Sound Absorption Vs. Soundproofing - Sound Absorption Panels | Overtone Acoustics

Perhaps you are preparing to build yourself a personal recording studio and you are starting your research about the way to go about it. You might be familiar with other aspects of the recording process, but understanding the ins and outs of acoustic treatment and sound absorption is an area in which you could use some guidance.

That’s where we come in at Overtone Acoustics. We are a soundproofing company that offers decorative acoustic panels and other acoustic insulation services. Rather than talk about our sound absorption products, we’d like to explain some fundamentals about the ideas of sound absorption and soundproofing. If you’d like some free education on the matter, by all means, read on!


Whether you are looking into getting studio panels or are interested in acoustic treatments for another reason, you should know that there are many different ways to solve an acoustic issue. The more popular solution is soundproofing a room. Soundproofing means you keep sound from traveling, typically with materials that are quite dense. Most soundproofing materials are found inside walls, which makes “soundproofing” a room or building no easy task unless it’s currently under construction.

Sound Absorption

Sound absorption is the name of the game for Overtone Acoustics, along with anyone who is looking for a way to absorb superfluous noise. And unlike with soundproofing efforts, sound absorption solutions can be administered in rooms that are already built! Sound absorption products, such as acoustic wall panels, ceiling clouds, and others, have soft surfaces which soak up sound waves. This process will absorb unwanted noise reflections from any given environment, such as an echo.

Absorption And Diffusion - The Two Elements Of Acoustic Treatment

Let’s take a basic, rectangular room as an example. All else being equal, the two elements of any acoustic treatment involves absorption and diffusion. If there is an excess of hard, reflective surfaces that run parallel to one another, well-placed sound reducing panels will absorb sound without completely deadening the room. 

Higher frequencies are much easier to tame in this regard, whereas lower frequencies can be a bit trickier. This is where bass traps come into play. Bass traps are absorbers of acoustic energy that, as the name would have you guess, traps the lower frequencies. Most of the time, bass traps are placed in corners of rooms, since it’s the space where low-end acoustic energy gathers and can cause trouble. Bass traps will hinder those low frequencies from rebounding into the room. Hence, the value of bass traps is clear, because just about any sound engineer will tell you about the difficulty of isolating lower frequencies from one another.

Acoustic diffusion

Acoustic diffusion goes beyond the idea of simply keeping sound waves from rebounding to the extent that diffusion involves keeping sound waves from grouping together. Doing so means a sonic environment will have little to no hot spots or dead spots. Acoustic diffusers aim at breaking up echoes that are specifically caused by parallel walls. As is the case with any acoustic treatment solution, the trick is about finding a balance between a live and dead room in order to find the focused, sharp quality in the end.

For acoustic art panels that will make whatever space you have in mind truly unique, learn more about Overtone Acoustics and our acoustic treatment services!