The Art of Acoustic Consultation: Working with Professionals for Custom Solutions

Often, unwanted sounds can cause unwanted headaches—and this feeling is far-reaching. Commercial or residential, urban or rural, elevator motor or tap dancing neighbor: no matter the setting or the cause, most everyone is happier in a space that’s free of loud, unpleasant sounds.

With new research suggesting that human health is improved by reducing noise pollution, there has never been a better time to seek out the services of an acoustical consultant.1 Acoustics is a science, and a precise one at that, so working with a professional is your best option if you want to reduce airborne noise and improve sound quality within your home, office, or business.

But what is an acoustic consultant? And what exactly can they do for you? We answer these questions and more, below.

What is an Acoustic Consultant?

Acoustic consultants are professionals whose job is to optimize the sound of an architectural space. When you hire an acoustic consultant, you can expect that they’ll:

  • Identify the source of any unwanted noise you’re dealing with
  • Use their industry expertise to fix the problem using the appropriate materials

In the process of working with an acoustic consultant, you’ll probably watch them engage in a few different steps: noise vibration analysis or noise assessment, architectural acoustics planning and acoustic design, environmental acoustics, and transport acoustics.

Noise and Vibration Analysis

Sound testing or noise and vibration analysis is a technique that an acoustics consultant uses to determine the source of an unwanted noise and its method of transmission. Leveraging tools like an accelerometer, your acoustic consultant will:

  • Identify the frequency of the sound you’re hearing
  • Deduce whether it’s being transmitted into your space through the air or by conduction through a building material2

Knowing frequency and transmission type allows for the acoustical consultant to select the right soundproofing or acoustic treatment material for your job.

Architectural Acoustics Planning and Designs

If you’re in the process of building a new space, an acoustics consultant can be a valuable resource—they can provide custom acoustic guidance from the very beginning, ensuring that your structure itself is outfitted with materials that reduce or block sound.

Businesses like a gun range and a recording studio are excellent examples of spaces that can benefit from structural soundproofing. However, businesses of all types can take advantage of sound-conscious architecture to improve customer and employee experiences.

Environmental Acoustics

For residential and commercial spaces located near major roadways or airports, an acoustic consultation can help reduce environmental noise pollution significantly. This is important for several reasons1:

  • Noise pollution has been shown to induce hearing loss over long periods of time
  • In children, excessive noise is associated with learning difficulties and reduced classroom performance
  • Certain businesses require sound management solutions to acquire LEED Certification

At Acoustical Surfaces, we have a proven track record of helping businesses obtain their LEED certifications. Additionally, we specialize in soundproofing and sound-treating classrooms in accordance with the American National Standards Institute acoustic guidelines to prevent noise from interfering with learning.

Transport Acoustics

Offices and homes aren’t the only places where intrusive noise can be a concern. More than 3.5 million Americans drive trucks for a living, while 74% commute to work daily.3 If environmental noise from cars poses an issue to workers’ well-being, then mitigating this risk on the road is essential.

That’s why Acoustical Surfaces provide a wide variety of materials for controlling and reducing transportation sounds, such as damping sheets that reduce automotive vibration.

Soundproofing and Acoustics for Every Application. Browse our Collection!

Why You Might Need an Acoustic Consultant

When dealing with a noise nuisance, people often think that they can solve the problem themselves by adhering a few egg cartons onto their walls or placing packing tape along their window sills. However, these DIY jobs are often ineffective as they don’t take into account:

  • The frequency of the sound
  • How the sound is being transmitted
  • The best type of materials for the job

Those who do acoustic consultancy are professionals in the field. By hiring one, you can ensure a custom building acoustics solution that won’t need a rehaul down the road.

To that end, let’s take a look at some specific instances where an acoustic consultant can provide invaluable expertise.


If you’re in the process of renovating your home or office, you might want to install soundproofing while you’re at it. An acoustic consultant can recommend a material like Mass-Loaded Vinyl, which can be placed around pipes, on walls, and even on ceilings.

New Constructions

As stated earlier, installing sound-proofing materials at the beginning of a construction project can reduce noise control costs later on. Additionally, integrating acoustic technology into your build from the outset ensures the acoustic materials are a good aesthetic fit for the rest of the project.

Local Regulations

Many local municipalities require commercial enterprises to comply with noise regulations. Because acoustic consultants have experience in this area and familiarity with regulations, they can help ensure you meet these requirements so that you don’t have to face fines or penalties later on.

The Science Behind Acoustics

At its core, any acoustics problem is a physics problem. This is because sound is a vibration traveling through a medium at a particular frequency. This frequency is measured using a unit called a hertz (Hz) equal to one cycle per second. An acoustics professional would know that low-frequency sounds (20-300 Hz) are more likely to transmit through building materials like wood and concrete, while high-frequency sounds (2,000 Hz+) are much more likely to travel through air.

These two different frequencies and their respective transmissions require different materials to mitigate them. For example, a low-frequency sound could benefit from soundproofing materials placed at the site of conduction, while a high-frequency sound would be best dealt with using an ambient sound absorption material like Wood Wool.

The Impact of Acoustics on Health and Wellness

Noise and unwanted sound infiltration don’t just lead to irritation and hearing issues. The Environmental Protection Agency cites studies to suggest that excessive noise is implicated in such issues as4:

  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Mental health concerns

The more research is done, the more it seems that exposure to environmental noise is one of the leading health concerns in the modern American workplace. As such, the EPA recommends taking steps to insulate oneself from potentially harmful noise.4

By hiring an acoustic consultant, you can protect your physical and mental well-being, as well as that of your family, co-workers, employees, customers, and students.

A Case Study: Quincy Point

Acoustic consultants are solution-oriented professionals who can help you address your noise concerns in the most effective and aesthetically pleasing way possible.

For instance, when Quincy Point, an elderly housing facility in Quincy, Massachusetts, needed to reduce noise in their dining room and lobby areas, they wanted to do so in a way that was subtle. Acoustical Surfaces’ solution was to customize Poly Max acoustic wall panels so that they featured artwork of Boston’s skyline and historical sites.

By adding this thoughtful touch, Acoustical Surfaces was able to effectively reduce noise and enhance the aesthetic of these areas for Quincy Point’s residents.

Choosing the Right Acoustic Consultant

Although it may be tempting to Google “acoustic consultant near me” and hire someone right away, it’s important to make sure you find the right fit. To that end, take a look at some information to come prepared with, as well as questions to ask your potential acoustic consultant.

Information to Come Prepared With

Before contacting an acoustics professional, be sure to list out a few facts about your sound management needs, such as:

  • The type of business you operate (if applicable)
  • Whether you want full soundproofing or acoustic treatment
  • Your most pressing sound concerns (cars, machinery, neighbors, etc.)
  • Your ideal timeline

Questions You Should Be Asking

Once you’ve provided the above information and the consultant has investigated your space, you can ask specific questions about the materials and techniques they think would best suit your situation. This line of questioning will provide you with a better idea of cost—although, given the enhanced productivity and mood that sound management solutions provide, the investment will be well worth it.

You should also ask your prospective consultant about their experience and track record.

Receive an Expert Acoustic Consultation by Partnering with Acoustical Surfaces

If you’re looking for an experienced acoustic consultant and custom acoustics solutions, trust Acoustical Surfaces. We’re an industry leader in soundproofing and noise control technologies. With years of experience and countless satisfied clients, you can rest assured that your acoustic project is in good hands with us.

By meeting with one of our expert consultants, you can start your journey toward enhanced productivity and a more pleasant environment for you, your employees, your customers, your family, and whoever else enters your space. You’ll also gain access to our diverse catalog of sound management materials, which, when combined with our consulting services, are sure to deliver the results you’ve been looking for.

No matter what type of sound you’re dealing with or what type of space you want to improve, we’re dedicated to ensuring your noise problems are solved. Contact Acoustical Surfaces today to discuss your specific project needs and learn more about our services.



  1. National Geographic. Noise Pollution.
  2. The New York Times. Soundproofing for New York Noise.
  3. America Keeps on Trucking.
  4. Clean Air Act Title IV: Noise Pollution.


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