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Acoustic Ceiling Baffles

What are Acoustic Ceiling Baffles and How to Use Them

What are Acoustic Ceiling Baffles and How to Use Them

Picture this: You’re back in high school, inside the gymnasium, making a $20 bet with your best friend who claims he can make a basket from half-court one-handed. You don’t believe it’s possible. You’ve seen this guy shoot a basketball.

You know what else you can’t believe? How many times you’ve had to repeat the terms of your $20 bet to your friend just because your voice keeps echoing through the gym as if you’re yelling from the bottom of a mine shaft. Frustrating, isn’t it?

If this gymnasium had the proper baffles to help the gym acoustics, you would’nt have needed to repeat yourself over and over. This means less time yelling across the gym and more time watching your friend embarrass himself trying to make an impossible shot. This also means that you’d be $20 richer a lot sooner. If only that gymnasium had acoustic ceiling baffles…

So, what are we getting at exactly?

The acoustics in a room are incredibly important to the projection of sound, like voices. With proper baffles, the sound quality in a room improves as sound is absorbed rather than slowly dissipating as it reverberates throughout an empty space. Let’s take a deeper look into what acoustic baffles do, why they’re so important, and how you can make sure that any space you live or work in has the proper acoustics.

 

Picture this: You’re back in high school, inside the gymnasium, making a $20 bet with your best friend who claims he can make a basket from half-court one-handed. You don’t believe it’s possible. You’ve seen this guy shoot a basketball.

You know what else you can’t believe? How many times you’ve had to repeat the terms of your $20 bet to your friend just because your voice keeps echoing through the gym as if you’re yelling from the bottom of a mine shaft. Frustrating, isn’t it?

If this gymnasium had the proper baffles to help the gym acoustics, you would’nt have needed to repeat yourself over and over. This means less time yelling across the gym and more time watching your friend embarrass himself trying to make an impossible shot. This also means that you’d be $20 richer a lot sooner. If only that gymnasium had acoustic ceiling baffles…

So, what are we getting at exactly?

The acoustics in a room are incredibly important to the projection of sound, like voices. With proper baffles, the sound quality in a room improves as sound is absorbed rather than slowly dissipating as it reverberates throughout an empty space. Let’s take a deeper look into what acoustic baffles do, why they’re so important, and how you can make sure that any space you live or work in has the proper acoustics.

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Popular Ceiling Baffle Products


EcoVerb™ Cotton Fiber Acoustic Panels
PolyZorbe™ Polyester Acoustic Panels
Quiet Quilt™ Acoustic Blanket

What Are Acoustic Baffles?

Typically, acoustic baffles are large panels that are hung from the ceiling. They are constructed using materials that are specifically designed for absorbing sound and reducing echo in a room. If you’ve ever looked up in a large room like a gymnasium, theater, or lecture hall, chances are you’ve seen these massive (usually) rectangular panels hanging down from the ceiling on cables or wires. These acoustic baffles have been installed to remove the annoying echoing of sound within the large room. By installing the panels as baffles that hang down from the ceiling, more surface area of each panel is exposed, meaning each baffle has a larger impact on reverberation reduction.

The nice part about hanging baffles from the ceiling in a large room is that they’re out of the way and not easily noticeable, even if their impact is! However, there are A LOT of options on the market for making these baffles look like an accent piece to the room as well. From colors to orientation and placement, a lot of spaces use these giant panels as a design cue instead of just a functional piece of acoustic equipment.

Tip on Acoustic Ceiling Baffle Assembly;

For the best results, space rows of acoustic baffles based on the size of the panel. If your panel is 2 feet wide, then you should have AT LEAST a 2 foot gap between two rows of panels. In most situations, we’d actually recommend a 4 to 8 foot gap between rows for panels that size.

If you’re looking to improve the overall sound quality of a large space with high ceilings, acoustic baffles are an excellent option. They’re out of harm’s way and make a major impact on the acoustics of any room.

What Are The Benefits Of Acoustic Baffles?

So now that you know how what baffles are, what are the actual benefits of using acoustic baffles? Here’s a quick list of some of the reasons acoustic baffles are a “go to” solution to improve sound quality.

1. By spacing out the acoustic baffles over the entire ceiling, it’s easy to ensure good sound quality across the entire space. Since the ceiling is always equally distance from the floor, you won’t end up with any “hot spots” like can occur with a wall treatment in a large room. You also can modestly reduce the total sound level across the entire space. On average, every time you double the amount of sound-absorbing material you reduce the noise level by 3 dB in your space up to a maximum of 10 dB.

2. Acoustic baffles are perfect for large spaces like open offices, churches, gymnasiums, theaters, and warehouses. Most of these spaces have hard surfaces that reflect sound back into the room instead of absorbing it. When a space is full of reflective surfaces, the result is echo and reverb issues. Installing the correct amount of sound absorbing panels will stop that annoying reverb and be out of the way of most activities, though we all know that some determined middle-school kids still will find a way to hit them.

What Are Some Alternatives To Acoustic Baffles?

If having a hanging panel isn’t really your cup of tea, there are alternatives to acoustic baffles! We often cover up to 100% of a ceiling with our EcoVerb Roll material, and get a comparable amount of sound absorption to the hanging panels. The benefit of this method is that not only are you adding absorption, you also are covering up a reflective surface. Though you don’t have both sides of a panel absorbing sound, the overall reverb reduction per square foot of material is about the same.

The primary reason many customers choose to go with the EcoVerb Roll is that it’s easier to install than hanging baffles. On average, hanging baffles will take 1.5-2 times longer to install as opposed to just attaching EvoVerb Rolls to the ceiling with our stick pin method. The end result is a blackout look on the ceiling that completely blends in. You don’t get the aesthetic options that you get with baffles, but you also don’t have to worry about interfering with lighting or sprinkler systems. It’s just a simpler project all around.

hanging acoustical baffles

Our Recommended Acoustic Panels

PolyZorbe

PolyZorbe panels are made from 100% polyester and provide a ton of sound absorption. These decorative panels are extremely cost-effective for how good they look, and are used anywhere from office spaces to restaurants. These panels are Class A fire rated and can either be sold as is or we can install the grommets for you. When mounted directly to a surface, these acoustic panels have an NRC rating of .70 for the 1” thickness and .95 for the 2” thickness. We sell the PolyZorbe panels in 24” x 48” online, but can do custom sizes up to 48” x 96” if you call in.

EcoVerb

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option but still want the benefits of a high-quality acoustic baffle, EcoVerb baffles are the way to go. These are made from recycled cotton fiber and are resistant to mold, mildew, and other forms of contamination. Like the PolyZorbe panels, these are Class A fire rated but come in at a much lower price point. They offer great sound absorption with an NRC rating of .8 for the 1” thickness and 1.15 for our 2” thickness and come in a variety of sizes and colors. As with the PolyZorbe, we can add the grommets to the baffle for you or you can DIY the grommets with the standard panels.

Final Thoughts on Sound Baffles

There you have it. More info on acoustic baffles than you ever thought you’d need! You might even be able to teach a class on acoustics now! All right, we won’t go that far. But, we hope that you learned a little something from this and that it helped you find exactly what you need to make your acoustics sound better than Adele in the Sydney Opera House. If you’re still unsure, contact us for a consultation! We have a team of sound experts ready to help you with any of your acoustic needs!

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.800.679.8511