Room modes – All rooms have what we call room modes, standing waves, or modal resonances. These room modes are the primary cause of acoustic distortion around 300Hz, causing the frequency response to dip around 20dB. Room modes decay slower than other nearby frequencies, causing audible problems like a boomy sound. Understand your room before you buy bass traps.
Bass Traps Buyers Guide
How do Bass Traps Work?
It’s common knowledge that energy cannot be created or destroyed, that means that when we produce sound waves thanks to instruments, voices or equipment, there is so much we can do about it. We can redirect the sound waves or design the room in a way that they will encounter our bass panels and foam panels so that the vibrations will be trapped and in turn result in a studio that has crisp and clear recording properties.
What we want to do, essentially, is to slow down the sound waves thanks to friction to eliminate vibrations and flutter echoes. That’s why we need bass traps; when the sound waves meet the bass traps (which are usually made of foam or fiberglass) we encounter friction. That friction, in turn, gives off heat, and heat reduces the intensity of the sound waves that are produced by us. That means that the vibrations are significantly lower and feel dampened.
Can you get Acoustic Foam Panels on a Budget?
Definitely! They are fantastic options out there that can supply a whole room for under 100-200$, depending on which brand you will choose. Foamily’s panels are great for people who are on a budget and still need quality sounds in their studios. Bass panels usually come in bundles, which means you don’t have to buy individual pieces. Usually, they are between 4, 24 and 48, and can cover a whole wall, ceiling, etc. The corner bass absorbers usually need to be purchased separately, however.
If you really need a low-price alternative to the brand industry standard bass traps, there are always fiberglass rolls that can work wonders, but they don’t look very appealing unless you go out of your way to make them look good on your own. There are also many brands out there that have plain, rigid Rockwool panels. If you are on a budget you can wrap the Rockwool panels in felt of your choice and it does a great job, you can choose the colors and design too!
If you do your research, you can end up with some bass panels that will be perfect for your needs! You just have to pick out the best thickness of whichever rigid material (lumbar, Rockwool, etc.) you will find most suitable, and then a material you can put over that to insulate (insulation blankets, wool, felt, etc.).
Where to Place Bass Traps?
There is no doubt that you have already heard that the first thing you should do when you get your long-awaited bass traps… is to put them in the corners. Bass traps are made to reduce vibrations and echo flutters, and low-frequency sounds are known to build up most wherever you can find a boundary, like a corner. It’s simple logic since the sounds will be coming from the two sides, they will pool within the corners, since that’s where the two boundaries meet.
If you can, it’s best to cover both the corners and the ceiling and on the floor with bass tiles, that ensure there will be a minimal amount of boundaries meeting and sound build-up. After that, you can start to consider your initial reflection points, then the ceiling and walls. To get the most out of the bass traps, you should avoid leaving any kinds of bare walls or ceiling, since that will keep the flutter or echo. Also, make sure to place the bass trap symmetrically to each other, both on the right and left walls, that will ensure they work at their best capacity!
Top Choice – Auralex Acoustic Absorption Foam Panels
Our top pick is definitely Auralex’s product. The wedges come in a bundle of either 4 or 24 panels and have an ideal design to limit vibrations and bass sounds to the bare minimum. They give you a fantastic performance for a low cost and will allow you to cover your whole room or studio under 200$; if you are looking for a good deal combined with a quality product, this is definitely it.
Auralex will tame your room’s fluttering acoustics at a relatively low-cost, even if you will only want to cover one or two walls, it’s perfect for spot treatment too. Many people frame this product and move it around the room if needed, even when framed the panels remain as effective as before and earn themselves a place in the top 30 acoustic treatments – read the study here.
Premium Choice – Auralex LENPUR LENRD Bass Traps
Our premium choice has to be another one of Auralex’s products, and that’s the Lenpur Lernd. These bass traps are easy to install and pose absolutely no trouble when mounting them in the corners of your office or near your finest studio desk. As bass traps, you will find no better. These triangular panels can absorb any sound that goes as low as 75Hz, which is a big accomplishment.
Whether you will be using them to dampen sound from outside or to make your music sessions sound more crisp and clear, this premium choice is the way to go. They will enlighten your studio with their distinct purple color and allow for cozy, quality recording or jamming sessions. No matter what you will use the studio for, these bass traps will always be there to serve you well!
Great Value – Acoustic Studio Foam Wedges
If you are on a tight budget or if you need to supply a whole room full of bass traps, these panels will definitely do the trick. They come in black, red or black and red combinations as well as the previously listed bundles of either 12, 24, 48, the last being priced at under 100$, which means you could easily have a full studio covered in under 150$! A 12 pack of these panels will cover 12 square feet easily, which is perfect for any isolation room.
Unlike many products of the same kind, these wedges come uncompressed and will not give you any deformed or damaged goods. Even though they are cheaper than the previously listed products, they are of high-quality and will not disappoint either in the packaging or in the studio itself. They will do their job and reduce and flutter echoes, reverbs and the alike, giving a pristine recording and practice environment.