A Word About Acoustics Part 2: Sound as a wave

  • A Word About Acoustics Part 2: Sound as a wave

When describing sound, it’s hard to forget about its physical nature. The fact we can hear and process a variety of sounds is related to the physical phenomena connected to the nature of sound as a wave. What is the reason we can hear sounds? In science, sound is a vibration in the transmission medium, or in other words, a change in the pressure. What can we make of it? In the second part of A Word About Acoustics, we will tell you more about sound as a wave. 

Sound as a wave

If you throw a stone in the water, you will see propagating concentric circles. A sound wave is similar. A vibration in the transmission medium (we usually envisage medium as air, although sound travels in gases, liquids and solids), caused by the source of the sound, transfers energy to the next particles. This means the particles undergo compression and rarefaction – this is how the pressure changes and the vibration travels until it reaches our ears. A mechanical wave received by the human ear moves the eardrum and ossicles. The wave is then transformed into an electric impulse in the inner ear, and it finally reaches our brain as an auditory experience. 

We speak of high-pitched and low-pitched sounds. A sound can also have a specific volume and tone. The individual properties are related to the physical features of a sound wave. The pitch is affected by the wave frequency, which is closely related to the wavelength. The shorter the wave, the more frequent and closer are the changes of pressure. The frequency of such a wave is greater, and the sound we can hear is higher.
Sounds in the office

The nature of sound can vary, as you already know. Its properties are related to the source of the sound. Everywhere we go, also in offices, we are exposed to a variety of sounds. Think of steps, humming ventilation, and sounds of office equipment – most of them operate in smaller frequencies. When we are among people, we are exposed to their voices and conversations. Speaking fits in the range of mid-frequencies. This is what human ears are particularly sensitive to. There are also high-frequency sounds, such as clicks of the keyboard or phone rings.

When you want to introduce some sort of acoustic treatment, you should consider the frequency of the sound absorbed by a specific material. The selection of such materials should be deliberate and suited to a specific room. 

Products offered by Nowy Styl for the acoustic treatment of individual offices are subject to thorough testing. The sound-absorbing properties of the materials are properly examined and can be used for specific purposes. Sometimes you need to address a specific range of frequencies. 

That’s what perforated Sileo Levels panels are designed for: they can absorb a selected frequency of sounds. These panels come in three variants, which differ in thickness and perforation size. That’s why they absorb a strictly defined range of sounds and can be used in a variety of spaces.

We know all there is to know about the nature of a sound wave. Acoustic testing and consulting is just one element of the extensive Nowy Styl service portfolio, designed to help you make the most of your office space.

The text prepared by Katarzyna Bereźnicka, Acoustics Consultant at Nowy Styl

Let's make your space together

Fill out the form and contact us