When thinking about room acoustics, there is a range of different factors that need to be taken into consideration; for example, the size of the room, what its purpose is, how many people will use it, etc. Misjudging even one of these factors can make a massive difference to the acoustics of your room, and getting it wrong can have a negative impact.
There are a number of factors to consider and we will highlight a few below.
With the recent changes in the interior design of hospitality venues such as cafes, bars and restaurants, there has also been a change in the absorption of sound. In the past, fabrics and soft furnishings played a major part in sound absorption. However, many places now prefer a modern outlook with high ceilings and hard surfaces. Whilst these can create quite stunning settings, they do present a big problem with regards to acoustics: echo. When you have packed restaurant or pub with a lot of footfall, it can create a lot of noise, which can be off-putting for visitors and socially uncomfortable, often meaning they spend less! Investing in good acoustic solutions can more than recoup the cost through increased turnover and happy guests.
Another factor to consider when thinking about room acoustics is the level of background noise. It is important that you manage this just right, as too much background noise can make it impossible for you or anyone else in the room to hear what's going on. According to Andy at Husht Acoustics : "This is the most apparent in the education sector. Good acoustics are vital in the classroom.Trying to keep any child's attention is a hard task at the best of times, but poor acoustics have been known to affect concentration, behaviour and, of course, the understanding of speech".
Industrial premises are known to be noisy places. With loud machinery matched with hard surfaces and high ceilings these areas can be areal danger to visitor and employee well-being. As well the effects on someone's hearing, noise environments can also affect productivity. According the HSE employees must consider the risk and provide training when noise levels are 80dB daily or weekly sound pressure peak of 135dB. When seeking out acoustic solutions for these areas, there is also the requirements of hygiene standards and hardiness (the impact resistant of a material against high temperatures and contaminants) to consider.
Noise Control or "unwanted sound" can have a negative effect on our physical being and this is especially important in the healthcare settings. High levels of noise have been known to affect heart rate, cholesterol rates, blood pressure and respiration. Noise from other patients, medical equipment and machinery and even the rain outside, can all affect the noise levels. Creating low DB levels have been known to improve our psychological and physiological well-being and aid recovery.
Overall, working out how you want the acoustics of your room to sound really depends on what you want to use that space for. Once you have decided on this, you can then begin thinking about the other points discussed above. Once taken into consideration and thought about properly, these factors will give you the acoustics you desire for your room.