Home Furnishing as Sound Absorbers

Domestic materials can be very useful to absorb as well as scatter sound. Sound absorption can even be caused by redirecting sound through scattering elements to absorbent materials in rooms that are already part of home furnishing. Chairs in the listening area of home cinemas have scattering as well as absorbing character thus are useful in improving room acoustics.

Figure 1: Principle of a diffusing surface

1. Curtains

Curtains are commonly in rooms used as they are part of home furnishing. However, home consumer curtains have a little effect on sound absorption since they are usually to light in weight.

The amount of absorption is dependent on the weight of the curtain and folds which increase the surface area that sound is facing. Provided that curtains are heavy, their porous characteristics can be well used for soundproofing.

The absorption occurs as air penetrates the fabric. Furthermore, the absorbing effect of curtains varies with distance from the adjacent solid room boundary and is maximum where air particle velocity is highest which is a quarter wavelength from the wall (pressure minimum).

Figure 2: Reverberation time dependent on room furnishing.

2. Carpets

Carpets can be effectively absorbent at mid and high mid frequencies. Although, this will lead into a drop of the overall reverberation time, this also applies an imbalanced absorption to the frequency response of a room. Hence, this imbalance can be compensated by means of low-frequency absorbers.

One should keep in mind that also the material of a commonly used carpet underlay can have a significant effect on sound absorption. Figure 2. (a) shows that reasonable reverberation times in domestic rooms can be achieved through usual room furnishing. (b) depicts a mean RT of around 0.4 seconds according to a survey made in domestic rooms in Canada. Similar results may be obtained in e.g. in Europe.

In this post, we explored two types of sound absorbers that are effective in controlling sound reflections; Other types of these absorbers and the things that need to be mentioned to improve the sound will be published in future posts. These will pave the way for creating a home theater of the highest quality.

In this post, we explored two types of sound absorbers that are effective in controlling sound reflections; Other types of these absorbers and the things that need to be mentioned to improve the sound will be published in future posts. These will pave the way for creating a home theater of the highest quality.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.