The Infamous Egg Carton Test

Since entering the acoustics arena in the seventies, we have heard many stories over and over. One of these is that egg cartons can be a substitute for acoustical foams or other sound absorbers as an acoustical treatment for use in broadcast & recording studios or other critical listening environments.

After listening to this many times, I decided to include formed paper egg cartons with a test of some commercial products at Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories.

Egg Carton Test

The Infamous Results

*NOTE: IF YOU WISH TO REFER TO THESE TESTS, PLEASE CREDIT ACOUSTICS FIRST® CORPORATION AS THE SOURCE. WE CANNOT AUTHORIZE USE OF THE "RIVERBANK" NAME BEYOND OUR REPRODUCTION OF THEIR ORIGINAL REPORT.

Egg vs. Foam

Egg Cartons do have acoustical value.
They measure NRC = 0.40.

The graph tells the rest of the story. While commercial products exhibit a smooth curve, there is a "pothole" in the acoustical road with egg cartons.

Egg Carton Comparison to Foam

Sound Absorption Coefficients for Paper Egg Cartons

100 Hz125 Hz250 Hz500 Hz1000 Hz2000 Hz4000 HzNRC
0.000.010.070.440.610.480.690.40
Another thing to consider is flammability. Take an egg carton outside and put a match to it! Then ask yourself, "Do I still want this on my studio walls?"   - Nick Colleran