Whether you’re hosting large conferences or small team meetings, professionalism is critical. If your meeting rooms suffer from poor sound quality, it does not project a professional image for your organization. Most people consider microphones, speakers, and other audio equipment when considering ways to improve sound quality in meeting rooms. As a result, acoustic treatments remain an often overlooked component of high-sound quality and enhanced communication.
Business managers and employees can experience significant losses in productivity when they’re subject to enduring meetings in conference rooms with poor acoustics. Fortunately, the right acoustic treatments can improve communication and collaboration to create a better working environment for clients and employees.
What is an Acoustic Treatment?
You may be familiar with the term acoustics as they refer to concert halls and theaters, but proper acoustics are beneficial for offices, conference rooms, museums, and even retail stores. Acoustic treatments allow rooms to achieve improved acoustics for a clear sound.
Most meeting rooms have too many hard surfaces, which deflect sound waves and cause them to travel throughout the facility, which may impact private conversations. These issues may appear inconsequential initially, but they can cause significant problems. For instance, sounds such as tapping pens and shuffling papers can bounce around meeting rooms and make it challenging for employees to hear one another.
Acoustic treatments absorb or diffuse sound waves that improve sound quality in any space. Some spaces may require several different acoustic treatments to achieve optimal sound quality.
The Benefits of Acoustic Treatments for Meeting Rooms
Audiovisual integration specialists may recommend several acoustic solutions to improve sound quality. Acoustic treatments exist to regulate the sound issues, such as the following:
- Reflection. Reflection occurs when sound waves travel across the room and bounce off furniture and walls.
- Reverberation. Reverberation occurs when several different sound waves bounce off hard surfaces and accumulate in one space, which causes the sound to echo throughout the room.
- Resonance. Every object and material has a natural frequency that affects the sound waves. For example, a window may have a vibration that measures 200 Hz. When an object’s frequency contacts a sound wave with an equal frequency, it amplifies the sound.
Effective acoustic treatments reduce noise by ensuring sound does not travel too far throughout the room. They also improve sound quality and experience. Most organizations try to protect client and employee privacy by implementing various digital and physical security measures throughout the building. However, acoustic treatments are vital to creating a safe, secure workplace because they support privacy during confidential discussions.
The right acoustic treatments also enhance employee productivity by reducing fatigue and stress. As a result, employees are less likely to experience absenteeism from stress-induced illnesses. And with less outside noise, employees can easily remain focused on the task at hand. Ultimately, acoustic treatments support a healthy, productive workplace for clients and employees alike.
The Best Acoustic Treatments for Meeting Rooms
No acoustic treatment is better than the other. Instead, a wide range of solutions best suit each meeting room. For example, a meeting room with glass walls will require different acoustic treatments than a room with standard walls. Audiovisual integrators may recommend one of the following acoustic treatments or several, depending on your needs.
1. Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels absorb sound and are ideal for spaces with excessive reverberation. These acoustic solutions ensure that employees and clients are not distracted by echoing noises. The primary benefit of acoustic panels is their ability to blend into your conference room’s decor. While most AV integrators will install acoustic panels on the walls, they can place them anywhere in the room. If you prefer that your meeting rooms have a less clinical appearance, consider choosing ones that resemble artwork.
2. Ceiling Clouds
Depending on your conference room design, you may prefer to install acoustic panels created especially for ceilings, which are referred to as “ceiling clouds.” Ceiling clouds are lightweight panels that audiovisual integrators install so they hang from the ceiling horizontally.
These acoustic treatments are incredibly beneficial for mitigating sound reverberation caused by high ceilings. Another benefit of ceiling clouds is that they come in various materials, such as metal and fabric. Additionally, ceiling clouds come in different styles that may add a contemporary flair to your meeting rooms.
3. Diffuser Panels
Just as the name suggests, diffuser panels are acoustic treatments designed to diffuse sound. In some cases, sound-absorbing treatments such as ceiling clouds or acoustic panels can make the conversations too quiet. However, diffuser panels cause sound waves to travel in different directions, which ensures that your meeting room continues to have a robust, lively sound. Some organizations utilize diffuser panels in conjunction with other acoustic treatments, while others use them alone.
4. Acoustic Foam
Although acoustic foam resembles acoustic panels, they differ slightly. Acoustic panels are pre-made and ready to install, while acoustic foam comes in egg crate-like sheets. These treatments are ideal in meeting rooms that require a heavy-duty acoustic solution for complete privacy. Unlike acoustic panels, you can install acoustic foam on the walls and the ceiling.
5. Fiberglass Insulation
Office buildings with thin walls may experience sound traveling from one room to the next. If this occurs in your meeting rooms, fiberglass insulation may be a viable option for your organization. Fiberglass insulation will prevent sound from traveling through the walls by absorbing sound waves and reducing reverberation.
Audiovisual integrators may suggest thick panels absorb longer sound waves, but you may prefer thinner fiberglass insulation installed between the installation and the walls for improved aesthetics.
Select the Best Acoustic Treatment with Applied Global
At Applied Global Technologies (AGT), we offer a wide range of AV solutions designed to improve workplace productivity. Our team has the tools and expertise to help your business make the most of its shared office space.
To learn more about our AV solutions, contact us today. We’ll be happy to discuss your specific needs and recommend the right solution for your business needs and budget.