Welcome to AcousticalConsulting.com, a collaborative arm of Acoustics.com. This site aligns with our goals of promoting the importance of acoustics and acoustic-related issues across a variety of related industries.

The field of acoustics is very diverse. Acoustical consultants can provide a wide range of services in several different specialty areas. Typically a consultant will work with an architect, designer, builder, contractor, facility owner, attorney, general public, or municipality. The acoustical consultant's role and services will vary greatly depending on the specialty of the project.

Below is a list of common acoustic specialties and the services that may be provided in each area. Keep in mind that a large number of consultants have more than one specialty. To assist you in hiring the right acoustical consultant for your project, click here.

Architectural Acoustics:
Using past experience and results from testing and calculations, the consultant can provide solutions that address sound propagation, speech intelligibility and the enhancement of music, and provide options to mitigate noise within the built environment. The consultant can review plans for new facilities in order to make recommendations on space planning, room shaping, finish selections, construction methods, etc. The consultant can perform tests within an existing facility to assess the acoustic environment and make recommendations as to how to mitigate concerns. Common issues addressed in architectural acoustics:
Room Acoustics

Noise Control
   Sound Transmission
   Background Noise Level
Environmental Noise Control:
Environmental acoustics primarily addresses outdoor noise and vibration concerns. Consultants can perform tests and calculations to determine the impact of a noise source on the environment and then recommend options to mitigate the noise. The mitigation of noise may be addressed at the source of the noise, or in some cases it will be addressed at the receiver. Examples of common environmental noise sources are: traffic noise from automobiles, airplanes and trains, and noise from industrial and entertainment facilities. The consultant's services can include:
Noise level testing
Noise Impact Studies
Site Analysis
Noise Barrier Specifications
Construction Specifications
Forensic Acoustics/Expert Testimony:
Acoustic issues, particularly those dealing with excessive noise can sometimes lead to legal issues. Consultants can be asked to study the issues surrounding a case, perform tests, compare results with codes and standards, and give expert testimony. Common legal issues include:
Environmental noise impact
Occupational Hearing loss
Audibility of warning signals
Forensic acoustics also includes the development of codes and standards pertaining to acoustics.

Industrial Noise Control:
Consultants specializing in industrial noise control typically deal with noise and vibration generated by industrial equipment and machines, and how to control this noise in order to protect industrial workers. The consultant can determine the level of noise exposure and the impact it could have on hearing conservation through testing methods and calculations. Consultants can advise in the selection and/or installation of new equipment or can offer suggestions as to how to mitigate existing noise or reduce noise exposure. Common industrial noise control options include:
Equipment Specifications
Isolation methods
Mechanical Noise and Vibration Control:
Mechanical equipment is a common source of noise and vibration. Typically mechanical acoustics addresses noise and vibration from building systems, especially HVAC. Consultants can review proposed ducting plans, unit specifications and unit locations to determine any potential noise concerns. Consultants can also test existing systems for compliance with acceptable noise levels and make recommendations as to how to mitigate noise and vibration concerns. Common concerns that should be addressed include:
Background Noise/Noise Criteria
Equipment specification, location, and installation
Sound Transmission
Vibration Isolation
Sound System Design:
In most cases a sound system consultant/designer should not refer to themselves as an acoustical consultant. Sound system consultants have knowledge of room acoustics and environmental acoustics as it affects the propagation of sound. They also have expertise in sound reinforcement products and the installation of those products. They must combine their knowledge in these two areas to provide:
Adequate sound level
Uniform coverage
Improved speech intelligibility
Enhanced music performance
In some cases, a sound system design in an existing facility will need to compensate for poor room acoustics. Many projects will require the expertise of an architectural acoustical consultant and a sound system designer in order for the room acoustics and sound system to work in concert with one another.

There are several specialties that we have not listed above, as they do not relate specifically to the built environment. Other specialties include musical acoustics, underwater acoustics, engineering acoustics, bioacoustics, medical acoustics, etc.

Selecting and Hiring an Acoustical Consultant

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