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

While sound is always around us, it's not something we can physically grasp or see. As a result, while it can be measured, doing so is not easily done. Due to this, individuals looking to improve the sound in their home or business must rely on treatment manufacturers to provide accurate test data. Unfortunately, companies do not always provide (or have) this data. In cases where there is data, another potential issue can arise, based on whether or not that data was found through independent, third-party testing. Having products tested independently helps ensure objectivity, which is vital. However, testing from credible, independent organizations is costly and may show that a product is unable to live up to performance claims. A lack of third-party testing results can pose a real problem for an acoustic treatment customer, because unbiased test data is the best way to have confidence that an acoustical product will perform in its intended application.

With the growth of its acoustics division, Foam Factory, Inc. engaged Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories in 2011 to conduct standardized, independent acoustic performance testing. Nearly all of Foam Factory's acoustic products were performance-tested during the evaluation. The actual documents from Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories are available at the end of this page in PDF format. Disclosing this information provides our customers with the reliable performance data they need to make their purchase decisions.

In addition to their own products, Foam Factory also had comparable products from leading acoustical foam competitor Auralex evaluated and measured against their own. This gives customers the ability to not only evaluate the fit of Foam Factory's products for their needs, but also to compare the performance, qualities, and cost differences between Foam Factory and the leading competitor.

It is with great excitement we are able to announce the independently-tested results of our acoustical treatment line. Not only did many Foam Factory products compare favorably to their Auralex counterparts, all Foam Factory products offer performance while being listed at a price point substantially lower than Auralex.


Product Illustrations

Example 1: Two-Inch (2") Wedge Foam Tiles
Though Foam Factory offers this acoustic tile at a markedly lower price than Auralex, it was Foam Factory's wedge foam that displayed superior acoustical performance. In addition to Foam Factory's results exceeding Auralex's overall, Auralex's were also noticeably lower than the values provided on their website.*

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

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

Example 2: Corner Bass Absorbers (12"x12"x24")
While, again, being offered at a substantially lower price by Foam Factory, the laboratory testing revealed that Foam Factory's corner bass absorbers possessed an overall NRC rating nearly identical to that of Auralex.

Data Comparison
Foam Factory's absorbers were shown to perform better than their competitors' at 200Hz, 250Hz, 4000Hz, and 5000Hz. Overall, Foam Factory's absorbers received an NRC rating of 1.20, while Auralex's absorbers received an NRC rating of 1.25. Like the wedge foam in the previous examples, Auralex's products again missed their stated performance values. This occurred at frequencies of 315Hz and higher by an average of .14.

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


Price vs. Performance Discussion

Admittedly, some of Foam Factory's acoustical sound solutions returned results that do not measure as highly as the comparable Auralex products. However, when it comes to the price-to-performance ratio, the advantage is always heavily in favor of Foam Factory's products.

Example A
Four inch thick (4") pyramid foam tiles sold by Foam Factory received an overall NRC rating of .65, while Auralex's tiles earned a .90 rating. However, Foam Factory's 6-pack of these 4' x 2' x 4" tiles costs $125.99, while Auralex distributors sell their comparable 6-pack for $439.99 or more. This is a 71% difference in cost for a 0.25 difference in NRC.

Example B
The female broadband absorbers sold by Foam Factory received an overall NRC just .05 less than Auralex's product. However, Foam Factory charges $98.99 for a set of 4 of male/female absorber pairs, while Auralex distributors sell the same items for $419.99 or more. This is a 76% difference in cost for only a 0.05 difference in female broadband absorber NRC.

Example C
4' x 2' x 4" wedge tiles sold by Foam Factory scored an overall NRC rating only 0.10 less than Auralex's product. However, Foam Factory charges $111.99 for a 6-pack of this product, while Auralex distributors sell their products for $399.99 or more. This is a 72% price difference in cost for only a 0.10 difference in NRC.


Additional Testing Information

Standardization
Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories' test results are reported in standardized values. Standardizing the test requires every sample to be lined with steel. That lining is a control factor, but also has the effect of reducing performance results by virtue of adding a reflective surface that will typically not be present in real-world applications. However, non-standardized tests may not fully expose strengths and weaknesses of products on an even plane and, even if it is unintentional, can create inaccurate performance claims. Because of this, standardized test results should not be compared to non-standardized performance claims or measurements.

Test Frequency
While test data is always better than no test data, test frequency must remain an important consideration when evaluating competitors' stated performance values. Manufacture and production technology in the foam industry changes frequently, and likewise, the processes and techniques for optimization, safety, and quality are ever-changing as well. It is also important to understand that testing standards and procedures can change and evolve over time as well, increasing the importance of maintaining more recent test data.

*The biggest gap between actual and claimed performance for Auralex was from 500Hz to 2000Hz, where based upon the seven sound intervals, the product measured values about .36 lower than the claimed performance.

**These values should be interpreted on the NRC scale where 0 represents a reflective sound material and 1 and higher represents one that is absorptive.


Complete Lab Results

Graph Comparison

Foam Factory, Inc.
Auralex


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