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Using Acoustic Cloud Panels to Reduce Noise

Using Acoustic Cloud Panels to Reduce Noise

Using Acoustic Cloud Panels to Reduce Noise

From wide-open industrial facilities with cement floors to ultra-modern conference rooms with tall ceilings, many commercial spaces use acoustic clouds. And those that don’t would likely benefit from acoustic cloud panels. Whether the problem is loud clanging from heavy machinery or the reverberation of a speaker’s voice heard through a microphone, acoustic clouds can be the difference between an effective workday and a batch of migraines.

Though they are most often found in commercial buildings, modern acoustic panels are stylish and sleek enough to install at home — don’t build a media room without them!

From wide-open industrial facilities with cement floors to ultra-modern conference rooms with tall ceilings, many commercial spaces use acoustic clouds. And those that don’t would likely benefit from acoustic cloud panels. Whether the problem is loud clanging from heavy machinery or the reverberation of a speaker’s voice heard through a microphone, acoustic clouds can be the difference between an effective workday and a batch of migraines.

Though they are most often found in commercial buildings, modern acoustic panels are stylish and sleek enough to install at home — don’t build a media room without them!

Free USA shipping
Free USA shipping

Popular Acoustic Cloud Panels


Acoustic Pro™ Ceiling Cloud

What Is an Acoustic Cloud?

An acoustic cloud is a device used to absorb unwanted noise and help you figure out how to reduce echo in a room that would otherwise experience lots of reverberating noise. They’re called “clouds” because these square, rectangular, or custom designed panels hang from the ceiling.

Though we admit we think acoustic clouds are a pretty cool addition to every office design, their suspension does serve a practical purpose. When acoustic cloud panels are properly installed, all six of their surfaces are exposed (top, bottom, plus all the edges). This creates a larger surface area of sound-absorption in the room, so you get more noise reduction with fewer acoustic panels.

sound reflection, absorption, and diffusion off a ceiling
sound reflection, absorption, and diffusion off a ceiling

So, why might you consider hanging acoustic clouds? Let’s think for a second about a conference room with a phone in the middle of its table. The conference table has 6 to 8 chairs around it for your typical small-ish meeting. When people around the table speak, sound reflects off the table’s hard surface and up to the ceiling. Without sound absorption, those low frequency or high frequency sounds are coming right back down to rejoin the conversation or hit the phone’s speaker. It’s hard enough to pay attention in a long meeting without poor sound quality forcing you to focus twice as hard to follow along! Acoustic clouds are ideal for this situation. They hang above the hard table, so you don’t have two hard surfaces bouncing people’s voices back and forth between them.

Other medium-to-large spaces where acoustic clouds are ideal include

  • Conference rooms
  • Open plan offices
  • Restaurants
  • Places of worship
  • Industrial plants
  • Home media rooms
  • Home studios
acoustic clouds in a conference room
acoustic panels on a wall
acoustic panels on a wall in a restaurant

Most acoustic clouds are either fabric wrapped panels, layers of acoustic foam, or metal panels filled with fiberglass. Fabric wrapped panels are the most common — and often the choice because of aesthetics. Our Acoustic Pro Ceiling Cloud is wrapped in designer selected fabrics to ensure they are a beautiful addition to any space. With two thickness options (1” and 2”) and a Class A fire rating, they are an effective and durable addition to any space.

Acoustic foam is sometimes used in acoustic clouds, and there are some attractive options out there. The best options are often made with melamine foam, because it’s one of the few foams that is Class A fire rated. The primary downside to foam is that you often need to buy more square footage, because it takes about 2x the foam to get to the sound absorption properties of an acoustic panel.

Metal clouds are another option. Metal ceiling clouds are typically designed to with a metal casing that is basically a housing for sound absorbing material. The perforated metal allows sound waves inside where it is then absorbed. Metal clouds are the least common of the 3 options due to expense, but can make sense depending on the aesthetics you want in your space.

How to Use Acoustic Clouds in Your Design

What’s important to remember when incorporating acoustic clouds or acoustic fabric panels into your room design is to not overdo it. Research shows that sound absorbers (clouds) begin to block each other and effectively waste material when their surface area accounts for more than half of the empty ceiling’s surface area.

Let’s say your ceiling is 200 square feet. If you continuously install acoustic ceiling clouds, your room’s acoustics will improve until you add 100 square feet of clouds. After that, diminishing returns have really kicked in and results will be negligible. As a general rule, doubling the amount of sound absorption in a room will reduce the sound level by 3 decibels each time, with a practical cap of about 10 decibels.

A good rule of thumb for any small-to-medium sized room is what we call the Rule of 40%. It’s a simple formula. Square Footage of the Room X 40% = Square Footage of Panels needed. That’s the sweet spot where you’ll notice significantly improved sound clarity and echo reduction without wasting material. Use the square footage calculator on our fabric wrapped panels page to figure out exactly how much material you’ll need. For large rooms or irregular rooms, you’ll need to contact us for a custom quote.

Acoustic Pro Ceiling Clouds

For everyone looking to improve the acoustics in their office, restaurant, other commercial space, or home, we recommend our premium Acoustic Pro Ceiling Clouds.  

Available in 1” or 2” thick panels, our fabric wrapped ceiling clouds are not only stylish (available in 8 colors and two shapes), they are durable, Class A fire rated, and made right here in the USA. Installation is easy with the Rotofast cloud anchor system we include with every panel. Standard shipping is also free!

In rooms where you’re primarily dealing with noise from humans speaking, you should be looking at the 1” thick version of Acoustic Pro. If the challenge is low frequency noise (more rumbly and low pitched), we recommend ordering the 2” thick panels.

We can help!

By now you’ve got an idea for what acoustic pro ceiling clouds can bring to a space, but if you still have questions on how many you need, or how to approach hanging acoustic panels, feel free to reach out. Contact us anytime and our experts can help you find the right materials to elevate the sound in your space.