Jul 12th 2021

4 Easy Tips to Improve the Acoustics in Your Room

John Stein

Everybody hates working in spaces with bad sound, but nobody knows what to do about it. Kirei’s Quick Ship acoustic wall tiles made from recycled plastic bottles make fixing sound easy, from conference rooms to home offices.

If you’re not sure where to start with acoustics, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to gain a better understanding of how sound works, how to measure it, and how to improve the acoustics within a space. We’ve outlined a few key concepts and provided our top recommendations to help you make your space sound great.

Working on a specified project? Contact us for trade pricing.

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Why Acoustics Are Important

Acoustics play a vital role in the health and success of a space. Think of a restaurant you visited where you couldn’t hear across the table, or of a conference call with muffled voices that were hard to understand. Think of all of the noise that people actively try their best to ignore in the workplace every day - From neighborly conversations to humming printers and the ringing phones in between, poor acoustics can lose business and cause good employees to leave. The great news is that bad sounding spaces are a very solvable problem, and Kirei is here to help.

Getting to Know Sound

Understanding the sound of your room starts with understanding sound waves. Sound waves are the movement of audio energy through the air. When your room isn’t acoustically balanced, there are too many rogue sound waves bouncing around - this creates acoustic distraction. To improve the sound of a space the first step is to understand how to capture and control these sound waves.

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Sound Measurements

There are two ways to measure the acoustics of a space:

Room-to-Room: Sound transmission between spaces - through walls ceilings or floors - is measured by Sound Transmission Class (STC)

Sound Within a Space: The quality of sound within a space is measured using Reverberation Time, or RT (think how long it takes to hear an echo back in a cave). Great sounding spaces have "just right" reverberation time.

How do you control RT? By adding absorptive surfaces to catch sound waves before they reflect. Sound absorption is measured in NRC or Noise Reduction coefficient- the higher the NRC the more sound is absorbed.

Here's 4 easy ways to help absorb unwanted sound and reduce your Reverberation Time:

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Sound Treatment Recommendations

  1. Start with the 3-7” band on the wall. This is where most speech sound waves will bounce.
  2. Treat adjacent walls. Treating adjacent walls will have a huge effect on sound waves bouncing back and forth.
  3. Consider geometry. Absorption is good, but added diffusion is better. Walls and tables are huge flat planes ready to reflect sound waves, but uneven-surface absorptive products (like our Barcode Tiles) will help capture sound from all angles.
  4. Have the right amount. Large open spaces and high ceilings create high reverberation times and bigger echoes. The larger the space, the more acoustic dampening you’ll need.

Acoustic Design Case Study

The Challenge
Amanda manages a professional office with a conference room used for in-person and video-based meetings. The room can become painfully loud in excited moments, and clients often say it is hard to understand her boss and the team on video.

The Solution
Amanda is interested in EchoTile Vee in 454 Mushroom - the color matches well with her company’s natural brand color scheme and she has selected a large, bare wall for the tiles. She uses the Acoustic Design Quick Guide to determine that she has a small room (140 SF), and considering the conference room has absorptive carpeting, she needs between 20-50 SF of product, or 2-5 boxes of EchoTile Vee. Amanda purchases 5 boxes and installs them lined up in the 3’-7’ space as a functional design element to capture rogue speech waves.

Q2 2021 4 Easy Tips Article Echo Tile Vee

Now that you understand how sound works and the best ways to capture excess sound waves, we recommend reviewing our Acoustic Design Quick Guide. This guide will guide you through understanding how many tiles you’ll need for your space.

Ready to shop? From individual tiles in curated colors to click-and-buy repeatable patterns, no matter the space, we have a sound solution just for you. Visit our store to shop all acoustic tiles and patterns.

Still have questions? Reach out at hello.qs@kireiusa.com to us and let us know how we can help.