Excessive reverberation time, which can be calculated, can lead to poor speech intelligibility.
Architectural acoustics can be about achieving good speech intelligibility in a theatre, restaurant or railway station, enhancing the quality of music in a concert hall or recording studio, or suppressing noise to make offices and homes more productive and pleasant places to work and live in.
Sound reflections create standing waves that produce natural resonances that can be heard as a pleasant sensation or an annoying one. Reflective surfaces can be angled and coordinated to provide good coverage of sound for a listener in a concert hall or music recital space. To illustrate this concept consider the difference between a modern large office meeting room or lecture theater and a traditional classroom with all hard surfaces.
Interior building surfaces can be constructed of many different materials and finishes. Ideal acoustical panels are those without a face or finish material that interferes with the acoustical infill or substrate.Fabric covered panels are one way to heighten acoustical absorption. Perforated metal also shows sound absorbing qualities. Finish material is used to cover over the acoustical substrate. Mineral fiber board, or Micore, is a commonly used acoustical substrate. Finish materials often consist of fabric, wood or acoustical tile. Fabric can be wrapped around substrates to create what is referred to as a “pre-fabricated panel” and often provides good noise absorption if laid onto a wall and ceiling.