Technicon Acoustics, Inc. designs and manufactures customizable solutions for absorbing, isolating, and blocking acoustic and thermal energy. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of some of the industry’s most frequently used soundproofing and acoustical terms. Having a clear understanding of these terms will facilitate better communication during the product design process, ensuring a more individualized and optimized solution for your application.


  • Attenuation: Attenuation in reference to acoustics describes a frequency-dependent reduction in sound, or a sound’s diminished energy, as sound waves pass through a medium like absorptive urethane foam and glass fiber materials. To achieve attenuation, friction between air molecules and cellular or fibrous materials transforms that motion of molecules into thermal energy.
  • Audiometry: Audiometry is the measurement of an individual’s hearing acuity for different sound intensities, pitches, or frequencies.
  • Cutoff frequency: In reference to sound-absorbing foam wedges, or anechoic wedges, cutoff frequency describes the threshold frequency above which the normal-incidence sound absorption coefficient is no less than 0.990.
  • Doppler effect: The Doppler effect describes the change in sound frequency as a sound source and observer move toward or away from one another.
  • Extinction coefficient: The extinction coefficient, also known as the attenuation coefficient, is a measurement that indicates how strongly a substance absorbs or attenuates sound or light at a particular wavelength.
  • Haas effect: The Haas effect, also known as the precedence effect, describes the phenomenon in which a human perceives two independent sounds as a single auditory event if they are separated by a sufficiently short delay (20-40 milliseconds).
  • Human hearing range: In general, the audible spectrum of sound frequencies that humans can hear ranges from approximately 20 Hz to 20 kHz. However, this range can vary considerably between individuals and tends to gradually decline with age.
  • Impact noise: Impact noise describes the sound that results from the vibrations of an object’s impact against a surface within a room. Those vibrations allow the sound to pass through the room’s structure. For example, in buildings, footsteps or dropped objects generate sounds that travel through the floor.
  • Kerf or kerf cut: Kerf cuts are slits or notches at the edge of acoustical panels that allow for the insertion of a spline. The panel can then be connected to additional panels while maintaining a continuous, level surface at each joint.
  • Mass-loaded vinyl: Mass-loaded vinyl is a heavy, high-density material that effectively blocks or contains sound waves. This flexible soundproofing solution can be applied directly to floors, walls, ceilings, and other surfaces to keep sounds confined within a space and minimize transmission.
  • Noise floor: In reference to signal theory, identifying the noise floor means measuring the signal that results from the total sum of all sources of noise and background transmissions in a system. In this context, noise refers to all signals except that of the signal you’re monitoring.
  • Sones rating: A sone is a unit of measure that describes the loudness of a sound as perceived by the human ear, where one sone is equivalent to approximately 1,000 Hz at 40 decibels over the typical reference level. Items like fans typically have sones ratings. For example, a bathroom fan with a sone rating of 0.5 is very quiet, while a 5 rating constitutes a loud fan.

Acoustic and Thermal Solutions from Technicon Acoustics

Using the latest manufacturing technology, Technicon Acoustics has the advanced capabilities and value-added services needed to create industry-leading parts for a range of soundproofing and thermal insulation applications. For more information, request a quote today or contact Technicon Acoustics at:

4412 Republic Court

Concord, NC 28027