CPM One Source has partnered with Snowsound, an Italian acoustic panel manufacturer with its USA HQ in Santa Fe Springs. CPM has installed Snowsound’s 100% sound absorbing surface products in our CPM Studio at The CalEdison Building located at One Bunker Hill in Downtown LA. In this special series, we’ll be exploring ways to correct workplace acoustics with Snowsound. You can read Part I of this series here and Part II of this series here.
All Snowsound products leverage the exclusive patented Snowsound technology, based on sound absorbing material with variable densities, which enables selective absorption at various frequencies for optimal room acoustics. The Snowsound Lab’s newest project, now available in multiple forms, is Snowsound-Fiber: a patented acoustic textile fiber with sound absorbing properties. If you want to learn more about Snowsound click here.
Part 3: Snowsound’s Secret Sauce – Inspired by Nature
While the industry has begun to recognize the cause of acoustic challenges and understand the various ways to address them, confusion remains as to which products are best and how they differ from one another. This is a significant pain point for purchasing agents and facility managers who are desperate to address their acoustic challenges but don’t have the confidence or clarity to select the “right” product. Generally, the options have been the same: felt, fiberglass, and soft fibrous plastic foam. Some are wrapped in fabric, others use glue to adhere a textured cover to an internal padding – but none have any proprietary or scientific technology behind them – that is, except for one.
Enter Snowsound: the Italian designed and manufactured 3-time consecutive Best of NeoCon Award Winning acoustic solutions line with an intuitive patented technology that mimics the sound absorbing properties of freshly fallen snow.
Since it began shipping in North America 30 months ago, Snowsound has emerged as the premiere and most reliable acoustic solution on the market today. The intuition behind Snowsound’s sound absorbing technology is similar to how snow works in nature. The reason it is so peaceful and quiet after a snowfall is because the snowpack doesn’t settle evenly, but rather in various layers, compactness and porosities. It is these different layers that allow snow to absorb the different sound waves in nature and almost 100% of sound wave energy.
Similarly, Snowsound patented the use of variable densities of material in every panel. Each density targets and absorbs one frequency range, resulting in a comprehensive sound absorbing approach that covers the entire frequency spectrum (Low frequencies, Mid frequencies and High frequencies). At only 1.4” thin, Snowsound panels achieve a market-best NRC of 1.0 and don’t simply eliminate or mute sounds, but rather work to balance and correct the acoustics of the space. The result is termination of reverberation, and a much more pleasant and comfortable acoustic environment.
Other “acoustic” products on the market employ uniform density; meaning they cannot differentiate between the frequencies they’re absorbing. So, while they’re contributing to the absorption of the noise in the space, they may not be addressing sound absorption in the most effective manner.
As we reviewed in Part 2 of the Acoustic Solutions series, simply absorbing sound is not the objective. Absorbing the unwanted noise is the goal. As Michael Dardashti, Executive Vice President of Snowsound USA says, “sound is important; it’s a natural part of our senses and we need it to exist. But when sound is not controlled it turns into noise, and it’s the noise we’d like to prevent.”
Using typical products risk losing some important elements of sound along with the reverberation, but using Snowsound’s panels and their technology ensures acoustic balance in the space without compromising on the quality of sound that remains. In essence, Snowsound is not muting the sounds in the space, but rather “cleaning” the sound by eliminating the bounces.
Snowsound Technology Infographic – Figure 1:
Snowsound’s manufacturing process contributes to its patented technology. Panels are thermal compression molded, resulting in a unibody piece, made entirely of one single material. This provides multiple benefits, most notably the fact that every square inch of the panel absorbs sound – the backside, the front side, and even the edges, without the use of external frames or components to keep the panels together. Many other panels on the market have frames, backing, or reflective edges and are not able to absorb sound from all faces.
When considering the myriad of application hardware that Snowsound provides such as suspension fasteners, baffles, and spacer brackets, the panels are working double duty to absorb sound via all angles. This translates to a far more effective product per square foot, which means less product needed to address the acoustics of a space compared to the competition. This results in lower project cost overall, and as important, the design advantage of being able to use less material in the space without compromising acoustic effectiveness.
“Snowsound has developed proprietary acoustic software to help determine the ‘right’ amount of product to use for each type of acoustic challenge and environment.”
When discussing how acoustic products may help a work environment, the most pressing question seems to be “how much product do we need?” The answer has generally been a guessing game unless an acoustical consulting firm is brought on to advise. But with budgets always in flux, and uncertainty surrounding the exact improvement project owners can expect, spending dollars on acoustics has historically been viewed as a “day-2” fix.
However, with the help of a globally renowned team of acousticians, Snowsound has developed proprietary acoustic software to help determine the “right” amount of product to use for each type of acoustic challenge and environment.
Based on various room characteristics – such as square footage, ceiling height, and the materials of all the room’s surfaces – Snowsound’s software simulates the actual reverb time in the space. And with the absorption results for each panel shape, size and application integrated into the software’s formulae, Snowsound can then tell specifiers exactly how many panels are needed for acoustical comfort. With other products, there isn’t this level of data and analysis. With reliability at the core of Snowsound’s brand promise, this software technology removes the guess-work and allows the company to deliver a data-backed recommendation with quantitative results that lets the decision maker buy with confidence.
Snowsound Acoustic Sound Absorption Test Results – Instituto Giordano – ISO 354 – NRC vs. Frequency – Figure 2:
In today’s market, when it seems like everyone is trying to jump into sound-absorbing materials, it’s important to ensure that the proper testing has been done to back up the results of these materials. Not only has Snowsound differentiated itself from other products with their patented technology and software engineering, but also through their professional third party testing and certification. Snowsound products have been tested in acclaimed acoustical laboratories, and the results are available in the original format for decision makers to review.
When it comes to sound absorption, Snowsound is committed to addressing the science of acoustics. Other companies may display test results in their marketing materials but include fine print to diffuse responsibility for the measurement results. Similar to the scientific nature of lighting, acoustics too are about creating the correct “sound environment” which is critical to a team’s success. Just like one wouldn’t randomly put lights in a space and say, “All right, it’s brighter now,” we shouldn’t simply throw up acoustic panels on a wall and say, “OK, it’s quieter now.” There’s a specific method to be considered, and in this rapidly changing workplace, Snowsound is at the forefront of the acoustical revolution.
If your workspace needs an “Acoustic Correction”, call CPM to arrange a consultation with Snowsound at our Studio to discuss what would be the “right prescription” for your workspace and learn more about creating a “sound friendly” solution through properly addressing the acoustics in your space.