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Comparing Polyester Acoustic Panels vs. Traditional Panels

For most homeowners, they want to decorate their homes into spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. But designing one such room can be difficult because you have to consider both its aesthetics and acoustics. However, many designers only consider the appearance of the room without taking into account the sound performance and interaction with the area.

However, noise control cannot be ignored. When it is such an important part of the design process, it cannot be ignored. And among certain interior spaces, good sound quality is very important. In theaters, conference rooms, or music studios, for example, the right combination of sound insulation, sound absorption, and sound diffusion is very important.

Choosing the right environmentally friendly soundproofing material can make a big difference to the sound and appearance of a room. From traditional acoustic materials to newer materials such as polyester fiber acoustic panels, you have a wide range of options.

For this reason, let’s take a look at how standard acoustic panels differ from polyester fiber acoustic panels.

Soundproofing vs. Sound Absorption

Most people with noise problems look up words like “soundproofing” and “sound absorption.” These phrases may sound like they mean the same thing, but they actually refer to two different parts of noise control. The materials and acoustic solutions you use will depend on the sound problem you are trying to solve.

Soundproofing: this method means stopping sound from entering or leaving a room. In order to keep sound from bouncing back and vibrations from traveling out, thick, airtight materials must be used on the walls, ceilings, or floors. These are some common soundproofing materials:

  • Vibration-reducing compounds such as Green Glue
  • Vinyl (MLV) and other high-density barrier materials
  • Specific types of drywall, such as Soundbreak XP
  • resilient acoustic clips
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Sound absorption: This process attempts to improve the sound in a room by reducing the amount of echo and reverberation. To absorb sound waves, walls, ceilings, and floors are covered with soft, lightweight materials. The following are commonly used sound-absorbing materials:

  • Noise-absorbing panels
  • New soundproofing materials such as wood wool or echo cancellers
  • Fabric-coated sound-absorbing panels
  • Traditional acoustic foam panels

Both soundproofing and sound absorption are important ways to improve the sound quality of a room. The materials and methods you choose will depend on your needs, the purpose of the room, and the type of sound you need to control.

Nonetheless, when we compare different types of acoustic wall panels, we mainly look at how effective they are at absorbing sound.

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What are Sound Absorbing Panels?

As sound waves move freely around a room, echoes and reverberations tend to change the sound in the area. These sound waves are constantly hitting the walls, bumping into each other and mixing, thus making the sound less clear.

Controlling noise in a room is a complex mathematical problem that can happen anywhere. You need to consider the size, shape, and surface of the room, as well as where the light hits first. However, sound control is more important in larger rooms.

Installing acoustic wall panels is one of the best ways to eliminate these common echo and reverberation problems. These soft trim panels can be installed on the walls and ceilings of a room to reduce echo and reverberation.

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Acoustic panels can reduce noise in a room in two different ways:

  • Absorption of sound waves. The main soundproofing function of acoustic panels is to absorb large amounts of sound wave energy. Their porous structure will allow sound waves to enter and prevent them from leaving.
  • Scattering of sound waves. Reverberation caused by sound waves reflecting back to the source is a major source of annoying noise. If the surface of the panel has curved or flat surfaces of different depths, it can diffuse sound waves to all corners of the room.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Conventional Acoustic Panels

In the early days of architectural acoustics, sound control was focused on large buildings such as churches and theaters. Heavy fabric panels and curtains were the first choices. Later, more creative soundproofing materials were used, such as fiberglass or ceramic acoustic tiles wrapped in burlap.

As cities grew, the need for private and quiet places grew. As a result, manufacturers specialized in soundproofing panels for this purpose, allowing soundproofing materials to grow in popularity. Early acoustic panels were made of rock wool, fiberglass, or eggshell foam, which are still commonly used today.

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Advantages of Conventional Acoustic Panels

Affordability. Traditional acoustic panels are usually the cheapest option. They provide good sound insulation and diffusion and are particularly suitable for sound absorption in larger rooms.

Easy to install. Installing traditional acoustic walls is both quick and easy because that’s how they are designed. No special skills or permits are required to properly hang these soundproof walls.

Proven Effectiveness. Acoustic panels made from materials such as fiberglass and rock wool have been used and improved upon for decades. And they have proven to be an effective way to absorb sound and reduce echo and reverberation.

Disadvantages of Traditional Acoustic Panels

Aesthetic issues. These traditional materials, such as egg carton foam, may not give modern designs the sleek and contemporary look they need. Yes, they make the sound better, but they can make the room look worse.

Potential Health Risks. Fiberglass and other similar materials need to be handled with care to avoid skin irritation. And prolonged exposure may cause breathing problems. In addition, many of these materials do not meet current fire safety standards. So in the event of a fire, they may emit toxic fumes and even encourage the spread of flames.

Sound Quality Problems. Although ordinary soundproofing panels are sound filters, they can only block sound of a certain frequency. Simply put, they cannot handle sound in all frequency ranges. The problem of low frequency is especially serious.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Polyester Fiber Acoustic Panels

Over time, the way sound absorbing panels work has changed. To solve a range of acoustic problems, sound engineers and builders have invented new materials and designs. One such material that has become popular in acoustic panels is polyester fiber.

Polyester is a man-made fiber that comes from coal, air, water, and oil. Polyester is used to make sound-absorbing materials that are lightweight, flexible, and very effective at absorbing sound.

Advantages of Polyester Fiber Acoustic Panels

Better sound absorption. More advanced acoustic panels can handle a wider frequency range and are therefore more effective, especially at low and high frequencies. In addition, some polyester acoustic panels can handle certain frequencies, such as low-frequency traps in music studios.

Improve the appearance of your room. Polyester acoustic panels are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, designs, patterns, and layers, giving you more options for decorating your home. You no longer have to choose between better sound quality and better appearance – you can have the best of both worlds.

Smaller and lighter. Polyester panels are lightweight, easy to install, and smaller in size. In addition, they can be cut into different sizes and shapes to fit the room. They can be easily attached to walls using hot melt adhesive. These naturally lightweight features make construction lighter and make the building process easier.

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Better fire resistance. Polyester fiberboards meet national fire safety and flame retardant standards. They are available in different types such as Class A Fire Retardant Boards and Fully Fire Retardant Boards for added peace of mind and safety.

Eco-friendly. Polyester fiber acoustic panels are usually made from environmentally friendly and recyclable materials. This makes it a longer-lasting product than other options. Quality products have low VOC emissions and meet the requirements of the CDPH V1.2 test.

User friendly. The best products do not irritate the skin, cause allergies, or are toxic.

Feels good. Polyester fiber acoustic panels make rooms feel warmer and softer, which can be seen, heard, and felt.

Disadvantages of Polyester Fiber Acoustic Panels

Cost. The upfront cost of a good polyester fiber acoustic panel may be higher than some other materials. However, its long life and robustness may make up for this.

Non-recyclable. Some polyester fiber acoustic panels cannot be recycled. Thus at the end of their useful life, these acoustic panels cannot be reused.

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Glued Cotton Panels for Sound Absorption

This is another well-known current acoustic product: the echo canceller. These sound-absorbing panels are made of bonded acoustic cotton (BAC). Which is one of the best and most affordable sound-absorbing materials on the market.

These high-performance acoustic panels can be installed on the walls and ceilings of virtually any room to eliminate echo, reduce reverberation, and improve the sound quality of the room. Some of the benefits of these acoustic panels are listed below:

  • LEED certifiable
  • Fully recyclable
  • Class A fire rating

Summary

If you want to change the acoustics of your room, you need to choose between standard and modern acoustic panels. Traditional materials are cheap and effective, but not as modern and flexible as polyester fiber acoustic panels. Polyester acoustic panels will not only improve the acoustics of your house, but will also decorate your house better.

COOWIN’s service professionals can help you figure out which acoustical solution is best for your job. Whether you are building a large theater or a music studio. We will work with you to understand your sound or acoustic treatment needs and then suggest the best way to work.

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