Sabin is a powerful CAD tool for room acoustics engineers. Based on statistical calculations, it determines the acoustical parameters of a user defined room, such as the reverberation time T60, the sound pressure level, and the RASTI as a measure of speech intelligibility. These parameters are updated dynamically, while the user is changing simulated sound sources and absorbing materials.

Sabin features an automated material search procedure resulting in the desired reverberation curve. A room is defined by entering the empty volume, the environmental conditions and the types and areas of the surfaces present, like floor, wall and ceiling. A project may contain several rooms, each of which can be defined separately as described above. The desired reverberation times may be entered for reference and as a target for the Autosearch function. The measured reverberation times can be used when unknown absorption materials are present in an existing room.

Absorption materials can be selected from a database, and applied to the surfaces. This can be done manually, or automatically through the Autosearch function, which is based on the actual and desired reverberation curves.
Sound sources are also selected from a database and placed in the room. Noise sources represent unwanted environmental sounds. Signal sources represent musical instruments, voices, loudspeakers, etcetera.
During the design process, the resulting reverberation and sound pressure level curves are shown continuously, thereby providing the designer with a highly convenient feedback.


  • Allows much faster room acoustics design and the evaluation of many design alternatives within a short timeframe.
  • Reverberation calculations based on the theories of Eyring or Sabine.
  • Real time graphical feedback while changing sources and absorption.
  • Calculates received single number quantities such as LA, SNR and RASTI.
  • Comprehensive, user expandable databases for absorption materials and sound sources.
  • Advanced Autosearch function finds optimal absorption materials.
  • Calculates unknown absorption based on measured reverberation time.
  • Extensive presentation-ready printed reports.
  • User friendly, easy to operate with on-line context sensitive help.
  • Runs on Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7/8.


Click on the image to the right to see a gallery of a small selection of the screens in Sabin. For a more detailed view of Sabin try the Demo version.


Project View

Sabine's Reverberation Formula

Wallace Clement Sabine

Wallace Clement Sabine was a pioneer in architectural acoustics. A century ago he started experiments in the Fogg lecture room at Harvard, to investigate the impact of absorption on the reverberation time. It was on the 29th of October 1898 that he discovered the type of relation between these quantities. Sabine derived an expression for the duration T of the residual sound to decay below the audible intensity, starting from a 1,000,000 times higher initial intensity:

T = 0.161 V/A

where V is the room volume in cubic meters, and A is the total absorption in square meters. Sabine's reverberation formula has been applied successfully for many years to determine material absorption coefficients by means of reverberation rooms. Keeping in mind some conditions with regard to the sound field diffusion and the value of A, Sabine's formula is still widely accepted as a very useful estimation method for the reverberation time in rooms.

Sabin as Unit of Sound Absorption

The unit of sound absorption is square meter, referring to the area of open window. This unit stems from the fact that sound energy travelling toward an open window in a room will not be reflected at all, but completely disappear in the open air outside. The effect would be the same if the open window would be replaced with 100 % absorbing material of the same dimensions.


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To clarify the use of Sabin, the tutorial shows you how to find a solution to three different problems using Sabin. In all examples the database file Demo.mdb is used. Additional information concerning specific topics can be found through the Help menu.

  • Problem 1: The reverberation time of a newly designed room has to be given a certain desired value.
  • Problem 2: The reverberation time of an existing room has to be reduced to a given value. One of the materials present has unknown absorption coefficients.
  • Problem 3: The speech intelligibility in a given room with a noise source present has to be improved.

pdf icon Click here to view the tutorial (or right-click to save as PDF-file)

Absorption Databases

From this page you can download zipped databases containing the absorption coefficients of different materials from several manufacturers. These (MS-Access compatible) databases have all the required entries for immediate use with Sabin.

Note: Absorption coefficients are not material properties. These values have been measured in conformance with the appropriate standards, and should be used within the limits described by these standards. Although we have tried to ensure the accuracy of the contents of these databases, Acoustics Engineering can not be held responsible for errors in the absorption coefficients or other parameters, or for damages resulting from the use of this information.

Click on the flag to get the database in the desired language (English or Dutch).

Supplier Description English Dutch
Asbipro Perforated metal ceiling elements, baffles Abipro-UK Abipro-NL
Caldic Airduct sound absorption, baffles Caldic-UK Caldic-NL
Clecon Perforated profiled steel plates Clecon-UK Clecon-NL
Heraklith Wood-wool-magnesite plates Heraklith-UK Heraklith-NL
Hoeka Acoustic plaster Hoeka-UK Hoeka-NL
Isover Glass wool fiber plates and blankets Isover-UK Isover-NL
Jocavi Diffusors, absorbers Jocavi-UK
Lambri Perforated wooden panels Lambri-UK Lambri-NL
OWA Bound mineral wool ceiling panels OWA-UK OWA-NL
Poriso Porous brickwork Poriso-UK Poriso-NL
Rockfon Presses rockwool ceiling panels Rockfon-UK Rockfon-NL
Tectum Wood-wool-magnesite ceiling panels Tectum-UK Tectum-NL
Ytong Aerated concrete Ytong-UK Ytong-NL
'Sabin' general purpose database Sabin-UK
'Delft' general purpose database Delft-NL

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn't Sabin take the shape of a room into account?

Sabin is based on statistical calculations, using the total room volume and the total absorption present, assuming a diffuse sound field. This allows Sabin, in contrast to ray-tracing programs, to very quickly calculate the relevant acoustical parameters. In practice a diffuse sound field has proven to be a good approximation of reality.

Should I handle a dome as wall or as ceiling?

Sabin uses statistical calculations that assume a diffuse sound field. Therefore, it makes absolutely no difference on which surface type an absorption material is applied. The sole purpose of making a distinction between walls, ceilings and floors, is to aid you in selecting materials from the database, and to exclude unsuitable materials from being considered by the AutoSearch procedure. For instance, in case of a dome, the choice for ceiling or wall depends on the kind of materials that you allow on this surface.

How do I apply materials to a surface in a practical situation?

In order to get a diffuse sound field you should spread the materials over the surfaces. In practice, this is not always possible. Note that many absorption materials require a minimum area for the absorption coefficients given in the database to be valid.

What other acoustical parameters should I consider?

Although Sabin provides you with the most important acoustical parameters required for your design, you could also take into account the room dimensions, such that the occurrence of standing waves (modes) is avoided, and the pattern of reflections required to get a diffuse sound field.

Can I use MS-Access to modify the database?

Yes, you can use MS-Access 7.0 and later to modify or expand the database. However, you should not change the structure of the database.

Do you have localized versions available?

No, currently Sabin is only available in an English-language version.

How much does it cost?

Sabin is available for EUR 99,-. This includes free maintenance upgrades and free technical support.


The license fee includes 1 year of free updates. There are no additional costs for shipping or handling. We offer an educational discount of 50%. Additional quantity discounts are available on request.

For further information, please contact us.

Sabin 3.0 single user license EUR 99