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How to control reverberation in loading docks

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How to control reverberation in loading docks

Loading docks are noisy places. With trucks coming and going, forklifts with reversing warnings and the general hubbub of workplace conversations, there are plenty of noise sources. However, the biggest problem most loading docks face comes not from the noise itself, but from reverberation. Do you know how to soundproof loading docks?

With big spaces made from hard, straight lines, noise can echo repeatedly throughout the space, adding to the overall din.

What is reverberation?

Reverberation refers to a sound that lingers after the source of that sound has ended. Whilst it may be sought after by electric guitarists, reverberation is one of the main causes of that general clamour you hear in shopping centres and busy stores.

Reverberation can be thought of as a specific type of echo, one in which the echo returns to the listener while the initial sound is still heard, or in memory. These reflected sound waves combine with the original sound to create a prolonged sound, which is the reverberation.

How to reduce reverberation

The key component to reducing reverberation is reducing the reflected sound. The reason loading docks are so prone to it is because their construction is generally flat concrete walls which reflect sound like there’s no tomorrow.

To minimise the reflections that occur, there are two options: sound absorbers and sound diffusers.

Sound diffusers are generally used in recording studios and specialist acoustic applications and as such, aren’t well suited to industrial situations like a loading dock. They can also be much more expensive and require specialised design to maximise their effectiveness, so we’ll focus our attention on sound absorbers.

Sound Absorbers

When sound hits any surface, some of the sound energy is absorbed into the material, some of it is transmitted through and the rest is reflected. Depending on the material, the ratio of this changes. Sound absorbing material is designed to maximise the amount of sound energy that is absorbed.

This means that there is less sound energy being reflected, thus reducing the reverberation.

View Shop Absorbing Products


For industrial applications, we highly recommend the use of Stratocell Whisper® sound absorber. It is a laminated polyethylene foam which is light weight and flame retardant. It has high resistance to water, fungal growth, impact and chemicals, giving it a long life-span in harsh conditions. There is an indoor and outdoor range to suit most situations.

Stratocell® Whisper™

Buy Stratocell Whisper Sound Absorbeter


If you’d like to find out more about how to control reverberation in loading docks, or any other soundproofing issues, then get in touch with team at Soundproof Warehouse at

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