Whenever you are planning to improve the sound quality of the studio or a room, you have faced problems of the noise and start focusing on soundproofing and you probably heard two terms Acoustic foam vs Mineral Wool.
If we talk about soundproofing then our aim is to prevent the noise coming from outside of your area and in case of sound-absorbing we are more focused to find a solution on reducing echos and improving sound quality.
To achieve both of your key targets the very best materials used in the markets are acoustic foam and Mineral wools, here the acoustic foams can help you achieve sound-absorbing however mineral wool is more focused on soundproofing.
I consider that you have already read our detailed guide on soundproofing vs sound-absorbing.
I was in the middle of soundproofing my house and was stuck with the effective use of each one of them and have done a lot of research and the learning was surprising and I have detailed all that learning in this guide.
Let first focus on learning, what do both means and how it works in the real scenarios, for what reason both are mainly used and Acoustic foam vs Mineral Wool major differences?
How Acoustic Foam vs Mineral wools are different?
There might be the case you are aware of both or maybe not hence I decided to put both separately to understand in detail how both are important in soundproofing and why you should use them.
What is Acoustic Foam Panel?
We have seen many people using sound absorption materials to overcome the noise and improve the sound quality and for that purpose, their primary choice is to search for acoustic foam panel.
Acoustic foam is also known as an acoustic foam panel which is different than conventional foams and specially designed for acoustic treatment. Its main job is to reduce the amplitude of the soundwaves and dissipate the energy in the heat form.
If you have read our detailed guide on what is noise or sound then you remember that noise waves travel in the air and reflect from every surface which has a low noise reduction coefficient(NRC) or less absorption capacity.
Which causes multiple reflections from different areas like the wall, floor, ceiling etc and noise gets amplify and generates echo in the house.
To overcome this amplification and reduce reflection of sound waves, we need material on top of all these reflective surfaces which absorb the sound waves and reduce the reflection and the best material is Acoustic foam panel.
How does the Acoustic Foam panel look like?
If you got an idea what is Acoustic foam panel then the next part to learn is how does this actually work and what materials they are made of.
Ideally, every acoustic foam is made of Polyurethane foam such as polyether or polyester and extrude melamine foam. These are available in different sizes, colors, and shapes and cut into different tiles like panels.
Few acoustic foam panels are made of fiberglass which is having the ability to friction against the soundwaves and more dissipation of the sound vibration into the heat energy.
As explained earlier, the soundwave’s power depends on the amplitude of the sound energy and acoustic foam panel help to minimize the same and that is why it is mainly used in places like church, hall, studios to improve the sound quality and minimize the echos.
Types of Acoustic Foam Panel
Acoustic foam panel has a different property to deal with the sound energy as the flat surface has less ability to absorb the sound waves as compared to one which has pyramid or Egg crate shapes.
As the sound energy could be in between low-high frequency range or maybe bass which is unable to trap by any acoustic panels and that is why there are different acoustic panels available in the market.
- Flat Acoustic Foam Panel
- EggCrate Acoustic Foam Panel
- Pyramid Acoustic Foma Panel
- Wedges Acoustic Foam Panel
- Grid Acoustic Foam Panel
- Corner Bass Trap Foam Panel
Every acoustic foam panel has its own importance and ability to reduce the soundwaves.
If you are planning to learn more in detail about how all types of acoustic foam panel works and which one is best for your use then I recommend going through a detailed guide on Is soundproof Acoustic Foam really Works?
Till this point, I can say you are confident enough with the learning on Acoustic Foam panel and this time to learn about what is Mineral wool insulation, which can give us more idea on Acoustic foam panel vs mineral wool insulation.
What is Mineral Wool Insulation?
Acoustic foam’s main idea is to absorb the sound waves, however, if you are thinking of preventing the sound coming out of any area or blocking unwanted noise to coming into your private space then you have to work on soundproofing instead of sound-absorbing.
The primary material used for sound blocking or soundproofing is an insulating material and in this list, the very best material is mineral wool insulation. Mineral wool is the acoustic material specially used during construction to fit in-between the verticle studs of the wall or ceiling.
As well all know the noise travels by vibrating the air particles however Mineral wool is structured in the form of a mat of fibers which prevent the movement of air and in result reduction of noise.
It has a unique ability to combat fire and strong resistant against the fuel fire or flams propagation. If you are struggling with noise from a neighbor or willing to bound your drum playing noise within the room then your concern will be to soundproof a wall.
In recent days most of the partition walls are made of Drywall, which is not efficient enough to block the noise coming from the other side of the room, so by inserting Mineral wool insulation you can improve the STC Score of the Wall as it reflects back most of the soundwaves.
Hence while soundproofing basement ceiling or main ceiling or wall then behind the drywall it is a standard practice to have an insulation layer that can create a blocker for the sound waves while passing from one side to another.
How does Mineral Wool Insulation Look Like?
Mineral wool is of fibrous material which is created by the process of spinning or drawing (Tensile forces to stretch the metal) the minerals materials like glass, stone or slag.
In this process, the molten glass, stone or slag materials are spun into a structure like fiber which is different than all other insulation materials. Mineral wools are extremely lightweight and easy to install at any place without any additional hard fixings.
It is designed in different varieties based on its use for ceiling, solid wall, cavity walls or piping, etc. Mineral wool is porous and elastic in nature which allows soundwaves to let in but trap or block them and that is why is highly recommended solutions after 1000’s of studies.
It is designed to perform incredibly under 400-degree Celcius temperature which makes it a fireproof solution for the cavity walls or studs.
Rockwool acoustic mineral wool insulation due to its high NRC rating is the most recommended mineral wood for the insulation purpose, if willing to learn more to feel free to check product here.
Now let discuss what are the types of mineral wools and how it can be differentiated based on its manufacturing style.
Types of Mineral wool insulation
Mineral wools are mainly created by using the glass, stones or slug or waste of industries, which means the best recyclable solution for noise reduction purposes.
Based on the types of materials it uses it has been categorized into two parts.
- Glass wool insulation
- Stone wool insulation
Glass wool insulation is made of recycled glass, sand, limestone and soda ash the same materials which are used to make the glass objects like a window, bottles, etc.
However, the stone wool insulation is made of volcanic rock, like dolomite or basalt which is recycled material.
In addition to this, there is another mineral wool which we call slag wool and this is made of blast furnace slag.
That is why mineral wool is the most rated environment-friendly solution of soundproofing as it is mainly made of recycling materials and helps to reduce the pollution and risk of fire.
There are different insulation materials available in the market, if you are keen to learn more in detail then I recommend to learn from the detailed guide on what is soundproof insulation and how it works?
If you are with me till this point then I consider that you got almost every major difference between acoustic foam panel vs mineral wool insulation.
Highlights on Acoustic Foam Panel vs Mineral wool insulation
To summarize all our learning let go through the below highlights, which can give you the best comparisons of all.
- Acoustic foam panel is the solution to improve sound quality by reducing noise, however, mineral wool insulation is the best solution to block sound transmission.
- Acoustic foams are widely used in studios with varieties of sizes, shapes, and colors to dissipate the sound energy, however, Mineral wools insulation is mainly used during construction of building to use in between the cavity of studs.
- Acoustic foams are made of Polyurethane foam such as polyether or polyester materials which are some chemical compound however Mineral wool is made of recyclable materials.
- Acoustic foam panel is always having a risk of fire expose however mineral wool is strong resistive against the fire risk and can resist up to 400-degree celsius.
- Acoustic Foam panels are a bit expensive as compared to Mineral wool insulation.
- If you are struggling with an issue of echo then recommend going with acoustic foam panel however willing to make your space secret where sound can not pass through the wall then go for mineral wool insulation.
Here are all major differences you need to know prior use in soundproofing your room or house or studio.
My view on Acoustic Foam Panel vs Mineral wool insulation
We have gone through every single aspect on Acoustic foam vs mineral wool and also learned on their types and still the thing which can confuse you is which type could be best for your purpose.
For that, I suggested two guides in the middle of the content to make sure you visit each to further clarify your doubts and best product guide. Mineral wool is the best eco-friendly soundproofing solution as compared to an acoustic foam panel but both have a different use.
You have definitely seen acoustic foams panels in the studios to improve the sound quality. Acoustic foams can easily stick to the wall however mineral wool will need some efforts to fix in between cavity.
If you have used any of them then feel free to write your comment, so the reader will get your best opinion to choose further.