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Sound absorption


Sound absorption is a key concept in room acoustics. The goal is to reduce the energy of sound waves, which translates into converting sound energy to heat in a material. By this process, the sound can be said to be absorbed in the material.

In indoor environments and workspaces where many people are present, sound absorbers often take the form of false ceilings, screens, baffles, furniture, curtains, carpets, plants, etc.

Sound absorbers are used to prevent sound from spreading across a room. In this way, the reverberation in the room is made briefer, which in most cases contributes to a better work environment.

Marie Lindqvist-Pahlstad, founder of Zilenzio

Why is acoustics so rarely a topic of conversation in the office?

– It usually comes down to a lack of knowledge. People think it sound can be decreased or eliminated by using large soft objects, lots of textiles, and colorful fancy absorbents. The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. Such products may be visually appealing, but simple tests show that they often don’t absorb sound at all.

How do Zilenzio’s products work?

– We have studied the effects of noise with the help of an acoustics professor. We focused on both sound and noise, and primarily the effects of speech in the environments we work with. Zilenzio’s products are based on function. The design is secondary since it is important to capture the different characteristics of soundwaves. In the development of our sound-absorbent units, we have taken into account that people react differently to different types of sounds.

What constitutes good acoustics in an office setting?

– Placing the sound-absorbent as close as possible to the source is key. It is also important to have the right amount of absorbents with the right thickness, density, and placement. Removing all sound is not a good thing. A completely silent environment can be stressful. To be in a room where you only hear your own heartbeat is usually unpleasant. To achieve a balanced soundscape, we use a strategy based equally on our knowledge and our products.

How do you achieve this in practice? 

– We gather information about the environment from the customer. We look at the volume of the space – ceiling height, length, and width – what materials there are, and the function of the room. Is it a playful and boisterous preschool or a quiet accountant’s office? Based on this we can make recommendations about the number of absorbents and how they should be placed, and the client can then choose materials, colors, and form. We have about a thousand different colors to choose from, so there is something to suit everyone. And because our products are developed scientifically with optimal functionality as the primary goal, we can also guarantee that they will work. We are the only company in the industry that sells unique knowledge about sound absorption, rather than just simple products.

Tell us about your collection and product types.

– To decrease noise, I would say it is best to start by placing standing screens on the floor since these cover large areas. If for some reason the customer does not want to have floor screens and the floor and ceiling materials are acoustically favorable, placing desk screens can often be sufficient to achieve a comfortable environment. The next step is to use ceiling or wall absorbents.