Your Acoustics Checklist

Your Acoustics Checklist

Your Acoustics Checklist

April 25 2019

When it comes to specifying acoustic systems, it is important to plan ahead and clearly scope out your requirements so as to make the right product specifications at the conceptual stage of your project.

Retrofitting acoustic panel systems following completion can be expensive, time-consuming, interfere with schedules, and often have a ‘band-aid’ look. The need to clearly delineate and analyse potential issues beforehand and address them early on is essential. We’ve compiled a checklist to help you do just that.


What you need to know:

  • Room dimensions
  • Ceiling height
  • Type of lighting
  • Ventilation/Ductwork
  • Fire rating requirements
  • Environmental accreditations required
  • Potential issues
  • New Build or Retrofit?
  • Current sound treatments


What are your main sound issues?

Part One:

  • Echo
  • Excessive Noise
  • Reverberation
  • Sound Quality
  • Speech Intelligibility
  • Hearing Protection

If any of these are critical issues, you will need SOUND ABSORPTION products.

What are your main sound issues?

Part Two:

  • Sound Transfer
  • Low Frequencies
  • Impact Noise
  • Vibration Noise

If any of these are critical issues, you will need SOUND ISOLATION products.


It is vital that the correct level of absorption is ascertained.

Light Absorption

  • Approximately 5% – 25% coverage is required.
  • Typical applications include recording studios, interview rooms, conference rooms, offices, etc.

Moderate Absorption

  • Typically 25% – 50% coverage is required.
  • Suits theatres, open-plan offices, etc.

Heavy Absorption

  • 50-60% coverage required
  • This is for heavy-duty applications such as windows, vocal booths, recording isolation booths, and other areas that require almost total absorption. Absorption materials should be installed so that they are exposed to the source of the noise problem for it to work most effectively. In most applications, they work best if they are positioned evenly around the space you are treating.


Some recommendations for sound isolation include:

  • Look for areas where sounds may be escaping through. Doors, windows, ductwork, vents are the common culprits.
  • Employing thicker, less compressed materials to reduce impact and/or vibrational noise.
  • Thinner, denser materials work best for sound isolation.
  • ‘Seal’ the room. Make every effort to cover every surface with an appropriate sound isolation material to prevent sound escaping or entering.

Sound isolation materials need to be installed between wall layers.

For new buildings, isolation materials can be attached directly to wall studs or floor joists. For retrofit applications, isolation materials may be added to existing walls followed by
additional layers of plasterboard over it. The more mass, the better the outcome!