Acoustically transparent fabric: What to Look For

The acoustically transparent fabric is a key component in any acoustical room treatment. But how do you know if the cloth is acoustically transparent? It’s actually not that difficult to find out, but it can be hard to recognize when you are looking for it. In this article, we will explore some of the different ways to determine acoustical transparency and what it mean for your home theatre experience.

  • Texture
  • Wrinkles disappear when stretched across a frame
  • Colour
  • Light passes through
  • Test it with your own breath

What exactly is an Acoustically Transparent Fabric?

Well, it’s a fabric that allows sound to pass through unobstructed. What this means for your speaker panels (usually made from either fibreglass or rock wool) is they can act on the wavelengths of sound in order to provide you with better-quality audio throughout the room. If you use a material that doesn’t allow waves of sound to go through them then some will be reflected back and defeat its purpose as an acoustic panel!

Here are the top characteristics to identify on acoustically transparent fabric:

Texture

Acoustic fabric can be identified by its hand and feel. The majority of acoustic fabrics are not thick or plush, but rather thin to allow sound waves through with ease. Other factors such as the thread count also matter when considering what type of material will work best for your project needs: in general, higher-quality acoustics have a high thread count because it reflects natural light better than lower counts do.

Wrinkles disappear when the fabric is stretched across a frame

If you are acoustically treating a wall or frame, it should lay perfectly flat when stretched. If wrinkles remain, it is likely not acoustically transparent.

Colour

In general, acoustic fabrics have light colours to reflect natural light in your theatre room but there are other considerations: darker colours absorb more energy and therefore provide better protection from outside noise while lighter shades offer less absorption and so may be best for situations where external noise isn’t an issue.

Light passes through

When you hold a piece of fabric up to the light, see how much can pass through. If it is translucent and has many holes in its weave pattern, then more air molecules are likely able to move freely as well!

Test it with your own breath

The breath test is a quick and easy way to see if your fabric will work for soundproofing. Push the material against your mouth, exhale normally or blow out as hard as you can- whichever feels most natural. What you are looking for in this process is any resistance from the air coming through the cloth when it comes into contact with your lips; there should be none at all! If so, then chances are that not only will these materials keep incidences of noise outside contained within its walls but also prevent them from spreading throughout the room.

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About S. Santos

👋 I'm a technology columnist and tech blogger, with a love for video games, gadgets, home entertainment and personal technology. I've been writing about the industry now for over 10 years - first as an editor of various magazines before branching out to work on my own blog. I like to keep up with the ever-evolving world of gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology. If not fiddling with AV cables at home or in front of the computer, I can be found playing tennis or padel. This blog is my space to explore new topics related to these hobbies; as well as share some thoughts about life in general (sometimes you need a break from electronics!). 😎

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