Sound terminology

In order to influence the impact of sound on the work environment, it is important to understand how sound waves behave and how we can use smart technology and the right equipment to dampen and control the movement of sound. In Winab’s Sound School we decipher the meaning of key concepts, which are important when creating a good sound environment.

Acoustics - the doctrine of sound

The acoustics describe how our ears perceive sound in a room. The acoustics are influenced by the sound's movement and dampening, which in turn is affected by the premises’ shape, materials (sound absorption) and structure (construction and sound-proofing of walls, floors and ceilings).

With the right choice of wall and surface layer, the room's sound environment and acoustics can be significantly improved. 

Sound absorption

The sound is attenuated as the energy of the sound wave is absorbed into the surrounding material.

Warm materials, such as fabric, have the ability to catch the sound waves’ energy. Fabric-covered, sound-absorbing materials on folding and block walls make the acoustics in the room more pleasant.

Flank transmission

Flank transmission means that the sound travels via the materials, around the wall to another room.

Winab’s folding and block walls are developed to prevent the sound from passing through the wall. To reach the desired field value it is, however, important that connecting structures also work to stop the sound from travelling.

The sound often follows structures and latches. Ceiling plaster and floorboards must therefore end against the wall and not pass the upper and lower edge of the wall. 

 

Reverberation

Reverberation is sound that can still be heard, even after the source has stopped producing sounds.

The sound bounces between the room’s surfaces and can cause undesired effects from unexpected directions. Sound absorbing materials and well-placed angles in the floor plan help to minimise the reverberation.

dB – Decibel

Decibel (dB) is a measure of the wall’s sound value, i.e. how well it stops the sound waves that our ears perceive as noise. The higher the dB value, the better the resistance.

Rw –  Sound value, laboratory value

A product’s Rw value describes the measured sound reduction value in a laboratory environment. The sound value reported in the test protocols attached to the wall verifies that the walls have been tested and approved in accordance with specified sound requirements. 

R´w – Sound value, field value

When the walls are assembled in the intended environment, the sound value is measured again. The field value (R´w) demonstrates the wall’s real sound reduction. Normally the field value will show a lower result (3-6 dB) than the laboratory value. If the structure surrounding the wall does not meet its own sound requirements (flank transmission), the field value may decrease.