Custom Acoustic Panels: Beyond the Basics

We build custom acoustic panels to order every day. Most of them are standard specifications in custom sizes. Here are some other customizations we also build into products for our customers on a regular basis.

  • Choose an edge profile – beveled or square.  Beveled edges have a 1/2-inch 45-degree eased edge around the entire rim while square edges have a typical boxed edge.
  • Use custom-specified fabrics to match your room.  Choose from our fabric options, specify Guilford of Maine fabric, or select your own fabric and send it to us.
  • Specify a core material that meets your needs including: Roxul AFB, ECOSE® fiberglass, recycled cotton material, or Owens Corning 703 or 705.
  • Try custom shapes and sizes for a unique look. Hexagons, triangles, rectangles, 1″ frames, 4″ frames, and more.

Our routine customization options combine for literally millions of unique acoustic panel variations. And that doesn’t count customizations based on individual customer needs, specific drawings, etc. We’re serious about custom acoustic panels, done quickly, done right, here in the USA.

Improve Intelligibility in Classrooms with Acoustic Panels

Acoustic Panels - An Easy Solution to Help Students Learn

Learning environments with excess reverberation and noise can affect a student’s understanding of lessons and discussions.  Simple sound control applications can drastically improve classrooms with these types of noise problems.

The following are a few affordable and effective acoustical applications that can improve the acoustical design of a classroom and enhance a student’s quality of education.

  • Acoustic Panels are the most common sound control application and can be customized to meet size, shape, and fabric specifications.
  • Tackable Acoustic Panels function as both an effective sound absorber and a tackable surface.
  • Acoustic Ceiling Panels fit into standard drop ceilings and will upgrade the acoustical quality of a classroom without using wall space.

Additional acoustic treatment ideas for schools can be found on our Classroom Acoustic Panels application page.

Acoustic Foam Bass Traps Now Available

Follow this link for more details or to order Foam Bass Traps.

Acoustic Treatments for LEED Projects

Acoustical performance is increasingly being recognized as a component in sustainable interior environments. A building’s acoustics affects the productivity and satisfaction of the occupants and also contributes to their health and well-being.  By incorporating recyclable and sustainable materials in the design and manufacturing process, “green” sound control applications can reduce harmful noise levels and create cleaner indoor air quality to improve the overall indoor environment.

LEED Credit Potential for Recycled Content and Indoor Air Quality.

ATS Acoustics’ eco-friendly acoustical treatments provide an environmental advantage over current industry standards by incorporating both high recycled content and renewable resources in our products. Our eco-friendly sound treatments can help projects meet green building standards and earn LEED points towards LEED for Schools, LEED for New Construction, and LEED for Existing Buildings.

ATS Acoustic Ceiling Panels and ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels are manufactured with an ECOSE® fiberglass core containing no formaldehyde, phenol, artificial colors or acrylics. The ECOSE® core material features low VOC’s and is certified for indoor air quality as a low emitting product by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute to both the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification Program and the GREENGAURD Children and Schools standard.

ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels for LEED Projects

ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels

ATS Acoustic Eco-Panels provide superior acoustical performance and impressive environmental stewardship. Eco-Panels are available in several standard sizes and fabrics, or we can meet your specifications for custom shapes and sizes.   We can also custom print any art, image, or photo for a high quality, customized Art Eco-Panel.

Eco-Panel features:

  • 90% pre-consumer recycled composite framing.
  • 58% recycled ECOSE® fiberglass.
  • ASTM E84 Class A Fire Rating available.
  • Option to select alternative fabric suppliers.

ATS Acoustic Ceiling Panels for LEED Projects

ATS Acoustic Ceiling Panels

ATS Acoustic Ceiling Panels are a highly absorptive acoustic panel designed to fit standard 24″ x 48″ or 24″ x 24″ ceiling grid systems. They are an easy way to upgrade the acoustical quality of a room without altering the appearance and usage of wall space.

Ceiling Panel features:

  • Contains at least 50% post-consumer recycled material by weight.
  • ASTM E84 Class A Fire Rating available.

Both our Acoustic Eco-Panels and Acoustic Ceiling Panels take advantage of a full, diverse range of sustainable materials. Our eco-friendly acoustic products are recommended for acoustic installations in schools, office buildings, hospitals, recreational facilities, and auditoriums….or anywhere that a green, effective sound treatment is needed.

Please call us at 1-866-787-7881 with any questions or for a quote.

Sound Control in Churches and Worship Spaces

Most houses of worship share two acoustical needs.  Meeting these needs will help foster the growth of the worship community by creating a more successful worship environment.

The first need is to deliver a high quality, intelligible, spoken message.   Faulty acoustics impede the congregation’s understanding of the speaker’s message and interfere with the listener’s concentration.   Speech intelligibility should be clear and strong across the front, middle, back, and along all sides of the room.

The second need is performing music in the form of singing or musical instruments. Whether playing traditional music with choirs, organs, and pianos, or performing “energy” music using guitars, drums, keyboards, and singers, poor acoustics can influence the congregations’ understanding and ability to join in with praise music.

Gathering areas separate from the central sanctuary will also benefit from acoustic treatments.  Simple, yet effective, sound control treatments will improve the sound and cultivate the necessary privacy throughout gymnasiums, fellowship halls, meeting rooms, offices, and other support spaces.

Common Causes of Poor Acoustics

The typical architectural structure of worship houses consists of many hard, reflective surfaces that allow sound waves to freely bounce from wall to wall. Slap-back, flutter echoes, “dead” sound, and sound that the congregation just cannot hear are common complaints, especially from those that worship in non-traditional spaces.

Before investing in a new sound system, consider the room’s acoustics first.   Below we highlight several churches that solved their sound issues with acoustic treatments.

Rothesay Baptist:

Pastor Barry Todd experienced a number of sound issues in the sanctuary of Rothesay Baptist. Slap echo from the front wall created “muddy” noise, and, during musical numbers, instrument sounds bounced and echoed around the room. These problems interfered with congregational singing, sermon intelligibility, and general listening comfort.   After treating the room’s front walls, first reflection points, and ceiling with Acoustic Panels, the congregation can now clearly hear the Pastor and follow along with praise music. Pastor Barry Todd says the panels are, “effective in treating their problems and flexible enough to fit our space.”

House of Prayer:

While renovating a retired 1897 Catholic Parish, the House of Prayer Evansville needed to work within the confines of the existing structure.  The older architectural designs did not support the modern technologies of sound systems and amplified music, and sound echoed freely throughout the chamber.   ATS Acoustic Panels not only offered noise absorption and decreased the echoes, but they also blended seamlessly into the architectural elements of the beautiful church.

Frisco Bible Church:

Technical Director Ryan Sweeten wanted to improve the flutter echo, slap back, and intelligibility issues in the sanctuary.  The congregation especially had trouble hearing their Pastor when he moved around the staging area with his microphone.

Ryan applied Custom Size 8′ x 4′ panels at first reflection points, 2′ x 2′ Acoustic Panels along the front wall, and additional acoustical treatments along the rear wall.  He states that the sound improvement is dramatic, particularly during musical numbers. “The acoustic panels help punch up the low end frequencies and provide clearer, solid sound for the kick drums and bass guitars.”

Acoustic treatments are an affordable solution to changing the dynamics and experiences in your worship environment.  Learn more about our available acoustical treatments.

Our Inside Sales Engineers are always pleased to give a free analysis of your sanctuary, or to answer any of your acoustical questions.

Audio Expo North America

Four team members from ATS Acoustics traveled to Chicago for the Audio Expo North America. AXPONA, as the annual tradeshow is known throughout the Audiophile realm, is the first audio show Chicago has seen in nearly 14 years, and the vast array of exhibit rooms, table displays, booths, and brands took over five floors at the DoubleTree by Hilton O’hare Airport venue.

Our production team sent 200 Corner Bass Traps, 40 Diffusers, and dozens of Studio Stackers along with us to provide sound treatment for over thirty vendor rooms.

Over the course of the three day event, 4000 attendees and several hundred manufacturers mingled to talk shop on the latest in turntables, stereos, and all aspects of high-end audio equipment.

Thanks to all the friendly vendors we met, and a warm thank you to Steve Davis for organizing a successful audio show.

Here is a brief list of the audio vendors who put our acoustical treatments to use in their rooms. Check out some of there truly awesome equipment!

Salk Sound
Peachtree Audio
Purity Audio Design
The Voice That Is
Studio Electric
Sonic Hemisphere
Vapor Audio
MyTek Digital
HiFi Imports
AIX Records
Selah Audio
Herron Audio / BPI Turntables
International Phonograph
Colleen Cardas Imports
New Form Research
Bogdan Audio Creations
Bigston Corporation
Acoustic Zen
Von Schweikert Audio
Saturday Audio
King Sound
Holm Audio
Quintessence Audio
Linn Audio Loudspeakers
Decibel Audio
Volti Audio
Snake River Audio
BorderPatrol Audio Electronics
Precision Audio Inc
Van L. Speakerworks
Goerner Communications
J-Pauls Designs
Blue Smoke Entertainment Systems

Fitness and Dance Studio Acoustics

Spirit of Dance Studio uses Acoustic Panels to fill extra wall space.

The general nature of home gyms, weight rooms, dance studios, and fitness centers often consists of hard floors, drywall or concrete walls, and untreated ceilings.  Full-length mirrors and solid, iron equipment increase the rooms’ reflective surfaces.  Finally, since gyms are filled with moving bodies, pulsing music, noisy workout apparatus,  and conversation, the end result can often be a messy chamber of echo, reverb and commotion.

The key to treating a gym or similar space is to apply Acoustical Treatments to either walls or ceilings, or a combination of both walls and ceilings in order to incorporate absorptive materials amongst the existing hard surfaces.  This will allow a large percentage of the extra reverberating waves, or noise, to be absorbed, thus dampening the excess noise and echoes in the venue.

Revolution Studios uses Acoustic Art Panels on their rear wall.

Typical Acoustical Treatments

There are many easy and affordable acoustical treatment options available to suit the needs of all genres, shapes and sizes of fitness gyms.  This includes everything from spin, yoga and dance studios to kickboxing, weight-lifting and home workout spaces.

Soul 2 Sole Dance uses 4 inch Acoustic Panels to help with sound in their studio.

Typical treatments include Acoustic Panels in 2″ and 4″ thickness, Acoustic Baffles applied to the ceiling, Acoustic Art Panels or Custom Acoustic Panels.  Gym logos, studio themes, inspirational quotes, workout photos, and other images can be placed on Acoustic Art Panels, thus providing both a motivating message and an effective acoustical treatment. Alternatively, Acoustic Panels in our original and microsuede fabric will blend in seamlessly while supporting the acoustical needs of the room.

Studio BE Pilates suspends Acoustic Panels from their ceiling.

Reducing Reverberation and Echo in the Scott Herman Fitness Studio

We recently partnered with Scott Herman Fitness to improve the acoustics in his workout studio.  Scott posts weekly fitness videos, meal plans, and general health how-to’s via his YouTube channel and his website, Scott Herman Fitness. Due to the room’s spaciousness, hard surfaces and absence of absorptive materials, the sound in the workout videos featured low intelligibility and extreme echoes.  Scott’s goal was to reduce the long echoes and reverb in hopes of improving the acoustics in his popular fitness workouts and give his clients clear sounding videos.

The studio space was 62′ x 24′ with 16′ ceilings and planning needed to account for both audio and visual improvements.  Scott’s final treatment applications included the following:

  • 16 – 24″x 48″ x 2″ Acoustic Baffles
  • 16- 48″ x 48″ x 2″ Custom Acoustic Panels
  • 16- 24″ x 48″ x 2″ Acoustic Panels

Scott Herman Fitness Studio

Scott used his company’s brand colors on the panels and featured his Scott Herman Fitness logo on a few Custom Size Acoustic Art Panels.  The look was fluid, symmetrical and added to the aesthetics of Scott’s gym. Now Scott’s audience can hear him talk clearly during his workouts without the hinderance of echoes and noise.

Talk to our ATS Inside Sales Engineers or use our Online Room Calculator and get started with treating your own studio or fitness space.

Reducing Restaurant Noise with Acoustic Panels

Noisy restaurants are a frustrating and growing concern among many industry participants. Patrons want to converse easily without neighboring noise and echoing music. Servers need to be heard without shouting to their clients and kitchen staff.  Owners strive for high reviews among a community where online reservation services now allow noise level ratings.

Simply turning the music down or accepting an energetic “hubbub” isn’t the only answer to obtaining quality acoustics in a dining or entertainment atmosphere.  Adding absorptive materials, such as Acoustic Treatments, to the venue will help noise levels and conversational intelligibility.

Hard Surfaces lead to Noisy Restaurants

The days of comfortable aesthetics that favored wall-to-wall carpeting, heavy curtains, tablecloths and plush banquets are gone. As a new era of informal and fast paced dining set in, so did the push to use open kitchen plans, programmed music, exposed floors, tall ceilings, linen-free tables, and other sound-reflecting materials in restaurant designs.  Though this look is sleek and easy to maintain, without the absorbing capabilities of carpet, curtains and fabric-covered seating, many restaurants are left with a reverberating, noisy chamber that affects not only a patron’s dining enjoyment, but their hearing as well.

Multi-colored Acoustic Panels form a unique design at the Sweet Basil Cafe.

Noise and the Human Ear

As sound bounces off hard surfaces, only 5% of the waves are absorbed.  This leaves a whopping 95% of the sound waves free to ricochet around the room, creating an echo that can carry for up to 10 seconds.  Echoes longer than 2 seconds will sound like noise because human ears only tolerate 2 or less seconds of vibration.  All this excess noise is not only annoying, it can be dangerous too.

The National Institute of Health claims that prolonged exposure of 85 decibels or more can cause “gradual hearing loss” and “regular exposure of more than one minute” to 100 decibels can lead to “risks of permanent hearing loss” (Hearing Protection, NIH). According to, the typical restaurant operates at an 80 decibel level with some reaching to as much as 110 decibels.  This is as loud as a power mower!   To put this in perspective, the volume needed for comfortable conversation is around 60 decibels (National Restaurant Association).

Treatments for Restaurant Acoustics

Treating a restaurant or other entertainment venue can be easy and affordable.  A common aim is to create a sound level that allows patrons to hear one another, but doesn’t make it so quiet that parties at other tables can overhear the conversation.

There are many options for Acoustic Treatments that are available to restaurants, bars, clubs, wineries and cafe owners.  A good way to start absorbing reverberant noise is to cover two perpendicular surfaces with sound-absorbing material. For example, by treating the ceiling with Acoustic Baffles and at least one wall with Acoustic Panels, sound waves cannot bounce back and forth both horizontally and vertically.

Another common way to treat restaurants is to place Acoustic Panels directly on the ceiling.  Ted’s on Main placed these 4″ thick Acoustic Panels on the ceiling, as shown below.

Acoustic Panels mounted on the restaurant ceiling

Other creative Acoustical Treatments include using Acoustic Art Panels in place of art images throughout the restaurant. The DuPage Children’s Museum recently opened a new cafe, complete with a mural of child-friendly Acoustic Art Panels.

Acoustic Art Panels with any Image, Photo or Design

Creating a collage or design with various colors of Acoustic Panels in original or microsuede fabric can be eye-catching and blend in with the restaurant’s current color scheme. The Sweet Basil Cafe (picture located above) installed a multi-color display to effectively absorb echo in their small cafe.

Any type of Acoustical Treatment incorporated into the restaurant design will be helpful in improving both the sound quality and the quality of a patron’s dining experience.  Contacting our ATS Customer Service Representatives is a great place to start asking questions about appropriate applications.

Interview Room Acoustics – A Case Study

The Children’s Advocacy Center in Fort Myers, Florida has dedicated more than 30 years to improving the lives of children and their families. The Center provides abuse determination services, therapeutic counseling, parenting education, and prevention programs to more than 2,000 families and children each year in a four-county area of Southwest Florida.

Crucial to the success of the Center are their child-friendly forensic interview rooms. These three rooms are used to obtain forensic interviews, assessments and evaluations that are often used as evidence in court.

Identified Problem: Reduced Intelligibility During Recordings

In order to guarantee crystal clear recordings, these interview rooms need to be completely free from reverberation, echo and background noise. The statements, phrases and critical words uttered by an interviewee on a poor quality recording can be ruled inadmissible or regarded with suspicion in a court setting. Furthermore, the process of interviewing a traumatized child can induce additional emotional stress, and therefore, the first and primary interview must be of highest quality and cannot be compromised.

High quality recordings could not be obtained in the current environment of the CAC’s interview rooms.   Sound quality was diminished by the presence of HVAC and outside noise, making it difficult to clearly understand what the child was saying.  The Child Advocacy Center contacted ATS for advice on noise applications that could improve the quality of their recordings.

Treatment Provided: Acoustic Panels for Noise Control

The three interview rooms were approximately 10” x 10” with 8” drop ceilings.  Although wall-to-wall carpeting offered some noise dampening benefits, additional noise applications were needed for sufficient noise control.   After completing a room analysis for the CAC, it was determined that each room would benefit from eight 24″ x 48″ panels with a 2″ thickness.

The panels were manufactured in royal blue color to blend with the room’s ocean themes. ATS donated the panels to the Center.

Results: Positive Differences in Sound Quality

The Acoustic Panels not only worked to improve the sound quality of the recordings, but they also provided a bright spot in the rooms. “The panels have made positive differences in the sound quality of the recordings,” says Monica Lange, Case Coordinator-Child Protection Team. “ They enable us to better advocate for clients by providing higher quality recordings to law enforcement and the Florida Department of Children and Families. In addition, the panels will create and increased sense of safety for the children to share their stories.”

Art Gallery Acoustics – A Case Study

Museum exhibits are being designed to engage patrons through an innovative collection of sound and presentation technologies. The demand for quality multimedia presentations and audio enhancements of visual exhibits is growing to meet these changing dynamics. However, since most museums retain the common architectural features of vaulted ceilings, large atriums, tile floors and masonry finishes, the exhibit areas rarely offer an environment for acceptable sound presentation.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago recently reevaluated their own acoustical environment while designing a temporary exhibit for internationally acclaimed artist, Steve McQueen. London born McQueen is considered an important and influential artist within the audiovisual genre. The exhibit at Chicago’s Art Institute features fourteen of McQueen’s audiovisual installations and is the first American museum survey exhibition of the artist’s work.

Artist Steve McQueen

Identified Problem – Sound Control for an Audiovisual Exhibit

Regenstien Hall, the temporary home of most special exhibitions at the Art Institute, is an 18,000 square foot room of bare walls, high ceilings, and tile floors, an environment not conducive to high quality, clear acoustics. Working in this space and with the intricacies of an audiovisual exhibition introduced some unique concerns for the Art Institute. They wanted to provide sufficient acoustic control in the exhibition hall without compromising the aesthetic vision of the artist. It was decided that Acoustic Panels would help control both the exhibits audio and ambient sound from patrons.

Treatment Provided – 400 Custom Panels
The Art Institute ordered four hundred Custom Acoustic Panels ranging in size from 14”x 48”x4” to 66”x 88”x 4” to install in McQueen’s exhibit space. The panels were manufactured at ATS Acoustics with over 850 yards of custom ordered gray fabric. The custom panels were mounted throughout the exhibit space.

Installation shots for the exhibition Steve McQueen at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Results – Ideal Sound Presentation

Steve McQueen’s audiovisual exhibit opened to a public reception in mid-October and will remain open until January 6th, 2013.

The Art Institute team is extremely pleased with our ATS Acoustic Custom Panels. Larry Smallwood of the Art Institute of Chicago congratulated ATS on a, “job well done” and said that, “the Art Institute loved the look of the panels and appreciated the acoustical properties.” Some of these custom acoustic panels will be traveling to Switzerland with McQueen to be used in his future audiovisual exhibit.

Installation shots for the exhibition Steve McQueen at the Art Institute of Chicago.