Acoustical Solutions FAQ
Why choose Sonex?
Acoustical solutions from Sonex are the most trusted brands in the industry for over 30 years due to its incredible performance, patented designs and top-grade safety ratings.
Sonex foam is made from Willtec Melamine, a naturally fire-resistant foam. Willtec has the highest possible rating of Class A for flame spread and smoke density per ASTM E 84, without adding any flame retardants to the foam.
Willtec melamine has a greater internal surface area than other acoustical materials, meaning Sonex foam reduces noise more effectively than other sound absorbing materials. For more information on melamine foam, look below at question ‘What is the difference between melamine foam and polyurethane foam?’.
Sonex is a leader in sound absorbing foam, as its NRC range is consistently among the best in the market. When factory painted, our foam yields an even higher noise reduction coefficient (NRC).
What is an NRC rating?
NRC stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient. This rating describes percentage of sound absorbed. An NRC can represent a single sound frequency, although it is more typically listed as a weighted average representing several frequencies.
Please contact customer service for additional technical information.
What is Willtec?
Willtec is the melamine foam that most Sonex products are made from.
What is the difference between melamine foam and polyurethane foam?
Melamine foam is a soft foam with millions of small pores leading large internal surface area. Melamine is typically made in a white or light grey color and can be painted or dyed by the manufacturer. Density can range from .5-.7 pounds per cubic foot. Melamine is naturally fire resistant.
Polyurethane foam is a soft foam that is more elastic and flexible than melamine foam. Pore size and quantity are more variable than melamine. We stock charcoal grey and brown polyurethane. Without additional chemicals, polyurethane is highly flammable and produces a noxious gas as it burns. It is not suitable for commercial use in most circumstances. Density is usually 2-4 pounds per cubic foot Due to proposition 65, polyurethane foam cannot be shipped to the state of California.
Why is foam used for sound absorption?
When a sound wave comes in contact with a surface, it loses energy and dissipates. Foam has a very large amount of surface area in a relatively small volume for the incoming sound waves to interact with.
What is the difference between Sound Proofing and Sound Absorption?
Sound proofing is the term used when the intention is to stop most, if not sound waves from transmitting through a surface such as a wall between rooms. This is not always accomplished with foam alone. A heavy, dense material intended to decouple the sound waves from a surface, not allowing it to pass through to the adjacent area. This is typically a much more difficult task to accomplish as more material is required to see noticeable changes. See Pinta Prospec for sound proofing purposes.
Sound absorption occurs when sound is prohibited from reflecting or sound bouncing off a wall in the room where the sound has originated. Reducing these reflections will improve the overall all sound quality of the room by reducing distracting, unwanted noise an improving clarity. Total sound absorption is dependent on material thickness and geometry.
What is Colortec? How is it different from painted black?
Colortec is made when we impregnate our natural foam with black pigment which creates a dark charcoal colored foam finish. We then add a black water-based acoustic coating on top.
Our standard painted black products are also painted with a black water-based acoustic coating, however the base foam is a natural grey.
*Colortec is not an aesthetic finish – there is some marbling within the foam because dying process is imperfect.
Can Colortec be made using other colors?
No. We can not dye foam any other color besides black mist.
Why choose Colortec?
Wear will be less noticeable than regular grey foam that has been painted black. It works well in shooting ranges, driving ranges, and industrial applications where regular use will likely damage the foam. It’s also useful for applications where the foam must be cut on site to minimize touchup.
Cutting and Installing Colortec.
Black pigment used in Colortec creates dust. Breathing in foam dust should be avoided no matter what. The dying process causes the foam to become more brittle, therefore creating more dust than undyed foam when cut. Dyed foam should be handled with extra care.
What is a baffle?
Sonex baffles are hung from the ceiling in vertical orientation. Corkscrews and cable kits should be used properly to hang baffles.
What is a cloud?
Sonex clouds are hung from the ceiling in horizontal (flat) orientation. Corkscrews and cable kits should be used to properly hang clouds.
What is a panel?
Sonex panels can be adhered directly to a surface such as a wall.
What is a ceiling tile?
We have two types of ceiling tiles:
- Tiles that are intended to be adhered directly to a surface such as a sheetrock or a metal or concrete ceiling deck
- Drop-tiles intended for use in a standard suspended ceiling grid
When to use baffles, panels, tiles or clouds?
It is important to take three things into consideration when choosing the right product for your intended use.
- What product best fits your space?
- If permanent adhesion is not an option for your installation, we offer drop in ceiling tiles, clouds and baffles.
- Clouds and baffles should be hung with corkscrews and aircraft cables.
- Consider where our product will fit best. Hanging clouds or baffles are a great solution for tall ceilings as they can allow for more surface area. However, baffles may not be a great option for low ceilings, as a vertical orientation may hang lower.
- Choosing panels or tiles allow you to place material in specific areas on a surface to maximize both their acoustics and design. Panels can be applied flat to the surface they are being applied to.
- What design or color of foam do you prefer?
The NRC range is relatively consistent across all Sonex products as long as the products being compared are the same material and are similar in size and thickness. We offer many designs and paint colors to fit your personal preferences.
Recommendations for common applications
Outfitting a Home Office
- A single person in a room needing a quiet, comfortable place to concentrate.
The main goal for outfitting a home office is absorption and cutting down on echoes and reverberations. Covering hard, reflective surfaces is critical to sound absorption. An area rug on the floor is a good start but you will want to add some sound absorbing panels on the walls. Start with placing panels at eye level and work up from there as needed. For sound absorption more is better. If you cannot place panels on all 4 walls or a room, choosing 2 or more adjacent/perpendicular walls will assist in restricting sound from reflecting between parallel surfaces.
Outfitting Office spaces
- A group of people working individually needing a quiet and comfortable place
With open office concepts growing in popularity, the need for sound treatment is growing as well. Generally, in office spaces, wall treatments are not going to be the main focus. Most of the excess noise is coming from sound reflecting from the ceiling so it is recommended to look at ceiling tiles, baffles and clouds. When choosing between these options
Outfitting a classroom or conference room
- A group of people listening to a person speak.
Classrooms and conference rooms are a little more unique as the goal isn’t to eliminate noise but rather to focus sound so that the speaker doesn’t have to over exert themselves while communicating or that there isn’t clashing and distracting noises taking away from the intended communication.
It is especially important to treat the walls and ceiling behind the intended audience in order to stop sound from reflecting back at the speaker. Reflective surfaces near or behind the speaker can be left open as since any sounds bouncing off these areas will reflect back at the audience. Treating the room in this manner will increase clarity for the audience reduce any strain on the speaker.
Click here to view and download our installation guide.
What will I need to install my products?
- PA-02 or PA-04 adhesive can be for applying panels directly to ceilings, walls or similar.
- PA02 and PA04 contain about 30 lineal feet of glue when laid in a ¼” bead
- Glue should be applied about an inch inside the perimeter of the panel and in an ‘x’ pattern from corner to corner
- Corkscrews and cable kits can be used to hang baffles and clouds
- Corkscrews should never be spaced more than 3’ apart
- 4 corkscrews per 2X4 panel are recommended
- Use 1 cable per corkscrew
Please contact customer service for any assistance determining an installation method specific to your application.
Upkeeping and Damage
- Melamine is a thermoset plastic. When manufactured in its foam form it has the soft and springy characteristics of foam but still retains some of the brittle properties of solid melamine. This makes it much easier to tear and cut than urethane foams which have a higher elasticity.
- Melamine can be lightly dusted with a soft bristled brush or vacuum with a dusting/brush attachment. Since all open cell foams such as melamine are inherently porous absorptive, white glove install is recommended in order to avoid getting dirt or oil on the panels while handling.
- A water-based paint specifically designed for acoustical foam can be applied in our factory. This paint can increase the performance and NRC value of the foam. It is not recommended that you paint the foam yourself and most paints will seal the pores of the foam and impede absorption. Fire rating may also be affected. Painting Sonex foam products yourself will result in the loss of all warranties offered.
I received my order and notice visible damage to the package. What are my next steps?
Please inspect the package with the delivery driver! Ensure that the delivery driver does not leave. If the material is damaged, please contact SONEX-Online at 800-662-0032 or email@example.com right away. A precise description of the damage and shortages need to be written on the shipping document. Provide pictures to SONEX-Online.
Please do NOT dispose of any damaged packaging or materials. If a claim needs to be filed, the shipping company will need access to both the damaged packaging and products.
I opened my package and notice damage to the product. What are my next steps?
As soon as possible, unpack and inspect your shipment. If there is any concealed damage or loss please report this to SONEX-Online as soon as possible. Provide pictures to SONEX-Online if possible.
Please do NOT dispose of any damaged packaging or materials. If a claim needs to be filed, the shipping company will need access to both the damaged packaging and materials.
*After 4 days of delivery date SONEX-Online will not be held responsible for any unreported damages or shortages. After this time SONEX-Online will no longer be able to file any freight claims with the delivery companies.
I placed an order but changed my mind. Can I cancel my order?
You must obtain authorization from Sonex-Online prior to cancelling any orders. If order has begun in production, no authorization will be given. If production has not begun and authorization has been granted you may cancel the order. Cancelled orders will receive a refund minus any applicable Stripe fees.
*Stripe payment processing platform charges Sonex-Online a fee for each order processed.
I would like to return my order. What are my next steps?
You must obtain authorization from Sonex-Online prior to returning any products. All authorized returns must be returned to Sonex-Online’s warehouse via prepaid freight and are subject to a 30% restocking fee. All purchases must be returned within 30 days of delivery and in their original packaging.
Returns made without authorization will be refused. No collect shipments will be accepted.