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High-End Acoustic Tile Absorbers/Diffusers

Introduction


When looking at a higher budget acoustic tile solution you start to get a product with a lot more density to it and usually, more aesthetic consideration. The effect of this, apart from a good look is that the room will usually deaden sound waves much more effectively than the cheaper polyurethane type tiles. Thats not to say it is necessary to look at the higher budget for all but certainly, if working at higher volumes, a more dense acoustic tile would be desireable.


You would expect the higher-end tiles to be more protective against fire, not to disintegrate as quick but overall, the acoustic performance should be more capable of working at a wider range of frequencies and at higher volumes. Its all about the size and type of room you have but if you can stretch to this end of the budget, you will probably achieve more with less surface covered.

 


These tiles come out at just over €60 per panel of 60 x 60 x 10 cm, so just over €120 per sq m which is substantially more than the polyurethane equivalents but they are a significantly different proposition.


At 10cm deep this Auralex product really is much more dense than their counterparts. They are made of the Auralex 'Studiofoam' which is a material they have developed and supply exclusively to the market.


These tiles are great because they can be installed with the standard acoustic adhesive and don't require an installation system like some of the other solutions in this price range. So you will save time and money here but also, can probably cover less surface area since they will be so effective.


Auralex is an American company based out of Indianapolis and they have been in this game for over 40 years so they know their stuff. Its a reliable product with a lot behind it so it could be a good consideration if you can stretch the extra few pennies.

 


The Highline Birchwood product is really striking looking and can be installed with acoustic glue like the cheaper acoustic tiles, but the really great thing about these acoustic tiles is their ability to absorb sound frequencies at very low frequencies as well as high frequencies, as detailed in the spec below.


The material used is 'acoustic foam' from t.akustic which doesn't have the same density as the auralex equivalent but at 7cm thick is still pretty effective and very absorbent.


Despite their capability and distinctive, stylish appearance these tiles come in at around €100 per sq m which is pretty reasonable. It could be worth doing a feature wall in this as a design accent and then using the cheaper polyurethane in other areas in contrast.


Product Features:

  • Optimises room acoustics

  • Main frequency range: approx. 400 to 3150 Hz

  • Material: Polyester acoustic foam

  • Flame retardant in accordance with FMVSS 302, Burning rate: < 100 mm/min

  • Dimensions per absorber panel (W x D x H): 600 x 600 x 70 mm

  • Colour: Anthracite / Birch

 


Vicoustic make a really nice product, they work and they look pretty classy too. This company cut their teeth in the commercial space so they know a thing or two about acoustic treatment.


Their products come in a little pricey but they are well made and again, can be installed using the acoustic adhesive. They have a frame system you can install them with but our feeling is that its not necessary and the result is quicker, cheaper and more effective with acoustic glue. The tiles are available in various colours including Black, White, Grey, Burgundy and more.


These are definitely at the higher end of the scale in terms of budget as they come in at around €150 per sq m, but they are very classy, work well with mid and high frequencies and have a distinctive curvy aesthetic.


Overview:

  • Applications: Control Rooms, Small Studios, Broadcast Studios, Live Rooms, Rehearsal rooms, Home theatre, Conference rooms

  • European fire class (EN): Euro Class F

  • Dimensions per piece: 600 x 600 x 75 mm

  • Colour code: 22A (grey)


 

All of the above acoustic tiles can be installed using a standard caulking gun and an adhesive like this one, again from t.akustic. There are spray can varieties but in our view the tiles can come off when they dry out whereas this stuff holds them on tight, making them function better.


As we mentioned before, this stuff can be used to go around the corners of rooms to stop sound spilling out. Make sure you have wet cloth handy to wipe up any spillage.


If ever you need to take the tiles out because you are reconfiguring the room for example, you can take the tiles off but they will usually rip and not be useable again with this glue. But the residue left behind is easily removed with a scraper and you will have a clean surface again.


When applying this stuff to the tile (not the wall), put a blob in the corners and centre and then a light zig zag across the whole tile. It's around €4.50 a tube and one tube will generally be enough to install 8 sock x 30cm tiles.


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