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Sound absorbing and soundproofing: two concepts not to be confused

Sometimes we tend to confuse soundproofing with sound absorbing, but actually, they are definitely different concepts from all points of view.
With soundproofing we mean all the operations necessary to prevent a sound from crossing a barrier, entering or exiting a location, such as a room or an entire building. Acoustic insulation provides soundproofing that limits the diffusion of incoming sound, muffling the noise coming from the outside, or outgoing, with sounds produced inside the room that you want to insulate.
For this purpose, it is necessary to use quality soundproofing materials. Usually the noise penetrates into a location where even the air is able to “pass through”. The noise can be reduced if the vibrations are eliminated as well. Air and vibrations must be nullified by physically modifying the structure of the location through soundproofing.
The best result can be obtained already during the planning phase, as established by the regulation on this subject. You can then arrange the acoustic insulation of the walls by making choices based on the materials, installation techniques and layout of the rooms. Instead, if the building is built without planning the soundproofing of the rooms, then it will be necessary to intervene later through restoration works.
So, soundproofing is a structural intervention that must be carried out during construction or renovation.

On the other hand, sound absorption is a very different concept. The acoustic correction work takes place using sound-absorbing panels and fabrics in order to absorb reverberations caused when the sound hits a surface and comes back. If the sound waves overlap, they produce reverberation, an annoying background noise that is perceived especially in shared places such as offices, restaurants, clubs and schools. Therefore, sound absorption corrects the acoustics of a place with panels that absorb sound avoiding reverberation, but are not soundproofing.
Obviously it is not necessary to completely cover the walls with sound-absorbing panels, but an acoustic analysis of the room using modern software allows to evaluate what is the sound-absorbing surface needed for the best result.
Sound absorption can therefore be achieved in a location at any time simply installing sound-absorbing panels that now look like elegant and design objects as well. The Snowsound products by Caimi Brevetti, for example, are real pieces of furniture, very elegant, colorful and particular such as the Si Sboccia, in the shape of a flower, or the Botanica and the Flap.
Often sound-absorbing panels are also required in schools in order to avoid reverberation in the wide classrooms enlarged due to Covid-19 or in technical and language laboratories or even in gyms that often have very high ceilings.
These panels greatly improve the acoustics, increasing the well-being inside the rooms.

A new acoustic comfort at the Pallottini Maria restaurant

The Pallottini Maria fish market and restaurant is a historical reality in San Benedetto del Tronto, and for 4 years, , is becoming a local reference point for the sale of fish, fish cuisine as well as event catering.

Mr. Fabrizio Prosperi and his wife Irene pointed out the acoustic problem due to a strong reverberation, which was perceived inside the restaurant from the beginning.
They explained to us, that during the banquets of ceremonies or when the restaurant is full, there was a central area of the room, in which it was not possible to stay or listen to anything.

On the basis of the information received, we made an accurate survey of the room, which is made up of medium-reflecting materials, with a square-plan architecture and with a height of over 3 meters, all combinations favorable to a high reverberation time.

After developing the calculation with the Caimi Brevetti spa software, we presented the solution to our customers, providing them with the design and calculation. Being their prerogative, not to change the aesthetics of the room, very accurate in every detail, with corners decorated with objects, wallpaper and paintings and frames that tell the story of the owner’s family, we proposed a solution with the distribution of 10 OVERSIZE panels with SNOWSOUND technology by CAIMI BREVETTI, distributed on the ceiling, with the foresight of suspending them by about 25 cm. In this way, the whole area of the room was covered by the panels and the aesthetic was not changed.

In addition to this, to reassure them on the performance of the product, we organized an acoustic test, during a dinner with 80 people. The panels, for the occasion, were distributed in support of the walls on the masonry parts available. The result of the test was positive, the reverberation inside the hall was reduced in a satisfactory way, so much that some regular customers of the restaurant noticed the difference.
We made the installation a couple of weeks ago, on the occasion of the Valentine’s dinner, creating with panels an acoustic atmosphere more suited to the situation.
Here are some photos taken in the restaurant.

Comfortable Acoustics at the Osteria dei Sani restaurant, Italy

Osteria dei Sani is one of the most famous restaurants of Abruzzo, Italy, where you can eat local specialities prepared with products of high quality and enjoy some wines and craft beers having won the international awards.
The owner Anna and Luca Mettimano, some years ago, renewed the place, moving in a new place, where, thanks to Nomad Architects, they created a simple and elegant style, but at the same time not too snob for families and groups.

We then estimated in association with the architect Massimo D’Arcangelo (Nomad Architetti), a system of acoustic panels “chicanes”, covered with fabric with a color very similar to that some of the ceiling; they are anchored in the perpendicular files of adhesion to the ceiling of the main room. In this way, a perfect symmetry of the alignments of the perimeter of the ceiling with its suspended lamps is not interrupted, assuring the preservation of the harmony wished by the architects.

Besides the esthetic result, thanks to the acoustic panels, the reverberation is considerably limited by the creation of a peaceful atmosphere where it’s pleasant to converse during a business lunch or a romantic dinner.

Video that demonstrates the importance of acoustic panels

In this video, we first talked in a room without acoustic panels, then we spoke again in the same room where acoustic panels were added. The difference is remarkable, isn’t it?

Acoustic panels SNOWSOUND distributed by La Mercanti win a prestigious award



SNOWSOUND, a technology applied to acoustic panels by Caimi Brevetti, a brand distributed by La Mercanti , won in the United States the award “International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards 2014”.

The coveted prize was awarded to the patented technology SNOWSOUND Caimi Brevetti at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, the largest futurist exhibition in the world dedicated to electronics, which was held last week.

Commonly considered the Oscar of technological innovation in electronics and audio / video, this award honors the patented technology used in acoustic panels Mitesco (designed by Michele De Lucchi ), Rabat (designed by Alberto Meda and Francisco) and Chorus (design Lorenzo Palmieri) . We already wrote on this blog about  acoustic panels and office partitions, and how they improve productivity.

This important recognition confirms the excellence of Snowsound technology, recognized as one of the most successful ever in the global market.

acoustic panels SNOWSOUND

acoustic panels SNOWSOUND

Office partitions, interior doors : acoustic is essential

Working in a quiet environment, with a good acoustic, is very important for productivity.

interior doors

interior doors

Since the fifties, with the massive adoption of of television, humanity spends more and more time in front of screens. With the spread of the Internet and digital photos, images became even more important. We give great importance to aesthetics, to the visual appearance. Even in areas such as music, where sound and listening should be fundamental, are the video clips and more or less extravagant appereance of pop star which prevail over the quality of music itself. Lest we want to consider as a great musician someone like Lady Gaga.

In this world where image is paramount sound and listening seems to be overlooked. Our cities are increasingly noisy. You think I exaggerate? Try selling your car via Internet: potential buyers will ask a lot of photos, but no one will care to listen to the engine noise, which is essential to understand its state of wear. The same applies to the description of a person : it is rare that someone describes his voice, but we give great importance to physical appearance.

It is not at all surprising that, when designing an office, we overlook acoustic. However, working in a quiet environment, with a good acoustic, is essential for productivity. Excessive noise causes stress and affects the concentration.

That’s why The Mercanti offers a wide range of acoustic panels, office partitions and interior doors. Indeed, in the conception of any workspace, acoustic is fundamental. Sounds good to you?

Mitesco wins the GrandesignEtico International Award 2012

Mitesco, the new high-tech product by Caimi Brevetti is the winner of GrandesignEtico International Award 2012, an award given to the products that best combine the quality of the design and the promotion of more sustainable and responsible consumption.
Mitesco uses Snowsound patented technology, which, thanks to the variable density of the material the panel is made of, enables selective absorbance of different frequencies, allowing optimisation of acoustics in spite of its limited thickness.
The designer Michele De Lucchi says:

Our level of sophistication strives to be ever higher, and we no longer treat our surroundings based on their form and colour, but on more refined elements, namely sensory elements. Of these, sound is perhaps the least considered, but it is surely one of the most important elements, especially when considering that damage to hearing is as yet irreparabile (…). The project developed with Caimi is an acoustic panel that is made with one single material, polyester, which in addition to its excellent absorbent qualities is completely recyclable, as it does not contain any other materials. Mitesco is light, colourful and sufficiently basic to be used even to personalise the surrounding area, as it can be fully inserted in a contemporary context. It can be hung and supported on a stand: it is practical and inexpensive.


The brilliant intuition at the heart of Snowsound’s patented technology is based on the use of panels composed of material with variable densities, which functions to achieve selective absorption at different frequencies and thus to optimise the acoustical environment notwithstanding the pronounced thinness of the panels. The absence of frames and seams and the unusual characteristics of the material in the fabrication of the panels, render them extremely light, unobtrusive and adaptable to any environment.

The panel is double-faced; therefore it has the same functional characteristics on both sides. The aesthetic uniformity is functional; besides having ease of assembly and disassembly, it allows for use with either side visible or reversed and reapplied to a surface whenever one side might inadvertently be damaged

The importance of Silence

Mitesco is an agile, nomadic system, which challenges the traditional idea that soundproofing has to involve major works, including masonry, and must be done with large, fixed structures.

This collaboration between Michele De Lucchi and the Caimi brothers has resulted in a portable, eco-friendly soundproofing panel. The use of innovative, patented Snowsound technology makes possible selective absorption at different frequencies even though it is extremely thin (just 35 mm at the centre), creating well-balanced ambient sound.

from “Abitare”

The application of the panels can be: to walls, ceilings, wiring, with magnetic fittings or on self-supporting structures.
The dividers can be realised with panels placed on one side only or on two opposing sides, thus obtaining sound absorbing solutions aesthetically identical on both sides. Choosing from a range of available colours, the Mitesco panels can be freely combined with each other to obtain interesting and customised colour mixes.

The dividers are available with self-supporting bases, with bases equipped with wheels which provide great flexibility of shifting placement or with bases fixed to the floor to establish a stable positioning of the panels.