I was looking through some spare hardware I had in the garage last week and came up with this idea for what I call a Tri-Fold Sound Wall. It’s basically a 3/4″ sheet of dense wood, cut into 3 equal sections, 6 1/2 feet high. I had some utility hinges left over from another project, so I used 6 of them to connect each of the 3 pieces of wood. This allows for the amount of openness I want my 3-sided booth to have.
The black material covering the panels is a fairly thick mesh that used to be curtains I never found a use for, and that almost found their way into the garbage on many occasions… so I’m glad I hung on to them. I used 3M Adhesive Spray to attach the black material to the panels, and then wrapped the fabric around to the back and used a staple gun to hold them tight. The black material was more for looks than sound absorbing, but a thicker, denser material could be used if available.
The final touch, which is the most important, was applying an Auralex sound panel towards the top where your mouth is going to be. The panels are 2 feet by 4 feet, so the width is perfect to span all three panels, the height is good for a foot above and below your mouth. Of course, you can cover the entire panels with Auralex, but I found that when speaking closely into the area I had applied the sound foam to, it was an amazingly isolated sound quality. The Auralex panels are about $33 each at Guitar Center stores.
The whole project was very inexpensive and took only a couple of hours from start to finish. The benefit of this adjustable wall is primarily the ability to place it anywhere you like and adjust the angle to get your desired dampening. I’ve found it also helps to place it behind me when I’m sitting at my desk, which aurally shrinks the size of my room and makes it sound much tighter. I have Auralex all over the walls in front of and beside me, and with my Tri-Fold wall behind my chair, it makes for a comfortable booth. Of course, when placed in the corner, this wall allows me to be more energetic and animated than when sitting at my desk.