Best Acoustic Foam Panels for Pro and Home Studios

Acoustic foam panels are the best tools you can use to reduce audio discrepancies in a room. When soundwaves interact with solid surfaces, they simply bounce off, resulting in all sorts of distortions. Acoustic foam is one of the materials that can effectively trap soundwaves in its complex structure, thereby reducing reverberations and echoes.

Acoustic foams are usually cut in small panels with wedge or pyramid patterns. However, there are larger sheets and other patterns, too. Today, we’ll explore everything you need to know before purchasing acoustic foam panels and highlight the best products on the market.

FEATURED PRODUCTS:

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Fstop Labs Acoustic Panels, 2" X 12" X 12" Acoustic Foam Panels,...
12 Pack Self-adhesive Sound Proof Foam Panels, Fast Expand, 2" X 12" X...
12 Pack Self-adhesive Acoustic Foam Panels, 12 X 12 X 2 Inches...
Pattern
Wedges
Pyramids
Groove
Thickness
2″ thick
2″ thick
2″ thick
NRC
NRC 0.92
NRC 0.92
NRC 0.80
Image
Fstop Labs Acoustic Panels, 2" X 12" X 12" Acoustic Foam Panels,...
Product
Pattern
Wedges
Thickness
2″ thick
NRC
NRC 0.92
Image
12 Pack Self-adhesive Sound Proof Foam Panels, Fast Expand, 2" X 12" X...
Product
Pattern
Pyramids
Thickness
2″ thick
NRC
NRC 0.92
Image
12 Pack Self-adhesive Acoustic Foam Panels, 12 X 12 X 2 Inches...
Pattern
Groove
Thickness
2″ thick
NRC
NRC 0.80

Things to Consider Before Buying Acoustic Foam Panels

Now that we’ve established the significance of acoustic foam panels in sound management, let’s delve into key factors to consider before making a purchase.

Material Quality

The quality of the material used in acoustic foam panels is paramount and should not be overlooked. High-quality materials not only ensure longevity but also maintain their softness and sound-absorbing abilities over time, which is crucial for achieving consistent acoustic performance.

When evaluating the material quality, you need to consider the density and composition of the foam. In general, look for panels made from high-density polyurethane foam or other reputable materials known for their acoustic properties. These materials are less likely to degrade or lose their effectiveness over time.

Furthermore, pay attention to the craftsmanship and manufacturing processes. Well-constructed panels with precision-cut edges and minimal imperfections will provide a more seamless and effective acoustic solution.

Finally, it’s worth noting that in some cases, the materials used in acoustic panels, particularly those of lower quality, may initially emit a mild chemical odor. However, this odor is non-harmful and dissipates almost immediately upon installation.

Thickness

There are panels with different levels of thickness that you can purchase. And it goes without saying that the thicker the panel is – the better the effect will be.

If you want to dampen high- to mid-range frequencies, then 1- or 2-inch panels may suffice. On the other hand, you’ll need thicker foam to deal with low-frequency sounds.

But before jumping to a conclusion and buying the thickest panels you can find, you might also want to consider where you want to use them.

For instance, thicker foam panels might be a good choice if you have enough room, so you don’t mind them sticking out of the wall. However, if space is at a premium, you might have no choice but to pick a thinner version.

Pattern

The most common acoustic foam patterns are pyramids and wedges. The first ones are probably more popular, but I prefer the later version as I find it more aesthetically pleasing.

If you don’t like the standard look, you can find other patterns too, not to mention plain panels. Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to only one pattern. Just play around and combine them – get in touch with your creative inner self.

You’re probably impatient to find out how patterns affect the performance of the foam panels. It’s pretty simple – they don’t. Hence, the only parameter you should go by is the aesthetics.

Additionally, please keep in mind that because of the shape of the pattern, some panels might have spaces that are hard to reach and difficult to clean.

NRC Rating

NRC stands for “noise reduction coefficient.” It represents the rating of how much sound the panels can absorb and is a result of extensive laboratory testing. You can find the NRC information in the product description of any reputable brand. 

The NRC scale ranges from 0 to 1, making it straightforward to interpret. For example, acoustic foam panels with an NRC rating of 0.80 can absorb 80% of the sound waves that come into contact with them, reflecting only 20%.

Basically, the higher the number, the greater the absorption. Therefore, you should consider this parameter quite seriously.

Size and Quantity

The foam panels are usually sold in packs. But, the number of panels in each pack may vary based on the brand. Typically, the pack can have 6, 12, or 24 panels.

When it comes to the size, each panel will be either 1 or 2 square feet or will have dimensions of 2 by 4 feet. The size of a single panel won’t matter much. However, it will affect the amount of time and work you will need for installation. For example, mounting two larger panels will take you less time than mounting twelve smaller ones.

Before heading out to buy the foam panels, I suggest you take the necessary measurements. That will give you a rough idea of the number and size of panels you must purchase.

Adhesive

When it comes to installation, it’s essential to consider whether the panels come with self-adhesive backing or not.

Some acoustic foam panels feature a convenient self-adhesive backing, making installation a breeze. You can simply peel off the protective layer and stick them to your desired surface. However, others may require additional adhesive or mounting hardware for secure attachment.

Be sure to check the product specifications and your room’s requirements before making a decision.

Price

Finally, let’s discuss the price of these acoustic foam products. They are very affordable, with prices ranging anywhere between $15 and $30 for a pack that covers 12 square feet.

The price mainly depends on the size of the packaging, thickness, and brand.

Best acoustic foam panels for soundproofing a studio or home theater.

Top 10 Acoustic Foam Panels on the Market

Without further ado, let’s check out the best acoustic foam panels available right now.

1. Fstop Labs Wedge Acoustic Foam Panels

Fstop Labs Acoustic Panels, 2" X 12" X 12" Acoustic Foam Panels, Studio Wedge Tiles, Sound Panels wedges Soundproof Foam Padding Sound Insulation Absorbing (12 Pack, Black)

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Polyurethane foam
  • Pattern: Wedges
  • NRC: 0.92
  • Thickness: 2 inches
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 12 (or 24)
  • Color: Black (and 3 other colors)
  • Price: Check on Amazon

This acoustic foam tiles from Fstop Labs are pretty much the most standard product you’ll find in this category. What sets them apart is their thickness; these 12-inch squares are a substantial 2 inches thick, making them more effective than thinner alternatives.

In fact, they boast an impressive average NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating of 0.92, indicating their superior sound-absorbing capabilities.

Each pack contains twelve tiles, and if you need more coverage, there’s also a convenient 24-pack option available.

In any case, the set is full of wedge-style panels you have to install in alternating directions. The added thickness means that the wedges will cut about an inch into the foam, leaving the base about an inch thick.

The set comes in four different solid colors including black, blue, grey, and purple. There are no mixed options available. But of course, you can always mix and match the tiles by getting one black and one blue pack, for example.

Check out the Fstop Labs Acoustic Panels on Amazon.

2. IZO All Supply Convoluted Acoustic Foam Panels

12 Pack Egg Crate Foam Charcoal 1 Inch x 12" W x12" L Acoustic Foam Panels Recording Studio Foam

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Polyurethane foam
  • Pattern: Convoluted
  • NRC: 0.40
  • Thickness: 1 inch
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 12 (6- and 48-pack options)
  • Color: Black
  • Price: Check on Amazon

The convoluted tiles from IZO All Supply are similar to the egg crate style you might have seen on the market before. However, since these tiles are fairly thin, the pattern resembles waves more than anything else.

These panels measure approximately half an inch at their lowest height, gradually increasing to just over an inch at their highest point. In terms of acoustic performance, these panels hold an NRC rating of 0.40, which is considered standard. In practical terms, they are capable of mitigating around 40% of incoming soundwaves, with a stronger effectiveness against higher frequencies.

Each package includes twelve 12-inch squares, providing ample coverage for your acoustic needs. Additionally, there are options to purchase packs containing 6 or 48 tiles, offering flexibility in quantity. However, when it comes to colors, there are not as many choices available, as only one color, charcoal, is currently offered.

Like many other products on this list, these tiles have been tested and approved in accordance with the requirements of CAL 117. Those procedures test the flammability of materials that can be used to upholster furniture. So that should tell you that these tiles won’t make matters worse in the event of a house fire.

Take a look at the IZO All Supply Panels on Amazon.

3. ZHERMAO Pyramid Acoustic Foam Panels

12 Pack Self-adhesive Sound Proof Foam Panels, Fast Expand, 2" X 12" X 12" Acoustic Panels High Density, Acoustic Foam Fire-Retardant, Pyramid Design Soundproof Wall Panels, Sound Absorbs Studio Foam

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Polyethylene foam
  • Pattern: Pyramids
  • NRC: 0.92
  • Thickness: 2 inches
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 12 (24- and 36-pack option available)
  • Color: Black
  • Price: Check on Amazon

Similar to the previous set of acoustic panels, the ZHERMAO Pyramid Acoustic Foam Panels feature an egg-crate structure, but with a more traditional pyramid shape. However, two significant features set this product apart from the previous one.

Firstly, the ZHERMAO panels are approximately two inches thick, significantly increasing their sound-absorbing capabilities compared to one-inch panels. In fact, they boast an impressive NRC rating of 0.92, indicating their excellent acoustic performance.

Additionally, these tiles come equipped with self-adhesive tape on the back, making them easy to hang on a wall. The installation process is straightforward: peel off the protective layer and press the panel onto the wall.

These panels maintain a standard size of 12 by 12 inches, and you have the option to choose from three packaging sizes: 12-pack, 24-pack, or 36-pack. The manufacturer notes that the panels may have a slight odor when first opened, but this odor dissipates over time.

See the ZHERMAO Acoustic Foam on Amazon.

4. Pro Studio Acoustics Wedge Acoustic Foam Panels

Pro Studio Acoustics - Blue / Charcoal - 12"x12"x2" Acoustic Wedge Foam Absorption Soundproofing Tiles - 12 Pack

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Acoustic foam
  • Pattern: Wedges
  • NRC: 0.65
  • Thickness: 2 inches
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 12
  • Color: Blue and charcoal mix
  • Price: Check on Amazon

As we have established, most wedge-style acoustic foam panels have twelve peaks and valleys. However, these Pro Studio Acoustics tiles only have six, even though they’re the same size as all the other panels we’ve seen so far.

The chunky appearance of the wedges could make some people like this product more than regular wedge-style panels. However, if you’d like to see the design in a particular color, you may be out of luck. Unfortunately, the tiles only come in the standard blue and charcoal mixed color set.

The manufacturer claims an NRC rating of 0.65 for these tiles, suggesting that they can absorb approximately 65% of soundwaves within the room. This rating is lower compared to the Fstop Labs Wedge Panels, which feature 12 peaks and valleys. It remains uncertain whether this discrepancy in rating is a result of the number of peaks and valleys.

Notably, these panels are sold in packs of 12, and unlike most other products, they are delivered uncompressed and ready for immediate use.

View the Pro Studio Acoustics Foam Panels on Amazon.

5. JBER Pyramid Acoustic Foam Panels

JBER Acoustic Sound Foam Panels, 24 Pack 2" X 12" X 12" Red and Black Soundproofing Treatment Studio Wall Padding Sound Absorbing Fireproof Pyramid Acoustic Treatment

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Pattern: Pyramids
  • NRC: N/A
  • Thickness: 2 inches
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 24 (or 6)
  • Color: Charcoal and blue mix (and 2 other options)
  • Price: Check on Amazon

If you liked the chunky design of the previous product, but not the wedge style, you may prefer this acoustic tile set instead. These 12-inch square panels have a 6 by 6 pyramid grid set into 2 inches of foam.

But don’t be surprised if they don’t look like much when you take them out of the box. The manufacturer ships them compressed by a third of their size. So let them breathe for a bit while you figure out how you’re going to position them on your wall. At least you won’t have to worry about positioning them correctly, which isn’t something you could have said about wedge-style panels.

The only thing you’d have to worry about is the color pattern when you arrange the tiles on your wall. Even that would only be a concern if you ordered the mixed charcoal and blue (or red) set. Your only other option would be to get the solid charcoal package, which would be a pretty safe choice.

Moreover, the charcoal set is currently available in 6 and 24-piece packs, whereas the colored options are only available in the larger quantity.

Explore the JBER Pyramid Acoustic Foam Panels on Amazon.

6. VALLEY LINCO+ Groove Acoustic Foam Panels

12 Pack Self-adhesive Acoustic Foam Panels, 12 X 12 X 2 Inches Broadband Sound Absorbing Foam Noise Cancelling, Dense Soundproof Tile, Recording Studio Foam Absorber, Groove Decorative 3D Wall Panels

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Polyurethane foam
  • Pattern: Groove
  • NRC: 0.80
  • Thickness: 2 inches
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 12 (or 24)
  • Color: Black
  • Price: Check on Amazon

For those seeking a departure from the classic wedge and pyramid-style patterns, VALLEY LINCO+ offers a unique “groove pattern” in their acoustic panels, a design that has been gaining popularity recently.

This distinctive pattern increases the contact area between the panel and soundwaves, resulting in improved sound absorption capabilities. Additionally, these panels boast a higher density, contributing to their remarkable NRC rating of 0.80, signifying their impressive acoustic performance.

What sets these panels apart is their convenience – they come equipped with self-adhesive tape on the back, eliminating the need for additional tools during installation. You have the flexibility to choose between a standard pack of 12 panels or a larger 24-panel pack, ensuring that you have the right quantity for your acoustic needs.

View the selection of VALLEY LINCO+ Panels on Amazon.

7. Foamily Large Egg Crate Acoustic Foam Panels


Foamily Acoustic Foam Egg Crate Panel Not Compressed - Studio Foam - Sound Panel - Sound Proof - 48" X 24" X 2.5" (4 Pack)

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Polyethylene foam
  • Pattern: Egg Crate
  • NRC: N/A
  • Thickness: 2.5 inches
  • Size: 48 x 24 inches
  • No of Panels: 4
  • Color: Charcoal
  • Price: Check on Amazon

Now, this Foamily product promises to be the only set of acoustic foam panels you’ll ever need. In addition to being 2.5 inches thick, these panels are also the largest ones we’ve had on this list. That should make up for the fact that there are only four of them in a pack.

After all, when you have four 24 by 48-inch panels — what more do you need? You can put one behind your computer, two on the sides of the room where the sound will be most likely to bounce off the wall, and the last piece can go right behind your seat. Of course, that suggestion assumes that you have positioned your computer and speakers against one wall and are surrounded by the others. So it doesn’t account for irregular room shapes and furnishings.

There is one additional benefit of getting large acoustic foam panels. You can cut them down to whatever size you need them to be! So if you’re building an acoustic studio booth or a foam shield for a microphone, these panels would be perfect. The convoluted surface design would easily bend and maintain its efficacy no matter how you shape it.

The only potential disadvantage to getting these panels is that they only come in a predictable charcoal color.

See the Foamily Large Acoustic Foam Panels on Amazon.

8. Fstop Labs Beveled Acoustic Foam Panels

12 Pack - Acoustic Foam Panels, 2" X 12" X 12" 3D Beveled Square Studio Wedge Tiles, Sound Panels wedges Soundproof Sound Insulation Absorber

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Polyurethane foam
  • Pattern: Beveled 
  • NRC: 0.92
  • Thickness: 2 inches
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 12
  • Color: Charcoal
  • Price: Check on Amazon

At this point, you’ve seen many different three-dimensional designs that can be cut into foam to eliminate the flatness of your walls. With that in mind, you might think that a flat tile wouldn’t be as effective at absorbing sound as the other products on this list. However, these beveled tiles from Fstop Labs might just prove you wrong!

The 2-inch thick panels have a density of 50 pounds per cubic yard, which is probably how they earned an NRC rating of 0.92. However, if you want these tiles to be as effective as they can be, you’ll have to wait for them to expand. The manufacturer vacuum seals the tiles so you’ll either have to give them a day or two to expand or soak them in water then wring them dry.

These panels are available in different designs and colors. You can opt for the flat tiles with beveled sides in a charcoal color, available in a 12-piece pack. Alternatively, you can choose the mushroom-shaped design, which has all the features I’ve explained above. However, that one comes in packs of 12,24, or 48 pieces and is available in four different colors.

Explore the Fstop Labs Beveled Panels on Amazon.

9. JBER Beveled Acoustic Foam Tiles

JBER Acoustic Studio Foam, 24 Pack 2" X 12" X 12" Round C-Panel Sound Foam Panels Soundproofing Treatment Studio Wall Padding Sound Absorbing Fireproof Pyramid Wedge Tiles

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Fiberglass, polyurethane
  • Pattern: Beveled
  • NRC: N/A
  • Thickness: 2 inches
  • Size: 12 x 12 inches
  • No of Panels: 24
  • Color: Charcoal
  • Price: Check on Amazon

Now that you know the benefits of using a beveled design, I won’t have to convince you to get these JBER tiles. They should have pretty much the same properties as the previous product on the list. Still, let’s go over the features of these acoustic foam panels.

The only notable difference between these tiles and the previous one is that the slope of the sides is perhaps a bit gentler. Other than that, this product is fairly similar to the one above. You’ll get either six or twenty-four 12-inch squares in a set. But if you happen to like this product, you’ll have to order it in the standard charcoal grey as no other colors are available.

Notably, the manufacturer has noted that you’ll have to let their tiles decompress after you take them out of their packaging. As you may recall, JBER products are compressed by a third of their size. So you’ll have to let them breathe or wet them to get them up to their full 2-inch thickness.

See the JBER Beveled Tiles on Amazon.

10. Mybecca Decorative Acoustic Foam Panels

Mybecca 2 Pack Decorative Acoustic Panels Soundproofing Studio Foam Wedges 3" X 12" X 24" (Decorative Baffle Kit) - Made in Usa - Color Charcoal

KEY FEATURES

  • Material: Acoustic foam
  • Pattern: Wedges and wings
  • NRC: N/A
  • Thickness: 3 inches
  • Size: 12 x 24 inches
  • No of Panels: 2+4
  • Color: Grey
  • Price: Check on Amazon

Lastly, we have this decorative baffle kit from Mybecca. It contains six pieces that come together to form two panels. The core pieces are rectangular wedge-style panels though the cutouts are square rather than triangular. Additionally, the core pieces have two wings each, which act as bevels for the shorter sides of the middle piece.

When you put these panels up on your walls, they’ll come in at about 12 by 24 inches. The middle pieces are about 3 inches thick, which should provide plenty of sound absorption.

However, you should keep in mind that these products are mostly decorative (even though they only come in grey). You would ideally use them in conjunction with matching Mybecca acoustic foam products.

View the Mybecca Decorative Acoustic Foam Panels on Amazon.

ALTERNATIVE: You might also want to check out these sound-absorbing fabric panels. They come in larger dimensions and more attractive shapes than foam products do. Besides, they often come in nicer colors — and you can even make your own fabric covers for them pretty easily.

How to Properly Set Up Your Acoustic Foam Panels

So, you’ve discovered the ideal acoustic panels. Now, let’s delve into how to set them up properly to achieve the best results.

Acoustic foam panels - How to mount acoustic foam to walls.

Placement

Determining the optimal placement for your acoustic panels is crucial. You have the flexibility to mount them in various locations, including walls, doors, ceilings, or even on furniture. However, the key to effective placement typically hinges on identifying the reflection points within your space.

If you are trying to set up a home theater or a studio for recordings, make sure to do a couple of tests to figure out where those points are. You can find detailed tutorials online to get some tips on how to do this properly.

In the end, the best way to figure it out is through experimentation. Take your time and move the panels around until you are perfectly happy with the result. For that reason, it’s recommended to use the Command Strips. With these strips, moving the panels around is not a big issue at all. What’s more, you won’t destroy them after a single installation.

Installation

If you have purchased acoustic foam panels with self-adhesive backing, the installation process is quite straightforward. Simply peel off the backing and mount the panels onto the desired surface. It’s important to avoid removing the panels too frequently, as excessive handling may damage the adhesive and cause the panels to come loose.

In cases where the panels do not come with self-adhesive backing, you will need to handle the mounting yourself, and you have a few options to consider. While using glue or nails is possible, these methods can potentially damage both your wall and the panels. As a more suitable alternative, consider using Command Strips.

Command Strips offer a versatile solution for mounting various items on your wall, including foam panels. They are not only easy to apply but also simple to remove when needed.

To use them, start by removing the protective backing from one side of the strip and press it firmly onto the foam panel. Repeat this process for the other strip and attach it to the wall. You can then press the tapes on the strips to securely mount the panel.

If you are hesitant about attaching Command Strips directly to your foam panels, you can use cardboard as a buffer between them. Purchase cardboard, preferably A1-sized, as these are often designed for mounting artworks. Apply the Command Strips to the back of the cardboard, and then use a spray adhesive to affix the cardboard to your foam panels. Finally, clip the cardboard-mounted panels onto the strips already mounted on the wall.

For additional guidance on working with Command Strips, consider watching this instructional video.

Other FAQs About Acoustic Foam

Before concluding the article, let’s address some additional questions about acoustic foam panels and acoustic foam in general.

What Is Acoustic Foam Made Of?

Acoustic foam is typically crafted from polyurethane-based materials, such as polyether, polyester, and extruded melamine. These materials give acoustic foam its unique open-cell structure, both on the surface and within.

What Does Acoustic Foam Do?

Acoustic foam is engineered to absorb and dampen sound waves, improving acoustic clarity and reducing reverberations. When sound waves penetrate acoustic foam, they become trapped within its small cells, where they spin, bounce, and rub with the foam’s structure. This interaction causes a substantial loss of energy, resulting in only a minimal portion of sound waves being reflected back into the room.

Does Acoustic Foam Block Sound?

Acoustic foam, although it is often referred to as soundproof foam, does not block sound from passing through. To completely block sound, you need a thick, solid, and dense barrier, preferably in multiple layers. Acoustic foam panels are notably soft, lightweight, and porous, which makes them unsuitable for blocking sound. Their primary purpose is sound absorption, not sound blocking. For further information on this topic, you can explore this article.

What Is the Difference Between Acoustic Foam and Regular Foam?

Acoustic foam is purpose-designed for sound absorption, featuring specialized structures that reduce reflections and echoes. In contrast, regular foam serves various purposes such as cushioning and insulation, and while it possesses some sound-absorbing properties, they are not as effective as those of acoustic foam.

Best Sound-Absorbing Materials

In Conclusion

Acoustic foam panels are budget-friendly, simple to install, and highly effective. Yet, their success depends on your panel choice aligning with your specific needs.

We’ve discussed several factors to consider, like material quality and installation methods. With this knowledge, you can confidently explore the recommended top acoustic foam panels from earlier in the article. Each of these options offers unique features to cater to your specific requirements.

So, make an informed decision, select the right acoustic foam panels, and set off on your journey towards improved acoustic quality in your home or studio.

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