does acoustic foam really work? know more

Escrito por Thiago Pinheiro

ArqBahia team of authors.

Acoustic foam is a widely used material for acoustic treatment in environments, but does it really work? This is a common question among those looking to improve the sound quality of rooms, recording studios, offices and other spaces where sound control is important. In this article, we'll explore how acoustic foam works and discuss its effectiveness based on information found in different online sources.

1. The purpose of acoustic treatment

Before we discuss acoustic foam specifically, it is important to understand the goals of acoustic treatment in general. When modifying the acoustics of a room, the aim is to achieve a better internal sound quality. This involves controlling sound reflections, acoustic absorption of certain unwanted frequencies and diffusion of sound to avoid excessive echoes and reverberations. Therefore, acoustic treatment aims to create a sound environment more suited to the purpose of the space.

2. How does acoustic foam work?

Acoustic foam is a special type of foam, often made from materials such as polyurethane, polystyrene, polyester or melamine [5]. Its porous composition and internal cell structure give it sound absorption properties. The material can be applied to both walls and slabs to ensure less sound transmission.

When sound waves encounter the surface of the acoustic foam, they are absorbed and dissipated within the cellular structure of the material. The viscosity of the small pore channels of the foam causes the sound energy to be transformed into thermal energy, naturally dissipating through the air [4]. This absorption process helps to reduce the amplitude of incident sound waves and, consequently, to reduce reverberation and echo in the environment.

3. The effectiveness of acoustic foam

Although acoustic foam is a widely used resource for acoustic treatment, it is important to keep in mind that it has its limitations. Acoustic foam has the main function of reducing the reverberation time inside a closed space and making the emitted sound drier [7]. However, it is not capable of completely insulating sound, that is, it does not prevent sound from passing through walls or doors [6].

The benefits of using acoustic foam include echo reduction, absorption of sounds generated in the environment, and improved communication and sound output [2]. In addition, by decreasing reverberation, acoustic foam contributes to a more pleasant soundscape, with less distortion and greater sound clarity.

For more effective acoustic insulation of walls, it is recommended to combine the use of acoustic foam with other techniques, such as the application of insulating materials on walls and doors [6]. In this way, it is possible to obtain a better control of the sound, both in relation to the reverberation and the isolation of external sounds.

4. Residential sound insulation

Acoustic insulation is done through different materials and techniques. Its objective is to minimize the passage of unwanted noise between environments. Glass wool is one of the most used materials for acoustic insulation, being known for its ability to absorb and dissipate sound.

In addition, solid wood also plays an important role in sound insulation, as it has a dense structure that helps block the propagation of sound. It is worth mentioning that acoustic insulation can also have thermal benefits, since the same material used to acoustically insulate can function as a thermal insulator, helping to maintain the internal temperature of the environments.


Acoustic foam is an efficient resource for acoustic treatment, contributing to the reduction of reverberation and echo in closed environments. It absorbs sound waves, transforming them into thermal energy and decreasing the amplitude of the sound.

However, it is important to note that acoustic foam is not capable of completely isolating sound. It is necessary to combine its use with other techniques to make more effective sound insulation.

The decision to use acoustic foam must take into account the specific needs and objectives of each environment. In order to obtain satisfactory results, it is necessary to hire specialized labor and consult professionals in acoustic treatment. They can assist in choosing the best solutions to obtain the desired result.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How does acoustic foam absorb sound?

Acoustic foam absorbs sound due to its porous structure and open cells. When sound hits the surface of the foam, it is directed into the cells, where sound energy is dissipated.

2. Does acoustic foam completely insulate sound?

Acoustic foam does not completely insulate sound, as its main purpose is to absorb and reduce reverberation and unwanted echoes in a room.

3. Is acoustic foam effective for recording studios?

Yes, acoustic foam is often used in recording studios because of its effectiveness in reducing reverberation and echo. It helps create an environment with better sonic clarity by minimizing unwanted reflections in recordings.

4. What are the benefits of using acoustic foam?

The use of acoustic foam has several benefits. In addition to reducing reverberation and improving the sound quality in a room, it contributes to creating a more acoustically comfortable space.

5. Is it possible to combine acoustic foam with other insulating materials?

Yes, it is possible to combine acoustic foam with other insulating materials for more efficient acoustic and thermal performance.

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