Does The Profile Of The 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 in some cases 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 sound waves the better the results you are going to receive. And so the opposite is true of profiled foam, in some cases the more complicated the profile the worse the performance will be. This will mean that perhaps thicker tiles will need to be installed if the room has poor acoustics. 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 demonstrate improved 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. The first is surface area. With plain faced tiles it is impossible to increase the surface area of a room. So if you have only set areas where you can place acoustic treatment due to other constraints plain faced acoustic foam probably won’t give you surface area coverage you need. However by using profiled acoustic tiles, the surface area is increased and so the amount of absorption can be increased if you use the correct thickness and profile. 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. 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.