Below are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to our Eco Acoustic Panel Collection. This includes Wall Absorbers, Bass Traps and Diffusers.
The Absorber Mount box and Bass Trap mount box come with an inventory sheet and build diagram, as well as a hanging template.
The Diffuser comes with an inventory sheet.
Check to make sure that you have all that you need, including the tools required to complete the job, as listed on the sheet.
The sheets are here:
Set aside an afternoon to do the installation. Having time on your hands will help you carefully decide placement and make sure your new studio will look perfect.
We recommend that you follow all of the steps in the installation video here: Click here.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
How much coverage you need really depends on what your goals are. Every room is different, so acoustic treatment strategies will vary. It’s up to you to determine what your space needs most. First, let’s define some common terms.
A Quick Vocab Lesson
The terminology used in this article to describe a room’s acoustic characteristics are live and dead. For a very live room, think of a gymnasium with hardwood floors and brick walls, or a tiled bathroom: very echoey and generally loud. A dead room is the complete opposite, where there is no reverberation or echo. If you’ve ever built a pillow fort, or held the blanket over your head while in bed: those are dead acoustic spaces. Think of acoustically live and dead as a kind of continuum, with live (gym) on one end, and dead (pillow fort) on the other.
To measure how live or dead a room is, we use a standard measurement called RT60. This measures how long it takes a room’s sound pressure level to be reduced by 60dB. If the measurement is .5, it takes half a second for the room to go from loud to quiet. .5 would be considered a dead room. A live room like a cathedral will have an RT60 in excess of 2. Acoustic panels help reduce the RT60 measurement of your room.
Keep in mind that a low RT60 does not necessarily always mean a room is good for producing, because RT60 doesn’t account for frequencies. For example: If you have an RT60 of 0.8, but high frequencies decay faster than that, and the low frequencies are the longest to decay, it’s not going to sound that great. RT60 is only part of the equation.
Also, keep in mind that the goal of Acoustic Treatment is not to simply deaden the space. A padded cell is not always ideal. The goal is to tune the room to tighten up the soundstage in your mixes and make your recordings sound better, because your room is giving an honest account of what your studio monitors are playing back, and the performances you record.
First things first: If your floor is made of hardwood, tile, or concrete, get an area rug. This will mitigate floor reflections.
If your goal is to clean up early reflections and focus the mixing soundstage, a single Absorber pack will accomplish that.Install one column to the left and one to the right of the mixing position in the reflective zone , and two behind the producer to take care of flutter echo (see ‘Where Should I Install These?” for more tips). This will also lower the RT60 in the room.
For example: A 12x12 drywall room with hardwood floor, no rug, and a 10-foot ceiling 10 foot ceilings will have a baseline RT60 of about 1.7. One Absorber pack will lower that RT60 to 1.07. This is the RT60 of an average cinema, so it makes a difference, but isn’t a completely dead room. Getting a double-wide pack of panels, or two single-wide Absorber packs would take the RT60 down to .82, which is a much more dead-sounding space, but not quite a vocal booth.
If your goal is to clean up the soundstage and improve your bass response, add a Bass Trap pack to the single Absorber pack. To really clean up the bass, get two Bass Trap packs to cover all four corners (two corner columns come in each pack).
For the best mixing and recording experience, you’ll want to get each solution: An Absorber pack to take care of unwanted reflections, a Bass Trap pack to take care of the muddy bass, and a Diffuser to give the mixing position a greater feeling of space, improve stereo imaging, and imbue a more pleasant liveliness to the room. Even better would be to get a second Absorber pack and mount it on the ceiling, to absorb any ceiling reflections. This room will still have some liveliness to it, but it will be focused and not muddy.
To make the room more dead, you can add more Absorber packs, or get add-on acoustic panels to stack two panel layers per column. In nearly any room, placing an Absorber panel every twelve inches will get the RT60 of your room under .3, which is as dead as a broadcast booth.
However, if your goal is a dead room, you absolutely need a Bass Trap at each corner, or it will be a very boomy-sounding dead room, which is not desirable.
In general, larger rooms will need more coverage if the goal is to make it dead, but as mentioned before, a single well-placed Absorber pack will go a long way in focusing up the soundstage and improving the clarity of your mixes and recordings.
Where Should I Install the Panels?
Where you should install the panels is determined by your mix position. Your mix position is the “sweet spot:” The place your head will be most of the time when you’re mixing, sitting in front of your desk and speakers.
In general, place your desk wherever it makes the most sense for your room to be a productive space. Try to make sure that studio monitors are a foot away from the wall behind them, and that the desk is centered on that wall, not in a corner. The walls to the left and right of your mixing position are ideally made from the same material. Try to avoid having any windows on either of those walls, because you can’t mount treatment to windows, and they’ll make your early reflections worse.
Early reflections are the first reflections you hear from the walls, ceiling and desk between you and your monitors. Early reflections smear the clarity of your soundstage. If you can see either of your monitors in the reflection of a window when you’re at your mix position, it may be worth moving everything around. Ideally, the wall directly behind you should also be one you can hang treatment on.
The Eco Absorbers mostly absorb mid to higher frequencies, which are more directional than lower frequencies. Absorbers tame early reflections, flutter echo and the general hollow-sounding nature of rooms. These will clean up the sound stage, and focus the airiness of your recordings.
The goal is to hear the studio monitors, and not early reflections from the walls on either side, or the ceiling above.
One easy trick is to get a mirror and put it where you think sound will bounce to your listening position. If you sit in your mixing position, and see your monitors in the mirror, that’s where an absorber should go.
Once you have those problem early reflective areas taken care of, you can proceed with outfitting the rest of your studio. If you have a single Absorber pack of four columns, use two of the columns to take care of the early reflections to your left and right, then place the other two on the back wall, equidistant from each other and the corners, to knock down flutter echo.
In general, you don’t want any two parallel walls to be totally untreated. This placement will put treatment on three walls, which will do that job.
A proper diffuser will give the producer or engineer sitting at the mixing position the illusion of mixing in a much bigger room. Think of them like virtual open windows behind, that let out certain frequencies.
However, not all diffusers are created equally. Simple shapes can be acoustically unpredictable. The Diffuser is tuned to bounce the frequencies of 850Hz to 3400Hz, which is pretty close to G5 through A7 on a keyboard. This is a range that tends to ring in small to average sized rooms, and is a very unpleasant range to have resonating.
For best results, mount the diffuser on the wall directly behind the mix position.
Non-directional low frequencies tend to resonate in corners. This bass build-up is problematic and results in muddy sound, so we need to remove it. This is done by catching the bass with Bass Traps, mounted in the corners.
De-Fi Bass Traps are open and multilayered. They absorb higher frequencies, much like absorbers, and trap frequencies behind, but the special sauce is in the sympathetic acoustic mass suspended between the corner and the Eco Panels. This limply suspended panel of heavy mass loaded vinyl absorbs lower frequencies in the corners, by sympathetically vibrating with the energy.
In conclusion: Absorbers will flank your mixing position, go behind as well as above. The Diffuser will go directly behind the mix position on the back wall. Bass Traps go in the corners.
Do I Have To Put Holes In My Wall?
In short: Yes. We recommend that you use the provided screws and anchors to mount our Absorbers, Bass Traps, and Diffusers to your wall or ceiling. This provides the most stable experience, and the holes can easily be patched with drywall putty.
If you have concerns about drilling holes into your wall, it is possible to hang the Absorbers using large-size 3M Command Strips. If you decide to take this risk, use two strips for the larger plates, and one strip per connector plate. Your walls must be relatively smooth, as jagged textures will not work well with the Command Strips. Do not mount Absorbers to the ceiling using Command Strips.
Please note: This is not an officially supported method and Output does not take responsibility for any damage sustained by this method. We highly recommend that you use the provided anchors and screws to mount your Absorbers if possible, as humidity and temperature can impact the longevity of Command Strips. Do not use Command Strips for Bass Traps or Diffusers.
Differences Between Single and Double Stack
Double stacking panels on your Absorber or Bass Trap will increase its absorption and effectiveness. This also allows you to mix and match different colors!
A single stack is an effective solution, with an NRC Rating (noise reduction coefficient) of .8, which is about the same as 2” thick flush mounted acoustic foam. However, adding another panel to the stack will increase this rating to .9, which is about the same as 3” thick foam. When compounded, the extra stack makes a noticeable difference.
What If I Don’t Have Drywall?
Our mounting system will still work even if you don’t have drywall. However, you will need to get the proper anchors for whatever material that your walls and ceiling are made of. Your local hardware store should carry all of these, and should be able to help you find the proper anchors. Once you have those, mount as you normally would.
With the proper anchor, you can attach just as you would if you had drywall.
Do Acoustic Panels Help Soundproof?
Acoustic treatment and soundproofing are two different things. Acoustic treatment makes your room sound better, while soundproofing prevents sound leakage.
De-Fi Eco Acoustic Panels will not soundproof your room or make much of a noticeable difference to your neighbors or outside your room. Soundproofing is generally much more involved and much more expensive, because it usually requires structural changes.Even if your room is soundproof, you’ll still need Acoustic treatment to make it sound good inside.
The Eco Absorber Panels have been tested in accordance with the ASTM E84-2017 standard, and have the highest Class A Interior rating.This means they have the lowest fire rate spread, and minimal smoke production.
What Are the Panels Made Of?
These panels are made of mostly post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate, which is the technical term for polyester, or PET. Virgin PET is required to make the panels stiff, but little as possible is used.
Are the Panels Safe To Touch?
Absolutely! Unlike fiberglass or other materials commonly used for acoustic treatment, PET is safe to touch, and will not flake off material that is hazardous to breathe. These panels are as safe to touch as a fleece jacket – which makes sense because they’re made of the same material!
Do These Work with Uneven Walls?
Yes —the mounts are built with extra room on the mounting shoulder of the dowel to account for uneven walls.
How Do I Get the Multicolor Look?
For the multicolor look, just order 12 add-on panels of a different color at checkout.
I Rent My Place, How Do I Install These?
At most, each Absorber or Bass Trap column will put eight holes into the wall.These screw holes are easily patchable and will do far less damage to your walls than adhesive. Most hardware stores have drywall hole fill kits where you can fill a hole more quickly than it takes to measure and drill the holes in the first place.
For more information, please read the section: “Do I Have To Put Holes In My Wall?”
How Do I Clean The Panels?
The panels are made from very similar materials that you would find in carpet. Therefore, care is much the same as with carpet. You can vacuum them, and if you stain them, a mild carpet cleaner should be able to do the job. If you use a cleaning product, make sure to test on a small part of the panel to make sure it doesn’t result in discoloration.
How Are These Packed?
You will receive your panels in multiple boxes. The Absorber mounts, Bass Trap mounts, and panels will arrive in different boxes. The Diffuser comes in one box.
Can I Upgrade To A Double Stack Later?
Yes! Please contact Output Support and they will set you up.
Are There Advantages To Double Width Panels?
Double width panels give you twice the coverage per mount. If you’re concerned about putting holes in your wall and want the most coverage for the least amount of mounts, these are probably your best option.
Will Double Width Panels Sag Over Time If Used on the Ceiling?
Depending on the temperature and humidity of your room, they might, but only in the cloud configuration, not if they’re hung on the wall. However, if you are concerned about the cloud sagging over time, the single wide panels will not sag regardless of environment or placement.
What If The Template Seems Off?
For the templates to work properly, your walls need to be flat, and the template needs lie very flat against the wall.
If your wall is uneven, there are ways to install without the templates:
For the Bass Trap mount, you can use the acoustic mass as a guide to hang the bass trap. This method is shown in the installation video.
- Make sure the top mount is level and attach to the corner.
- Compare the acoustic mass to the template to make sure that it is not upside down.
- Attach the mass to the top mount, and all of the other corner mounts.
- From here, you can mark each drill hole.
For the Absorber mounts, you can use the panels as guides. The connector mounts are designed to allow access to the screws when the panel above it is in place.
- Make sure all of the mounts are oriented properly as shown on the template.
- Hang the top mount, making sure it is level.
- Hang a panel from the top mount.
- Hang the two connector mounts from the bottom holes of the panel.
- Make sure the connector mounts are hanging straight down, and use them to mark the holes.
- Repeat for the next panels.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to chat or write into our Support team.