How Do Noise Canceling Walls Work?


When a recording studio wants to record audio, whether it is music or simply sounds, there is a very likely chance that the room used for recording has noise canceling walls. These walls can be made of different materials and can come in a variety of shapes. The purpose of these types of walls is to absorb or reduce outside noise as much as possible. For a recording studio, this is highly desirable because outside noise alters or reduces the quality of a recording.

Noise Absorption and Reduction

  • Noise absorption and noise reduction are different from each other. Noise reduction refers to the noise being stopped and dampened. This can be achieved through means as easy as making a bigger space or making a wall thicker. Noise absorption, on the other hand, works by eliminating echoes or sound reverberations. Noise canceling walls can absorb noise, but they cannot reduce it. An easy way to think about it is to think of a room. Noise coming from the outside can be reduced, but noise on the inside can be absorbed.

Reducing Echoes

  • Anechoic chambers employ a type of wall that is made of a foam-like material that reduces echoes. The foam is often shaped like a square or pyramid to increase the surface area that sound waves hit. The shape of this material allows more sound waves to hit it and therefore absorbs them. The foam-like material is also so soft in physical structure that when sound waves hit it, there is no reflection. The sound goes into the foam and nowhere else.

Material Used

  • Noise canceling walls are likely to be made of resonant panels or a diaphragmatic absorber. These materials vibrate at the same frequency as the sound wave that hits them, turning the energy of the wave into heat energy. Drywall, which is used in construction, also operates as resonant panels and absorbs substantial amounts of low frequency sound waves. Layering a wall also absorbs or reduces noise.

Building a Soundproof Room

  • Soundproofing a room is a possible solution for musicians who want to play music and not bother nearby neighbors. The most convenient way to go about making a soundproof room is to have a room ready for the materials. Drywall should be used and separated about a foot from the wall. This creates a room inside of a room, but helps reduce much of the noise spread to the outside. The outside walls can be covered with absorber sheets to further reduce noise. The inside walls might be covered with a diaphragmatic absorber.

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