If you are shopping for a sound dampening solution for your business or home, make sure you know the basic vernacular.
ACOUSTICS: The branch of science or physics which studies sound.
ACOUSTICAL ANALYSIS: An analysis of the space in a room or building to determine its acoustical properties, and how they might be improved.
ACOUSTICAL CONSULTANT: An engineer or other professional who deals with acoustical qualities of spaces.
ACOUSTICAL ENVIRONMENT: The characteristics of a space or room pertaining to it’s acoustical properties.
AIRBORNE NOISE: A noise traveling through air, rather than materials or water.
AIRBORNE SOUND: A sound traveling through air, rather than materials or water.
ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS: Study and application of the understanding of architecture and its effects on acoustics in the interior space it creates.
ARTICULATION CLASS: Rating that is given to a space and it’s materials for the level of acoustical privacy it provides.
ARTICULATION INDEX (AI): A measure of how distorted or clear speech becomes at a distance, based on the acoustical qualities of a space.
ABSORPTION: How effective a material is at absorbing sound (converting it to heat).
AREA EFFECT: The increased ability of acoustical materials to absorb sound when they are spaced from one another rather than touching.
ATTENUATION: The dissipation of sound at it travels over a distance.
A WEIGHTING: A filter which allows acoustical meters to ignore low frequency sound.
AMBIENT NOISE: The noise level that is constant, from all sources, for instance HVAC or highway noise.
BACKGROUND NOISE: All noise that goes on in the background, including things like crowd chatter, sound of cutlery in a kitchen, or typing and clicking in an office environment.
BAFFLE: A sound-absorbing structure that is suspended in a space vertically.
BARRIER: Anything which interferes with the ability to hear in a space.
BEL: A sound intensity measurement; more commonly referenced decibels are 1/10th of a bel.
BOOMINESS: Reflections of sound from surfaces specifically at low frequency.
CLOUD: A sound absorbing element in a room, hanging in similar fashion to a baffle, but horizontally.
COCKTAIL PARTY EFFECT: Background noise generated by numerous simultaneous conversations.
COCHLEA: An inner-ear resonator shaped like a snail shell, critical to hearing.
CYCLE: The oscillation above and below ambient air pressure in a space in the transmission of sound waves.
CYCLES PER SECOND: How many oscillations of sound waves per second in a sound.
DAMPING: Sound’s dissipation as it travels through materials, rather than air.
DECIBEL (dB): A measure of sound, 1/10 of a bel.
DEFLECTION: A distance usually measured in millimeters of the movement of an elastic object subject to a dynamic or static force.
DIFFUSION: Scattering of sound from an uneven surface.
ECHO: A reflected sound which accurately mimics the sound first generated, which it’s an echo of.
ECHO FLUTTER: A series of short echoes produced when a sound echoes from multiple surfaces successively, which can sometimes accumulate into distortion.