Acoustic challenges simplified.
Acoustic quality is most significantly impacted by room size and the amount of hard surfaces contained within. Voluminous spaces, especially those with high ceilings, have the potential for the most obvious acoustic problem – echo. Echo occurs when sound waves bounce off surfaces and return to the listener repeatedly. Similar to large spaces and their inherent echo problem, smaller spaces can also suffer from the related problem of reverberation which deteriorates sound quality without a discernible echo.
In every space, surface hardness has the most direct acoustic impact. Simply put, the more hard surfaces there are in the space, the more sound waves will bounce, the poorer the acoustic quality will be. To a degree, acoustics can be improved by the addition of softer furnishings and finishes such as carpet, furniture, window treatments, etc. But typically there is potential for significant improvement through the addition of materials specifically engineered for sound absorption.
Talking Sound & Acoustics
The science of sound can be a complex topic. As an introduction, here are simple explanations of terms and concepts involved in the evaluation and management of acoustics in the built environment.