Side by Side: Acoustic Tiles

December 1, 2011

When it comes to controlling unwanted sound in a studio, there are two basic solutions: absorption and diffusion. Absorbing materials attempt to eliminate sound reflections and standing waves. Diffusors reduce the intensity of sound by scattering it over an expanded area. Absorbers are more commonly used in radio facilities since the goal is to eliminate the reflections.

In radio, the foam design is most commonly used, but cloth-covered panels run a close second. Both are available in a variety of thicknesses, which affects the frequency range of the absorption. Foam panels are usually glued to a wall surface, while cloth-covered panels can be glued or hung like a picture.

Typical materials are open cell polyurethane foam, cellular melamine, fiberglass, fluffy fabrics and other porous materials. In the last few years, fire-retardant and fire-proof materials have gained in popularity.

ModelAcoustical Solutions AlphaPyramid AAP2LGAcoustics First FireFlex Pyramid AFPX2Auralex Acoustics StudioFoam ProPinta Acoustic Sonex Junior
MSRP$373 (1-9 boxes) (quantity discounts)$423 (1-9 boxes) (quantity discounts)$302.50$79
CompositionFoamOpen-cell melamine foamMelamine-free foamOpen-cell melamine-based foam
Fire RatingClass 1Class 1Class 1Class 1
AppearanceSeamless pyramid designSeamless pyramid designBeveled edgeAnechoic wedge shape
Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)0.700.80.900.75
InstallationWater-based panel adhesiveAdhesiveAuralex TubeTak or FoamTak adhesive, finishing nails or adhered to substrate with finishing nailsacouSTIC adhesive
Finish OptionsLight gray. Polyurethane colors: beige, brown, charcoal, blueLight gray, other colors availableCharcoalNatural white, gray or colortec
Density2 lbs. per cubic foot0.7 lbs. per cubic footProprietary0.5 to 0.7 lbs. per cubic foot
Tensile Strength20 psi8 psiProprietary8 psi
Additional OptionsAAP3LG ( 3" thick, NRC 1), AAP4LG (4" thick, NRC 1.05)AFPX3 (3" thick, NRC 1.00) , AFPX4 (4" thick, NRC 1.05)2'x4' (1.5" thick, NRC .90)Sonex Classic (2" thick, 2'x4', NRC 0.80)
Other ModelsAlphaLinear, AlphaWedge, AlphaPyramid polyurethane, AlphaWedge PolyurethaneWedge, Max Wedge, Wedge Ceiling BaffleElite ProPanels (FIberglass)Pyramid, Clean, Valueline, Mini, One
Number of sheets in box18 (72 sq. ft.)18 (72 sq. ft.)10 (40 sq. ft.)4 (16 sq. ft.)

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