Acoustic panels can provide much-needed noise relief in any area with a high noise population. Imagine yourself trying to record music, or other audio, conduct important meetings in a home office, or that ever-important band practice.
External noise can be detrimental, can it not? Detrimental to the overall noise performance quality in any context, but also suffer from external interference as well.
What’s the solution? Acoustic panels. They are a nifty invention that dampens sound and insulates environments to both keep in sound and keep sound out.
We’re going to look at the best acoustic panels 2022 offers so far. We will also explore how acoustic panels work and what you need to look for when buying them.
How Do Acoustic Panels Work?
Not all panels use from the same core materials. The most common acoustic panel materials include:
- Acoustic Foam
Industry-standard acoustic panels use mainly acoustic foam and fiberglass bases. A timber frame sometimes supports these.
The acoustic panel absorbs sound waves as they travel through the air. They then block the sound waves outdoor or dampen them, so that they halt the vibrations in their tracks.
The result is not complete soundproofing, but a heavy reduction in noise traffic in your target area. Some panels are more effective than others.
Best Acoustic Panels (Quick Summary)
- Each WEDGE comes uncompressed and in prime condition! The Wedges in the photo will be exactly what you get.
- Great for spot treating sound on walls in your studio or office – For use in recording studios, control rooms, Offices home studios, home entertainment theaters, Home Offices
- 12 Pack covers 12 square feet – Each tile is 1 square foot of 1 inch thick acoustic wedge
- For professional acoustic control, sound dampening, acoustic treatment, noise reduction – Reduce waves, reverb and flutter echoes in smaller to medium sized rooms.
- MADE IN USA – Passes the CA TECHNICAL BULLETIN CAL 117-2013: Requirements. This is the Procedure and Apparatus for Testing the Smolder Resistance of Materials Used in Upholstered Furniture. This product, passes the requirements tested in the CAL 117-2013 procedure
Overview And Key Features
Foamily acoustic foam tiles are, unsurprisingly, made with acoustic foam. Acoustic foam differs from a standard foam material. They specifically engineered it to absorb noise. That is exactly what the Foamily acoustic foam tiles aim to do.
Size And Shape
Each tile is one square foot. You can purchase them in packs of 12, therefore covering 12 square feet (1.11 m²). Each tile is one inch thick. One-inch foam thickness does not provide the best level of sound dampening, however, it will do the job well in a small-sized room.
The finish is in wedge style.
Foamily intends this set of acoustic tiles for small office spaces, small or medium-sized studios. The key is—small. You might push it a bit by trying out a medium-sized room.
They are best suited for spot-treating sound. You can target specific areas by paneling problem zones where sound ambulates.
The installation is quite easy.
Each square foot of tile slots perfectly into the next one. In this way, you can create a bigger area of the acoustic panel and create a bigger noise dampening effect. You may need a drill or strong command strips to attach the tiles to the wall.
- Cost-Effective: With price, these acoustic panels are a good deal. Per square inch, you get a fair price.
- Classic Look: These are the classic foam block look you associate with acoustic panels.
- Thin: The thickness of this panel is around one inch. A one-inch thick acoustic panel won’t provide a completely soundproof arena. Thicker tiles, such as two inches, can block noise more effectively.
- You are likely to get some noise breaking its way through the foam.
- PREMIUM QUALITY ACOUSTIC STUDIO FOAM – Each piece of foam comes uncompressed and in pristine condition, ready to install today! What you see in the photos is exactly what you get.
- GREAT FOR SPOT TREATING YOUR LISTENING ENVIRONMENT – For use in recording studios, control rooms, home studios, home entertainment theaters.
- PACKAGE IS NOT COMPRESSED!!! – Unlike other brands, this foam will not be warped or damaged from highly compressed vacuum packaging. Includes acoustic foam, installation instructions, and data sheet.
- CONTROL YOUR ROOM’S ACOUSTICS – Reduces standing waves and flutter echoes in small to medium sized rooms. NRC of 0.65
- MADE IN USA – 12 Pack covers 12 square feet – Each tile is 1 square foot of 2 inch thick premium acoustic wedge foam. Fire Retardant: CA Technical Bulletin 117 and ASTM E84 Class A.
Overview And Key Features
This is simple acoustic foam. Pro Studio created it for absorbing sound, and it does it rather well. It comes with a wedge-style design. It is in the standard gray/black color that seems to be popular among this sort of tiles. Black is better at absorbing noise than other colors.
The individual acoustic panels are one square foot. This set is a set of 12. So, you get 12 square feet (1.11 m²) of acoustic foam panels per purchase. The panels are two inches thick, which is pretty standard for this type of acoustic cladding. A two-inch-thick panel can provide ample noise blockage.
The thickness of these panels allows a wider coverage, such as in a medium-sized studio or office, etc. However, they are still not the largest in square feet and, therefore, better for spot soundproofing. That being said, they work better in smaller spaces.
The installation process for these tiles is easy to get your head around. Thankfully, you won’t need any complicated tools! You could drill to the wall if you wanted, or simply glue it in place. The tiles slot nicely with each other and fit like a hand in a glove to form a complete tiled area.
Remember to pinpoint problem noise areas, and work from there. Problem noise areas are normally anywhere where noise bounces from. So if you have a microphone or instruments in place, use them to select the right placement and angle.
- Thickness: Two-inch thickness provides decent sound absorption. You will get a decent amount of quality return with this thickness measurement.
- Quality: The overall quality of these panels stands out as a definite tick on the pro list. They are well made and not compromised in transit. This is not always the case with other brands.
- Not Distinctive: Now, the same can be said for most acoustic panel products. However, the lack of distinctive features compared to other brands makes this panel look the same and not stand out as aesthetically unique.
Overview And Key Features
Acoustic foam is the only ingredient in the makeup of the Auralex acoustic wedges. They really stand out from other products as you can choose from three different color options, including charcoal, dark burgundy, and dark purple hues.
These panels come in a range of different sizing options. You can buy them in packs of 12 and 24. The panels can cover areas of up to 48 feet (14.63 m). They come with a wedge inversion shape.
The product itself is two inches thick. This provides adequate soundproofing. Though, there are other products from Auralex in varying degrees of thickness, from one to four inches.
The focus of the Auralex wedges is smaller spaces. They claim to be effective for sound booths, vocal spaces, and small studios.
If you want to cover a bigger area, you can opt for a different but same branded acoustic tile if you want to branch out with a more demanding project.
These tiles are one of the best types of acoustic wedge foam panels for targeting reverberation effects. Reverberation is the noise that travels, from a source of noise, around the room.
Auralex provides another fairly straightforward installation process here. There will be some DIY involved. The manufacturer includes details and suggestions how to install the wedges in the most efficient way.
Remember that placement is everything. If you get the tiles up in the wrong place, they will be useless to you.
- NCR 0.75: This is one of the best NCRs on the list of our acoustic panels. An NCR of 0.75, means it’s a product that you can trust with your soundproofing needs. It is a high rating, close to 1, and therefore that guarantees its efficiency by a third party regulator.
- Trusted Brand: Auralex has been making acoustic products for several years. They have gained a strong and positive reputation in the business.
- Big: This might not be a bad thing for every customer. However, these panels are larger individually than others we feature on the list. It might make covering a small area more difficult, with a larger square foot on an individual tile.
- EFFECTIVE DESIGN THAT IS EASY TO INSTALL. Wedge style angled design ensures optimum sound absorbency. The acoustical barrier can be applied for permanent or temporary use. We suggest our Acoustic Foam Adhesive Square 24 Pack (available separately on Amazon) You can also use 3M General Purpose 45 adhesive spray, push pins, strong double sided tape, or 3M Command Strips, (not included).
- HELPS WITH NOISE REDUCTION. Two inch thick foam is used to absorb mid to high frequencies and to control and trap echoes. Wedge style is comparable to eggshell foam and is best for when absolute sound deadening is not imperative, but moderate sound deadening is desired.
- ECONOMICAL SOLUTION. Create a great listening or recording environment with the best value noise reduction products. SoundAssured foam squares are a low cost solution to get better recordings at home or in the studio. Acoustic panels are used for professional studios, rehearsal rooms, concert halls, podcasting, churches, home theaters, vocal booths, home studios, offices, man caves, dog kennels, utility closets, and more…
- MADE IN USA AND CLASS-A FIRE RETARDANT. Our acoustic foam has Class A (Self Extinguishing) rating for ASTM E 84.
- WHAT YOU GET: One bundle of four (4) 1′ squares of 2″ thick professional acoustic foam. Coverage is 4 square feet. Mix and match charcoal with our color foam. BUY MORE AND SAVE! 5% off orders of 8 units or more. 10% off orders of 15 units or more. Includes all SoundAssured products. COUPON CODES BELOW.
Overview And Key Features
SoundAssured acoustic studio foam panels are made with 100% acoustic foam.
Unlike most competitors, they have provided at least 12 different color options for your acoustic panels. This means you have the freedom of a slightly more customizable bespoke soundproofing space. You could even mix and match the colors, losing no level of function of the tiles.
12 × 12 × 12 are the exact measurements given for these panels. They slot together in perfect tessellation. The wedge-shaped design features heavily across all of our chosen products, and SoundAssured is no different in that area. These feature heavyset wedges across the front of the acoustic panel.
These panels are for medium-sized rooms, but they would work in smaller spaces as well. The best examples of spaces this panel could work in are vocal booths, home offices, dog kennels, and small recording studios.
This brand has made its own adhesive backing packs that go with its acoustic foam panels. This saves a lot of time and energy for the installation part. You can simply stick them in place and leave them be to do their job.
These are an additional cost, but a real-time saver overall.
- Easy Installation Option: You can buy, direct from the manufacturer and on common e-marketplaces such as Amazon.com. These provide a really easy and straightforward installation process. No mess, not a lot of time, and definitely no power tools.
- Lots of Color Choice: This is one of the few panels we’ve come across that actually offers a reasonable choice in colors. There are 12 choices, in fact. These include the classic black/charcoal look, and branch out to green and even pink.
- Not as Resistant: Manufacturers build lots of acoustic panels to be fire resistant and also resistant to humidity. There is a slight concern that these particular panels won’t live up to those high standards.
Overview And Key Features
The primary material of this panel is purpose-built acoustic foam. It comes in one color: Charcoal Gray. Though if you’re going to have one color, charcoal gray is pretty compatible with a range of different interior decor. It looks especially nice contrasted with timber.
If you decide to buy these panels, you will receive a product that is 12 inches by 12 inches (0.3 m). The thickness is one inch, which, as we’ve discussed, is not as effective as the two-inch thickness panels. However, it will do just fine in smaller spaces. The shape is the standard square panel, but instead of wedges, there are block ridges along the front face.
These are another tile for small-ish spaces. If you were to use them in a home recording studio and spot target problem areas, you would get some promising results.
You will have to do some research around a little when installing these panels. They don’t come with much in the way of simple instructions.
However, that being said, they are in themselves quite simple and easy to get to grips with. Any standard adhesive backing will definitely do the job. They also fit together perfectly to create a larger noise absorption area.
- Easy on the Wallet: The actual cost per square foot is great. You will be able to cover a small space very economically.
- Designed for all Frequencies: Some panels are better for low frequencies. Some are better at absorbing high frequencies. Siless has made a panel that is efficient at mid, low, and high frequencies of noise.
- A bit boring: We’re not being overly critical here. This tile is a normal-looking, standard color product. There’s nothing that makes it stand out or gives it that extra wow factor.
Acoustic Panel Guide: What To Look For When Choosing Acoustic Panels.
How to find out what your acoustic panels are good for
The first thought when selecting an acoustic panel product is: What is this acoustic panel’s purpose? There are many reasons people want to reduce noise and semi-soundproof areas.
Different acoustic panels, while unanimous in their mission to dampen sound, may provide different levels of soundproofing and therefore suit different purposes.
- Home studios
- Soundproofing for band practice
- Educational Settings
- Offices and Communal workspaces
Whatever the purpose, the acoustic panel you select has to be up to the task. There’s nothing worse than spending time and money investing in a product that ultimately lets you down on its delivery.
For example, a noisy and busy communal office space will require a thicker, more hardy panel than say a home office with less noise interference.
What is the acoustic panel NCR Rating?
NCR rating is a key thing to check for when making any panel purchase. NCR is the number that shows how effective the acoustic panel is at absorbing and blocking sound. It marks the effectiveness of the panel.
Typically, they are rated between 0 and 1. The closer the score is to 1, the better the panel is at catching those sound waves.
If you are hoping to soundproof or lessen noise in a loud environment, you need to be aiming for a panel with at least a 0.7 NCR. Any less than that, and it won’t work in the way you want it to.
Acoustic panels rating less than 0.6 won’t provide much in the way of actual soundproofing. They may reduce noise, but they won’t provide the absorption rates that a higher NCR rating panel will.
Looking at an acoustic panel’s resistance and durability
In terms of resistance, you need to look at three things:
- Water Resistance
When we say water resistance, we are mostly speaking about indoor humidity levels.
Acoustic panels need to withstand and hold shape through any general household humidity.
Most acoustic panels are built with humidity resistance in mind and cater to it. But, if you are using your panels in an outdoor environment, you must also factor in rainfall.
- Noise Resistance
Noise resistance is the whole reason behind investing in acoustic panels.
Get to know the NCR rating before making any commitments to buy a product. You might not require the same level of noise protection in a home office as an open space workplace office, for example.
- Dust/Damage Resistance
There is always dust in any space. It naturally accumulates. Your panel needs to combat dust effectively without losing function.
There are other factors such as general wear and tear, external natural damages, accidental damage and even fire damage.
Foam panels, while providing an excellent source of acoustic bliss, are often more prone to damage than fiberglass panels.
Acoustic Panel Overall Look
To be honest, most acoustic panels aren’t going to fit in with your desired decorative aesthetic.
However, there are certain companies that can customize and offer different colors and designs.
Acoustic panels are not the most fashion forward creation. But what they lack in looks, they make up for above and beyond in capacity and function.
Acoustic Panel Pattern
All panels are made with a specific pattern. Sometimes it’s a wedge, sometimes dimpled, sometimes diamond. These are all 3D patterns.
If we’re being completely honest, as we like to be, there is no real distinction between the performance of any acoustic panel pattern. It seems to be a more aesthetic thing than anything.
Some may claim to be more absorbent than others, and there may be minimal discrepancies in terms of output. But, as we’ve said, if you like the look of one pattern over another, go for it!
How Many Acoustic Panels Will I Need To Buy?
This answer depends entirely on the size, cost, and effectiveness you wish to cover. Acoustic panels are cut in different sizes, and you can order accordingly.
It’s straightforward to measure the area and match it with the required number of panels.
Do Acoustic Panels Work?
Acoustic panels, when used correctly and placed correctly, can work wonders. It’s all about getting the right fit and feel for your specific requirements.
Acoustic panels, as we’ve seen, come in an array of different materials and colors.
There is bound to be something to suit your specific need base, given the amount of product out there.
These are our top five acoustic panels that are available right now. They all have great NCR ratings and are 100% fit for purpose and cost-effective.