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Do Foam Bass Traps Work? | Unveiled

do foam bass traps work

If you have landed on this post, then most probably you are planning to soundproof your room, studio, office, apartment and so on. In the last article, we have discussed in detail about the differences between soundproofing and acoustic treatment. This article can be considered as an extended version of the last one. 

If you have ever tried to soundproof your room or apartment, then you will definitely agree with me on the statement, " low frequencies are the toughest to deal with".

I have dealt with loads and loads of client and trust me, soundproofing or acoustic treatment of home studio has been the toughest task till date. The reason is more simple than you think. When you are recording sound, there shouldn't be any disturbance, that is, acoustic should be at maximum possible level.

[Also Read]: Best Quiet Propane Generators

If you are not tight on the budget, then there are loads and loads of thing that you can do to get a high-quality acoustic treatment for the home studio. 

But my readers are mostly looking for cost-effective and economical methods and therefore we will only discuss the economical methods that you can try even though you are tight on the budget.

Do foam bass trap works?

foam bass traps any good

Have you ever thought about the functionality of a bass trap? You will find bass traps at most of the places where there is an issue of the low frequency. These low frequencies are easily dampened by the bass traps. 

A question must be troubling you, isn't it? Are you confused about the dampening properties of these bass traps? Well, these bass traps use friction to convert the low-frequency sound waves into heat energy. In layman language, bass traps are acoustic energy absorber.

Moving further, allow me to throw some light on the types of bass traps, that is, resonant bass traps and porous bass traps.
The resonant bass traps are further divided into Helmholtz resonators and panel absorbers. On the other hand, porous bass traps can be categorized on the types of material used to make it, that is, open cell foam, fiberglass, mineral wool and so on.

You must be thinking if all the bass traps absorb low frequencies, then what is the need for some many types of bass traps?

Definitely, you have a solid reason to ask this question. Let me explain you with an example. Suppose you want an acoustic treatment for your home studio and you are troubled by the broad range of low frequencies. In that case, porous traps will be a better option and vice versa.

In short, the absorption spectrum is NOT the same for the porous and resonant spectrum.

The acoustic treatment is a relative term. There is nothing as perfect acoustic treatment. What may be a perfect acoustic treatment for me may not be perfect for you.

Trust me, whether you are podcasting or hosting a webinar, all the effort goes into vain if there are echoes of sound.

The hard surfaces inside the studio are the main causes of sound reflection. The windows and the mirror will cause bouncing of the sound. The corners of the home studio are the cause of reverbs. 

The acoustic foam reduces waves, reverbs, and flutter echoes in smaller to medium sized rooms.

The best thing about this acoustic foam is that it can be attached to any place depending on the arrangement of the room. Trust me, it works great when attached to the walls, doors, and ceilings.

These foams are made up of lightweight materials such as polyurethane foam and melamine foam.

Moving further, allow me to discuss the bass trap with you. There is a big misconception that bass traps are only for bass, but the fact is that brass traps are great at absorbing a wide range of low to mid frequencies.

For a decent acoustic treatment, it is very important to stop the reverb in the corner of the room. This bass trap can help you to achieve the goal. Bass trap is perhaps the most inexpensive way to get rid of the low-end bass nodes. They are highly effective with the small rooms.

A little more about the foam bass traps...

foam bass traps

The foam bass traps are porous absorbers, that is, they absorb the velocity of sound and using friction turn them into heat. If you are looking for something that can reduce the room echoes, then this foam is the one that you should definitely give a try.

Since the foam bass traps are primarily meant to deal with mid and high frequencies, hence they do a perfect job when it comes to dealing with echoes.

Unfortunately, the foam bass traps aren't the one you will need to absorb unwanted low-frequency sound waves.

Allow me to explain the science behind it. The low-frequency waves travel the long distance and at a very high velocity. As a result, they need a very high density and a heavy mass material to be absorbed.

The density and the mass of these foam aren't enough to absorb the low and mid frequencies.

Pros and Cons of Foam Bass Traps

best bass traps

I  hope you would have got a fair idea of foam bass traps. Foams are mostly sound absorbing materials and shouldn't be confused with soundproofing.

Just to make things simple and sweet, I will request you to use foam bass for acoustical treatment purpose only.

For example, you can get the best results when you want to either increase the quality of sounds or reduce the vibration, echoes and so on. This foam bass works great against barking of dogs, television noise etc.

As discussed, some of the pros of the foam bass traps are as follows:
  • Enhance Sound Quality
  • Reduce Noise Pollution
  • Improves the Design of the Room
The bass traps are available in different colors and textures. Though it has nothing to do with the acoustical properties still it makes a significant difference in the visual appearance of your room, apartment and so on.

The foam really works great when it comes to reducing the sound inside the room. For example, the sound reverbs are kept under control by these foam bass and thus, gives you great mental peace and pleasant atmosphere.

Till now, we have been only talking about the pros of the bass traps. Let's discuss the downside of using these acoustical foams.

In case the room or apartment using these acoustical foam caches fires, the atmosphere will full of smoke. The foam when catches fire releases lots of smoke because of the material it is made up of.

It's always good to go DIY way but I have seen a few of my clients suffering from the sound reverb problems even after placing the foam bass traps. 

The reason was quite simple, they weren't aware of the correct way of placing these bass traps.

So, its advisable to contact a professional to perform the task. There are certain parameters such as the shape and size of the room, the distance of the objects from the walls etc that needs to be considered for a better result.

How effective is foam bass traps?

Whenever I will recommend this foam bass traps to my clients, the first query that will come from them will be directly related to the effectiveness of the foam bass traps.
best bass traps

Being honest, the effectiveness depends.  I believe in explaining the reason to my clients before recommending them any solution.

Today I will explain you all the parameters that are the deciding factors when it comes to the effectiveness of the foam bass traps.

First and foremost, the foam bass traps are effective only against the mid and high-range frequencies.

[Related]: Best Bass Traps

Over a period of time, I have found that these aren't effective with the low range frequencies.

Another important thing to consider is the length and breadth of the room for which you want the acoustic foam, that is, bigger rooms, warehouses, churches, concert halls etc have shown great response and I definitely recommend it.

Last but not least, these foam performs best against echoes, vibrations, reverbs.

Please allow me to discuss an important scenario. I have seen some of my clients just increased thickness of the foam bass traps by placing one against the other. and expected the outcome to be very effective.

Trust me, things doesn't work that way. The acoustic foam doesn't have the capability to deal with the low frequencies because of the structure of the foam. So, increasing the thickness won't help you much.

While going for acoustic treatment or soundproofing, you need to be clear about your requirement and how effective you need the solutions to be.

Definitely, you can give it a shot because it's inexpensive and reliable. I can assure you that as compared to many alternatives available in the market, this particular bass trap foam is value for money and will definitely show you results against mid and high frequencies.

Wait, I have a few more alternative options for you to consider.

Alternatives to Foam Bass Traps

Though I suggest the most economical solution available in the market still a lot of my clients will emphasize on a much cheaper option.

There is a very popular proverb, Client is King and so, I don't have any option but to come up with some more alternatives.

Before, discussing these alternatives, I just want to make it clear that none of these methods can help you to rid of the low frequencies.

You can nail the carpet or blanket on the wall. Even using a soundproof curtain can be of great help.

[Related]: Best Soundproof Curtains

Egg crate foam can be a great alternative and I am assuring you from my past experience it really works and delivers as per the expectation.

The Best Alternative to Foam Bass Traps

foam bass traps

We have already discussed earlier in this post about the categories of bass traps. A combination of porous and resonant is perhaps the best solution.

It's really important to get your room evaluated by professionals before planning to go with resonant absorbers. Here, you have to keep in mind that the professional may suggest you a different solution for different rooms. If not done properly, you may face a problem such as resonating at the wrong frequency.
On the other hand, porous absorbers are a cheaper and universal solution. We have only discussed the bass traps made up of foam. In fact, they can be made up of fiberglass or wood also.

The best thing about the fiber and wood absorbers is that they handle the lower frequencies in a better way.

Wrapping UP: Foam Bass Trap

If you are with me till this point in time, then I can assure you that you have definitely learned something new that will help you to make your decision.

Though the foam bass traps aren't very effective for low frequencies still I will say you to try it. Personally, I feel higher frequencies are very well handled by the foam bass trap and if you aren't specifically looking for a low-frequencies solution, then you must try it.

At the same time, I would love to hear your experience and the process you followed to make your home studio or room soundproof.

My readers will definitely get benefited from your experience.

So, what are you waiting for?

Please do share this article on the social media platform.


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