What is the Difference Between Soundproofing and Sound Absorbing

If you have problems with sound, you are forced to search for solutions on the internet and you often find people searching for keywords like soundproofing of sound-absorbing. Some people want sound in the room to remain within while others want to block external noise from entering into their rooms.

Many people believe that using soundproofing foam is the ultimate solution to dealing with sound problems. But there is more to it than meets the eye. Even though you can find all manner of foams in studios and TVs rooms that are soundproof, unfortunately, the foam does not soundproof a room but rather reduces the echo in the room as opposed to what many of us get wrong.

Luckily, this guide will shed light on two ways of dealing with sound – soundproofing, and sound-absorbing.

Sound-absorbing vs soundproofing

To make it sound clear, there are two sides to acoustics, in the market, you will find products that absorb echo and those that stop or reduce sound transmission. So if you are seeking to block or reduce sound transmission, there are products for that, the same applies to when you want to improve the quality of sound inside the room by reducing echo. Some products are composite that can perform both functions, but for now, let’s focus on the two. Spongy materials absorb while tight materials will block the sound, these are the two simple principles to keep in mind when shopping for products to manage sound in your rooms.

Sound absorbing techniques

You can easily soundproof using this technique by hanging blankets on the walls as a DIY project. But if you want to do it professionally for better performance and aesthetics, consider shopping for specialised sound absorbing panels available in the market.

Sound blocking techniques

Here is a simple analogy to explain how the sound blocking technique works when dealing with sound. Imagine you are working in a room in the basement and studs are set, only waiting for sheetrock and you decide to use egg crates instead. Egg crates are airy and allow sound to pass through. So, materials that can block sound transmission include heavyweight walls. Decoupled walls perform even better because it reduces sound transmission through vibration. Going back to the previous analogy, instead of using a sponge or egg crates, this time use nine layers of sheetrock and let your friend start talking from the other side. The differences between the two scenarios are different. You won’t hear a thing from the other side. And that is how sound blocking works.

Now you know the basic difference between sound blocking and sound absorbing techniques that you can incorporate into your rooms to deal with sound. If you are dealing with echo, then you are looking for a quality sound like that of a recording studio but if you are blocking sound, use air-tight material and better with decoupled material to help prevent sound transmission through vibration. There are other technical aspects when dealing with sounds such as wavelength or sound frequency, but for now, the non-technical bit of it is the basis for sound knowledge. At least for now you have the right acoustic knowledge that can sustain you deal with sound issues in your rooms. You can seek expert advice if you want to deal with sound issues professionally.