The importance of an acoustically comfortable environment

Workspaces can be calm, focused sanctuaries. They can also be busy, slightly maddening places that people wish to rush out of at the first opportunity. There are many factors that contribute to how people feel about workspaces, such as the look of the furniture, the layout, the availability of natural light and sometimes acoustic wall panels.

Although these things may not be noticed individually, they all slowly add up, leading to an environment in which people may or may not feel comfortable, even if they can’t pinpoint exactly why. One of the biggest contributors to how comfortable we feel at work is the noise we’re surrounded by.

Acoustic wave

We’ve all sat near someone who types loudly, someone who listens to music on their headphones at such a volume that we can name every song, and someone who talks so loudly on the phone that we want to snap it in two. We’ve all heard the grind of an older printer, the buzz of a refrigerator, or the click-clack of shoes on a hard floor.

These issues aren’t just minor annoyances. Research shows that a workplace where sound carries easily, creating constant noise, can lead to poor mental health outcomes, rids people of their privacy, and makes it more difficult for people to focus.

So, how can we achieve acoustic comfort? Acoustic wall panels to the rescue!

Fortunately, there is a relatively straightforward solution to this problem: by using specially designed acoustic wall panels, or fixtures, to alter the acoustics of the environment. What is meant by acoustics? Simply the way that sound is carried in a room. Take a moment to think back to high school physics. Sound moves in waves, away from the source. When those waves hit certain surfaces, they’re bounced right back, reflected, with almost the same intensity. Just like ripples in a pond, hitting a rock. However, when they make contact with other surfaces, they can be absorbed.

What surfaces, in indoor environments, reflect sound? Walls and the ceiling are obvious answers. But the floor, the furniture, plants, curtains and even the lighting fixtures all play a part too. In general, it is soft surfaces that absorb sound. Carpets absorb better than tiles, and flat ceilings can be flock-sprayed with millions of tiny fiber particles to achieve the same effect. Lights can be suspended with hanging acoustic panels, and furniture can be specifically designed with materials for sound absorption. Acoustic standing partitions, hanging screens and acoustic ceiling panels can also be added.

All noise-absorption materials and objects are given a noise reduction coefficient (NRC). It might be tempting to think that the higher the NRC, the better. However, acoustic design is all about balance – to overcrowd one area with sound-dampening might make the air feel dead. We therefore recommend carrying out an acoustic study of any given space before purchase. During the design phase, or when planning a renovation, ZENFEEL consultants are happy to provide advice.

NRC Test graphe

ZENFEEL All-In-One Solution for Interior Installation

As well as consulting on noise-reduction projects, ZENFEEL has a wide range of its own products that help achieve acoustic comfort.

acoustic wall panels - zenfeel shanghai 4

Meeting room

  • ZENFEEL wall panels. These panels are designed with two key layers – front and back. The back layer is where most of the noise absorption happens; it is made with a fibrous, sound-absorbing material. The front layer is polyester, and is there to adapt to any number of aesthetics. It can be coloured, printed on, have carved styles and use 3D patterns.
acoustic wall panels - zenfeel shanghai 5

Wall Panel


Custom artwork printed on polyester sound absorbing panels

  • ZENFEEL ceiling products
  • Suspended islands. These panels simply look like design features; the fact that they’re there for acoustic control would never cross most people’s minds.
acoustic wall panels -  Suspended island zenfeel shanghai 2

Suspended island

  • Baffles. These don’t only absorb sound, but also give ceilings an aesthetic, modern-feeling edge.


  • Flocking spray. This may be used to coat existing ceilings, such that they no longer bounce sound back down into the room.
  • Standalone acoustic decorative items
  • Menhir acoustic column. The sleek design of this column allows it to blend into virtually any workspace.

Menhir column

  • Wings partition. Traditional partitions bounce sound right back into an environment. The wings partition, while looking almost like a sculpture, eliminates this problem.
acoustic wall panels - zenfeel shanghai 2

Wings partition

  • Flakes curtain. The polyester fiber flakes allow for acoustic control, and a degree of privacy, while allowing light to still pass through.

Flakes curtain

  • ZENFEEL carpets. These special fibrous carpets don’t reflect sound like tiling, concrete or linoleum.

Zenfeel carpets

Advantages of choosing ZENFEEL solutions

  • ZENFEEL offers turnkey solutions. Customers are supported from start to finish, during design, manufacturing and customization, installation and performance tests.

Carved Panels

acoustic wall panels - zenfeel shanghai 6

Eco Fiber wool panel

  • Eco-friendly practices. ZENFEEL uses as many eco-friendly materials as possible, using recycled raw materials and final products, creating reusable products, and making sure all products are pollutant-free.

Examples of ZENFEEL customization of acoustic wall panels

Acoustic control need not impinge upon aesthetic design choices. ZENFEEL has developed products that ensure each customer can maintain their unique visual identity. For example, the polyester front-layers of our smart panels can be printed on.

HD picture printed on polyester panel

Panels may be created with carved designs.

acoustic wall panels - zenfeel shanghai 1

Eco Fiber wool panel

And special sound-absorbent cut-out designs can be fixed to a wall.

Zenfeel cut-out design

First step

For more information about creating acoustically comfortable work environments, or to see more samples of our work, reach out to ZENFEEL today.