Acoustic panels vs. blankets, which one is better? This question is frequently asked by those seeking ways to soundproof their space. After all, both are effective at eliminating noise and choosing between them depends mainly on the types of surfaces and space in which you wish to install them. In this article, we will look at this more closely and discuss where and when you should opt for acoustic blankets vs. panels. If this is a topic of interest to you, then we invite you to read on.
Acoustic Panels vs. Acoustic Blankets Defined
First, let’s look at each of these separately to understand what acoustic panels and acoustic blankets are.
Acoustic panels, as the name suggests, are simply panels hung on walls (or on the ceiling) that have sound-absorbing capabilities (though you might also stumble upon diffusion panels). They come in different sizes, colors, and soundproofing qualities and are pretty light in terms of weight.
Acoustic blankets are large pieces of multi-layered soundproof material. Like panels, they can be installed on walls, doors, or ceilings, though they have one extra use: you can hang them like a curtain (but don’t mistake them for acoustic curtains). They are both larger and heavier than acoustic panels and can be divided into several categories:
- Sound absorption sheets – The smaller and thinner version of the blankets. They are usually more affordable than the other types but offer less regarding soundproofing qualities.
- Sound-blocking blankets – These are used mainly to divide large open spaces and prevent the noise from spreading from one area to another. They are large, stiff, and thick and might not be the best choice for at-home soundproofing.
- Sound-absorbing blankets – They are somewhere in between sound absorption sheets and sound-blocking blankets, as they come with good but not perfect soundproofing qualities.
- Acoustic noise reduction blankets – This type is similar to the acoustic panels with lower sound-absorption qualities – it’s not used to soundproof but rather to reduce reverb and improve overall sound quality in a given space.
Using Acoustic Blankets vs. Acoustic Panels
Now, we may proceed to the most important information in this article: when to use acoustic panels vs. acoustic blankets? Let’s start with the former.
You should choose acoustic panels for spaces like:
- Home studio – With acoustic panels, you will have full control over your home studio acoustics – unlike acoustic blankets, it’s hard to overdo panels if you check the final effects every now and then. Thus, you may achieve the best sound quality possible.
- Home theater – Home theaters are also the perfect place for acoustic panels, as, like home studios, you want maximum control over the sound quality to create a truly immersive space.
- Conference rooms – While some of the largest conference rooms in the world could use acoustic blankets, in most cases, panels will be the better choice – blankets are too large and effective to install them at an equal distance from each other and achieve good acoustics.
Acoustic blankets are excellent for any large space and best for:
- Warehouses – As they are large spaces with no physical barriers (walls), if you wish to reduce the amount of noise in your warehouse, you should opt for sound-blocking blankets. With them, you can section the space and prevent soundwaves from traveling all over the facility. With acoustic panels, it's, unfortunately, impossible.
- Gymnasiums – While gyms are among the places where you can install acoustic panels, it’s often difficult to completely reduce noise with them, especially if a gym is large. On the other hand, it’s much easier with acoustic blankets or a combination of these two solutions: you can use blankets for sectioning the space and covering big areas while supporting them with panels to improve the overall sound quality.
- Construction sites – You can also use acoustic blankets to reduce noise on construction sites since they’re more flexible and easier to install/uninstall vs. acoustic panels.
So, we may now sum up when to use acoustic panels vs. acoustic blankets. The former are better for smaller rooms where you need precise control over the acoustics; the latter will fit into larger spaces, often ones without natural physical barriers – you can use them to section such areas. It does not mean that an acoustic blanket won’t work in an office or a panel won’t help in a warehouse, but simply the other one is better in the given scenarios.Was this article helpful? Then we invite you to read: Sound Diffusers vs. Acoustic Panels - What's the Difference?