How does acoustic foam differ from open-cell foam for soundproofing?
If you're looking into the arena of soundproofing your home or office studio, you may be wondering whether it's essential to use acoustic foam. You may wonder if you can apply everyday foam to catch those sound waves? Do you have to get the special acoustic foam?
First off, it's vital to understand the differences between acoustic foam and open-cell foam which is the everyday foam you may find in cushions and other similar objects. Of course, acoustic and conventional foam like upholstery foam look very similar, and they even feel like it. However, acoustic foam is different in that it's engineered to perform the role of absorbing sound to give you the soundproofing you need. Acoustic foam is made of a material that can deliver the following traits:
Fire retardant – the safety in studios is of vital importance as they are often full of wires and electronics that can get hot and cause a fire risk. Acoustic foam is far safer to use than conventional foam, and it has to meet specific UK fire regulations and, in some cases, will even extinguish itself to prevent the spread of fire.
Durability – additives in acoustic foam make it last better than conventional foam. You may have noticed that open-cell foam is prone to 'dusting' or crumbling. But that's the not case with acoustic foam. Acoustic foam is likely to be touched accidentally by people moving around in a studio or home theatre. However, its characteristics mean that it can stand up to that abuse far more than a traditional foam could. It's made to last and give you years of service.
Firmness – sound needs to be treated, and it can't be treated without acoustic foam being firm as it will be able to handle low-frequency waves and catch them. If you don't use the proper foam, it won't work well and will leave voids in your soundscape.
The acoustic foam features a firmness that balances absorption and diffusion at high and low frequencies for the best overall treatment.
Cellular Structure – acoustic foam is denser than regular foam and has more cells per inch than conventional foam. This thicker material makes it more suited to absorb noise. With just a 10-inch x 10 inch piece of foam, it would have over a hundred thousand more cells than conventional foam.
Although it may seem like all foam is the same, and it's all created equal, in reality, that's far from the truth. They are very different 'animals' and therefore treat sound in a very different way. It's vital to make the right choice of acoustic foam if you're looking to treat sound in a space.
Here at Anyfoam, we sell acoustic foam for soundproofing and treating sound. You can see both of them on our acoustic foam page. They can easily be applied to surfaces using a spray adhesive.
If you need any advice or help to order your foam, let us know.
Feel free to contact us to discuss any of your requirements.