Acoustic foam

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Acoustic foam is an open celled foam used for acoustic treatment. It attenuates airbone sound waves, reducing their amplitude, for the purposes of noise reduction or noise control.[1] The energy is dissipated as heat.[citation needed] Acoustic foam can be made in several different colors, sizes and thickness.[citation needed]

Acoustic foam can be attached to walls, ceilings, doors, and other features of a room to control noise levels, vibration, and echoes.[2]

Many acoustic foam products are treated with dyes and/or fire retardants.[3]


The objective of acoustic foam is to improve the sound quality by removing residual sound in any space.[4] This purpose requires strategic placement of acoustic foam panels on walls, ceiling and floors, effectively eliminating resonance within the room.[5]

Acoustic enhancement[edit]

The objective is to enhance the properties of sound by improving speech clarity and sound quality.[6] For this reason, acoustic foam is often used in recording studios.[6] The purpose is to reduce, but not entirely eliminate, resonance within the room.[6] This is achieved by placing similar sized pieces of foam, often in the shape of cones or triangles, on opposite walls.[6]} Sound waves reflect off of surfaces and continue to bounce around in the room. When a wave encounters a change in acoustic impedance, such as hitting a solid surface, acoustic reflections transpire. These reflections will occur many times before the wave becomes inaudible. Reflections can cause acoustic problems such as phase summation and phase cancellation.  A new complex wave happens when the direct source wave coincides with the reflected waves. This complex wave will change the frequency response of the source material.[6]


Acoustic foam is a lightweight material made from polyurethane foam either polyether or polyester, and also extruded melamine foam.[citation needed] It is usually cut into tiles - often with pyramid or wedge shapes - which are suited to placing on the walls of a recording studio or a similar type of environment to act as a sound absorber, thus enhancing the sound quality within a room.[citation needed]

Acoustic foam reduces or eliminates echoes and background noises by controlling the reverberation that sound can make by bouncing off walls.[citation needed] This type of sound absorption is different from soundproofing, which is typically used to keep sound from escaping or entering a room.[citation needed] Therefore, acoustic foam is installed in large rooms like churches, synagogues, concert halls.[citation needed] These rooms have large, flat space and noise will certainly bounce around in the room.[citation needed] These sound absorbers are used to improve the acoustics of the room, which thereby reduces noise in the room.[citation needed]

Acoustic foam typically deals more with the mid and high frequencies.[citation needed] To deal with lower frequencies, much thicker pieces of acoustic foam are needed; large pieces of acoustic foam are often placed in the corners of a room and are called acoustic foam corner bass traps.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Acoustical Foam".
  2. ^ "Effects of egg crate foam as acoustics panel". pfa. 14 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Fire Testing Data".
  4. ^ Chen, Francine Robina (1980). "Acoustic characteristics and intelligibility of clear and conversational speech at the segmental level" – via Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  5. ^ "Acoustic Treatment - Acoustic Panels". Audio Visual Bend.
  6. ^ a b c d e Everest, Alton (1997). Sound Studio Construction on a Budget. New York: McGraw-Hill.