Acoustic doors: ask the experts

Acoustic doors are used in a variety of different settings – in particular, sites in which noise reduction is paramount, such as music venues, or in locations in which noise can present a hazard to health. To help you navigate the standards and specifications of acoustic doors, the Rhino team have answered some frequently asked questions to aid the selection of an appropriate acoustic door.

What purpose do acoustic doors serve? 

Acoustic doors reduce the level of sound pressure from one side of the door to the other. This acoustic reduction may be required to prevent the possibility of hearing impairment or to provide an acceptable living or working environment in the vicinity of a noise source. In other words, excessive noise can either be a nuisance or, in extreme cases, a hazard to health. 


What kind of premises normally require acoustic doors? Is their use specific to certain industries? 

These doors are often required in a wide variety of applications, such as where a performance venue has to prevent annoyance to local residents or where personnel have to be protected from noisy production equipment. Acoustic performance may also be required for security doors so that verbal briefings cannot be overheard by inappropriate personnel. 

Can you explain the technical specification of an acoustic door? How is it designed to reduce noise? How is a door’s ability at sound reduction measured? 

The acoustic performance of a door is normally expressed as a ‘Weighted Sound Reduction Index – Rw’. The door is tested in a laboratory, with the reduction in sound pressure level produced by the door being measured at a range of different frequencies. When the human ear perceives noise, it places a varying degree of emphasis on the different frequencies. The weighted sound reduction index reflects this varying human perception to produce a single measure of acoustic reduction. Some projects may also specify a reduction at a specific frequency to suit their particular requirements. 

The doors are typically tested according to the international standard ISO 10140-2:2010, and within a UKAS approved test chamber. Tests conducted to this standard will provide attenuation performance data across a range of frequencies, as well as the weighted sound reduction referred to above. 

Are acoustic doors manufactured using the same materials as Rhino’s other personnel doors? And do some materials increase a door’s sound reduction ability compared to others? 

Acoustic doors are constructed in a similar way to other Rhino doors but may also incorporate additional materials to enhance the acoustic performance. Such materials can have a variety of densities to ensure that the sound is reduced over a wide range of frequencies. 

Sound leakage is most likely to occur at the interface between the door leaf and frame. Careful consideration is always given to the configuration and detailing of the seals within this interface to minimize any potential leakage. 


As an acoustic door manufacturer, Rhino Doors has a wealth of experience. When choosing an acoustic door to reduce sound, there are lots of different variables to consider – so if you’d like to learn a little more about how they can find applications within your project, click here to read one of our case studies.