The Difference Between Blocking Sound and Sound Absorption

Written by Foam Factory, Inc.

Most homes use acoustic foam for two main reasons. The first is to block out annoying sounds from the outside, and the other is for movie and audio rooms. What most people do not realize is that there is a difference between sound blocking and sound absorption. Here is the difference between the two:

Sound absorption

Sound absorption is the process of reducing or removing the echo of sound within a room. The most common use of such foam is in sound studios and audio listening rooms. The sound absorption works when you cover all the wall and roof surfaces with a sound deadening foam that absorbs the audio and prevents any echo. Another option is to add foam inside the walls, but that involves breaking the all and rebuilding. Even accessories like rugs and carpets help reduce the amount of sound echoing around a room.

Sound blocking

Blocking sound is quite different and is rarely done with foam. When you have a serious external noise problem, the only way to block the off it with additional layers. Here is an analogy: When you build a fish tank, would you make the tank out of sponge? No. Sound acts much like a sponge and will come through any porous materials. Double glazed windows, additional door layers and other materials will stop any noise from coming in. For large window areas, there are screens that you can insert that cut off most of the noise.


Foam Factory, Inc. is a company specializing in the manufacturing and selling of acoustic foam panels and other foam products.