The large volumes, flexible floorplans, and sound-bouncing hard surfaces that make open-plan offices so appealing frequently have a downside: unwanted noise. One way to mitigate the buzz of conversation and hum of machinery is to specify fabric acoustic panels. Economical, aesthetic, and portable, they can be strategically positioned where they are most needed. Rather than totally deadening the sound in a space, the panels selectively absorb high-, mid-range-, and low-frequency soundwaves, providing clarity and acoustic enhancement.

Offered by major contract furnishings manufacturers and by specialty suppliers such as FilzFelt, Carnegie, BuzziSpace, and Snowsound in a range of formats from modular tiles to large rigid panels to soft drapery, the floorplans are versatile and can be configured into freestanding room dividers, suspended from the ceiling, used as desk dividers, or applied directly to walls or ceilings with magnets, z-clips, or tape.