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Auralex 2" Studiofoam Wedges

Acoustic Treatment Panels

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The Best Acoustic Treatment Panels

Auralex 2" Studiofoam Wedges

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: January 22, 2016

Auralex 2" Studiofoam Wedges are great for most small- to medium-sized room, be it a control room, sound room, or vocal booth. Auralex Studiofaom Wedges provide outstanding sound absorption, takes care of standing waves and flutter echoes. A box of 12 wedges can cover 48 square feet.


Table of Contents

Why do I need sound treatment panels?

best-acoustic-treatment-roominator

Usually, when beginning a home recording studio, acoustic treatment might not be the first thing you think of, and that’s okay. Chances are, you’re on a budget, and maybe it’s challenging enough to just get the signal from your microphone, through your audio interface, to your digital audio workstation of choice.

The reason I say “it’s fine” is because there are other things you can do in the interim. You can learn “close-miking” techniques which gives you a degree of control over the sound.

But eventually you are going to look into sound treatment panels and bass traps. Before we get to our recommendations, keep a couple of things in mind:

  • Sound treatment is different than sound proofing: People will still be able to hear you, and you will still be able to hear outside noises. You will not be able to keep the sound you make in, nor will you be able to keep the sound of noisy streets and/or pets out. Sound treatment means that we are taming offensive frequencies in your room, which makes your recordings sound better. It also helps a lot with playing back your recordings (during mixing, for instance) in a well-treated room. More on this in a moment …
  • Test your recording area before you start buying panels: This way you won’t spend a bunch of money on panels you don’t need. Here’s how to evaluate your room before buying panels
  • If you’re super duper broke, buy bass traps first: If you can only choose one or the other, taming the low-end frequencies first will get you a long way to where you need to be. Then you can use the acoustic panels on the walls to help dial it in.
  • Heavy curtains, blankets, and mattresses work well for sound absorption: But they do not tame the low frequencies. This is why we recommend the bass traps first. You can use heavy curtains, blankets, and/or mattresses in the meantime. Here’s a few tips on how to do that.

Why Should I Trust Your Recommendation?

I spent almost five years working in recording studios and building out live sound reinforcement systems in NYC. I’ve also had a home studio in various homes, in various configurations, since the late 90’s.

And honestly, our main pick is kind of a no brainer. Auralex has a long history and great reputation. Their products have pretty much never sucked. This is why I use them in my own studio as well as constantly recommend them to others.

The real trick is getting them setup correctly. We’ll provide some links at the bottom of this guide to help you on your way. We’re also composing a how-to article which we will publish soon. More about me here.

What Makes A Great Acoustic Panel?

If you read the product descriptions of most of the brands out there, you’ll see a rating system called the “Noise Reduction Coefficient” Rating, or NRC. This number is between 0 and 1. This tells you how effective it is at absorbing sound.

The higher the number, the more effective it is at sound absorption.

That’s pretty much it. The tricky part is where to put them in your room(s). Check out these references below:

Our Pick

While there are a lot of off brands and budget options, Auralex has been (in my experience) the most reliable for room treatment. If you have little to now experience treating a room, spending the money on these and placing them properly will show an immediate result.

This Musician’s Friend reviewer noted the exact same thing:

I’ve had my home project studio for about a year. A friend of mine interviewed me in my studio with his great video equipment for a project he was working on. When I watched the video I really noticed how “live” my room was. I could hear a lot of echo/reverb in the video. I had been researching Auralex for a while and knew it was time to make my next studio upgrade. Friends, this stuff is amazing. I installed this kit in about an hour using command brand 3M velcro. I noticed a difference in my studio immediately as each panel went up. Having a home studio it’s sometimes hard to know where to put your money to improve the quality of your sound, recording, and mixes. I would encourage everyone to take the time to research what Auralex product will best fit your studio. There are excellent resources online that will help you choose what will best work for you & also how to place the panels (youtube, auralex.com). This kit of 12 worked excellent in my studio. I’m gearing up to place my next order of Aurlaex products to complete a few more reflection points. Oh yea, not only do they work great…they look cool too!

If you are someone that follows Noise Reduction Coefficient ratings, or NRC, this PDF on the Auralex website gives you all the performance data you will need. You can also see the performance data for all Auralex products here.

Budget acoustic panel picks

While you’ll get a howl of protest from the sound treatment purists, there are many budget options available. While I haven’t tested or visited rooms that use all of these, here are a couple of options with high NRC ratings and generally great reviews on Amazon:

sonic homework acoustic treatment panels

Sonic Homework Acoustic Sound Foam kit
The kit includes 16 square feet of 2-inch Pyramid foam in 24-inch by 24-inch panels, and costs considerably less than our Auralex pick.

One Amazon reviewer noted:

This acoustic foam performs well enough for the price. This particular design works well for diffusing high and mid frequencies, but I recommend supplementing them with some “wedge” style panels for lower frequencies.

Additional References

Now that you’ve chosen some panels, or kits, you’ll have to make some decisions about where to mount them, how to mount them, and few other things. These links should help in that regard:


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The Best Acoustic Treatment Panels

Auralex 2" Studiofoam Wedges

The Best Acoustic Treatment Panels

Important Specs

Size 2' wide x 2' long panels; 2" thick
Quantity 12 panels per box (covers 48 sq. ft.)
more specs

Synopsis:

Great for vocal booths, control rooms, or any recording/mixing space. A box of 12 wedges can cover 48 square feet. The Studiofoam wedges by Auralex are the best acoustic room treatment panels you can get for the money. We've also got some budget options if price is an issue.

- M

Sources

  1. Ethan Winer, EthanWiner.com, 20150619
    Acoustic Treatment and Design for Recording Studios and Listening Rooms
    “This article explains the basic principles of acoustic treatment. Some of the material is taken from my bass traps plans published in Electronic Musician magazine, some is from my company's web site, and some is from my postings in audio newsgroups. However the vast majority is new content that does not appear anywhere else. I have consolidated this information here to provide a single comprehensive source that is free of commercial references. My goal is to offer advice that is complete and accurate, yet easy to understand using common sense explanations instead of math and formulas. Although many books about recording studio and listening room acoustics are available, most of the better ones are too technical for the average audio enthusiast to understand without effort. And you'd need to purchase and read many books to learn a few relevant items from each. All of the information herein applies equally to home theaters, small churches and auditoriums, and other rooms where high quality reproduction of audio and music is required”
  2. Paul White, Sound On Sound, 20060201
    The Studio SOS Guide To Monitoring & Acoustic Treatment
    “While you need to be careful not to apply too much high-frequency trapping in a room, it is very difficult to go too far with bass trapping, and as a rule the more you can accommodate, the more even your bass response will be. Some people worry that bass trapping will mean less bass in the room, but this is not the case at all. The trapping removes the reflected bass, and reflected bass often cancels out the wanted bass from the speakers. The result is actually a clearer, tighter, and more uniform bass response, free from booms and weak or missing notes. However, in a lot of cases a complete solution is not practical, so in smaller home studios as much bass trapping as possible should be combined with the simple expedient of making sure that the mixing chair is out of the way of any sonic 'Bermuda Triangles'.”
  3. Graham Cochrane, The Recording Revolution, 20131220
    Stop Worrying About Room Acoustics
    “But here’s the good news: your room doesn’t have to sound pro in order to churn out pro sounding tracks. What a relief! You see, all of that effort to make your room more professional was really just a step to get you to your real goal: pro sounding recordings. So you’re really not after how the room sounds, but how your tracks sound. Big difference. Now, obviously good room acoustics are a good thing. They make your life easier and you can track things like drum room mics and string quartets beautifully. But most of us can create fantastic recordings without those things. And if we focused our room acoustics enhancing energy into better mic placement, performance, and mix technique we’d likely get better sounding tracks sooner.”
  4. Mo VOlans, Tuts Plus, 20090406
    Beginner's Guide To Acoustic Treatment
    “DIY acoustic treatment is all about applying common sense and caution. Apply a good mix of treatment types, add more treatment a bit at a time and take time for critical listening sessions throughout the process. If you follow these guidelines you should end up with a superior listening environment and mixes that transfer to the real world satisfactorily.”
Originally published: January 7th, 2016

Important Specs

Size 2' wide x 2' long panels; 2" thick
Quantity 12 panels per box (covers 48 sq. ft.)
more specs


“It’s not so much the equipment as how you use it. I’ve heard people with really cheap studios do great recordings.” —Frank Gambale


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