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What's the Difference between Soundproofing and Sound Absorption?

We find the large majority of people who ask about soundproofing panels are really looking for a sound absorption product such as acoustic panels. In the acoustics industry, "soundproofing" is not technically the correct word to use when describing any material or product with a main function of absorbing sound waves. Soundproofing, in the broadest terms, suggests attaining total containment of sound within a confined area. To achieve this ideal is difficult or impossible for most end users looking to treat an acoustics problem in a finished environment. It would require cost prohibitive mechanical and acoustical re-engineering as well as a sound barrier and isolated chamber to gain something close to a soundproofing effect.