Weighing your choices: Purpose vs. Aesthetics

Deciding what acoustic treatment you need for a specific room, project, or venue can be as difficult, or easy, a task as buying a new car. Purchasing acoustical treatment and buying a car both require you to think carefully and weigh your needs versus your wants before signing on the dotted line. While you may want the newest 2-door sports convertible on the market, your needs may require you to buy the 6 year old, “Soccer Mom” van listed in the classified ads. With endless options available in the marketplace, how do you balance the scales and strike that magical balance between what you want and what you truly need? You can start by determining the answers to the following trio of questions.

1. What am I hoping to achieve, or what problem am I hoping to address, by adding acoustical treatment into my space?

Acoustical products are designed to either treat multiple or individual acoustical aspects of a room. Products such as diffusers are more narrowed in their performance, whereas the performance of acoustic panels can be varied depending on their installation or application. By narrowing down what you hope to achieve, or what problem you may want to address, you will narrow down your treatment options.

2. Am I willing to compromise on the look of my room in order to get the acoustic sound I want in the room?

The amount or type of acoustical treatment you need in a room will vary based on a number of factors. Included in the list of factors is the amount of space you have available for the placement of acoustic treatment and the acoustical properties of the room as it is currently laid out. Moving the location of items within a room, or removing or changing out items within a room, will affect the acoustic properties of a space. If you do not wish to change the current layout of your space, you will need to add treatments based on the space and sound you currently have. Custom size acoustic panels and bass traps can be built to fit within a space or around room structures. Product options, such as panel thickness and sound absorption range, allow you to increase or decrease absorption where you need it. If you are more open to changes, you can refine the sound of your room to your preferences along with the aesthetics. Art acoustic panels are a popular acoustical treatment that can be added into a room in place of existing decorative wall elements. Utilizing microsuede fabric or custom ordering a fabric for your products can also give your space a more personalized touch. While you may be hindered by your available space, your design choices can be limitless!

3. How much time and money do I want to invest in this project?

Budgeting a project can be a tricky job. You must determine how you wish to divide your funds, as well as your time, in order to complete your project in the way you wish. You must ask yourself whether you want to complete the project all at once, or if you are okay with it being a work in progress? When looking into acoustical treatments, a stock item will take less time and money to have completed than an item that is fully customized to fit your project’s needs. When it comes to customizing acoustical treatments, the lead time for production is often determined by the availability of materials that are needed to complete the customization. In stock materials may only take a few extra days to acquire from a distributor, while made-to-order materials can take upwards of twelve weeks to acquire. Knowing how you wish to allocate your project budget will go a long ways in helping you to make a final decision on how you wish to proceed on a project.

For an extra hand in planning or budgeting your project, please contact one of our Inside Sales Engineers.