muffled.

If you have a loud vent or even some loud external noise, perhaps you want Sound Control.

Soundproofing is often the most expensive option and sound control is often the least expensive.

 

Contact us to learn how we can help you with Soundproofing, Sound Absorption or Sound Control needs.