It can destroy the clarity of the spoken voice but makes a guitar legend sound even better. Certain places need a small amount of it, yet too much of it is bad news.
“It” is called reverberation.
If you’ve ever been in a busy restaurant dining area or a bustling workout center, you’ve heard it. Reverberation is a unique sound – similar to an echo, but not quite.
Consider this: When you hit a large piece of metal, you can hear the sound over and over again even after you stop banging. This happens as sound waves reflect off surrounding surfaces and bounce back in another direction.
Even though the reflected sound wave comes after the original, human memory has trouble separating the two sounds. So, the sound waves end up sounding like one long, repeating noise.
When you’re dealing with an area of high reverberation, all of the sound waves can overlap each other and arrive at different times, making comprehending anything rather difficult.
4 Places with the Highest Reverberation
You might be surprised to learn that some of the places with the highest reverberation are places you regularly visit.
1. Restaurant Dining Rooms
If you pick the wrong restaurant, their dining room can be one of the noisiest places out there.
Restaurant reverberation mainly comes from design, with high ceilings and open kitchens meant to exude class and luxury. Materials also come into play. With modern touches of granite and slate, restaurants are straying from soft touches like carpeting, curtains, and sofas.
The effect of all the reverberating sounds in one packed dining area is a mess of loud, overlapping voices quite difficult to distinguish. That’s not an enjoyable evening out for anyone.
With the help of an acoustics engineer, restaurants could be built with sound absorption in mind. Any restaurants already open for business could also benefit from testing with an acoustics expert to determine if additional sound absorption features could mitigate the reverberation.
2. Work-Out Gyms
Gyms are major offenders of reverberation that’s off the charts. Gyms are typically tall, open spaces where people gather to lift (and drop) heavy weights, hit punching bags, or take a spin on loud workout machines. Naturally, all of this activity generates a lot of noise.
With a lack of sound-absorbing materials on the floors, walls, and ceilings at gyms, the sound easily travels within the gym space and outside to neighboring areas. Many gym owners experience noise complaints from neighbors above, below, or beside their space. It also creates a cacophony inside, which isn’t helping anyone set new PRs on the treadmill.
By using acoustical testing and analysis, gym owners can learn how they can best protect their acoustics. Our commercial soundproofing materials in the right spot make all the difference.
3. Conference Rooms
Conference rooms aren’t typically cozy, warm spaces. On the contrary, they’re usually empty except for a table and surrounding chairs – and you’re lucky if they’re padded. The lack of soft materials in a conference room combined with the small space and hard surfaces is a perfect recipe for major reverberation.
This can make large group conferences difficult because the reverberation can overlap sound and blend voices together. There’s no way to make progress in a meeting like that.
At Sonic-Shield, we helped one company tackle this very problem by treating the space with REVERB® acoustical panels to acoustically soften the noises in the room. Immediately upon installation, there was a noticeable difference.
4. Pet Centers
Other areas that struggle controlling their reverberation are pet centers, like veterinarian’s offices, pet hospitals, pet daycares, or adoption centers.
To keep a place clean that sees so many animals every day, there has to be a limit on soft surfaces that hold bacteria, germs, and smells. That also means no sound-absorbing surfaces. Yikes.
High reverberation in these animal-centric places leads to freaked-out pups and skittish kittens, and that’s not an atmosphere conducive to a healthy, healing environment.
However, when the sound issue is given proper attention, even a few last-minute acoustical panel additions from Sonic-Shield can make a big difference for our furry friends.
One-Stop-Shop For Reverberation Solutions
At Sonic-Shield, our acoustical engineers have heard just about every reverberation issue far and wide. As frustrating as offensive acoustics can be, there’s always a solution around the corner just waiting to be found. If you’re struggling to abate the reverberation levels in your business, don’t hesitate to call our sound experts at Sonic-Shield today.