16 May 2017

3 Myths+Truths on Optimized Acoustics

Walls & Ceilings magazine features an article on three myths and truths on optimized acoustics by Rockfon’s Gary Madaras, Ph.D., ASA, INCE, Associate AIA

There is a misconception that acoustic ceiling panels are as effective as walls at blocking sound and that where sound blocking is required, sound absorption is less important. This is not true. Sound absorption is a critical component of every room that will be occupied by people and, while modular acoustic ceilings are not effective at blocking sound – they are, in fact, very good at absorbing it. Ceilings are for absorbing noise. Walls are for blocking noise.

In the May issue of Walls & Ceilings, Rockfon’s acoustic specialist, Gary Madaras, shares three myths and truths about optimized acoustics.

  • Myth: It’s OK to sacrifice ceiling absorption (NRC) for higher blocking (CAC). Truth: Good acoustic design begins with the optimal sound absorption rating for the ceiling. This should never be compromised in hopes of also blocking noise with the ceiling.
  • Myth: Ceilings are effective at blocking noise between rooms. Truth: For blocking noise between rooms you need mass, and suspended acoustic ceilings are not the right tools for the job.
  • Myth: Ceiling and wall blocking performance doesn’t need to be equal. Truth: If the demising walls stop at the ceiling level, leaving an open plenum above the ceiling, the CAC rating of the ceiling system should be the same as the STC rating of the wall.

To read the article’s more detailed answers, please click here.

Remember, the ultimate truth to remember is that ceiling panels work best at absorbing sound, and walls or plenum barriers work best at blocking it. Using each effectively results in ceiling designs that comply with standards, while achieving the best sound experience for the real world – at the best price.

For more information about the Optimized Acoustics Research Program, please see If you have any additional questions, please call us at 800-323-7164, email or click here to find a representative in your area.






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