What is NRC sound rating and what does it stand for?

The noise reduction coefficient (or NRC sound rating) is a rating used to measure the sound absorption of the material. The higher the NRC rating, the more effective it is at absorbing sound. The common materials are melamine acoustic foam pane, pu foam, glassfiber, vinyl sound barriers and etc.

What is an NRC sound rating?

The noise reduction coefficient (NRC) is a rating used to measure the performance of soundproofing materials. The test measures how well a material blocks sound, and the higher the number, the more effective it will be at blocking out sound.

NRC sound rating

How do you calculate NRC?

The NRC is a way to measure how well a material absorbs sound. It is calculated by dividing the sound absorption coefficient by the product’s reverberation time. The sound absorption coefficient is measured in Sabins, and it measures how much acoustic energy is absorbed by a material per unit area (1 Sabins = 1 decibel). The reverberation time of a room or space refers to its ability to bounce back sound waves after they’re initially produced, which occurs in seconds or milliseconds depending on its size and construction materials.

What are the different ranges of NRC?

NRC ranges from 0 to 1, with a higher number indicating better performance. For example, an NRC of 0.0 means that no light is getting through the material and 100 percent of it is being reflected back into the room (which is why you often see white paint used on walls). A value of 1.0 indicates perfect absorption, meaning all light is absorbed by the material and none reflects away from it or passes through at all (for example, black paint). A U-value rating measures how well heat energy can pass through materials—the lower the U-value rating, the better its insulating properties will be. U-values are typically measured in British thermal units per square foot per hour (Btu/ft2 h).

The best insulation materials have low U-values; for example:

  • Aluminum foil has an average U-value of 17 Btu/ft2 h;
  • Reflective bubble wrap has an average U-value between 2–6 Btu/ft2 h;
  • Wood fiber board has an average U-Value ranging between 3–7 Btu/ft2 h
melamine acoustic foam

What is the difference between an NRC and STC rating?

The NRC and STC ratings measure sound absorption. NRC is a single number that measures sound absorption. It’s a comparison between how well a material absorbs sounds when compared to its own weight, so it doesn’t take into account how much of that material you’d need to use in order to achieve your desired performance level. For example: if you have 12 square feet (1 m²) of fabric and want an NRC rating of 0.80, you can simply divide 80 by 12 and get 6—you’ll need six pounds (2 kg) of the fabric for your project!

STC is also a single number that measures sound absorption. It’s also used for comparison purposes but differs from NRC because it compares actual performance against free space instead of another weighted material such as glass wool or cotton insulation—this gives us more insight into how much product we actually need for our application!

Why is NRC sound rating important?

As an acoustical product manufacturer, you know that the NRC rating of your product is important. But what does it mean and why is it so important? NRC stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient. It’s a measure of how well a material reduces sound transmission across its surface. The higher the number, the better at noise control it is—and therefore, the better at reducing sound transfer through your walls or ceilings when placed in between rooms as part of an acoustical barrier system.

NRC for acoustic panels and ceiling tiles

The NRC rating indicates how well an acoustic material can reduce sound. The higher the number, the greater its ability to absorb unwanted sounds. For example, a material with an NRC of 0.05 would be able to absorb 5% of sound in decibels (dB). To put this into context, most materials have an NRC rating between 0 and 1. A rating of 0 means that 100% of all noise is absorbed; whereas a value of 1 means that 100% remains unchanged without any absorption occurring at all:

The NRC is a great way to get an idea of how well a product will absorb sound.

The NRC is a good way to compare different products, as it’s a single number that represents how well a material absorbs sound. This number can range from 0 (no sound absorption) to 1 (perfect absorption). The NRC is calculated by measuring the amount of sound energy that reaches the surface of an object, and then subtracting out the amount of sound energy that reaches it from other sources. For example, if you place foam rubber on top of your table and measure how much noise gets through it at various frequencies, you’ll end up with an NRC value for your foam rubber.

Acoustical products with a high NRC sound rating

Acoustical products that have a high NRC rating are those that absorb sound to prevent it from traveling. They can be used in many different ways, such as:

  • Melamine acoustic foam
  • PU foam
  • Fiberglass panel
  • Vinyl sound barriers


As you can see, there is a lot that goes into understanding the NRC and STC ratings. When it comes to acoustical products like ceiling tiles or acoustic panels, both of these ratings are important when looking at how they perform in different applications. While there are many brands available with different options for styles and colors, price points may vary widely depending on the type of product being used as well as its NRC/STC rating. In this guide we covered what an NRC/STC rating is, how it’s measured and why it’s so important for your home or office space.

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