Thursday, August 2, 2018

Why you should Soundproof your Workspace

Noise in the workplace can be extremely disruptive and many of us don’t ever realize just how it affects our productivity and morale. Of course, we are not including workplace noise that is so loud that it causes hearing damage, but the ambient noise that create those slight distractions that pull your attention away from your work. This inevitably causes workplace problems that can cost you and/or your company time and money. So, we’ve put together some of the more compelling reasons to soundproof your workspace or office!



Increased Productivity

It’s simple. When you’re not distracted, you are able to reach and maintain a state of flow easier, faster, and longer. This means your mind is able to stay focused on the task at hand without your thoughts being interrupted or losing concentration. This lets your creativity shine through allowing you to share your best ideas clearly and with confidence.

Health Benefits

Loud noises in the workplace can not only startle you, but stress you out. Noise levels can be attributed to a host of health problems including workplace accidents, psychological stress, and stress from poor communication, just to name a few. Too much workplace noise can even lead to a reduced immune response and cause fatigue or aggression. The complexity of the tasks being performed can increase the stress workers feel causing increased mistakes, frustration, and even injuries. Reducing noise in the workplace is directly linked to reduced stress and increased worker satisfaction, which leads to fewer accidents and increased productivity, as well.

Affordability

You can easily reduce the noise in your workspace or office using our affordable soundproofing and acoustical equipment. From massloaded vinyl sheets to our Sonexpanels, we have everything you need to get the job done on even the most conservative budgets. Whether you’re starting from scratch or converting an existing room, you’ll find all the soundproofing gear you need right in our online store.

Happier workforce

Employees not bombarded with constant noise are happier and more likely to enjoy their jobs while effectively reaching their workplace goals. When employees are given a workspace conducive to their need for quiet, creative expression, they are more likely to take pride in their work and feel positive about their contributions. Their energy levels will naturally increase, as will their productivity and overall well-being.

Quiet workspaces have proven to deliver increased productivity and healthier, happier employees. Our products are versatile and affordable on any budget, and we have the expert knowledge to help you find exactly what you need for your particular office or workspace.

What are the best (and worst) aspects of your workspace? Share your stories in the comments below!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Guilford of Maine Acoustic Fabrics


If you are interested in adding some color to your acoustic panels, there are plenty of options – good and bad. Taking your favorite designs or materials from the local fabric store and wrapping your acoustic panels will likely take away from the paneling’s ability to absorb sound properly, putting you right back where you started. That’s why at SoundAway we specialize in the Guilfordof Maine line of acoustic fabrics. Guilford of Maine is a versatile line of fabrics that look great without affecting the efficacy of your acoustic panels.  So, we’ve decided to let you in on why Guilford of Maine fabrics are the right choice for all of your acoustic projects.



An important aspect of any acoustic fabric is that it doesn’t negate the properties of your acoustic panels. Guilford of Maine fabrics are acoustically transparent, meaning they allow sound to travel through the fabric so your panels can do their job. Sound waves may reflect from other fabrics or materials that will not reduce noise levels or help control reverberations, in fact, it may exacerbate the noise issue. Guilford of Maine’s acoustically transparent design incorporates woven textures to create a breathable material that allows sound to pass through with minimal resistance.

Guilford of Maine’s diverse styles and colors gives you virtually endless options for customization. The vivid colors choices will enhance the interior of any room and you can print designs directly onto the fabrics including landscapes or your brand logo. These fabrics can be cut into any shape and be applied using an adhesive or stapled to your panels. The material is woven in a way that prevents sagging while maintaining its acoustically transparent properties. 

The Guilford of Maine FR701, Anchorage, and Paradise fabrics are their most popular lines and are perfect for a multitude of applications. All are made from 100% recycled, Class A fire-rated polyester that’s lightweight, resistant to stains, and engineered to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. These fabrics can be easily cleaned with a light vacuuming or brushing with deeper cleaning delicately performed using water-based cleaning agents.

Whether you’re wrapping wall panels or making speaker grill covers, our Guilford of Maine fabrics incorporate the most important features to create a truly unique and versatile solution for all of your acoustical needs. These acoustical fabrics are safe for every member of your family, made in the USA from quality, recycled materials, and built to last!

What are your favorite solutions for wrapping acoustic panels? Share your thoughts, stories, and tips in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Friday, June 1, 2018

SONEX Panels

Whether we notice it or not, every room sounds differently. The way sound reverberates around a room is unpredictable and controlling it requires a range of solutions based on room size, building materials, and a host of other factors. Luckily, SONEX has created acoustical panels with a wide selection of shapes and styles to accommodate any room. SONEX open cell foam acoustic panels are designed with a porous structure engineered to trap sound rather than reflect it. This allows for increased control over the acoustics of any room like never before and gives you the ability to reduce sound transmissions quickly, efficiently, and without breaking your budget. So, we’ve decided to break down the different types of SONEX panels to help you better understand what they are and why you should choose them.


Classic Panels

The SONEX Classic Panel is exactly what the name infers: a basic acoustical panel that can be used in almost any room ranging from large industrial facilities to the smallest bedroom. The unique design of this classic panel offers a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) ranging from 0.85 to 1.10, which means it absorbs practically all sound that passes through it. Since it’s made from open cell, melamine-based foam, the pattern of the panels is used to convert your neighbor’s loud music into quiet kinetic energy. These panels can reduce noises across all frequencies but are most effective in blocking those between 500 to 1,000 Hz. If you’re just looking for a simple sound reduction option, you can’t go wrong with this multi-use panel.

SONEX Pyramids

The dynamic SONEX Pyramid Panel offers a pattern that’s a little sharper than the others. Just like the name implies, these panels are designed in a pyramid pattern that focuses on acoustic control. The attractive, modern look is great for gaining acoustic control in architectural projects, conference rooms and any other large multipurpose room. In addition to its high level of sound-absorption (with an NRC of 0.70 to 0.95), the pyramid panel doubles as a way to give unique texture to the walls, making the room more interesting. Pyramid panels are ideal for reducing sounds that are between 250 and 2,000 Hz. These panels are the perfect option for those looking for an acoustic controlling technique that offers a little more funk.

SONEX Valueline

If you need an effective acoustical panel that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, the SONEX Valueline is the answer to your prayers. This line of acoustic panels is especially great for those who are looking for an efficient reduction of noises like echoes and reverberations that can hinder speech clarity. While offering an extremely affordable option, this Valueline panel is still able to provide an NRC of up to 1.05! These panels are especially great for absorbing sounds ranging from 500 to 1000 Hz, which are the most common frequencies that often get in the way of clear communication.

Valueline panels are perfect for students living in dorm rooms or apartment complexes where thin walls often allow annoying noises to seep through. Not only are these great for small-scale applications, but they’re also effective in public facilities such as schools, offices and gymnasiums because of their fire-retardant and mold-resistant qualities. If you’re looking for efficiency at a fraction of the cost, these are the panels for you.

Rondo Baffles

One of the most unique panel designs is most certainly the SONEX Rondo Baffles. These acoustical baffles are made for both aesthetics and functionality. Most often used in large rooms, these cylindrical rods can be put on ceilings or walls to change the visual dynamic of an entire room while greatly reducing noise reverberations. Sure to make quite the statement, rondo baffles are low-density and flexible; however, they still offer strong fire resistance and heat shielding qualities. These panels are the premium option for those who want to spend the extra money for their visual appeal. Made to significantly improve the sound quality of any room, this design easily makes an impression on anyone who sees them.

Changing the acoustics of a room can truly transform the ambiance from a distracted, stressful environment to a calm, focused one. Tranquility is worth a great deal, especially in today’s fast-paced world. SONEX panels are the perfect solution for quickly remedying all of your acoustical challenges.

What are your best tips for soundproofing your home or office? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Isolation Clips


Whether you’re working on renovating a theater, dorm, or your home, soundproofing is a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of the building process. Although there are many ways to soundproof your building after it’s built and settled, nothing is quite as effective as starting from the ground up. While these are great alternatives, if you know right from the start that you want a soundproof area, isolation clips are a sure fire way to help obtain quick, effective results. If isolation clips aren’t quite your forte, here are some things you should know before deciding whether or not they’re suitable for your project:

How they work

Isolation clips are essentially an easy way to decouple walls, floors, and ceilings. These clips are designed to mount directly on the wooden or steel joists that secure walls, floors, and ceilings. These easy-to-install isolation clips are engineered to greatly reduce structure borne noise such as footsteps, music, and other low frequency noise that other soundproofing methods fail to stop. The decoupling of the wall removes the direct connection between the walls that allows sound waves to travel through into either side. By creating this gap, it leaves the sound waves to travel through a buffer zone, thus greatly reducing the transfer of sounds and vibrations. In addition, the resilient isolation clips allow the vibrations to be absorbed and dissipated before traveling to the other side. With a variety of specially made clips for certain weight loads, ceilings, and walls, these clips are the ultimate all-in-one tool.  Some of the isolation clips require the use of Drywall Furring Hat Channel.

Benefits

When it comes to effective soundproofing, these clips offer numerous benefits in order to provide you with the best results possible. One of the best things about isolation clips is the
ease of installation. These clips can be quickly placed before installing the drywall and are almost impossible to install incorrectly. In addition to easy installation, these clips are extremely affordable. While other soundproofing methods can cost an arm and a leg, these clips are relatively low in cost and offer the same or even better results than more costly options. Furthermore, while most soundproofing methods that are put in place after being built are visible, these clips are hidden in between the walls and completely invisible to the eye. Since these clips are already hidden, you never have to worry about adding any unwanted d├ęcor to your rooms.

Able to reduce sound transfer by 75 to 100 percent, sounds that come from TVs, footsteps, stereos, voices, and more can be greatly diminished. Since they are put in place between the dry walls of each room or ceiling, there’s also no need for soundproofing on both sides of the wall. With its combination of low cost and high performance, isolation clips are one of the best options for soundproofing today.

Tips for Best Results

With all this talk about easy installation, there are still some things that you can do to ensure that you receive the best possible results from your isolation clips. Making sure that you follow these tips can greatly increase the ease of installation as well as the benefits you are likely to receive.

1.    The first set of isolation clips should be 3 inches from the ground and 6 inches from the ceiling
2.    Only utilize approved screws and ensure that each clip is secured tightly
3.    Alternate the rows when installing the clips to create a staggering pattern with the clips
4.    The space between each clip should not exceed 4 feet
5.    Keep in consideration the spacing of things such as outlets, light switches, and other unique circumstances
For best results when using isolation clips, add soundproofing wall panels, ceiling panels, and flooring to create the perfect soundproof environment. How do you plan on using your isolation clips? Share your stories in the comments below!



Friday, March 30, 2018

Reducing Noise Pollution in the Home


Upgrading your house with soundproofing products is a great way to reduce unwanted sound from inside and outside the home. Reverberations from large appliances and noise from outside the home can be more distracting than you realize, disrupting your daily life and especially your sleep. Many simple projects can be done to improve the sound quality inside your home, on even the most modest budget, without the need to hire a contractor. So, we’re going to review a few fast, easy ways to improve the sound quality in your home.



Insulation

A great way to improve the sound quality, while increasing your home’s efficiency, is to make sure that your home is well insulated. Older homes will likely have insulation that has been compromised due to water damage, small animals, and temperature changes over time. Any damaged insulation should be removed and leaks properly sealed as a first step. Once any issues have been remedied, you’re ready to move forward. Since we understand that many home projects are DIY, we recommend using our UltraTouchcotton insulation for the job. This is a LEED Green Certified material that’s safe for the entire family to work with. Sorry kids! UltraTouch is made from a durable cotton material that has the benefit of being both exceptional at absorbing sound and improving the heating and cooling efficiency of your home. The attic is a great place to start. Install these insulation batts between studs and joists while leaving ample room for all fixtures and appliances. Don’t forget to wrap any noisy pipes or ducts with our mass loaded vinyl insulation, as well. 

Windows

Leaks from windows are a major source of noise pollution for many homeowners. However, replacing windows is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. In reality, the issue can likely be remedied without replacing the entire window and frame. An affordable, effective solution is our SoundAway window plugs. We took our SoundAway mat designed for soundproofing enclosures around motors, generators, and A/C units to create a moisture-resistant window plug. The window plug creates an airtight seal between your window and frame. This is a closed cell foam sponge designed to block, reflect, and absorb sound across all frequencies. These window plugs install in minutes and will be effective for years to come.

Doors

Even when closed, sound can leak through from under and around a door frame. If sound is able to penetrate your doorways, sealing up the area around the door jamb is the best way to rid your rooms of this unwanted noise. We’ve come up with an easy way to block noise for seeping through doorways with our surface-mounted door seals and door seal frames. These are affordable options that are easy to install and provide an effective means of blocking sound for doors of all sizes. Whether you only need to block sound from the bottom of the door or need a complete frame kit, we can cut it to fit your exact needs.

These are just a few of the easy and affordable ways you can improve the sound quality inside your home. Your family will enjoy a more pleasant home that leads to improved sleep and a healthier environment overall. What are your quick and easy DIY soundproofing tips for the home? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Mass Loaded Vinyl

If you’re looking into soundproofing, then you’ve come across Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), also known as “Limp Mass Barrier.” This material has been a keystone in soundproofing for decades. It’s incredibly effective because of its flexible and limp structure, but also its weight. It’s most popularly used in homes and personal studios because it’s such a great material for DIY soundproofing, but it’s also used commercially. Some may even use it to dampen road noises in their car by covering the interior with it. This miracle sound barrier was first introduced as a replacement for dangerous and toxic lead sheeting. As a safer alternative, it’s become one of the most popular soundproofing barriers on the market.

What is Mass Loaded Vinyl and How Does it Work?

Made from limp vinyl and heavy Barium Sulfate or Calcium Silicate, this material combines these materials to create an exceptional sound barrier. The added sand or salt compounds give the vinyl more weight and density making it weigh in at a pound for every square foot. Mass Loaded Vinyl’s remarkable combination of weight and flexibility helps it reduce the amplification of sound waves as they attempt to pass through it.
Sound Transmission Class (STC) is the unit of measurement used to measure the effectiveness of mass loaded vinyl on structures. Sound scientists take measurements of the sound transmission loss between the source and the target area in a soundproof lab. The end rating indicates the performance of the MLV by calculating the difference in frequency between the source and the target area. The STC lets you know how effective the MLV is and how to best use that level of thickness.

How is Mass Loaded Vinyl Used?

Just as the name implies, Mass Loaded Vinyl is used to add mass to surfaces, as well as dampen and absorb sounds.

Here are four practical noise control uses for mass loaded vinyl:

1.    Drown Out Loud Neighbors or Roommates: Whether you’re hearing noise from above, or outside, you can use mass loaded vinyl to create more mass and drown them out. This is the most popular application of MLV. Use it to cancel noise between floors and ceilings, or between walls. Don’t press it between drywall and plywood surfaces, because that’ll take away the flexibility, which is key for canceling noises. It also works well to prevent sounds from leaking in through doors and windows.
2.    Silence Your Appliances: If you have noisy appliances or machines in your house, like an AC unit or dishwasher, you can line it with MLV. It’s not always the easiest material to use, but it’ll look nice if left exposed on appliances.
3.    Sound Deaden Your Car: This was alluded to earlier, but anyone who cherishes exceptional audio in their car or at least can’t stand the road noise from driving on the highway, would benefit from soundproofing their car with mass loaded vinyl.
4.    Dampen Pipe Sounds: Have you ever been lying in bed at night and then hear the flow of water moving about the pipes? Noisy water pipes and air ducts aren’t always a high priority for soundproofing, but they’re notoriously loud at night when you’re trying to sleep. Although some pipe wraps are made with MLV, you don’t have to use a traditional pipe wrap. You can combine it with a decoupling layer of SoundAway’s soundproofing Mat then wrap it with MLV.  Secure with MLV Mylar Seam Tape.

Where to Buy Mass Loaded Vinyl?

There’s a number of places selling MLV online, but at SoundAway, we offer a wide selection of mass loaded vinyl noise barrier in four different strengths: non-reinforced MLV 1#, non-reinforced MLV 2#, reinforced MLV 1#, and MLV 1# with closed cell foam & carpet underlay.



You can even pick up our super strong adhesive black vinyl seam tape to match perfectly with our mass loaded vinyl products. For the full product specs on our MLV, click here.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Why You Should Soundproof Your Bedroom

We all need sleep to maintain a healthy mind and body. The average person needs about 7 hours of sleep each night, totally about 2,555 hours a year! In the end, you’ll have slept for almost 30% of your entire life. However, sleep isn’t a numbers game – not exclusively at least. The quality of your sleep is crucial to your daily performance, mood, and overall health. If you are not waking up refreshed each morning, it could be that you aren’t sleeping well enough because of unexpected noise pollution disrupting your sleep.

When you don’t sleep well, you know it. You might be cranky and irritable, your eyes are heavy, and you’re more accident prone because of a serious lag to your mental processing. However, there are ways that poor sleep affects you of which you may not be aware. Things like your heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension and stress, and even hormonal changes that can influence your mental health.

One of the biggest factors that is disrupting your sleep is noise – particularly if you live in an urban environment. A study done by the World Health Organization found that sleep is disrupted with just a noise increase of 32 decibels. That means a birdcall or just the ambient noise in a residential area is enough to cause biological effects, like bodily movement or rousing from deeper stages of sleep. Even if the noise isn’t loud enough to wake you, it’s still preventing you from getting the deep and restful sleep that you need.

If you’re exposed to noises over 40 decibels, like rainfall or an air conditioner, you’ll start experiencing fragmented, disruptive sleep. This is when your wellbeing starts to suffer, leading to Environmental Insomnia or worse.
Table 1: "Effects of different levels of night noise on the population's health"

Ironically, everyone’s heard of light canceling or blackout curtains for bedrooms and offices, but not a lot of people are familiar with noise canceling or soundproofing in the bedroom for improved sleep. Most people know better than to sleep with the TV on nowadays. But, what about the noises over which you don’t have control? The crazy neighbors arguing in the middle of the night, the motorcyclist that likes to go for a midnight ride or the random animal calls that happen throughout the night. It’s the sounds that you can’t control that likely disrupting your sleep the most.

Soundproofing your bedroom isn’t as hard or as expensive as you might think it is. It might not be quite as simple as light-canceling curtains, but the reward is tenfold. With technological advances, you can easily soundproof the bedrooms in your house with acoustical panels, fabrics, tiles or insulation on your walls, ceiling, and floors. You can even forgo noise-canceling windows by installing window plugs that block out noise to create the perfect sleep environment.


Don’t let the early birds or night owls destroy your chances of getting restful sleep. Soundproof your bedrooms now for a healthier, restorative night’s sleep. Check out our tips for soundproofing on a budget.