Improving Room Acoustics

Improving Room Acoustics

Acoustic Quality

Acoustics is not always about dangerous noise levels damaging your hearing. Acoustic quality within a space is massively important.  With the help of an Acoustic Consultant, a small investment in acoustics can easily pay for itself many times over.

Whether its speech intelligibility in an office, conference room or teaching environment, or noise control within a restaurant, factory or workshop, the sound quality within a space is extremely important.  Bad acoustics has a significant detrimental effect on profits, staff and customer satisfaction.

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Noise within offices is cited as the number 1 annoyance of office staff (University of California survey of 65,000 office workers).  This is especially of concern with cross site communication with regular conference calls and video calls. The benefits of improving the noise within a working environment are huge, with increased productivity, reduced staff sickness and stress, reduced staff turnover and improved employee mood and well-being.

Often appearing in the Top 10 Noisiest Jobs lists, nursery workers and teachers are regularly exposed to prolonged noise levels which if not controlled, can cause permanent damage to the eardrum.

Due to the The Lombard Effect, which means that noise breeds noise, children regularly have to raise their voices in order to be heard, leading to shouted exchanges.  Staff will suffer from vocal strain as they find it difficult to make themselves heard above high noise levels.

The effects of controlling the noise within a nursery or school setting are significant and ALL positive. Children have better concentration, learning and behaviour, and staff suffer less stress and fatigue.

Excessive noise caused by coffee machines, kitchen noise, chairs moving, music, numerous customer footfalls and conversation, bar staff, etc not only affecting the productivity and accuracy of staff, it is damaging your profits. In a recent UK survey of 1,200 people, 91% stated that they wouldn’t return to a noisy place. This result alone demonstrates the business case for putting some real consideration into the acoustics of a space.

Due to the The Lombard Effect, which means that noise breeds noise, in spaces with poor acoustics, even limited background music can lead to shouted exchanges, as talkers raise their voices in order to hear each other.

One in six people in the UK have a hearing loss, that’s 11 million potential customers who are unlikely to return to an establishment with poor acoustics and they are spending money elsewhere.

Most gymnasiums are built in the shape of an oversized shoe box.   With three sets of parallel surfaces, all designed to be hard and reflective for durability purposes, the perfect recipe for terrible acoustics due to the unrestricted sound waves bouncing around the room, with the echo lasting for several seconds.  This echo creates a nightmare for coaching, teaching, crowd noise, guest speakers, discos, plays, and any other event that a multipurpose room might choose to host inside a gym space.

To successfully control the echoes in these spaces, acoustic absorption is needed.

Soft Plays can be very noisy places with a lot going on, with children shouting and playing, party games, PA announcements, background music, conversations, coffee machines, etc. Uncontrolled noise in this environment will put customers off returning.  This alone demonstrates the business case for play centres putting some real consideration into their acoustics.

Often designed with aesthetics and durability in mind, these large open multipurpose spaces suffer with bothersome noise due to poor acoustics. Noise can be from the Café, the footfall of people moving around the space with many voices, a bus party, a visiting school group, or all the above at the same time.

Room Reverberation

To achieve good acoustic conditions, reverberation control is key.  The reverberation time is the number of seconds it takes for a loud noise such as a hand clap to disappear in a space.  With an established reverberation time, we can begin to find ways to control the noise within a space.

On-Site Reverberation Test Survey

We are fully equipped to undertake reverberation time tests and provide cost-effective advice for any existing space, from small cafés or restaurants to large multipurpose gym halls or community buildings.  RV Acoustics will complete an on-site acoustic survey to take precise reverberation time measurements of the room(s).  This ensures an accurate starting point which can save unnecessary expense. As RV Acoustics are fully independent, we can recommend acoustic products without bias which best suit your needs and budget.

Why Not Just Guess?

It is not as easy as just buying some acoustics panels and hanging them on the wall. For example, absorbers come in many different shapes, sizes, materials, and are intended to control different frequencies such as a bias in reducing low frequencies or speech frequencies. They also have different applications such as for hospitals, factories, residential, etc, with some mounted on walls and others suspended from the ceiling.

On completion of a Reverberation Test Survey, we can tell you what type on noise control you need, how many, and where to put them.

Sound good?

If you would like to book an on-site reverberation time survey, or just want to know more about it, please Contact Us directly and we will be happy to help.