Impact noise is the result of people walking in the room above. Footfall causes vibrations in the floor. These vibrations pass through the ceiling of the room below.
Airborne noise is the sound from the room above, whether it’s people talking, a loud TV or thumping music.
Both types of noise enter the room through the ceiling, the part of the room that joins the two spaces. But noises also travel through joists and beams. This means noise from several levels above can still enter the space and cause issues. Soundproofing a ceiling reduces the noise that enters the space from any room above, whether it’s impact or airborne noise.