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Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

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Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby MaestroDT » Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:48 pm

Hi guys. I don't really know much about sound treating, but I'm trying to put a little around my recording space.

I found these on Amazon and they seem super cheap.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RB27WJC/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&aaxitk=c7dc0a51df7fc46d8b8e0c5436eb7cb2&hsa_cr_id=5842008550601&pd_rd_plhdr=t&pd_rd_r=a375adc5-c2a0-42f3-abcd-34c9d8ea7fc9&pd_rd_w=tessP&pd_rd_wg=dy9Y1&ref_=sbx_be_s_sparkle_mcd_asin_0_img

If I look up any sound treating DIY guides, they link to "name brand" tiles that are like 10x the price. Is there a difference in the material that the tiles are made out of or is it just regular foam?

Also I read bass traps are *most important* and I found these, which also seem relatively cheap compared to the name brand stuff.

https://www.amazon.com/TRUE-NORTH-Bass-Traps-Adhesive/dp/B08M23BMYH/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=bass+traps&qid=1619470030&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExWlhHREtTWFRFREU1JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMzU2MzMyM1FMS0FYUTVDU01EMCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMjgyNDYzMThSWjYyUEYwUkJCTiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Would these be a waste of money or do they work all the same?
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Re: Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:16 pm

They're cheap because they're too thin to be of much use and they're actually smaller than most of the other foam tiles that you can buy. I'd also be wary about buying from there because they make claims that simply cannot be true.

The bass traps are also very small - mine are more than twice that size.
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Re: Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:20 pm

Nothing special about them; they're just 1" foam panels/tiles - and pssoibly not the specialist acoustic foam either.

Foam is the least effective of the various forms of acoustic treatment that you can get. It is only effective in a very limited band-width of frequencies.

You'd be better spending more on Rockwool RW3 absorbers which you can either buy or make yourself. I have a small room so use fibreglass acoustic panels... they work well for me.

How you treat your room will depend on the room size and budget. Small rooms are difficult to treat effectively as there simply isn't the space for enough bass-trapping.

If money is currently tight I'd advise working on headphones while you save for some decent acoustic treatment.

If you want to check out what's available then Studiospares have a whole range of acoustic treatments available at various price-points..

I've heard very good reports of Blue Frog Audio with regard to 'proper' Rockwool absorbers.
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Re: Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby RichardT » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:30 pm

Hi MaestroDT,

The first tiles you link to are only 1 inch thick. Unfortunately they will only absorb high frequencies, so if you use a lot of these you are likely to end up with a dull-sounding room with all the serious acoustic problems still there.

The second set of tiles you link to are foam bass traps. These won’t work very well either as foam is not the best material for absorbing low frequencies.

I believe that panels from Auralex etc are made from special foams, but if I were you I wouldn’t buy any foam products for which the manufacturer doesn’t provide absorption specifications so you can see how good they are. You can use these specifications to compare different products.

You can use foam quite successfully at the ‘mirror points’ - which are the points at which the sound bounces off the walls, floor and ceiling on its way from the speakers to your ears, but you need at least 2 inch foam and ideally 4 inch for this.

For improving the general acoustics of a room, broadband traps are your best bet. These absorb across a wide range of frequencies, including low frequencies. I think these are better than foam at the mirror points too.

The commonest material for these is mineral fibre such as Rockwool RW3. Traps made of rockwool can be very very effective. You can make your own quite easily and cheaply or you can buy them ready-made from companies such as GIK acoustics.

I’ve bought some traps myself from GIK, and done a little bit of DIY too and they are both very successful.
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Re: Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:03 am

Buy cheap, buy twice.

DIY rockwool is the most commonly recognized effective solution. Usually 2" - 4" thick and spaced off the wall an equal distance. Some links for your use below:

Absorption coefficients: (compare different types)
https://www.atsacoustics.com/page--Selecting-the-Right-Acoustic-Material--ac.html

Random discussion board for concepts...
https://gearspace.com/board/studio-building-acoustics/630460-panel-helmholtz-resonators-studio.html

BBC research into various things - rather technical
https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/search?query=1992-10&Type=All&Decade=1990

an alternate idea - diffusors
https://tapeop.com/tutorials/83/diy-diffusors/
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Re: Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby MaestroDT » Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:53 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. This has sent me down a rabbit hole of YouTube DIY videos. I've got a lot of research to do and might end up making my own panels.
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Re: Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby Luke W » Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:02 pm

MaestroDT wrote:Thanks everyone for your replies. This has sent me down a rabbit hole of YouTube DIY videos. I've got a lot of research to do and might end up making my own panels.

Have a good search around on here as well. There have been some great articles in the magazine with lots of details on making up panels, and plenty of threads with lots of construction information/pictures.
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Re: Do these "cheap" acoustic tiles on amazon work for sound treating?

Postby Wonks » Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:10 pm

Certainly check out the Studio SOS features.
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