Independent testing carried out on acoustic curtains from Acoustic Blinds and Curtains reveals that significant reduction can be achieved in noise levels when using the right curtain fabric.

Noise from external sources can impact the experience of an internal space. Whether you’re watching a movie in your lounge room, enabling a serene bedroom environment for your children, teaching in a classroom or having a meeting at work, ambient noise – be it from chatter, traffic, construction or any other source – can be distracting, if not downright annoying.

Noise reduction in interior spaces can be achieved through various means but few are as effective as acoustic curtains.

Independent testing of acoustic curtain fabrics

The noise-reducing properties of acoustic curtains were proved during a recent testing carried out by Acoustic Blinds and Curtains (ABC) at a state-of-the-art acoustic facility in Sydney. Calibrated equipment was used to measure the performance of several acoustic curtain configurations including ABC fabrics with exclusive acoustic blockout lining, coated acoustic blockout lining and acoustic blockout PVC lining.

The tests on these different types of fabric revealed that acoustic curtains can decrease total noise produced in an adjacent space by 7dB - 10dB, indicating a significant reduction in noise levels when compared to rooms fitted with traditional window furnishings.

The ABC curtain fabric with exclusive acoustic blockout lining achieved a level difference improvement of 10dB. Level difference improvement indicates the reduction in level of sound due to the combined effect of sound insulation (a factor of the mass or surface density of the acoustic curtain) and sound absorption (caused by the viscous flow of air through the acoustic curtain material). None of the tested curtain fabrics recorded less than an 8dB level difference improvement.

According to noise and vibration experts, a 5dB noise reduction can be detected clearly by the human ear, while a 10dB reduction is perceived as reducing noise by approximately half.

This significant reduction of noise will help enhance the experience of the interior space in any environment from homes to classrooms and office workspaces.

Verifiable noise improvements

The laboratory testing carried out on the ABC curtains was overseen by acoustics engineers who interpreted the findings and confirmed the positive results.

They carried out the tests by generating random sound in the ‘Source Room’, which was separated from the ‘Receiving Room’ by a glass panel on which acoustic curtains were hung. Sound transmitted to the Receiving Room using three omnidirectional speakers was then measured utilising 12 microphones and a 12-channel pulse signal analyser system.

In addition to the test conducted in controlled conditions at the testing facility, the acoustics engineers ran a real-world test in an apartment in Parramatta, Sydney, to ascertain how the curtains performed in an everyday living room situation.

“We got similar results, with a difference of one or two decibels,” said the expert in charge of the test. “You have to contend with a lot of variations in a real-world situation, but doing it in the lab makes the result universal.”

The results of both tests proved what was already noticeable even to the naked ear – a clear reduction of noise levels by half in both real-world and laboratory conditions.

Acoustic Blinds and Curtains is a provider of quality noise reduction and sound absorption products that have been scientifically tested and proven effective.