How Do Attenuators Work?

To avoid confusing the lay person, we prefer the term ‘Attenuator’ to ‘Silencer’ because they reduce (attenuate) the level of sound rather than removing it completely.

Attenuators work in three very different ways to attenuate sound:

  • Passive – using acoustically absorptive material to convert sound energy to (a little bit) of heat
  • Reactive – using resonance to absorb the sound energy
  • Active – creating more sound energy that is out of phase with and cancels some of the unwanted sound energy

What are different attenuators used for?