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5 dB Improvement? Sure, I know What You Mean!

As our other Knowledge Article has shown, decibels are indeed a strange beast. So when it comes to understanding exactly what you are getting when you order installation of soundproofing is important. If someone says to you “you should get a 5 dB improvement”, are you confident you know what that really means?
Changes in decibel levels

An Important Aspect

This is a crucial element in the world of Acoustic Consultancy Engineering. In our other roles as Consultants, it is a common theme that others involved in projects (including Architects) have little or no understanding of what a change in decibels really means. We therefore need to be able to explain this concept clearly to them. This can sometimes mean big differences in cost on large projects, so it’s important. For example, this has meant the difference between spending £50,000 more on a certain type of plasterboard across a whole development, or £100,000 on a fancy bespoke acoustic enclosure for noisy equipment!

The improvement we’re talking about here is the amount of reduction in sound level that you will experience once the soundproofing is installed. So if you hear a TV or a baby from next door, this is how much that noise will be reduced by.

The chart shown here hopefully demonstrates this principle. A reduction in noise level of around 3-5 dB means that you can tell there has been a difference to the  level. Think turning the dial on your car radio down a notch or two.

A reduction in noise level of 10 dB is going to appear that the sound has halved in loudness, and this is a huge amount of reduction.

A reduction of 15 dB will give the impression of reducing the noise by two thirds. Again, this is an absolutely massive change.

Changes in decibel levels

An Important Aspect

This is a crucial element in the world of Acoustic Consultancy Engineering. In our other roles as Consultants, it is a common theme that others involved in projects (including Architects) have little or no understanding of what a change in decibels really means. We therefore need to be able to explain this concept clearly to them. This can sometimes mean big differences in cost on large projects, so it’s important. For example, this has meant the difference between spending £50,000 more on a certain type of plasterboard across a whole development, or £100,000 on a fancy bespoke acoustic enclosure for noisy equipment!

The improvement we’re talking about here is the amount of reduction in sound level that you will experience once the soundproofing is installed. So if you hear a TV or a baby from next door, this is how much that noise will be reduced by.

The chart shown here hopefully demonstrates this principle. A reduction in noise level of around 3-5 dB means that you can tell there has been a difference to the  level. Think turning the dial on your car radio down a notch or two.

A reduction in noise level of 10 dB is going to appear that the sound has halved in loudness, and this is a huge amount of reduction.

A reduction of 15 dB will give the impression of reducing the noise by two thirds. Again, this is an absolutely massive change.

How far do you want to go?

Above all, the amount of reduction that we can achieve will always be dependent on the amount of space you can lose in your room. For example, for practicality, the wall systems we offer come in the 5 cm depth (offering a reduction of around 5 dB) and from 10 cm to 15 cm depth (offering around 10 dB or more reduction). The space required to obtain a reduction of 15 dB or more will be a lot, so we do not offer this as an ‘off the shelf’ solution. That doesn’t mean we can’t design one though, should you have the space to spare!

If you really want to nerd out on decibels, then take a look at the Wikipedia page for more info. We know that our colleagues at the Institute of Acoustics have helped to maintain pages like this on Wikipedia, so what you’re reading is reliable.

Trust the experts and get a quote to soundproof your home today.

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