SoundPly | Frequently Asked Questions

General Acoustics

By definition, a micro-perforated panel is an architectural panel with a pattern of barely perceptible, sub-millimeter diameter holes extending across its exposed surface. The percentage of the panel’s surface that is perforated is typically between 2%-10%. The micro-perforations are designed to reduce the amount of reflected sound energy by allowing a portion of that energy to enter into the panel’s surface. 

Similar to non-perforated architectural panels, micro-perforated panels are typically 3/4″ thick and available in standard panel sizes, such as 4′ x 8′, and custom dimensions. The decorative top layer of the panel usually has a wood veneer finish but can also be painted. 

Panels with holes larger than 1mm are called “perforated panels” since their holes are not considered “micro.”

Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is the most common measurement for sound absorbing materials. It evaluates the capability of a material to absorb sound within the same space that sound originated in. A true NRC has been tested in a qualified laboratory and evaluated at four frequencies: 250, 500, 1000, 2000. A common standard of testing is ASTM C423.

Caution: A large number of products have NRC claims that were never tested, were not tested in qualified labs, or falsely tested at more desirable frequencies. Why? While there is an industry standard, there is no regulating body, nor repercussions for false claims.

An acoustic system requires multiple interdependent components in order to achieve the lab-tested acoustic results. Because there are so many variables, the acoustical product in question doesn’t even have to be sound absorbing as long as another component (fiberglass, backing, insulation, etc.) picks up the slack.

In stark contrast, a (true) acoustic panel is a stand-alone. One and done. It performs the same in the lab as it does in the field and requires no additional components, system setup, or complicated installation. SoundPly sound panels are true acoustic panels.

The large majority of acoustical products in the industry are systems for a reason: achieving a high NRC in the lab is much easier with a system than it is with a panel because a system allows for any number of additional components (such as fiberglass insulation and deep cavity space).

CAUTION: Acoustic systems that require additional components often claim to be stand-alone panels.

Acoustic Performance

SoundPly acoustical solutions are the only products with a guarantee. SoundPly is a panel, not a multiple-component system, so performance doesn’t rely on the installation method. SoundPly’s acoustical guarantee completely eliminates the liability placed on installers and contractors. Our guarantee will leave you with one less thing to worry about.

SoundPly achieves its noise absorption on its own, while other acoustical systems rely on additional materials to perform.

If you’ve checked out the “panel versus system” FAQ, you understand that the large majority of acoustical products in the industry are systems for a reason: achieving a high NRC in the lab is much easier with a system than it is with a panel. A system allows for any number of additional components (such as fiberglass insulation and deep cavity space). With the freedom of additional components, the NRC can be significantly improved by adding more and more sound-affecting material. Just like you can make anything sweet if you add enough sugar, you can get a great NRC if you add enough absorptive components behind the scenes.

SoundPly acoustical panels are stand-alone products, meaning the high NRCs they achieve are theirs and theirs alone. Other products’ NRCs may seem comparable but none achieve the stand-alone absorption of SoundPly.

If you held a SoundPly acoustical sample to one ear, and any other micro-perforated sample up to the other, you’d immediately notice SoundPly’s superior sound absorption. That’s because, though other panels may look aesthetically similar, below the surface SoundPly’s MicroPerfection technology and SPCore produce unrivaled acoustic performance.

In addition to their excellent acoustic performance, SoundPly panels also have immense structural stability and exceptional longevity. Their ability to stand-alone as true panels makes their installation simple and straightforward, unlike other products. 

Though aesthetically, other acoustic wood panels may look similar, below the surface SoundPly remains unmatched. 

For their thickness, SoundPly products’ ability to eliminate both reflected and transmitted sound is unprecedented. They have the rare combination of both unusually high NRC (sound absorption) and CAC (ceiling sound blocking).

The difference between each SoundPly series is found within their core.

The DC Series represents our first generation, micro-perforated panel. Its core is the same as those currently used by every other micro-perforated wood panel manufacturer, topped with SoundPly’s MicroPerfection® Technology.

Our second generation acoustic product, the SC Series, uses a porous wood wool core. They are pass-through panels, intended to be used in combination with a sealed plenum or cavity space. They dissipate sound energy as part of a traditional acoustic system.

The LR and RF Series are third generation SoundPly products. The core of LR panels is made of mineral wool, whereas the core of RF panels is constructed from reorientated fiberglass. Both achieve maximum sound absorbency as stand-alone panels and neither require any plenum or cavity space. They can be installed directly to the wall or ceiling while still achieving maximum sound absorbency.

Visually, the LR and RF panels appear the same though because of their core, RF panels absorb the most sound energy across a broader range of frequencies. When comparing them, the RF series has the highest NRC and is CDPH1350 compliant. Because LR panels require fewer steps to manufacture, they have a lower overall cost than RF panels.

Need some help deciding which series is best for your space? Contact a team member to learn more.

Design & Aesthetics

Absolutely. Depending on the complexity of the match, there may be an upcharge (contact us for details), but Navy Island has the capability to match any color, veneer, and stain required.

A whole variety of customizable shapes and sizes are part of SoundPly’s versatility. Limitations include minimum 4” wide planks, and maximum 5’x10” panels (5’x12’ available in select veneers).

Yes, alternate options include:

  • Painted (can color-match any color)
  • Reconstituted wood

Yes – SoundPly products are available in over 700 species / slice / grade options so you have full reign in your selection. If you’d like a veneer chain of our most popular finishes, contact us.

If the veneer you’ve chosen isn’t already in our inventory of 4 million sq. ft. of veneer, Navy Island has great relationships with top suppliers so we can get you exactly what you need.

Structural Properties

Our LRM series is specifically constructed with exceptional moisture resistant properties for high-humidity environments. Because of this, the LRM series also is anti-fungal and anti-microbial. LRM is recommended for environments such as natatoriums – not recommended for exterior application.

Exterior application is not recommended, even though SoundPly is moisture-resistant and is significantly less susceptible to environmental changes. In order to maintain the longevity and performance of the acoustical material, SoundPly products should be installed in a controlled environment.

Like all architectural acoustical products, placement is not recommended for locations with abrasive or heavy physical contact (such as flush with the floor in a hospital hallway, or at hand height in a Kindergarten classroom). However, among microperforated products, SoundPly has superior impact resistance, and is significantly less susceptible to surface fractures.

Pricing & Purchasing

Lead times are typically 8 weeks, from the day an order is confirmed to the day that it ships. Depending on the season and volume of in-house work, the time to complete an order can fluctuate. Contact us directly for the most accurate lead time estimates.

Yes – Navy Island specialists regularly coordinate engineered project drawings, blueprint layouts, and sequence numbering for jobs that require a high level of specificity.

The customizable nature and wide variety of visual and acoustic options of SoundPly products limits the feasibility of working through a distributor network. Currently, our team is all in-house, and we distribute from our MN manufacturing facility. This may change as SoundPly’s range of products expands to include standardized and stocked acoustic solutions. You can direct your sales rep questions to our team.

Yes, although certain set up and minimum quantity charges are usually applied to orders under 250 sq.ft. Contact us directly for the most accurate pricing.

Price-wise, the LRM-25 generally has the lowest cost with an NRC of 0.8. The RFM, however, has higher NRCs and additional green-friendly certifications. Contact us and we’ll suggest the most cost-effective solution for your design needs.

Hardware, crating, and shipping are additional costs, as they are with similar products.

Optional customizations that may incur additional pricing include:

  • Irregular or non-standard shapes and sizes resulting in wasted material or additional labor (such as miter folds or radiuses)
  • Labor-intensive color-matching
  • Beam fabrication
  • Custom hand work
  • Upgrading to end grain veneer for beams or baffles

SoundPly pricing is extremely competitive for real wood microperforated acoustic materials. Custom sizes, increased fabrication labor, veneer matching, and quantity will affect the price.

If you’re looking for a bid quote, please contact us and we’ll connect you to the correct person to provide pricing for your specific project. Instead of being a standard square foot price, think of SoundPly as a product family with a large range of individual products that are slightly different from each other. Pricing will be based on the customized options that have been specified.


Very easy – one of the most unique advantages of SoundPly acoustic products is their ease of installation. Unlike the majority of other acoustic products, SoundPly’s range of acoustic products do not require additional sound absorbing insulation, sealed cavity / plenum spaces, or elaborate installation systems to reach their stated acoustic performance. These lack of requirements allow much greater flexibility in selecting the most appropriate and efficient installation methods.

Due to the exceptional light weight, strength, and warp / sag resistance of SoundPly products, compared to similar acoustic products, significantly less mounting and stabilizing hardware is required. Each hardware component has been engineered to fully leverage SoundPly’s structural advantages, resulting in some of the industry’s most concise and logical installation procedures.

No. Due to the incredibly small size of SoundPly’s micro-perforations, most paints, stains and finishes will easily cover, plug, or restrict the openings of the micro-perforation. These modifications will significantly reduce the product’s acoustic performance, and also void SoundPly’s acoustic performance guarantee.

If a product’s finish or paint becomes damaged, please contact us to help determine the most effective solutions to restore the appearance without compromising acoustic performance.

Surprisingly, yes. Unlike typical architectural and wood acoustic panels, SoundPly products can be cut-to-size and edgebanded in the field. It’s difficult to fully appreciate this significant benefit if you haven’t dealt with the headache of using other acoustic panel products that require identifying each sprinkler, ventilation and fixture opening before the panels can be manufactured.

The ease of field-modifying SoundPly products makes them particularly adaptable for retrofits of existing structures and customized fixtures.

This feature alone has often determined the difference between a project that’s completed on schedule and on budget, and one that’s plagued with factory remakes, unforeseen delays, and ballooning back-charges.

Care & Maintenance

No. Due to the microscopic airflow within the microperforations, the perforations themselves will not get blocked with dust.

A rag damp with water or diluted cleaning solution works effectively. Avoid using excessively harsh chemicals and saturating the panels as both can damage the finish.