Which Acoustic Foam Shape Is Best?

You have probably seen pictures of various acoustic foam styles on instagram and youtube.

Some acoustic foam styles include: 

While you may think various styles have advantages over the others, it is actually the thickness of the panels that make more of a difference. 

What Does Acoustic Foam Do?

Acoustic foam is an efficient way to eliminate echoes and absorb sounds in your room. The panels are made from sturdy, open-cell polyurethane that can significantly decrease the amount of reverberation, noise, and echoes. 

Sound can be absorbed by different materials, depending on the type. Acoustic foam is one of these types because it's both soft and porous. When a sound wave comes into contact with acoustic foam it converts some of that energy to heat which causes decay much faster than if there was no material present at all!

Different Thickness Of Acoustic Foam

Acoustic foam comes in various shapes and thicknesses. The biggest variation in performance is thickness, not the actual shape or pattern in the acoustic foam. 

Each thickness absorbs sound waves at different frequencies. The various shapes offer various aesthetic qualities and textures. 

Thinner acoustic foams will absorb the high and mid spectrum sound waves while thicker foam panels absorb high, mid and lower end sound waves.

various thicknesses of acoustic foam panels - different size of acoustic foam

1 inch thick acoustic foam will give you the most bang for your buck. 1 inch foam panels are thin compared to our other foams, but are still effective for reducing flutter echoes and controlling the mid and high frequency ranges. Use these panels when good sound control is desired but substantial absorption is not imperative.

2 inch thick acoustic foam offers more sound absorbing power overall, and will take care of the mid to high frequency ranges. The 2" thick profile is the most popular and a safe bet for anyone planning a DIY vocal booth, studio, home theater, rehearsal space, or a broadcasting area.

3 inch thick acoustic foam will help absorb high, mid, and low end frequencies. These versatile panels can be used in almost any room.

4 inch thick acoustic foam has the highest sound absorbing power, and will help eliminate lower frequency ranges to help tone down bass. Use these panels in rooms with low-end problems.

Bass traps are super thick foam pieces that go into the corner of your room and are the best for absorbing, you guessed it, BASS. If you have a subwoofer, bass amp or nice big monitors it is always good to have a few bass traps.

The below tables shows the Noise Reduction Coefficient ratings for our foam at all the different frequencies. The first table is WEDGE style panels. The second table is PYRAMID style panels. 

noise reduction coefficient NRC ratings table


absorption ratings for acoustic foam panels and bass traps


How to interpret these ratings:

What Is NRC? ( Noise Reduction Coefficient )

The Noise Reduction Coefficient, commonly known as the NRC for a material is simply a measure of how much sound, or acoustic energy, a material can absorb. The below formula will help us interpret what a materials NRC tells us.

NRC = decibles absorbed / decibles reflected

The NRC will be in decimal format. For example, let's say a material has an NRC of 0.30. What we are saying is that the material absorbed 30% of the acoustic energy and reflected 70%.

The NRC is the "Overall" number in the above ratings. The other numbers represent the rating within the single frequency band. 


Different Shapes Of Acoustic Foam

As we mentioned earlier, the major difference in performance of acoustic foam is the thickness, not the actual shape or style of the panels. However, various textures and shapes offer you different options for the aesthetics in your room!

Check out our different shapes of acoustic foam!

Egg Crate




grid style acoustic foam sheets

Thick Triangle Wedges (6 inch)

6 Inch Thick Wedges

6 inch thick acoustic foam wedges for sale


I hope this info was helpful. If you have any questions at all please contact us! We are glad to help!  



Read More:

What Is Noise Floor And How To Keep Noise Floor Down

What Is Transmission Loss Of Sound ?

Acoustic Foam Room Calculator

Acoustic Foam FAQ

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