What is a sound deflector?

Concert halls use sound deflectors to improve acoustics.

A sound deflector is a device designed to muffle or at least greatly reduce noise. Most people are familiar with some type of sound deflector because they are an important part of reducing noise pollution in daily life. One of the most visible forms a sound deflector takes is along highways, where large walls are built to reduce leakage of traffic noise into surrounding areas. The sound deflector is also used in soundproofing studios, to reduce noise from neighboring apartments with shared walls, and to improve acoustics in concert halls.

The sound deflector is sometimes used to reduce noise from neighboring apartments with shared walls.

In the 1970s, engineers began designing computer models of acoustic situations such as performance venues and highways. They could see that making subtle manipulations to the angle of construction and the materials used could have a profound impact on how noise traveled, and sound deflectors began to be implemented in large engineering projects. Basic understanding of acoustics has been around for centuries, but these engineers were able to accurately predict and model it, allowing for a better quality of life. Today, engineers continue to refine the sound deflector design.

Excessive noise pollution can make it difficult to sleep.

In much of the world, noise pollution is a serious problem, thanks to the large number of motor vehicles, manufacturing centers and other sources of noise. Excessive noise pollution can cause hearing problems, circulatory problems, difficulty sleeping, irritability and other problems. For this reason, many homes are built with environmental noise in mind and integrate soundproofing measures such as thick walls, windows that don’t face large sources of noise, and landscaping that helps deflect sound. This helps control noise at one end of the spectrum; a sound deflector strategically placed at the source of the noise can also greatly reduce noise pollution.

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Excessive noise pollution can cause irritability.

When used to reduce the amount of noise or reverberation, a sound deflector is usually made of thick, absorbent material. The material does not allow sound waves to penetrate it as readily and also prevents the waves from returning to the source. Sound deflectors that follow this design are often installed in offices to reduce the sound of humming voices and equipment, along with schools and other public buildings that host large numbers of people.

Excessive noise pollution can cause hearing problems.

A sound deflector can also be used to improve acoustic quality. In addition to preventing reverberation, well-placed sound deflectors can greatly improve sound quality in a performance space. Most large presentation spaces have reconfigurable sound deflectors, allowing you to customize the environment for the presentation. Installing sound deflectors also helps to reduce off-site noise that can disrupt your presentation. In performance venues, sound-absorbing deflectors are combined with deflectors designed to deflect or reflect sound to the audience, enhancing the acoustics of the performance.

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