You know the feeling of total suppression of all ambient sounds? How do you feel when the water plugs your ears after taking a bath? How do you talk in a room with carefully soundproofed walls? It's definitely not pleasant. Because although the excessive intensity of sounds is tiring and harmful, people are not created to function in unnatural silence.

Hearing is one of our most important senses. First of all, it enables us to develop advanced communication skills and allows us to orientate ourselves in space. Subtle differences in sound levels of different frequencies reaching the right and left ears are analyzed by the brain and bring dozens of information every second. It happens outside of our awareness.

It is only when we suddenly find ourselves in an unusual situation that we begin to realize how important sounds are. Simply plugging your ear is not only irritating, it can also affect your well-being. Holding a conversation or singing in an excessively soundproofed room (e.g. in a radio studio) is simply tiring. People who had the opportunity to enter the so-called anechoic chamber in the laboratory, talk about nausea, balance disorders and even pain.

This is why so much attention is paid to the optimal acoustic climate. It means eliminating excessive noise while preserving the information carried by sounds. In some cases, sounds that provide orientation are created artificially - a good example is the imitation of the traditional shutter in a digital camera, engine sounds in silent electric vehicles or the creation of a delicate background sound in muted offices.

Hearing protection accessories (headphones, earbuds, stopwatches) are supposed to reduce the sound intensity by several dozen decibels. Thanks to this, a factory worker can communicate with his colleague, and a person working on the highway will hear the warning sound of an approaching vehicle.

It is more difficult to modify room acoustics. There are many factors that interact with each other. Manufacturers of building materials, finishing details and furniture try to average the acoustic properties of their products (to suit different applications), thanks to which more and more interesting acoustic solutions are created that meet various expectations. All this to improve the acoustics in the room by adapting to the conditions in the room and increase the comfort of staying in them.

If in a modern room with ascetic walls made of raw architectural concrete we will be disturbed by irritating, short reverberation - we will try to eliminate it with bookshelves or carpets. If in a large common office, the employees sitting right next to each other will interfere with each other - perhaps we will install sound-absorbing partitions, walls or screens between the desks. Proper arrangement of pots with plants, flowerbeds or furniture can also help to eliminate unpleasant acoustic sensations.

We must be aware that the proposals of acoustic experts can only bring us closer to the ideal. The designer is not able to predict all the factors that will shape the acoustic atmosphere in the used room. It's up to the users to give it its final shape anyway.

That is why solutions that provide high flexibility are so effective. Allowing their users to make easy, fast, not affecting the overall aesthetics and ... reversible acoustic adaptation. Modular, lightweight office furniture, mobile acoustic partitions, movable elements made of materials that absorb unwanted sounds - not only make it possible to adjust the interior to the requirements of a specific group of users. They also facilitate the rapid rearrangement of the room, in the face of another "acoustic need" suddenly appearing (for example, the need to hold a discussion in a larger group).

In the acoustic arrangement of the workplace (but also apartments), the most important thing is not to rush into damping and silencing the environment. It is necessary to find your own golden mean - guaranteeing us maximum comfort. That is why it is worth choosing solutions that will allow us to create the best acoustic world for us.


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