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Understanding Acoustic Products: 5 Important Facts About Noise Reduction Coefficients

Are you shopping for acoustic products? You've probably come across the term noise reduction coefficient (NRC). While the technical term may throw you off, it's a very important consideration to make when choosing acoustic panelling. Here are a few important facts about NRCs.

1. What Is NRC?

The NRC is the average rating that shows how much sound an acoustic panel product can absorb. It shows how much quieter a product will make your space. The NRC will tell you how much sound the product can absorb. A loud and reverberant room will require additional sound absorption and will require an acoustic panel that can absorb more sound. The only way to determine this is by looking at the NRC. 

2. The NRC Scale

The NRC scale ranges from 0 to 1. If the rating is 0, then the product is perfectly reflective, which means that it absorbs no sound at all. An NRC of 1 means that the acoustic panelling product is perfectly absorptive, and will absorb all the sound. 

The higher the NRC, the better the acoustic panel will be at soaking up sound. The formulas used to calculate the product's NRC does not lead to a percentage. Therefore, you should know that some products will have values that are larger than one. 

If you're looking for a solution to a noise problem in your home, office, or auditorium, you want to look for an acoustic product with a high NRC rating. The higher the NRC, the more the sound the acoustic panelling product will absorb. 

3. The Thickness and Density of an Acoustic Product Matters

Two major factors that affect the NRC are the thickness and density of the acoustic product. A thicker and less dense acoustic panel product will absorb more sound. A thinner and denser product will absorb less sound. 

4. Soundproofing Products Do Not Have NRCs

NRC applies to absorption products and not soundproofing products. It is quite easy to assume that all soundproofing products are acoustic products and vice versa.  Soundproofing suggests total containment of sound within a specific contained area. 

5. When Are NRC Products Useful?

Sound absorbing panels are useful in large spaces such as worship centres, restaurants, and auditoriums. These large spaces filled with hard surfaces have poor acoustics, which can be a problem when people need to listen to others speak.

The NRC of a product will inform you of how much sound it absorbs along with how much it reflects. Some building materials like tile or marble have poor sound absorption capabilities, while soft materials like carpets have better sound absorption abilities. Still, none of these compares to the sound absorption of acoustic panel products.