Product Comparison


Foam Factory, Inc.
Independent Product Testing Results
Re: Acoustical Foam Products

While we are perpetually surrounded by sound, it's not something we're able to physically hold or grasp to examine. Because of this, measuring sound is something that, while possible, can be difficult. As a result, individuals looking to outfit their home or business with acoustic treatment must rely on manufacturer-provided performance data to form expectations for each product. Unfortunately, this data is something companies do not always provide or even have. When companies do provide data, another issue may be present, based on whether or not that data was established through independent, third-party testing. Having independently-tested products ensures objectivity, which is vital for customers looking to purchase products that address a non-tactile problem. However, commissioning testing through credible, independent organizations is costly, and the resulting data may show that a product or products are unable to live up to existing performance claims.

With its growing acoustics division, Foam Factory, Inc. made the decision in 2011 to commission Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories to perform standardized, third-party acoustic performance testing. Nearly all of Foam Factory's acoustic foam products underwent a performance evaluation during the testing. The actual results from Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories can be found at the bottom of this page in .pdf format. Providing this information gives our customers reliable performance data that helps them make better, more informed purchase decisions.

In addition to their own acoustical products, Foam Factory purchased comparable products from leading acoustical foam competitor Auralex to be tested and measured against their own. This was done to give customers not just the ability to evaluate Foam Factory's products, but also the ability to compare them to similar products.

It is with great pleasure we are able to announce the independent test results of our acoustical treatment line. Not only did many of our products measure favorably to Auralex, but across the board, Foam Factory's products were offered at a better value than Auralex.


PRODUCT ILLUSTRATIONS:

EXAMPLE - Two-Inch (2") Wedge Foam Tiles: While Foam Factory offers their 2" wedge acoustic tile at a significantly lower price than Auralex, it was Foam Factory's product data that displayed superior acoustical performance. In addition to Foam Factory's favorable results, the testing also showed that Auralex's results were noticeably lower than the data values provided on their website.*

Data Comparison:
Gaps in performance were recorded at 100Hz, 500Hz, and 1250Hz intervals, where Foam Factory surpassed Auralex's NRC rating by .11, .06, and .18, respectively.** Overall, the Auralex tiles' NRC rating was .25 less than the rating stated on their website and .10 less than Foam Factory's.

Price Comparison:
One (1) twelve (12) pack of 4' x 2' x 2" tiles is 69% less at Foam Factory.
Auralex: $399.99 or more/ Foam Factory: $123.98


2 Inch Wedge Foam


EXAMPLE 2 - Corner Bass Absorbers (12"x12"x24"): While being offered at a lower price point by Foam Factory, laboratory testing showed that Foam Factory's corner bass absorbers achieved an overall NRC rating nearly identical to that of Auralex.

Data Comparison:
Foam Factory's absorbers' test results showed that they performed better than Auralex at 200Hz, 250Hz, 4000Hz, and 5000Hz. Overall, Foam Factory's absorbers received an NRC rating of 1.20, while Auralex's received an NRC rating of 1.25. Auralex's products again missed their stated performance marks, with this occurring at frequencies of 315Hz and higher by an average of .14.

Price Comparison:
A corner bass absorber is 62% less at Foam Factory.
Auralex LENRD bass absorber: $38.75 per unit or more/ Foam Factory: $14.50


Corner Bass Absorber


PRICE VS. PERFORMANCE DISCUSSION:

Admittedly, some of Foam Factory's treatment products had results that did not measure as highly as the Auralex counterpart. But when it comes to the price/performance ratio, the advantage is always in favor of Foam Factory's products.

EXAMPLE A: Four inch (4") pyramid style tiles sold by Foam Factory achieved an overall NRC rating of .65, while Auralex's had a .90 rating. However, a 6-pack of Foam Factory's 4' x 2' x 4" tiles costs $125.99, while Auralex distributors sell their 4" pyramid 6-pack for $439.99 or more. This is a 71% price difference for a 0.25 difference in NRC.

EXAMPLE B: Foam Factory's female broadband absorbers received an overall NRC only .05 less than Auralex's product. Despite this, Foam Factory charges $98.99 for a set of 4 pairs of male/female absorbers, while Auralex distributors sell the same product pack for $419.99 or more. This is a 76% price difference for a 0.05 difference in female broadband absorber NRC.

EXAMPLE C: The 4' x 2' x 4" wedge panels sold by Foam Factory earned an overall NRC rating only 0.10 less than Auralex's comparable panels. However, Foam Factory charges $111.99 for a 6-pack of these panels, while Auralex distributors sell their products at $399.99 or more. This is a 72% price difference for a 0.10 difference in NRC.


ADDITIONAL TESTING INFORMATION:

Standardization: Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories reports their results with standardized values. Standardizing requires each sample perimeter to be lined with steel. This lining is a control factor, but also has a performance-reducing impact by virtue of adding a reflective surface not typically present in real-world applications. However, non-standardized tests may not fully highlight strengths and weaknesses of products on a balanced plane and, even if it is unintentional, can result in inaccurate performance claims. Due to this, standardized results should not be compared to non-standardized claims or measurements.

Test Frequency: While having data (when accurate) is always better than not having data, test frequency remains a consideration when evaluating stated performance values. Manufacture and production technology in the foam industry changes often, and likewise, the processes and techniques for optimization, safety, and quality are dynamic as well. It is also important to note testing standards and procedures may also evolve over time, increasing the importance of more recent testing data.


*The biggest gap between actual and claimed performance for Auralex was from 500Hz to 2000Hz, where based upon the seven intervals, the product measured about .36 lower than the claimed performance.
**Values should be interpreted on the NRC scale where 0 represents a reflective sound material and 1 and greater represents one that is absorptive.