How to Reduce Noise in a Restaurant

Every restaurant owner aspires to have a successful business that will result in a full house, however this may come as a double-edged sword. While having a full house is great business, it almost always entails a loud and un-enjoyable experience for the customers. People usually go out to eat to connect with others over a shared meal, but that can be hard when they can’t hear each other speak. Therefore, restaurant owners often turn to noise reducing products to mitigate this problem.

Unlike other noisy spaces such as a gymnasium, restaurants intentionally prefer to incorporate a sleek and attractive view for their space to create a certain ambiance. Because of this, the design and physical appearance of noise reducing products are taken into consideration. Whether a restaurant owner wants a product to be directly in the open or completely hidden, ATS Acoustics has a large selection of products that can fit the needs of any restaurant owner’s vision.

For a more classic look, our original acoustic panels will provide sound relief. The regular square or rectangle shape can give the space a clean, crisp, and organized atmosphere. Our selection of classic acoustic panels provide many options such as hardened edge acoustic panels, tackable acoustic panels, or even eco panels. ATS Acoustics can easily provide products for any space with our custom acoustic panels that can vary in any shape or size necessary for the project.

Sweet Basil's Cafe
Thank you to Sweet Basil’s Cafe for the photo. Check out their website here.

Another great option to reduce restaurant noise is ATS Acoustics’ art panels. Restaurant owners have the option of choosing between pre-made photo-prints or any custom design. These dual purpose acoustic panels will embellish the space with welcoming photos, while absorbing the excessive noise levels in the room.

Magnolia Cafe
Magnolia Cafe

At ATS Acoustics, ceiling panels are a great option for the restaurant owner that wants an inconspicuous approach to reducing the noise levels in their restaurant. These panels lie flat on the ceiling and can easily blend into the structure of the building.

With our products, your restaurant’s noise level will be free from excessive reverb while also looking professional and inviting. Call 866-787-7881 to speak with one of our Inside Sales Engineers about noise solutions that fit your space and your aesthetic vision.

Acoustic Baffles for Ceilings

Instead of attaching to a wall, like most acoustic panels, baffles are suspended from high ceilings. With a choice of plastic tie and screw mounts or a steel cable assembly, ATS Acoustics’ baffles will be hanging long after installation. They are built to last with their aluminum frame that sits just inside the fabric. With crisp square-edge lines that last, this design on’t look like bags or pillows over the course of time. They are often used in auditoriums, gyms, sports arenas, commercial/industrial buildings, and other large spaces. Sometimes baffles are a better choice than wall panels, because baffles leave the wall space free for a desired look or other uses. Baffles are also more efficient than wall panels because both sides of the baffle are open to the air and absorbing sound.

Baffles

At ATS Acoustics, customers have the choice between two different sizes of baffles: a 24” x 48” x 2” or a 12” x 48” x 2”. Additionally, these baffles have the choice of 27 different fabric colors, including original fabrics and Guilford of Maine fabrics. With our easy-to-read Baffle Installation Guide, you will have your baffle hanging in no time!

 

Specs and Features:

  • Core material: Roxul Rockboard 60, a 6 lb / cubic foot mineral wool board

  • Built to last with a solid aluminum frame that protects edges and corners from dents and damage

  • Aluminum bar along the top hanging tab provides strength, security, and completely prevents sagging at attachment points

  • Attractive, textured cover fabric is 100% natural-fiber jute, available in a wide range of colors to match your style

  • Quick, easy shipping via UPS Ground

  • Quality design and workmanship

  • Manufactured in the USA

How to Reduce Noise in Coffee Shops

Coffee Panels

Imagine the regular customers that come to your coffee shop. To the right, there are friends catching up after not seeing one another for years. There’s a study group in the corner discussing new theories for their test the next day. Across the room, a business person is writing emails on their laptop. Coffee shops can be busy places, and as a result, coffee shops can be noisy places.

Places like coffee shops would greatly benefit from the use of acoustic panels. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sound can be lost in the sea of noises around you. That’s why acoustics matter. Customers want to be able to think. They want to be able to discuss important issues. With acoustic panels, the variety of noises surrounding you can be dampened, reducing the echo in the room.

Art PanelCoffee PanelTackable Panel

 

ATS Acoustics has products such as baffles to hang in ceilings, coffee bag panels, art panels that work well in coffee shops. These products will eliminate sound problems in the room by increasing clarity of conversations, and reducing overall noise. Additionally, some of our products like tackable acoustic panels, art panels can provide multiple applications for a community coffee shop, such as a bulletin or room decor.

So, imagine the regular customers that come to your coffee shop. You look up and see a young community member post an event on the tackable panel. You see a couple talking across the room, but can’t quite make out what they are saying. You watch the worker finish typing that email. You watch all of these individuals start their day.

 

Using White Noise for Privacy

Our ears are very sensitive. When it’s really quiet around us, we can usually make out words or details happening outside a typical room.

When you need privacy, or you want to prevent distraction, blocking all the sound coming through a wall is usually not feasible. Changing a wall to be highly soundproof is a construction project.

Taking some of that quiet away is another logical solution. White noise, such as the sound made by a fan or sleep noise machine, is a great way to take the quiet away, without adding a new distraction. White noise is just random sound. It contains no content, and at low to moderate volume it doesn’t register with our brains as a distraction.

SNOOZ White Noise Machine

Our favorite white noise source is the attractive, modern SNOOZ white noise machine. Its volume is adjustable over a wide range to find just the right level. It’s analog (an actual fan inside) so there’s no harsh or repeating digital signature. We sell it for $79.99 with free shipping to the continental US.

Some ideas for using it effectively:

  • Put it in a waiting room so waiting clients don’t overhear private conversations from rooms down the hall.
  • Put it in an office or near a desk to reduce distraction to the person working there.
  • Put it just outside the door of a private meeting room so folks in the hall won’t overhear the conversation.
  • Put it in a bedroom to reduce bothersome noise and improve sleep quality.

Reverb 101: Room Reverberation and Better Listening Experiences

A great listening experience involves more than just high-quality audio equipment—the way sound moves around the room matters just as much. You don’t have to be an expert acoustician to create an impressive listening environment—just an understanding of some basic acoustic concepts will get you well on your way.

The Basics of Reverberation

Reverberation (or reverb) is important to think about when planning the acoustical treatments for your room. To define reverb, we first need to understand how sound travels from the source to your ear.

When sound is emitted, sound waves take off in every direction. Some waves will travel the straight path from the source to your ear, and the rest will bounce around the room, ricocheting off of hard surfaces until they reach your ear or lose steam and die out. You hear the unadulterated direct sound first—then you start hearing indirect sounds as they arrive. Given that sound travels roughly 770 miles per hour, this happens very fast, and your brain interprets all the copies of sound together as one. The ratio of direct and indirect sounds determines the sound quality.

That is where reverberation comes in. Reverberation is the collection of indirect sounds in an enclosed space. The more sound copies that pile up, the muddier the sound becomes.

How Does Reverberation Affect the Listening Experience?

When direct sound and reverberation combine in a favorable ratio, the sound is rich and full. The effect can bring music to life and even smooth out transitions between musical notes, creating a pleasant, desirable sound.

However, when the mix is off, you hear the unfavorable result: Too much reverb can degrade your listening experience because too many overlapping sounds reduce clarity and speech intelligibility. Sorting through the noise is a lot for our brains to work out and makes listening more fatiguing. So just reduce reverb completely, right? Not exactly. Too little reverb makes sound, especially music, sound dull and one-dimensional.

Fortunately, tools are available to help you create an awesome acoustic environment. The ATS Acoustics Free Online Room Analysis can simulate and display a report about reverb time in your room, with recommendations for treatment. Click here to start your free analysis

Reverberation Time and the RT60 Measurement

There are many environmental factors that contribute to reverberation, so to set a reproducible parameter, acousticians use reverberation time. Reverberation time is the length of time (in seconds) it takes for the original sound to decay by 60 decibels (approximately full-strength to background noise); this is known as the RT60 measurement.

RT60 represents the average decay rate of all the frequencies in a space. High frequency sounds (whistle or shrill voice) and low frequency sounds (bass drum or rumble) can have different reverberation times depending on the conditions in a room. For instance, in a typical home, low frequencies are absorbed by the flex of drywall, causing shorter reverb time; high frequencies reflect off the walls and keep circulating, creating a longer reverb time. On the other hand, in a concert hall with wood walls—which absorb high frequencies more than lows—the low frequencies have a longer reverb time.

Room size is also a factor. Larger rooms promote longer reverb times—the sound waves have farther to travel before reaching a reflective surface. This effect is one way we perceive space; a boomy or echoey atmosphere tells our brains that we are in a large, cavernous room. When the sound in a room is dull and flat, it’s an indication that we are in a confined space. That’s why listening to the way a room sounds can give you an idea of the size, even with your eyes closed.

Acousticians and audio specialists rely on RT60 to design acoustic treatments to optimize the listening experience.

One Reverb Time Does Not Fit All

The purpose of a room dictates the optimum reverberation time. For example, the ideal reverb time for a speech would make an orchestra sound dull and lifeless, while the ideal reverb time for an orchestra would make speech garbled.

Let’s take a look at some examples of optimum reverberation conditions in different applications:

  • Auditoriums are large rooms with a lot of hard surfaces that reflect sound waves. Longer reverb times are useful in large spaces to reduce the drop off of sound intensity, which occurs as the sound waves diminish as they travel longer distances. Ideally, there should be enough short reverb time so sound stays crisp and clean and enough long reverb time to create rich and lively sound.
  • Lecture-style classrooms work best with a medium reverb time. They need enough sound reflectivity to allow students in the back to hear, while keeping the reverb time low enough for clear, intelligible speech during lessons and discussion. A preschool classroom on the other hand will benefit from acoustical treatments that lower reverb time as much as practical, reducing the loudness and sharpness of sound from playful young students around the room.
  • Voice recording booths require short reverb times so only the clear, direct sound is recorded. Artificial reverb can be added to the recording later to achieve the desired effect.

Acoustic Treatments Optimize Sound Quality

Well-designed acoustic treatments can improve sound quality in any listening environment. Wall-mounted acoustic panels absorb sound waves so they don’t ricochet off the wall. This “flattens” the reverb response and cleans up noise in the environment. Although soft surfaces like curtains and carpet absorb high frequencies, they don’t absorb midrange and low frequencies, leaving you with an uneven, dull room tone. As a general rule, the thicker the material, the lower frequencies it absorbs.

The desire for high sound quality goes beyond a theater or recording booth. For example, in restaurants, good acoustics is just as important as good food. Many dining rooms are large with hard reflective surfaces everywhere. When you get a few conversations going, the reverberant noise can make it difficult to hear your companions or enjoy your meal. Savvy restaurant owners strategically place acoustic panels along the walls and ceilings to absorb the desired level of noise. Acoustic treatments can be manipulated to foster a lively, bustling setting or create a subdued, intimate atmosphere.

There are several types of acoustic treatments available to help optimize sound quality:

  • Acoustic panels—fabric-wrapped fiberglass or mineral wool panels that mount to the wall, absorb high and midrange frequencies
  • Acoustic baffles—similar to panels but are designed to hang from the ceiling, perfect for gyms, auditoriums, etc.
  • Acoustic bass traps—extra thick to absorb low frequencies, offered in corner traps, 4-inch panels, or portable stackers
  • Acoustic diffusers—scatter sound waves to create a sense of spaciousness, perfect for smaller rooms where too much absorption would dull the sound
  • Acoustic ceiling panels—fits standard ceiling grid panels to provide inconspicuous sound treatment, great for classrooms and offices

The experts at ATS Acoustics specialize in finding the right acoustic solutions for residential or commercial spaces. Get started by calling one of our knowledgeable staff at 866-787-7881, or take advantage of the ATS Acoustics Free Online Room Analysis—it simulates and displays a report about reverb time in your room, with recommendations for treatment. Click below to start your free analysis.

ATS Acoustic Panels with Guilford of Maine fabric!

The wait is over! By popular demand, we now offer our original ATS Acoustic Panels with Guilford of Maine Fabric, one of the top name brands in acoustic fabrics. Manufactured to ATS Acoustics specifications, our Guilford of Maine fabric utilizes post-consumer recycled plastics to create an acoustic fabric style similar to our ATS Original fabric, but with a higher end look in mind. This 100% polyester blend fabric naturally meets NFPA 701 fire rating, resulting in a ASTM E84 Class A fire rated acoustic panel. ATS Acoustic Panels with Guilford of Maine fabric are an excellent choice for healthcare, hospitality, education, office markets, or any other application where fire rating standards and high performance textiles are desired.

ATS Acoustic Panels with Guilford of Maine Fabric

Specs and Features:

  • This panel is 2 inches thick.
  • Average weight per panel: 6 lbs
  • Core material is Roxul AFB mineral wool, a highly effective sound absorber (NRC 1.0 out of 1). Higher NRC means fewer panels are needed to treat your space.
  • Built to last with a solid wood internal frame that protects edges and corners from dents and damage.
  • 1/4-inch wood back panel for easy and secure installation without glue. Wall-mounting hardware and instructions included.
  • Leaves no more wall damage then hanging a picture, ideal for temporary or rented space.
  • Cover fabric is 100% polyester, Guilford of Maine, fire resistant. Fabric is NFPA 701 rated, and panel is ASTM E84 Class A fire rated, at no additional charge.
  • Available in a range of colors to match your style.
    Combine sizes and colors in creative patterns for a unique and visually impressive look.
  • Quick easy shipping via UPS Ground.
  • Furniture-quality design and workmanship. Handcrafted in the USA.

Check out our ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels in Charcoal and Blue!

ATS Acoustics is pleased to bring you a new addition to our foam panel line — ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels 12x12x2 in Charcoal and Blue! This latest addition to our ATS Foam Acoustic Panels product line provides another color option with increased opportunities to change or add to your current acoustical treatment needs.

ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels (Charc/Blue)- 12x12x2 (12pk)

ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels are highly effective at high-range frequencies and at mid-range frequencies down to 500Hz. Containing both our standard Charcoal and our new Blue colored panels, this 12 pack offers unlimited design possibilities when used in combination with our other ATS Foam Acoustic Products. Mix and match sizes, colors, and thicknesses to create a look exclusive to your design personality!

Specs and Features:

  • 2 lbs/cf density acoustic foam
  • Each panel is 2 inches thick
  • Twelve panels per package (12sqft of coverage)
  • Each package contains 6 Charcoal panels and 6 Blue panels
  • Panels can be easily cut to fit any space
  • ASTM E84 Class A(1) Fire Rated
  • Easy shipping via UPS Ground
  • Made in the USA

Learn more about ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels (Charc/Blue)- 12x12x2 (12pk).

Capital AudioFest 2015 – August 28th-30th

If you live in the Washington DC Metropolitan area, check out Capital Audiofest 2015! The area’s comprehensive quality audio event has moved to the Hilton Hotel at Twinbrook Metro in Rockville, Maryland this year, and they will feature high end audio manufacturers. Among those exhibitors at this event will be our friend Greg Takesh with GT AudioWorks. Stop by the room 404 to listen to their new GTA2.5 planar dynamic hybrid speaker system! Greg will be utilizing some of our ATS Microsuede acoustic panels to treat the acoustics in the room and will also have general information available from our company. So stop on by and tell him that ATS Acoustics sent you!

ATS Acoustic Wedge Foam Panels on Sale!

Limited Time Only!

Don’t miss this limited time sale! Select ATS Acoustic Wedge Foam acoustic panels are now on sale until September 27th, 2015! We have dropped our prices to an unprecedented level for our 24″ x 24″ x 2″ and our 12″ x 12″ x 2″ acoustic wedge foam panels. This is the first time we have offered our acoustic wedge foam panels at this much of a discount, so take advantage while you can!

ATS Art Acoustic Panels with Pre-Selected Images Now Available!

A Library of Art Panel Possibilities!

The selections have been made! ATS Acoustics is proud to introduce our new line of ATS Art Acoustic Panels with Pre-Selected Art or Photos, featuring music and movie art images and photos. Chosen by ATS employees, these art images have been pre-selected for their ability to blend in with your existing decor or become the stand alone piece in a room. By offering these pre-selected images, our Art Production department has been able to eliminate the standard image proofing process and cut our typical production lead time down to within 1 business day of placing your order! Available for purchase as individual art acoustic panels or 2 piece art acoustic panel sets, you can now jump-start the design process for your acoustical treatment without pouring over thousands of images.

Love the image, but would like a different size? Contact one of our ATS Sales Representatives for available options.