What are Bass Traps
Bass Traps are sound absorbing acoustic products designed to absorb low frequency energy and convert it into heat rather than sound. Bass Traps are commonly used in recording studios, music studios, and home theaters.
Different Types of Bass Traps
Bass Traps aren’t all the same, they can be made out of different materials and different facing designs which affect the acoustic performance of the bass traps differently. Resonating absorbers need to be mechanically tuned to resonate in symphony with the frequencies being absorbed. Porous absorbers do not resonate, do not need to be tuned, tend to be smaller in size and are less expensive. Porous absorbers tend to be made out of foam, mineral wool and fiberglass and use friction to slow down the air particles that come along with the sound waves converting the sound energy into heat.
Location of Bass Traps
The type of frequency that needs to be controlled in media rooms and studios is low frequency, as smaller rooms don’t handle low frequencies very well and don’t allow for accurate sound reproduction.
It is commonly known that bass traps should be located at the corners of rooms. The reason why is that soundwaves have the maximum velocity at the corners of rooms, therefore bass traps should be placed in the corners, as displayed in figure 1, in order to absorb the most sound energy possible. It is important to note that it is not necessary to have floor-to-ceiling bass traps along the corners, you may only place two in each corner or decide to only treat two corners, in which case the two closest to the speakers should be treated.
By placing your bass traps in the corners of the room you can most effectively reduce low frequency waves from converting into sound and disrupting the quality of the audio.
Are Bass Traps enough to treat the space?
Depending on the distance from the wall, you might need to consider treating other areas of the room. If the room is large enough where the walls are far away, sound absorbing panels should be placed on the wall to also absorb some sound energy. Leaving an airgap between the acoustic panel and the wall will also help absorb low frequencies.
In addition, regular sound absorbing panels can be placed at the corners of the room where the wall meets the ceiling, as seen in figure 2. This will also help control the low frequencies of the room.
It is more effective to treat all wall-wall-floor or wall-wall-ceiling corners of the room, rather than the wall-to-ceiling corners. This is not always a viable option if the additional floor space is needed.
Bass Traps may reduce the liveliness or ambience in the space as they also absorb some of the medium and high frequencies in the space. To solve this problem bass traps are available surfaced with a reflective material with slots. The reflective material reflects back the higher frequencies while the slots allow for the absorption of low frequencies, achieving higher quality sound reproduction.
Another solution is to place diffusers (only if there is at least 10 feet of space between the back wall and the listening position), reflectors and/or broadband absorbing panels. Ceiling clouds are also an option to reflect sound off the ceiling.
Where Can I Get All These Products?
ARCACOUSTICS offers a number of product lines that include different types of bass traps, sound absorbing panels, sound reflecting panels, diffusers and many more acoustical products. We’d be happy to discuss your application with you and help you create the acoustic environment you desire. Contact us for all your interior architectural acoustical and building noise control needs.