Your Guide to Acoustic Glass

The sound of a sensible choice


13 May 2024


Simon McAuliffe

If you were to sit quietly in a room for 10 whole minutes, what would you hear?


Perhaps it would be the gentle hum of appliances, a muffled cacophony of cars passing along the road outside, distant conversation from your neighbours who you haven’t actually met yet, or – if you are lucky enough – the sound of nature, in all its messy, squawking and captivating specialness.


Our world is a busy, often noisy place, and moments of true quietness are rare – increasingly so if you happen to find yourself in an expanding city or suddenly within a neighbourhood of new-build houses. But it is amongst the symphony of audio that acoustic glass emerges as a portal to peace and quiet, ensuring that you and your clients can always find silent sanctuary from unwanted external noise.

What is acoustic glass?


Acoustic glass, also known as soundproof glass or noise-reducing glass, is specially-designed glazing that prevents soundwaves from passing from one side of the pane to the other. To do so, it sandwiches a sheet of laminated glass (incorporating material such as polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) resin) between layers of glass, disrupting sound energy and dampening it as it attempts to move into a room or out of it.


The science behind acoustic glass


When a tree falls in a forest, the sound we hear (or don’t, if nobody is around) is actually a disturbance in air pressure, caused by the vibrations of the tree’s descent and reflected in a wave that moves through the air until it reaches our ears. Instead of our fallen tree, you might picture the surface of a drum; when struck, the ‘skin’ vibrates back and fourth, creating a rapid compression and decompression of air  that causes a soundwave to ring out at a concert and gig, delighting music fans, but not the venue’s neighbours. 


After all, one person’s sound is another’s noise.


Returning to our concert scenario, let’s say that you are one of those neighbours besieged by the rhythms and riffs of rock and roll. When sound hits any material, it is absorbed, reduced (depending on the thickness and characteristics of the material), and transmitted out the other side. A single pane of glass can only absorb a small amount, so the sound is able to easily pass through. Double glazing goes a step further – including an air gap and argon gas that disrupts the soundwave and significantly reduces it as it passes into your home – but for many scenarios, that’s simply not enough; what you really need to block out the noise is acoustic glass, which takes the soundproofing qualities of double glazing and turns them up to 11.


The laminated interlayer of glass within the acoustic glazing provides exceptional resistance to soundwave vibration but it also demonstrates viscoelastic principles (viscous meaning liquid, and elastic meaning flexible). Those principles allow the layer to change when subjected to sound vibrations, converting the energy into small amounts of heat, almost eliminating the noise entirely, without you even realising it.


Does acoustic glass make a difference?


The short answer to this question is a resounding ‘yes’. A longer one would state that the implementation of acoustic glass can reduce sound in a space by up to 45 decibels (compared with 30 dB by double glazing), depending on whether the building’s envelope is properly sealed and insulated, the thickness and composition of the acoustic glass, and the frequency, intensity and distance of the noise source.


To put 45 decibels into a real-world situation, a conversation between two people measures approximately 50 decibels, so the presence of acoustic glass can reduce that to below a whisper (20 decibels). If you live near to a music venue, the sound that drifts across to disturb your peace and quiet might measure closer to a hoover (70 decibels), which can be cut in half by specialist acoustic glazing.


Which rooms and situations would suit acoustic glass?


Acoustic glazing can be deployed wherever sound control, reduction and elimination are a priority. You might, for example, block out external sounds from the street to improve concentration and rest, or your priority might be to prevent sound in one room from leaking into the rest of the building. The best part about acoustic glass is that the added laminated materials don’t impact on the visual appearance of the glazing at all, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for practicality – you can have both.


Below, we have highlighted just four spaces where acoustic glazing would prove most beneficial:


The home library


Picture this: you have just found a convenient moment in your busy schedule to sit down in your purpose-built library to enjoy the latest page-turner from your favourite author. The lighting is cosy, the chair comfortable, and the old, leather-bound books that surround you helps to set the scene perfectly. What does not help to set the scene, however, would be the noise of building work on one of your neighbour’s houses. Luckily you only know about the building work because your husband has told you about it on his way back from the shops.You’ve got acoustic glazing, and in this library, your sanctuary remains a serene one.


The pool


Exposure to a contained body of water into which you can jump with glee and abandon can elicit excitement and quite a bit of noise too.  That noise can filter through your commercial property or family home, disrupting the professional or personal activities occurring elsewhere and hindering the enjoyment of all occupants. A great solution to this enviable conundrum is to enclose the pool within acoustic glass, silencing the splashes but not stopping the swimmers’ enjoyment.




Sleep is undoubtedly one of the most important activities taking place within our bedrooms. It restores us, lowers our blood pressure, aleviates stress and even improves our memories. But in the presence of noise pollution, the quality of our sleep is reduced, taking a significant toll on our health and wellbeing. While other examples of acoustic glass deployment might contribute towards our concentration and even happiness, it is in the bedroom that the magic of soundproof glazing really happens. 


The cinema room


Enjoying a blockbuster shouldn’t mean exposing the rest of the building to a symphony of Hollywood explosions, and dramatic dialogue. With acoustic glass, you can indulge in the heart-pounding action and immersive storytelling of the big-screen without the fear of disturbing your neighbours or family members in other parts of the house. It’s the perfect solution for maintaining cinematic excitement while preserving peace and quiet.

Acoustic glass vs double glazing


The difference between acoustic glass and double glazing is approximately seven decibels. That might not sound like much – considering acoustic glass can block out as much as 45 dB – but that is the equivalent of rustling dry leaves in a silent library or heavy rain heard through an open window. In environments where sound should be completely controlled – such as a recording studio – or where any reductions are valued – such as the previously-mentioned cinema room – those seven decibels can make a huge amount of difference.


Is acoustic glass better than triple glazing?


As you would imagine, acoustic glass has been specifically designed to filter out noise, acting as a purposefully manufactured solution to the problem of sound control. Triple glazing, on the other hand, does have some sound-insulating properties, but is more concerned with thermal insulation  – preventing heat transfer between one space and another. As bespoke specialists, it is far better to tailor the glazing solution to your specific requirements, rather than apply a broad brushstroke that might prove unsuitable for its intended purpose.




We know the value of concentration and the damage that unwanted noise can have on a project and its eventual inhabitants. That’s why, for 30 years, we’ve been designing specialist solutions that help you to enjoy that film, that book, and that lovely swimming pool without stepping on anyone’s toes or impacting on their enjoyment of the space. How does that sound?