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Sound Absorbing and Sound Blocking:What’s the Difference?

soundproofing a room

If you’re soundproofing a room, you’ve probably looked online for what to do. While looking up what you need to do and who you need to contact, you’ve probably been faced with two words that seem very similar. Those two words are absorption and blocking.

You might think these two terms mean the exact same thing. Unfortunately, that’s not true at all. There are some major differences between sound absorption and sound blocking. In fact, both terms refer to different tasks. So, what is the difference between the two? Here are a few simple ways to tell.

Sound Absorption
First, we have absorption. Any products designed for absorbing sound are soft, fluffy, and plush. They are geared toward softening the walls, ceilings, and floors of an area and can actually reduce echo in any space. This is perfect for musicians, as they are constantly looking for ways to create crisp, clean tracks. Musician and singer employment is projected to grow 3% from 2014 to 2024, which is slower than the average for all occupations. Even though it’s projected to grow only by a little bit, it’s still important for recording artists to have the proper tools at their disposal. This means that the need for the sound wall panels will grow as well.

Sound absorption means exactly what it sounds like it would mean: to absorb sound. These types of panels can help reduce any unwanted sound in a specific area. Picture this: if you were to stand on one side of the room and a friend stood on the other, you ‘d both be able to hear each other perfectly! However, there would be no echo or “big room” sound, as the sound is absorbed and softened, not blocked.

Sound Blocking
On the other hand, we have sound blocking. When sound blocking panels are installed, it does just what you would think. It completely blocks the sound in a room and out of the surrounding areas. It also keeps noise from the outside out of the room. So if you’re in a recording booth, you might want sound absorption. But if you’re the person recording, it’s important to have sound blocking materials to ensure each sound track is clean and unsullied by background noise.

When you’re having you’re soundproofing a room, make sure you know exactly what goal you want to accomplish. Do you want the sound to be blocked or absorbed? Now that you know what both mean, you can easily decide.