Fitness Acoustics: Can Your Class Hear You?

With summer just around the corner, more and more people are hitting the gym and attending group fitness classes such as spin cycling, yoga, CrossFit, and other health-oriented activities. An important key to any successful workout or class, of course, is listening to the instructor. Unfortunately, many gyms and fitness spaces are highly reverberant, making it difficult — sometimes even impossible — to hear the teacher clearly.Yoga class

Hard flat surfaces, which are typical in fitness centers, reflect sound rather than absorb or diffuse it, and these strong untreated reflections create echo and reverberation, which in turn create destructive sound interference. Consider how difficult it might be for a student sitting in the last row of a large hard-surfaced classroom to accurately understand what the professor in the front of the room is saying, even if the room was relatively quiet. The same is true of fitness spaces.

Reducing the Negative Impacts of Noise

While every fitness space has unique qualities, they all face the same troublesome sound issues if the flat-surface walls and ceilings are left untreated. Yoga studios should be peaceful and echo-free, spin participants should be able to hear their instructors over the music and “self-noise” of the cycles, and boxers should be free of distractions like clanking weights and stereo systems.

If a space is left untreated, all the undesired sound reverberations will create sound “masking”, which greatly reduces speech intelligibility.

To reduce reverberation and enable crisp, clear sound in your fitness class, here are some common absorption solutions:

  • Echo EliminatorTM – This unique, ecofriendly solution is the most common among gym spaces because of its low cost. The lightweight recycled cotton material can be mounted as wall panels or hanging baffles to dampen echoes and reverberation
  • PVC Baffles – Hanging baffles are popular for their reasonable cost, durability, and wide color variety, and can be hung from various types of ceiling structures like girders and beams.
  • WallMate® – Available in a broad range of styles and fabric colors, these décor-friendly wall systems are designed to be easy for any commercial contractor to install.
  • PEPP – Made of porous expanded polypropylene (PEPP), these acoustic panels are impact-, water-, bacteria-, and fungi-resistant, and are also cost-effective and very easy to install.
  • Fabric-wrapped-panels – These panels are versatile, absorbent across a wide range of frequencies, and available in a variety of sizes and colors, and look great in upscale environments.

Sound Solutions from Acoustical Surfaces

For over 35 years, Acoustical Surfaces, Inc. (ASI) has created solutions to help control sound. Our products have solved problems across a wide variety of exercise rooms, gymnasiums, and home fitness centers. With the help of our acoustical products, your class instructors will be able to more effectively communicate and motivate their attendees.

To find the right sound absorption product for your fitness space, visit our website.

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