Acoustic Foam vs Acoustic Panel: All You Need to Know

The science of sound propagation is immensely complicated, and when you add the assortment of materials that make up the wall, floors, and ceilings, it is hard to predict what will happen to sound waves. Thus it is essential to acoustically treat your walls to prevent echoes and distortion of sound.

Before acoustically treating your space, it is essential to understand your goals.  You need to know when to use acoustic foams and when to use acoustic panels. Here is everything you need to know about panels and foams to help you with your choice.

Acoustic Foams

Acoustic forms are open-celled foam used for Acoustic treatment. They are designed to attenuate sound waves, reducing their amplitude for noise reduction and control.

The denser the foam, the more cells it contains. Thus it will absorb the same thickness. Therefore there will be the absorption of bass.

The functioning of acoustic foams

Standard foams

Standard acoustic forms are made of petroleum plastic. They have spikes of various shapes that increase the contact surface. Thus the absorption of treble is easily attenuated. It allows for sound to be quickly muffled.

Melamine foams

Melamine foam is an open-celled foam, just like standard form. It is very brittle and doesn’t have good resilience. Its enormous advantage is that it has an excellent reaction to fire. It doesn’t burn or melt.

Application of acoustic foams

  • Gaming: Acoustic forms absorb resonances, thus providing certain listening comfort and promote immersion in a game. It is a beneficial property to gamers.
  • Recording studio: Acoustic treatment is essential for music quality. Therefore, acoustic foams are a cheap solution to improve the acoustics in a recording studio.
  • Acoustic foams for walls and ceilings: You can attach acoustic walls to your walls or ceiling to help with sound and aesthetics in your home.

 Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels have the same function as foam: it tries to absorb sound. The main difference is that acoustic panels are more aesthetic. They are also more efficient, but the cost is higher.

Types of acoustic panels

Acoustic frame panels

These panels work with acoustic foams, natural wools, and other types of fiber to absorb sound. These absorbers are placed in a wooden or metal frame coved with fabric.  The edges give the panel solidity and can be installed without an air plenum. The structure also modifies the absorption capability.

Acoustic objects

There are foam cubes. They can be hung or used as totem poles. Their main advantage is that they have a large volume of contact surface with the air, thus maximum absorption of sound waves. The disadvantage is that when wrongly placed, they can impact the visual aspect.


It is hard to settle on an Acoustic treatment option. But your choice will always depend on what you are doing. For example, if you have a home theater system in a small space, the best option is an acoustic panel to absorb sound and improve aesthetics. On the other hand, acoustic foams do the trick for recording studios since they will cover as much space as possible.