Echo can be defined as a weak reflection of an original sound. If you are in a cave, for example, and you yell “hello,” the sound wave created will hit the cave’s walls and reflect back to you. If more than one second passes before the reflected sound returns to you, you will perceive the original sound and the reflected sound separately. The reflected sound is referred to as the echo.
Reverberation is a little bit different. If the sound wave created takes less than one second to return to you, if the cave is small and the walls are very close to you, for example, then the new sound wave and the original sound wave will combine and you will not be able to perceive any difference between the two. Instead, you will hear them in unison as one, long, drawn-out sound, called a reverberation.
Solving Echo Problems
While it is impossible to eliminate them entirely, you can greatly reduce the amount of echo and reverberation in a specific location by taking advantage of acoustical solutions.
Acoustical absorption panels resolve a wide array of acoustical problems, making them a great product to start with when looking to decrease excessive background noise in noisy environments such as restaurants, offices or auditoriums. As sound waves are created they bounce off of walls, ceilings, floors and any other hard surfaces in a room, creating distracting echo and reverberation. Acoustical absorption panels contain these sound waves and stop them from traveling around the room, drastically decreasing echo and reverberation.
For a quick fix in critical listening environments such as recording studios or similar venues, acoustical absorption wedge foam can be easily installed directly to walls. This foam will reduce reflected noise from creating echo and reverberation considerably by trapping and dissipating sound waves as they hit.
For a similar solution to reduce echo and reverberation off of ceilings, try cushion ceiling tiles. This type of ceiling tile is specifically designed to be installed against hard ceiling surfaces in order to absorb sound waves and stop them from bouncing off of the ceiling and creating additional echo and reverberation.
For further protection in background noise-heavy environments, acoustical diffusers are a favored solution. These diffusers reduce sound intensity by scattering high-frequency sound over a broadened area. They are ideal for places like restaurants, lobbies, and classrooms where background noise can quickly become problematic.
These are just a few of the most common solutions for echo and reverberation issues, but many more exist. Soundproof Direct is dedicated to finding the ideal solution for your specific echo and reverberation problem.
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