What are the differences in diffusion capability between column, ported stepped and sonic diffusers?
by Jacob Davis
The most notable difference between each panel (besides the appearance) is the frequency response range/capability. The image below is a chart detailing & comparing our diffusion panels and their various frequency responses.
As you can see the Acoustifuser takes the cake for the broadest response range - but this is simply because it simultaneously provides both absorption and diffusion.
If you already have acoustic paneling and/or bass trapping in your space this type of frequency response range is not very important.
OurSonic Diffuserline is perfect for attenuating harsh high-end & treble frequencies. They also help to correcting phase issues in a room caused by direct audio reflections. These panels can be installed anywhere acoustic paneling would be placed - and can essentially act as a replacement for absorption panels. (Especially when placed strategically & when enough coverage is utilized) These are the perfect compliment to Bass Traps and/or Extra Thick Absorption Panels. (Geared toward attenuating the low-end bass)
OurACOUSTIFUSERline of panels are perfect for someone who has no acoustic treatment whatsoever - as they provide absorption/diffusion simultaneously in one panel. This is a great solution if paneling placement options are limited in the room. This is also perfect for anyone working in a tight or small room who can't afford to compromise wall space but needs additional acoustic treatment and/or diffusion.
OurColumn Slat Diffuserline is very popular because it offers a very good mid-range response. This helps to provide clarity in the often problematic muddy lower-mid range frequencies. These panels sonically compliment Acoustic Panels (Attenuating the high treble) and Bass Traps (Attenuating the low-end bass) perfectly. This is the ideal product if you have Bass Traps and Acoustic Panels in your room. (To work together as a team!)
OurPorted Stepped Diffuserswere essentially designed to work in the opposite fashion as our Column Slat Diffusion Panels. Think - opposite evil twins... The Ported Stepped diffusers boast a higher-frequency response than their Column Slat Diffuser family members. But they aren't attenuated to the muddy mid-range frequencies like the CSD line. Also A/B frequency response test's have shown that our ported stepped diffusers are capable of Low End Scattering (Up to 300hz) - this is primarily due to the internal port going through the entirety of the panel. This low-end scattering effect is not characteristic of the CSD line. So you can think of our Ported Stepped Diffusers as perfect complement to a standard / common 2.5in thick acoustic panel. (Again, to work together as a team)
Ultimately the right solution depends on each individual room. Taking into account factors such as what acoustic treatments you already have, what size the room is (LxWxH), the construction materials, what you are sonically doing within the room (ex.recording/mixing/mastering/conference/teaching/etc.) Hopefully this helps to clear up some of the main differentiations for you.