10 Best Acoustic Panels in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
No matter how many rugs, soundproofing curtains, or throw pillows you add to a room, some places just don’t have good acoustics. If you’ve been having trouble improving the sound in your recording studio, it’s high time to invest in a set of acoustic panels.
The right acoustic panels can make a difference not just for recording sound but also in professional spaces. They eliminate disruptive echoes and ensure you can hear exactly what you want.
We’ve included in-depth reviews of the top 10 acoustic panels this year to make your choice easier.
A Glance at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||ATS Acoustic Panel||
|Best Value||Gator 12" x 12" Acoustic Pyramid Panels||
|Premium Choice||Auralex Deluxe Plus Roominator Kit||
|Auralex Wave Cave Royale||
|Primacoustic Broadway Scatter Blocks||
The 10 Best Acoustic Panels
1. ATS Acoustic Panel – Best Overall
|Size:||22 x 48 inches|
There’s a lot that makes these ATS Acoustic Panels the best overall acoustic panels on our list. They’re superior to all other options on the market, with an NRC rating of 1.
The ATS Acoustic Panels are made from a solid wood frame and jute, a vegetable-based fabric. You can count on these panels to last a long time while blending in better than egg-crate panels.
Plus, these panels don’t just offer efficiency but look great, too. Since they’re available in black, camel, shell, and wine shades, you can find the perfect set to match your room’s aesthetics. However, some users detail that their black panels absorb sound and light, which is ideal for rooms with multiple screens.
It’s worth noting that the hardware included in the kit isn’t ideal for attaching these panels. Instead, a simple drywall screw is a much easier alternative.
- Variety of colors available
- Best NRC rating
- Included hardware is not reliable
2. Gator 12″ x 12″ Acoustic Pyramid Panels – Best Value
|Size:||12 x 12 inches|
The Gator 12″ x 12″ Acoustic Pyramid Panels are precisely what you need from acoustic panels on a budget. Their soft, pliable foam makes installing these lightweight panels a breeze, even without a stud. Moreover, they’re affordable, as you’ll need to buy multiple packs of four for better coverage.
Their versatile design makes them ideal for all recording and listening spaces, such as podcasting, broadcasting, streaming, and home studio. Not only that, but they are also suitable for drum rooms, control rooms, vocal booths, and rehearsal spaces.
They’ve especially proven helpful in recording studios, helping with note separation, clarity, acoustic recording, and echo elimination. The 3D pyramid design provides ample surface area for maximum sound absorption. Plus, you can count on these panels to last since they have a class A flammability rating under ASTM-E84 testing standards.
The Gator 12″ x 12″ Acoustic Pyramid Panels are available in three colors—burgundy, charcoal, and red—making them the best acoustic panels for the money. However, it’s also important to remember that only four panels won’t provide ample sound absorption, so you’ll need to invest in a few extra packs.
- Variety of colors available
- Flame retardant
- Budget option
- Needs more panels for optimum performance
3. Auralex Deluxe Plus Roominator Kit – Premium Choice
|Size:||2 x 2 feet|
The Auralex Deluxe Plus Roominator Kit is a premium choice for all beginners setting up a recording or listening space. It includes 24 wedge Studiofoam panels, eight LENRD bass traps, six T Fusers, and adhesive.
Auralex also offers a free room analysis, considering the dimensions of your room before sending a layout diagram showing the optimum location for each panel. This takes most of the effort and guesswork out of the setup, making the process much easier for you.
The kit’s effectiveness is undeniable, absorbing all echoes and unnecessary sounds perfectly and creating a crisp result. Because of its impeccable sound quality, you’ll only need to place a few panels throughout the room instead of blanketing each wall full of panels.
Its quality makes it an excellent pick for those that share a wall with neighbors. It effortlessly eliminates outside noise that may pollute your recordings. In addition, this kit is ideal for beginners as Auralex does half of the setup for you, which makes the high price justifiable.
- Free room analysis by Auralex
- Ideal for beginners
- Best at stopping sound leakage
4. Auralex Wave Cave Royale
|Size:||12 x 24 inches|
Need an acoustic panel that offers aesthetics without compromising on functionality? Look no further than the Auralex Wave Cave Royale, which combines appearance and effectiveness to create the perfect set of acoustic panels. They’re the ideal contemporary take on the conventional acoustic panel.
These panels include an air pocket which improves the overall sound attenuation. As a result, the absorption rate is impeccable, eliminating even the harshest of echoes. In addition, they’re ideal for reducing noise from adjacent rooms.
However, there is one thing you must take care of with these acoustic panels. Their Wave Cave design leaves little surface area for applying adhesive, which causes the panels to fall sooner than later. But luckily, stronger adhesives can solve this issue quickly.
So, if you’re looking for an attractive-looking acoustic panel, don’t let this one thing stop you. Also, this model has a stylish rectangular design, so you’re definitely in for a treat.
- Air pocket improves overall sound absorption
- Eliminates harsh echo
- Attractive design
- Picks up a little reverb
- Small surface area for mounting
5. Primacoustic Broadway Scatter Blocks
|Size:||12 x 12 inches|
|Colors:||2 (Black and beige)|
If you’re looking for the best coverage acoustic panels, the Primacoustic Broadway Scatter Blocks come in a box of 24 12×12 panels. This amount is sufficient for even the loudest of environments.
Typically, it’s rare that you’ll need more than 30% of wall coverage for your acoustic panels. Most professional spaces can even benefit from just 15%–20%. But with these acoustic panels, you can benefit from more coverage if you live in a bustling area or need to record quieter content.
Plus, since they’re made from high-density fiberglass wool with a 0.8 NRC rating, you can count on some impeccable sound absorption. Primacoustic also offers layout advice on their website, making the setup easier for beginners.
The Primacoustic Broadway Scatter Blocks work ideally in all applications but specialize in vocals. These are the perfect panels when you need soft diffusion without killing the room. They’re available in beige shades, too, in case their black option dulls your room.
- Made from high-density fiberglass wool
- Comes in a pack of 24
- Stop more bottom-end frequencies
- Somewhat heavy
6. Auralex Acoustics Studiofoam Wedgies Studios
|Size:||12 x 12 inches|
If you’re planning to set up a recording studio, look no further than the Auralex Acoustics Studiofoam Wedgies.
Their NRC rating of 0.8 guarantees excellent sound absorption, as they’ve been proven great at absorbing loud music. So, whether you need to jam out or record some soft instrumentals, they will create the perfectly crisp sound you’re looking for.
What’s more, they come in a pack of 24, so they’re ideal when you want more coverage for a larger room. The abundance at a low price can help you overlook the fact that the squares are somewhat small.
You’ll also be surprised by the lightweight design of these acoustic panels. This feature makes them relatively easy to set up and install. You need some double-sided tape, and you’re good to go.
- Very lightweight
- Comes in a pack of 24
- Excellent at absorbing loud music
- Squares are somewhat small.
7. Bubos Art Acoustic Panels
|Size:||48 x 12 inches|
|Colors:||2 (black and white)|
When prepping a home theater for sound dampening, you won’t need as much coverage and absorption as a music recording studio requires. In fact, a few panels near the speakers and subwoofer will serve as sufficient. In such cases, there’s no better option than the Bubos Art Acoustic Panels.
These panels are beautiful yet functional. Since they look like rectangular wall art, they blend perfectly with your room’s decor and don’t make it look like a recording studio.
Don’t let its unassuming appearance fool you; these beautiful panels boast a near-perfect NRC rating of 0.9! Their size and six-pack make them ideal for a home theater or living room setup, but just remember to place them near the speakers.
The best part is that Bubos doesn’t limit you to a black-and-white design. Instead, they’re also available in various forms of wall art. That includes an Earth print, a racing sail, abstract art, dancing stars, a space guitar, and the world map.
- Available in stylistic options
- Absorbs almost all sound
- Not ideal for total coverage
8. TroyStudio Acoustic Studio Panels
If you’re a drummer, you’ll need some serious sound-dampening equipment because of the instrument’s loud nature. That’s when the TroyStudio Acoustic Studio Panels come to your rescue. Bonus point: they will also save you from your neighbors’ continuous complaining.
These panels are made for drumming, music studios, offices, or home theaters, absorbing almost all sound with its 0.75 NRC rating. This way, you can enjoy better sound and jam out without echo or noise issues.
Plus, since they are incredibly affordable. So, you can buy multiple packs of these panels for better coverage. They’re also lightweight and easy to install, so more coverage shouldn’t be an issue. You can get a pack of 6, 12, 18, or 36.
TroyStudio’s website details that they’re made from California Technical Bulletin 117-2013 rated, eco-friendly, and non-toxic materials. However, it’s worth noting that their affordability doesn’t equal durability, as users have complained about a chemical smell and faded color after some time.
- Solid noise absorption
- Easy to install
- Has a chemical smell
- Color fades after some time
9. Dekiru Acoustic Panels
|Size:||14 x 14 inches|
If you’re searching for acoustic panels that don’t ruin the aesthetics of your gaming setup, look no further than the Dekiru Acoustic Panels. They’re available in 14×14 hexagons in multiple colors, so you can pick one that suits your gaming setup best. That includes pink, blue, gray, red, brown, white, orange, black, navy, purple, green, and sesame.
Not only is the hexagonal design good for maintaining your room’s aesthetics, but the beveled edges also absorb unnecessary echo. Plus, the panels are incredibly thin, so you can easily cut them to fit your room’s walls. You can also easily stick them on with the help of double-sided tape.
However, their thickness (or lack thereof) is no indication of their effectiveness, as these panels have an NRC rating of 0.95. The Dekiru Acoustic Panels are made from flame retardant class B1, odorless, non-toxic, and formaldehyde-free polyester fiber foam, ensuring their durability.
- Comes in a pack of 12
- Available in various colors
- Ideal for a gaming setup
- Extremely thin
- Hard to install
10. Pro Studio Acoustics Panels
|Colors:||2 (black and blue)|
Last but not least, the Pro Studio Acoustics Panels are ideal for those looking for sound-dampening equipment to place in their professional spaces or home offices. They have an NRC rating of 0.65, sufficient for phone and computer audio.
The panels absorb all unnecessary echoes and deliver clear and crisp sound in your work setup. Moreover, the black and blue color combination is professional enough not to disrupt your surrounding aesthetics. Made from 2-inch-thick premium acoustic wedge foam, these panels are also lightweight and easy to install.
They have a CA Technical Bulletin 117 and ASTM E84 Class A flame retardant rating, so you can also count on their durability. They’re ideal for home offices, small recording studios, control rooms, home studios, and home entertainment theaters.
- Easy to install
- Comes in a pack of 12
- Available in a color combo
- Only good enough for a phone and computer audio
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Acoustic Panels
Buying an acoustic panel can be overwhelming, with so many options to choose from.
So, here are a few elements to remember while purchasing a set of acoustic panels this year:
Ensuring that the size of the acoustic panels matches their intended space is more crucial than you think. If you have too many panels, you may cut them, but there’s nothing you can do when you end up with too few panels. To prevent such an issue, measure your intended space before buying your acoustic panels.
You must also keep the acoustic panels’ material in mind, as you don’t want to end up with the cheap foam available on most sites. Such foams may offer you more coverage at a fraction of the price, but the quality isn’t worth the discount.
Typically, cheap foams deteriorate quickly and don’t absorb echoes efficiently. Plus, they tend to smell bad and don’t react well when there is UV exposure. Also, they aren’t cut straight, making it hard for you to cover a whole room.
High-quality acoustic panels use premium versions of these foams that don’t feature these downfalls. As a result, you can benefit from a lack of chemical smell, durability, and consistent shapes.
You can also opt for fiberglass acoustic panels, which are much heavier and more durable than foam. Fiberglass panels have impeccable soundproofing qualities, which is why it’s somewhat expensive for more coverage. You’ll also need to mount them on a stud to prevent the extra weight from damaging your drywall.
Sound dampening materials, such as acoustic panels, are rated on a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) scale. The scale ranges from 0 to 1, with 0 indicating no sound absorption and 1 indicating all sound absorption.
Understanding the scale as a decimal can be tricky as it’s best understood as a percentage. For example, a 0.3 NRC rating indicates 30% noise absorption. So, we’d recommend going for ratings as high as possible.
Typically, you won’t find any pre-prep for mounting on most acoustic panels. If you’ve opted for a rigid acoustic panel, you’ll have to install the hanging hardware yourself. As for most foam panels, you’ll need to mount them on wood or cardboard before hanging them.
However, high-quality acoustic foam kits usually include adhesive strips, allowing you to stick the panel to cardboard or wood easily. Unfortunately, you’ll still need more adhesive in most cases, as the adhesive trips are typically weak.
You must also check the placement of the acoustic panels before buying. You’ll often find acoustic panels covering every wall and the entire room ceiling, but it’s rarely realistic or necessary for everyday use.
If you have a home theater, two panels on each speaker’s side will serve as sufficient to catch the sound, with an additional panel near the subwoofer. On the other hand, if you have a gaming setup or home office, you’ll only need to add acoustic panels on the walls that are shared with a bedroom.
Lastly, you must consider the acoustic panels’ design, shape, and style before buying. Of course, it may seem most effortless to opt for the black, wedged ones. But if your recording room is a shared space, it won’t hurt to make your setup look more presentable.
Luckily, the acoustic panels on our list offer various color options and styles to ensure your soundproofing setup matches the room’s aesthetic. The only thing that affects the panel’s functionality is the texture, so you can opt for any shape you want.
Whether you select an egg carton shape, ridges, pyramids, or a checkerboard print, every style offers the same soundproofing level.
There’s an endless range of acoustic panels on the market, so choosing the right one for your intended space and use can feel impossible. But if you’ve read our reviews, you know the pros and cons of each pick to help make the decision easier.
If you’re on a budget, the Gator 12″ x 12″ Acoustic Pyramid Panels are an affordable option without compromising on quality. Meanwhile, the Auralex Deluxe Plus Roominator Kit is the premium option for those that don’t mind spending extra, even including a room analysis.
Finally, ATS Acoustic Panel is the perfect all-encompassing pick. With an NRC rating of 1, it has everything you could want in a set of acoustic panels and more.
Featured Image Credit: Mike_shots, Shutterstock
- 1 A Glance at Our Winners in 2023
- 2 The 10 Best Acoustic Panels
- 2.1 1. ATS Acoustic Panel – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Gator 12″ x 12″ Acoustic Pyramid Panels – Best Value
- 2.3 3. Auralex Deluxe Plus Roominator Kit – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Auralex Wave Cave Royale
- 2.5 5. Primacoustic Broadway Scatter Blocks
- 2.6 6. Auralex Acoustics Studiofoam Wedgies Studios
- 2.7 7. Bubos Art Acoustic Panels
- 2.8 8. TroyStudio Acoustic Studio Panels
- 2.9 9. Dekiru Acoustic Panels
- 2.10 10. Pro Studio Acoustics Panels
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Acoustic Panels
- 4 Conclusion