MondoTraps are a recent addition to the RealTraps family, and they offer more low frequency absorption than any other bass trap product we know of. MondoTraps absorb twice as much as MiniTraps below 100 Hz, and proportionally more above 100 Hz too. When very high performance at low frequencies matters the more than anything else, MondoTraps are the obvious choice.
MondoTraps are 2 feet wide by 4′-9″ tall by 4 inches thick, and weigh 28 pounds. The optional stand shown at left lets you avoid permanent wall mounting, or easily move them around as needed
TEST DATA INTERPRETATION
As you can see, one standard MiniTrap is nearly six times more effective than the same four-foot length of corner foam at 100 Hz and all lower frequencies. A MondoTrap absorbs twice again more below 100 Hz. Also observe that MicroTraps match or exceed the performance of 3-inch acoustic wedge foam panels above 160 Hz, even though MicroTraps are only one inch thick.
It’s important to point out that no US labs are certified to report absorption data below 100 Hz. This does not mean the data is suddenly useless below that frequency. Rather, the margin of error gradually increases so the absolute absorption figures can become less accurate. However, relative comparisons between different materials are absolutely valid, as long as the tests are performed on the same day in the same lab, and the materials are placed in exactly the same position in the reverb test chamber. Equally important is having a sufficiently large sample size – the ASTM recommends testing at least 64 square feet of material to obtain reliable data. So while the data below 100 Hz is not officially certified, it’s a valid comparison and we include it here for completeness.
All RealTraps products are tested at IBM’s Hudson Valley Acoustics Laboratory in Poughkeepsie, NY. During testing the MiniTraps were mounted exactly as we recommend – in one test they were spaced four inches away from the mounting surface, and for the other they were placed in the room corners. Note that these tests yield absorption data as Sabins, which we converted to absorption coefficients using the standard method of dividing Sabins by the total square feet of front surface area. Both data formats are shown so you can easily compare MiniTraps to other products not listed here, regardless of how their performance is stated. Note that tube traps have no flat front surface, so that product is listed only in the Sabins table. Also note that the published data for tube traps stops at 2 KHz.
Data for all but one of the competing products was taken from the manufacturer’s own literature. We are often asked how MiniTraps compare with typical corner foam but, sadly, the official test standards do not specify how to measure absorbers that are intended to be mounted in corners. So we hired IBM’s acoustics lab to test 4-foot lengths of a popular brand of corner foam while mounted in corners exactly the same way the MiniTraps were tested.
We also include the manufacturer’s published data for the brand of foam we tested so you can see how it compares with other brands of corner foam. Since most acoustic data is, at minimum, shown as octave bands down to 125 Hz, you can directly compare other corner foam with the particular brand we measured, to see how well they would perform when tested in corners.
What’s most important here is the huge disparity in the first table (highlighted in white) between the published data for corner foam versus what we actually measured in a real acoustics lab. Please understand, this is not due to deceit or trickery – rather, it merely underscores the points made in The Numbers Game article. Even with the added advantage of being placed in a corner, the corner foam performed far worse than its published specs. To convert Sabins as measured to absorption coefficients we again used the standard formula that divides Sabins by the corner foam’s front surface area of 5.67 square feet. (The 17-inch front width times four feet of length equals 5.67 square feet of front surface.) As with the MiniTraps, the triangle shaped ends of each four-foot length of corner foam were exposed during testing, but not included in the calculation to convert Sabins to absorption coefficients.
One final point is the surprising number of acoustic product vendors who give no performance data at all. Testing in a real acoustics lab is not free, but the cost is reasonable for anyone running a real business. We’re often asked how MiniTraps compare to various other products for which no data is offered. Think about that. Would you buy an expensive pair of loudspeakers without having any idea of their frequency response? Or a power amp with absolutely no distortion, noise, or even output power specs? Marketing acoustic panels without furnishing performance data tells consumers either “We have no idea if they actually work” or, worse, “We did test them and they’re not very good.”