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FAQ: Open Office Noise Reduction - How Can This Work?

Open Office Noise Reduction

At Audimute, people frequently ask us if there is any way to provide open office noise reduction, and the answer is yes! Take the question from one of our customers below as an example:

Q: I work in a space that has several offices in which people are always talking on the phone and to students in person, causing a lot of open office noise. If doors are open or people are talking in the halls, sound just bounces off all of the parallel walls. There are very few sound absorbing things are in this area. What can we do to keep the noise down other than get a few plants and a few pillows on the couch?

A: Too much noise pollution can be distracting and increase stress levels. Introducing sound masking materials can soften open office noise, create a productive environment, and give individuals more cubicle privacy.

The simplest open office noise reduction solution would be acoustic panels. Acoustic panels placed around your office will help to reduce the reflection of sound off of the wall, in turn lowering the sound pressure levels in the room and stopping loud echoes and reverberations. In other words, these will help to make your space quieter and less chaotic sounding.

The general rule of thumb for an office space is to have 10-20% of your treatable wall surface treated with panels. You also want to have panels placed in areas that are going to be most beneficial, such as close to office doors and around desks. When installing these panels, try to place them about 3-6' off the floor – this is where most of the sound is both generated and heard so it will make the biggest impact on the sound.

For large scale applications such as this, we offer acoustic panel starter kits for both standard and large room sizes and deluxe package options. These bulk kits make purchasing a range of sizes easier and more affordable.

Audimute Acoustic Panels are designed for commercial and residential spaces. Acoustic Art Panels are available in standard and custom color prints, fabrics, and sizes that look great in any application. Call an Audimute Acoustic Specialist today at (866) 505-MUTE to discuss the best acoustic approach for your space.

Got a question for an Acoustic Specialist? Ask us anything!

The Effects of a Noisy Classroom

Noisy classroom sound solutions

A noisy classroom environment can limit the academic success of today’s students. Children are not as skilled as adults at staying focused when distractions of any kind ensure – especially sound distractions.

Children with normal hearing can miss as much as 1/3 of the words in a teacher’s message when they are listening in an environment with poor acoustics, according to ClassroomHearing.org.1 An even greater percentage of the teacher’s message is lost when a child already suffers from hearing difficulties and loss.

To remedy a noisy, distracting classroom, effective sound-absorbing acoustic treatments can benefit all children and promote a thriving learning environment for both student and teacher.

Why do classrooms have poor acoustics? 

The acoustical problems found inside classrooms happen because of the hard, reflective surfaces and problematic background noise. Classrooms use hard surfaces, like desks and chalk boards, because they are easy to clean and care for. These hard surfaces cause excessive reverberations which can muffle a teacher’s speech, preventing children from clearly comprehending a teacher’s message.

Background noise can also be distracting in the classroom. Noise traveling through doors and windows, either from the street or neighboring classrooms, can be very distracting for young students. In addition the outside noise, HVAC systems and other service elements within the classroom can create more unwanted noise.

Both students and teachers suffer in classroom environments with excessive noise and reverberation. Teachers are forced to speak louder in these environments to ensure that the noise is not interfering with their students’ learning skills. Teachers suffer from voice fatigue and children suffer from an unproductive learning environment.

Sound Solutions for ClassroomsNoisy classroom soundproofing

Classroom noise does not have to be something schools simply deal with. There are solutions, both big and small, that administrators can implement to reduce problematic classroom noise. Noise from reverberation is usually easy to fix; simply adding soft materials – like blankets and curtains – to the walls and ceilings will make a significant difference. For a reliable and effective acoustic solution, NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rated products, like Audimute’s acoustic panels, acoustic tiles, and acoustic clouds and baffles will provide consistent sound absorption in the classroom.

Doors and windows can either be replaced entirely or sealed off with a product like Audimute’s door seal kit. Sound travels through the air gaps that surround the doors and windows. To check for these gaps turn off the lights in the hallways and leave the classroom lights on, the gaps will be then be apparent.

Treating the noise from an HVAC system is slightly more problematic. HVAC units can either be enclosed or replaced entirely with a quieter system. The goal is to have an HVAC system that produces an optimum noise level, which is typically 35 dBA in a classroom.

Classroom noise can inhibit students’ academic success and create unnecessary stress for teachers. If you are an administrator dealing with classroom noise, we can help. Give our sound solution experts a call at 866-505-MUTE, or check our resource center for classroom acoustics for additional noise reduction tips.