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Sound absorption vs. sound insulation: what's the difference?

Today we look at a topic that is often discussed in connection with acoustics and noise protection: sound absorption and sound insulation. Maybe you've heard of these terms before and wondered what exactly they mean and how they differ from each other. In this blog article we will get to the bottom of this question and explain the difference between sound absorption and sound insulation.

Sound absorption

Let’s start with sound absorption first. Sound absorption is the process by which sound energy is absorbed by a surface and converted into other forms of energy, such as heat. Sound absorption materials are used to control sound within a room and reduce unwanted reverberation times . A room with poor acoustics can make conversations difficult to understand, music not sounding good, and a general unpleasant feeling in the room. If you've ever entered a room that was equipped with sound-absorbing materials, you may have noticed that the room doesn't sound as reverberant as an empty room without absorbent materials. This is because the sound-absorbing materials absorb the sound and thus reduce reverberation.

A well-known example of a sound-absorbing material is foam. Due to its porous structure, foam is able to absorb and dissipate sound energy. Our FENNEXT sound absorbers are a perfect way to remedy this. Our special acoustic wall absorbers from the Velvet Line or our fleece and hybrid sound absorbers, which are trimmed for performance, help here. In general, sound absorbers can be used wherever carpets, curtains or even bookshelves - which also have a sound-absorbing effect - do not improve the overall room acoustics to the desired level. However, there are also other materials such as acoustic panels, mineral fiber ceilings or special wall coverings that can be used to absorb sound.

All of these materials are used not only in private spaces such as living areas , but also in professional areas, such as recording studios, as well as in public buildings such as concert halls or cinemas. This is the only way to specifically optimize the room acoustics and enable clear sound reproduction.

Sound insulation

In contrast, sound insulation or soundproofing refers to a structure's ability to prevent sound from traveling from one room to another or from entering the room from outside . Soundproofing is important to keep out unwanted noise and ensure privacy in different rooms. Imagine you want to work in peace, but your neighbors have loud music on. This is where soundproofing comes into play to block sound and minimize noise.

Sound insulation is achieved in building acoustics through the use of soundproofing materials and special construction techniques. This includes heavy materials such as concrete, tight doors and windows, soundproof curtains and walls with air layer insulation. When designing buildings and spaces, it is important to consider sound insulation to achieve adequate noise reduction.


Both sound absorption and sound insulation or sound insulation play an important role in creating a pleasant sound environment.

Good sound absorption ensures that the sound is absorbed in the room and is not constantly reflected from the walls. This reduces reverberation time and makes the room sound quieter and more pleasant. Sound absorption is particularly important in rooms where speech intelligibility and good sound quality are required.

On the other hand, good sound insulation is of great importance to prevent sound from passing from one room to another or from entering from outside. Soundproofing ensures that unwanted noise is kept out and privacy is maintained. It is important for minimizing disruptive noise from outside and creating a quiet environment, be it in homes, offices or other rooms.

Overall, it is important to pay attention to both sound absorption and sound insulation in order to achieve optimal acoustics. Good room acoustics and building acoustics help us feel comfortable in the rooms, enable clear communication and reduce unwanted noise. By considering both sound absorption and sound insulation, we can create spaces that are both acoustically pleasant and functional.

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