How to Build Your Own Acoustic Panels (DIY)
Make Cheap, Easy, Attractive DIY Sound Absorption Wall Panels
Revised and updated May 01, 2021
Equipment List (per panel)
- (one) 2 ft. x 4 ft. x 2 in. fiberglass or rockwool absorption panel (click for examples)
- (two) 1 in. x 2 in. x 8 ft. wood furring strips
- wood glue
- (four) wood screws (#6 x 1-1/4″ flat head phillips)
- (two) 20-lb rated picture frame hangers
- (two) Heavy duty D-ring hangers w/ screws
- 62” length of fabric, minimum 36” width
- spray adhesive
Total Cost is about $20 per panel, or $2.50 per square foot.
Suitable applications for sound absorption panels include:
- Reducing slap-back echo and reverberation in large halls, auditoriums, and contemporary churches
- Reducing chatter, din, and noise in crowded gathering spaces, restaurants, or bars
- Providing more accurate listening conditions in recording studios and control rooms
Commercially-manufactured sound absorption panels are available in two common varieties:
– For human voices, crowds of people, and speech use 1” absorber thickness
The essential elements of a sound absorption panel include:
Step 1: Select a sound-absorbing core material
The sound absorbing core material must have the following characteristics:
- Dense fiberglass or mineral fiber board insulation (not loose batt)
- 3lb to 8lb per cubic foot density (6-8 pcf is optimal)
- 2” thickness
Three acceptable material options include:
Owens Corning Fiberglas 705 6lb pcf, 2″ thick: ~ $3.00 per square foot.
ROCKWOOL/ROXUL Rockboard 80, 8lb pcf, 2″ thick: ~ $1.00 per square foot.
Johns Manville Inusul-Shield 600 2″ UNfaced 6lb pcf, 2″ thick: ~ $3.00 per square foot.
125 Hz = 0.39 125 Hz = 0.16 125 Hz = 0.38
250 Hz = 0.84 250 Hz = 0.71 250 Hz = 0.93
500 Hz = 1.08 500 Hz = 1.02 500 Hz = 1.10
1000 Hz = 1.01 1000 Hz = 1.01 1000 Hz = 1.07
2000 Hz = 1.02 2000 Hz = 0.99 2000 Hz = 1.07
4000 Hz = 1.01 4000 Hz = 0.99 4000 Hz = 1.07
Step 2: Build a wood frame around each panel
- For each corner:
- Pre-drill a pilot hole for one corner to ensure alignment and prevent the wood from splitting.
- Apply wood glue.
- Screw wood segments together.
- Allow 24 hours for wood glue and spray adhesive to dry.
Step 3: Select a sound-transparent fabric; wrap the panel
- Must be “breathable” and sound-transparent
- Ensure that your fiberglass panel is not visible through the fabric
To stretch the fabric to your panel:
- Lay a 62” length of fabric (face down) on the floor.
- Place your framed panel on top of the fabric with the flat/level/even side facing up.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the top and bottom edges, taking care to neatly fold each corner.
- Apply spray adhesive underneath the remaining loose fabric areas on the back side of the panel.
NOTE: Apply spray adhesive to BACK side only, NOT front face.
Step 4: Mount the panel to your wall or ceiling