We’ve all had the experience of going to a noisy cafe or restaurant and struggling to hear what anyone is saying. It makes it difficult to communicate or to have an enjoyable time. This can be because of the acoustics of the space.
Acoustics influence how we interact with a space. A noisy environment can inhibit learning and be unproductive and uncomfortable. If your space has poor acoustics, it could be due to the Reverberation Time.
What is Reverberation Time?
Reverberation Time is the time it takes for sound to fade away in an enclosed space. When sound travels through a room, it will bounce off surfaces like the floor, walls, ceiling or furniture. The sound waves will then mix, resulting in reverberation.
RT is defined as the time it takes for sound to decay by 60 decibels. For example, if the sound in a room took 10 seconds to decay from 100dB to 40dB, then the RT would be 10 seconds. To calculate the RT of your space:
- Create a stable, loud sound (with a loudspeaker or starting pistol)
- Start a sound measurement instrument (like a sound level meter)
- Switch off the sound and let it decay
- Wait for the sound to fade and then stop measuring
Depending on the intended use of your space, the recommended RT can vary. For example, a classroom needs a short RT so that students can understand what the teacher is saying. Alternatively, a concert hall needs a long RT so that the rich, warm sound of the orchestra doesn’t fade too quickly.
If you find that your space doesn’t meet the recommended RT, there are simple things you can do to improve its acoustics.
How can I improve the RT of my space?
The RT of your space is influenced by the:
- Size and shape of the room
- Materials used in walls, floor, ceiling and furniture
Hard surfaces like walls and wooden floors will deflect sound, increasing echoes and reverberations. Softer surfaces like rugs, carpet, cushions and wall coverings, will help to absorb sound and improve the acoustics of the space.
The secret to good acoustics is to achieve a balance between sound being diffused and absorbed.
To absorb excess noise in your space, take a look at our range of acoustic and decorative wall and ceiling products. These products are designed to control reverberation and improve the acoustics of your space.
Looking to improve the acoustics of your home, office or restaurant?
Whether you’re in the midst of a makeover or unsure of how to improve your acoustics, it can be well worth getting advice from a professional.
Our expert team can help you with Acoustic Appraisals, product recommendations and expert installation for all your acoustic needs.