Do Foam Bass Traps Work? Pros, Cons, and Alternatives

Anyone who’s into music knows the importance of clarity and how external sounds can affect the quality of recorded music. While you’ll want acoustics at the best level possible, it’s also important to contain all sounds within the recording room and prevent any leakages.

Unlike high-frequency sounds, low-frequency sounds (bass sounds) are the hardest to deal with. However bass traps do an excellent job in dealing with low-frequency sounds, and they’re worth every shot.

What Are Bass Traps And How They Work?

Like earlier mentioned, bass traps are meant to block out/absorb bass low-frequency sounds. There are a few different types of bass traps. A good example is Superchunk bass traps; learn how to make these corner bass traps.

Regardless of the different types, they are all meant to deal with bass frequencies. They mainly turn sound energy into heat energy but don’t worry the heat generated is negligible and won’t burn down your house.

The main types include porous bass traps and resonant bass traps. There are two types of resonant traps: panel absorbers and Helmholtz resonators. On the other hand, porous traps are made of materials such as fiberglass, open cell foam, mineral wool, etc.

The two categories work differently. Resonant types have a narrow spectrum, and porous ones have a wider spectrum.

How Porous Bass Traps Work

These bass traps are made of porous materials. The pores resist sound flow through friction. A simple bass trap is capable of absorbing frequencies up to 100hz. However, if you need a bass trap that can deal with very low frequencies in the range of 50 to 100 Hertz, then you will need this bass trap made of mineral wool.

While its relatively expensive, porous bass traps give a much better performance, alternatively, you can opt for a fiberglass bass trap, which is a little bit expensive but gives better performance.

Porous Bass Corner Traps Materials

These traps are made of high-quality mineral wool, open cell foam, and fiberglass. They are wedge-shaped so that they can fit at four corners of a room. Their frame is made of fire-resistant wood or steel.

They are positioned at the corners of the house. I would recommend you get a wedge-shaped one over flat ones because the former has more depth and more mass is good for sound absorption. A room should ideally have four corners Superchunk bass traps.

Resonating Bass Traps

They are typically bigger and premium end solution in bass trapping than porous traps. If you’re dealing with a serious bass problem, you will need these. They are mostly found in pro studios.

They trap very low sound frequencies. There are two types- Helmholtz and Diaphragmatic bass traps.

How Resonating Bass Traps Work

Diaphragmatic bass traps derive their name from how they work- the same as a human diaphragm. Sound waves are made to crash against a soft diaphragm. The soft membrane vibrates at the same frequency as bass sounds and absorbs the bass.

On the other hand, Helmholtz traps have an airtight cavity with small ports for bass absorption. They are tuned to absorb a certain range of bass frequency and hence can only absorb to the frequency range they’re tuned with.

Foam Bass Traps- The Good and the Bad

Foam is just but a sound absorbing material and not a soundproofing material. The advantage with foam bass traps is improved sound quality, especially for high and mid-frequency sounds.

Since foam comes in a variety of textures and colors, it’s possible to get one that matches the design of your room.

The downside is that, in case of fire, foam releases a lot of smoke. Additionally, if a foam bass trap isn’t positioned well, it won’t be effective.

Do Foam Bass Traps Work?

Sincerely speaking, the answer as to whether foam bass traps work is subject to debate. Like earlier mentioned, foam bass traps can absorb bass sounds in a higher frequency range and not in the lower range.

If you want to achieve a pro studio status, well this isn’t the best option for you. However, if you’re setting a simple home studio, this could be a viable option.

Additionally, you could set up these traps in large rooms such as conference halls, churches and get the maximum benefits. Large rooms are prone to echoes and foam is excellent in dealing with echoes.

Where To Put Bass Traps

Here is a fact: bass builds up strongly in the corners of a room and most strongly in wall-wall-floor and wall-wall-ceiling intersections because sound pressure is maximum at these corners.

Below is a graphic image to illustrate that.

do foam bass traps work

So the best place to place these bass absorbers is at the corners of your house. Resonant bass absorbers should be placed right against the walls while porous absorbers should be placed a distance from the wall.

Cheap Bass Traps You Can Get Now

If you’re on a budget and want a cheap bass trap, below are two of my recommended best and affordable bass absorbers you can buy now. Most of the time people are so focused on creating their ideal studio such that they only end up on investing in some fancy instruments rather than dealing with important things first. If you’re going to play acoustic guitars in your home studio, a good bass trap is important.

1.   Auralex Acoustics Studiofoam Wedgies

Auralex bass traps (Check out this product here) are one of the most famous and respected brands in the music industry. Auralex won’t disappoint, and yet they are available at a low cost. These foam panels have a class B fire resistance which means they are safe in case of fire accidents.

They are compact allowing you to place them whenever you need, unlike bigger bass absorbers which can take big space in a room. Auralex panels are capable of absorbing a broader range of sound frequencies and can eliminate echoes.

2.   Mybecca Acoustic Foam Bass Trap

They are made of high-quality foam and available in bundles of 2, 4 and eight so that you can find the right set for your studio for the ultimate bass absorption experience. They are designed for edges and corners.

They are a durable and reliable choice for people without huge budget. Besides bass absorption, Mybecca’s bass panels are also aesthetically pleasing.

Conclusion on Foam Bass Traps

As you’ve seen above, bass panels are a great choice for dealing with both bass and echoes in a room. The only problem is that they can’t deal with very low bass frequencies. They are a good choice especially if you’re starting out and they will give satisfying results.

What are your thoughts? Are you ready to make the decision? Please let me know in the comment section down below. Here are some more articles on how you can soundproof a window, door, and some cheap sound dampening materials.

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