Acoustics In A Box™ Systems for Restaurants

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In the perfectly designed restaurant, there is just the right level of background noise; enough so that patrons do not feel as though others in the room can hear every word they speak to each other, but not so much noise that the patrons cannot hear each other across the table without raising their voices. Restaurants all too often suffer from noise levels that are simply too high. We have heard many times from restaurant owners who are looking for a way to bring the noise down to a more comfortable level, and always, they want something that does not mess with their expensive decor, or their sensitive budgets.

With Acoustics In A Box™ products, we are happy to tell you that we now can actually provide you with just the solution you need to tame the excessive noise in your restaurant, and without having to shut down during the installation period (it can easily be done during closed hours), and without breaking the bank. Typical installations in a restaurant will run just a few thousand dollars, and sometimes far less, depending on size and other factors. You can also take an incremental approach: install a few panels and see if the improvement is sufficient. If not, install more until you either run out of places to put the panels or you get to the sound quality you want.

The most common cause of the restaurant noise problem is too long a reverberation time, making conversation difficult to understand and music, if you provide it, unclear and confused-sounding. Unfortunately, restaurants are rarely designed with acoustics in mind. As a result, the hard floors, walls, furniture and ceilings, cause every sound generated, from clattering dishes and pans to patrons trying to talk to each other, bounce around the room for quite a long time. Until these sounds slowly die out, they mix with other sounds, making conversations hard to hear and words hard to understand, with the result that everyone raises their voices hoping to be better understood, and thereby aggravating an already aggravated situation. In short, the problem in nearly every restaurant that is perceived as too loud, is excessive sound reverberation time. The short answer to this problem is to shorten the reverberation time and for that purpose, Acoustics In A Box™ sound absorber panels are the ideal solution, short of a complete remodeling of the space, that is. (For more on the problem of excessive reverberation, see our White Paper.)

We cannot guarantee that Acoustics In A Box™ sound absorber panels will completely solve your problem, but we can tell you that the addition of each Acoustics In A Box™ sound absorber panel, properly mounted using the patented black hole™ mounting system, will incrementally shorten the reverberation time of virtually any room. In general, the more panels installed, the shorter will be the reverberation time of the room and the better it will sound.

In restaurants, Acoustics In A Box™ panels are generally installed on the ceiling in as many places as they can be fitted, using ceiling sloping panels with the included Black Hole™ mounts.

The Acoustics In A Box™ system is quite simple to use, by design. The black hole mounts are attached to the wall or ceiling using drywall screws or adhesive, and the panels then install onto tabs on the mounts. Ideally, a 14' x 20' room would call for 8 panels, a room that would seat 25 people would need about 16 panels, one that would accommodate 50 people would need about 24 panels, and beyond that, a good starting place would be about 8 more panels for each additional 50 seats. See some small room configurations to help visualize a typical Acoustics In A Box™ installation. For your room, the configuration will almost certainly be drastically different, but these sketches may help.

In virtually all restaurants, you will find natural limits to the number of panels you can install due to conflicts with doors, windows, artworks and other decorations and furniture. Furthermore, most restaurants value their walls especially because there are lots of windows and/or decorations on the walls that are integral to the ambience, and so rarely do restauranteurs allow panels to be installed on their walls. That leaves the ceiling though, and by using all the spaces available there, and choosing the appropriate color of covering cloth on the absorber panels, plus choosing the 2" thick panels, quite a lot of the potential benefit can be achieved with minimal compromises with the decor required.

Accordingly, the most effective way to begin is to examine your room and identify the number of places you have where the 2' x 4' panels can be installed. If you can spare some wall space for panels, choose down sloping wall panels mounted so that the bottom of the panels are at about 6-7 feet above the floor, or if the room is not tall enought to accommodate this position, then mount the panels about 6 inches down from the ceiling. If you need more panels than you have room for, you can also substitute horizontal mount panels which you may be able to install above doorways or windows, and of course you may also be able to install additional panels on the ceiling. The more panels you can find room for, the shorter will be the reverberation time and the better will be the sound quality in the room.

One more tip to consider: the down sloping wall panels can be airbrushed to turn them into artworks. Just know that covering them with a solid coating of paint will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the panels, so use a light airbrush approach to any artistic efforts.

To order, please choose the components you need here, then send us an email: or give us a call to place your order: 1-918-478-5500

Or, if you have more questions or need suggestions, please provide us with the following information and we will respond with a recommendation and a quote:

  • Room purpose (vocal presentation, music presentation, group meetings, other (please specify))
  • Description of the acoustic problem you are trying to remedy.
  • Room dimensions (length, width, ceiling height)
  • Ceiling type (hard surface, acoustic tile, cathedral)
  • Seating capacity of the room

See Also: Acoustics In A Box™ Overview.

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