Scientific Progress or Just Better Awareness?

Recent hot trends in architecture and interior design have been giving far more attention to acoustical considerations than in the past. Why? Has the science of acoustics advanced so much that new solutions and techniques are driving the market?

Innovative scientific knowledge is most certainly producing new products. In the last few years we have seen the broad application of a variety of diffusive products. Perforated materials are increasingly used. Electronic acoustical solutions is becoming far more sophisticated. While this computer technology has significant a price tag, there are applications, especially in large multi-purpose rooms where the money is well spent.

On the other hand, what is happening today is largely driven by a simple awareness: money spent to improve work place efficiency is not just an expense to be justified, it is “sound” investment in worker productivity. This is especially true in dealing with the enhancement of voice intelligibility.

Acoustics has been studied for many years, and many of those principles are alive and well. The formula for determining room reverberation time and its relationship with absorptive materials is still in use today, even though it was well defined by Dr. Sabine in 1895.

Despite its deep roots, much of acoustical knowledge today remains distorted by Voodoo Acoustics. Caution should be used to work with consultants and companies that take seriously the testing and science of applied acoustics. We are here to help at our Customer Service Desk: 800-237-1625

Unika Vaev is a proud sponsor of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants. When faced with acoustical issues, NCAC is a great place to start.

Glossary of Terms

  • Acoustic absorption refers to the process by which a material, structure, or object takes in sound energy when sound waves are encountered.
  • Voice Intelligibility indicates the ability of a listener to understand voice content in a given acoustic environment.
  • Reverberation Time is the time it takes for a sound inside a space to decay to 60 dB below its original energy level.

Chuck Chiles