Does The Profile Of Acoustic Foam Make A Difference
In a word yes it certainly does. Plain faced foam and profiled foam both have their pros and cons.
Firstly let us discuss plain faced acoustic foam tiles. Because the foam has no profile the absorption properties of the foam is much greater compared to profiled foam tiles. This is because there is no foam removed from the tile resulting in more acoustic foam per square meter or square foot when compared to, say, wedge profiled tiles of the same thickness. The more foam there is to absorb the frequencies the better the results you are going to receive. And so the opposite is true of profiled foam, the more complicated the profile the worse the performance will be. This will mean that either thicker tiles will need to be installed in the room has poor acoustics. If the room has reasonably good acoustics then the thinner tiles will do fine along with some bass trapping. Think of the acoustic foam as a sponge. Take a piece of foam that is 2” thick and has no shape to it but is just a slab of foam. That piece of foam is going to be able to soak up more water than a piece of foam that has valleys and troughs in it.
Acoustic tiles that have no foam removed from the face of the foam also show a much better performance at low frequencies than profiled foam. This obviously depends on the thickness of the foam but generally this is the case. Low frequencies have longer and stronger wavelengths. This means that it takes more foam to be able to absorb those low frequencies. With profiled tiles there simply just isn’t the foam there to be able to absorb those lower, stronger frequencies. Thinking back to the sponge and water example, if you fired a jet of water at the plain faced foam less water would leak through the back as opposed to profiled acoustic foam.
There is however a few down sides to plain faced acoustic foam. Sound hitting the foam, especially at shallow angles could have a tendency to glance of the foam and be reflected back without much absorption. Granted this would not happen a lot as most of the sound waves hitting the foam would be more direct if the foam is placed in the correct place. If the foam is not installed in the right place the acoustic foam will not be able to work to its full ability. This is why at Advanced Acoustics we recommend that you discuss the room you plan on treating with us so that we can direct you in the right direction as to where you best to install the foam. One other little nuisance in plain faced acoustic foam is that it is not always aesthetically pleasing for some. But every person has their own taste. This is one of the reasons why we offer such a wide range of different profiled foams. Whether you require a contemporary look, a modern look or a clean and crisp look, hopefully there will be something in our range that would appeal to your taste.
It is not all bad for profiled acoustic tiles. While we said that sound waves can have a tendency to glance off the pain faced tile at shallow angles, profiled foam can catch or trap the sound waves striking it. This will reduce reflections in the room. It will tighten up those high to mid frequencies and create a room that has much better response and control. Of course the room will require bass trapping to be able to cope with the low frequencies. Those sound waves which are more difficult to treat and absorb.
Another good thing about the profiled tiles is their good looks. They help to break up the plain looking walls to add another dimension to the room when it comes to looks. An inspiring looking room will, we are sure, translate into inspired music and performances.
In the end we have a product that’s suits every situation. Whether you need a lot of absorption, need to just tighten in the response of the room a little or cut down the reflectivity of the room we have a product that will suit your needs both acoustically and visually.
The best solution, of course, is a combination of both plain faced tiles and profiled tiles. And as usual at Advanced Acoustics we have been able to deliver exactly what is required by our customers. The Euphonic is a pack of tiles which is made up of both 2” thick plain faced tiles and either convoluted foam tiles or wedge profiled tiles, perfect.