18 Best Soundproofing Materials For Home, Office And More
When it comes to soundproofing projects, there are so many material to choose from. For the average joe, it might not be that straightforward to figure out which one to use. After trying out dozens of projects in and around the house, I think it makes sense that I share all the best soundproofing materials that one can use.
This is especially so when you want to be hands-on and carry out your own DIY jobs. They can range from very basic stuff like installing a door sweep to slightly more complicated ones such as soundproofing your air vents or chimney.
There’s one thing in common though: the following list of soundproofing materials is suitable for almost every project you wish to undertake at home or in the office.
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What is a soundproofing material?
Let us first understand a bit more about how sound works first as well as the basics of soundproofing. It is unfortunately not as simple as slapping a piece of thick material to block sound off.
In very simple terms, sound is a pressure wave that is created by a vibrating object. When you tap your finger on the table, walk around the house, or watch TV, sound is being created. When that energy reaches our ears, we are then able to register it as a sound.
Knowing this fact, we can then think about how we can reduce sound. Somewhere during its journey to our ears, we need to have something in between to stop it or to absorb it.
That is where soundproofing materials come into the picture. Depending on the transmission mode and frequencies, there are different tools you can make use of to reduce sound’s impact on your daily life.
Soundproofing vs Sound absorbing: Myth dispelled
From my conversations with several friends and acquaintances, it seems that many assume that soundproofing and sound absorption is the same thing. That is actually inaccurate.
Sound absorption is just an element of soundproofing, and its main purpose is to improve the acoustics of a room. On the other hand, soundproofing techniques are used to prevent sound from leaving and entering a room.
Think of it this way: You may want to reduce the amount of echo reverberating in a room, so you use sound absorption materials. In another scenario, you might want to prevent sounds from interfering with your studio recordings, so you would employ techniques accordingly to stop sound from flowing in and out.
Types of Soundproofing Materials
Here, we take a look at some of the most common types of soundproofing materials that are suitable for a range of soundproofing projects such as for your room, bathroom, car, and even in the office.
Read on to find out the different qualities and the best scenario to use them.
Sound Absorbing – As mentioned earlier, sound absorption is used more as a way to improve the acoustics of a room rather than a soundproofing object. It is not as effective as the next 3 qualities, so you should consider combining a few different material to achieve a better overall result if soundproofing is on your mind.
Sound Dampening – Essentially, damping is the act of removing vibrational energy from an object. We can add materials to a surface area so that vibration effects can be greatly reduced or even stopped immediately. One example is Green Glue, which is a compound that can greatly dampen sound. It is often used in between 2 layers to stop sound from transmitting from one side to the other. It is especially good at dealing with low frequency noise.
Sound Decoupling – This particular technique is mostly left to professionals, but I think it deserves a mention here too. Decoupling involves separating two sides of a structure so that they vibrate independently of each other. This means that sound will not be able to pass through to the other side. Tools that are most often used are resilient channels, which are great at dealing with impact noises as well as low frequency noises.
Adding Mass – This is probably the most commonly thought of step when people are quizzed about soundproofing, and yes, it is highly effective. The logic is that a big and heavy object is good at blocking off noise, especially airborne sounds such as music or people talking. Many times, a large piece of furniture can do the trick well. This technique does not, however, work well with impact noise.
Adding distance – this does not involve the use of any equipment, but it is a soundproofing technique nonetheless. The further away a sound source is from you, the less you will hear the sound as the energy is lost across a greater distance. This might not be so practical in a small house or apartment though, so other methods above should be used.
Here is a quick overview of the commonly used soundproofing materials:
- Mineral wool
- Door sweeps
- Mass loaded vinyl (MLV)
- Sound deadening paint
- Acoustic Partitions
- Acoustic foams
- Acoustic caulk
- Green Glue noiseproofing compound
- Soundproof window film
- Soundproof fiberglass
- Weatherstripping tape
- Acoustic curtains
- Floor underlayment
- Moving blankets
- Sound deadening spray
- Dry wall
- Resilient channel
- Anti vibration floor mats
List of the Best Soundproofing Products
1. Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation
If this article is encouraging you to finally start a home studio (or should I say a room studio), this mineral wool insulation is the only defence you can have to keep your neighbour from knocking down your door.
This wool is meant to completely block any echo and acoustic effects. Think about it this way. If air can get through to any part of your home, sound can too. This to me is one of the best soundproofing material for ceilings.
The only catch is that it’s not like other common soundproof materials that you can use in an already built room or building. You have to include it in your room construction plan.
- Noise Insulation: High density and random fiber orientation trap sound waves and deadens vibration time. Perfect for minimizing noise from offices, bedrooms, meeting rooms or spaces close to busy roads.
- Thermal Insulation: Reduces energy bills for heat. Rockwool has a R-value higher per inch than fiberglass insulation
- Fire Resistant: Made of rock that is fire resistant. Properties in accordance with ASTM C553
- Long Term Performance: Due to the durability of rock it has an unlimited lifetime.
- Pack of 10 Boards 1" thick 2' x 4'
2. Door Sweep / Draft Stopper
If noise is your primary concern or if you are carrying out extremely noisy activity at your home, you may need to walk an extra mile to save yourself or your neighbours from resulting stress.
The door sweep or draft stopper is the extra measure that you can take to eradicate noise pollution.
These easy-to-install, multi-purpose, and affordable stoppers help you soundproof your doors while helping with energy conservation within the room.
The only downside is that you need to refrain from moving your door much during the setting phase of 24 hours.
- 【SAVE YOUR MONEY】 The weather stripping stop the heat and cold from escaping during winter and summer. Makes heating and cooling your home or office more efficient and cost effective for reducing the heating & cooling bill.
- 【NOISE REDUCTION】- The door bottom seal designed by 2 layers of sealer, stop the noise, keep your room cozy and quiet!
- 【NO MORE GAPS】 - 1-4/5" W" Width x 37" Length, . Fits Gaps up to 1 iInches. Self-adhesive door draft blocker for uneven door gaps exterior/interior doors, garage, basement, bed, sofa and cabinet.
- 【WIDE APPLICATION】-It is widely used in various types of doors or windows like frameless sliding doors, glass doors, sliding doors, wood doors, cupboards, wardrobes, furniture and shower room, etc
- 【EASY TO INSTALL 】-Just measure the width of your door, cut to size, peel the backing off the adhesive and stick it to the door! Also preheat the strip with hairdryer in cold winter to help it stick well.
3. Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Using Mass Loaded Vinyl is one the best ways to add mass to a surface such as walls, doors, floors, and ceilings. They also work very well in cars and vans.
They are made to be very thin and dense, which means they do not take up much space but greatly increases the mass of a surface.
By adding mass, you can achieve the effect of blocking out sound, but do take note they are not the best candidate if you are trying to get rid of impact noises.
Also, this product will not appeal to budget conscious homeowners.
Audimute is a US company and has been making innovative products for many years now.
They have a strong focus on using environmentally friendly practices, using material that contains over 80% of post-consumer recycled material. These materials are also nontoxic and noncarcinogenic, making them very safe for use in all scenarios.
This particular model is perfect for floor underlayment as they are able to absorb shocks on top of dampening noises. You can even use this outdoors if needed.
Read more: Best MLV Brands
4. Sound Deadening Paint
The main difference between regular paint and soundproofing paint is that the latter contains latex. This gives the effect of having rubber “pellets” being inserted into holes in your wall, effectively blocking out noise. The actual efficiency of using soundproof paint is often being debated, but I do think that it has its merits. It sure beats trying to apply many coats of regular paint.
5. Acoustic Partitions
These are most commonly seen around the office, where bosses hide behind to discuss their secret plans to take over the world. Partitions allow them to do so in privacy and prevent the conversation from leaking.
Jokes aside, they work really well when you need to have your own personal space to do some work or study. It could be in an open office or a shared room where each individual needs privacy.
- ROLLING ROOM PARTITION: The VP6 is a single-panel room partition. This product is sold with 3” non-marking swivel ball bearing casters; it can be used with or without them. The VP6 is a perfect moveable privacy screen for just about any occasion.
- ROLLING ROOM PARTITION: The VP6 is a single-panel room partition. This product is sold with 3” non-marking swivel ball bearing casters; it can be used with or without them. The VP6 is a perfect moveable privacy screen for just about any occasion.
- ARRANGEMENT VERSATILITY: These lightweight, easily-transportable room dividers can be stored nestled next to one another to minimize storage space. Roll out one or two to divide space in office workstations, classrooms, apartments, or for a temporary wall.
- FEATURES: Attractive 12oz cotton fabric panels are tensioned between the tubular steel frame. These canvas panels are durable and replaceable. The swivel wheels allow for easy movement. It is also Class A Fire Rated.
- DIMENSIONS: The overall dimensions are 6’ high x 6’ long. The base of the product is 24" wide. This mobile divider is constructed of heavy 16 gauge 1.25” round steel tubing for strength, connected by rounded plastic corner joints for safety.
- VERSARE: Versare builds and sells superior quality room dividers, cubicle partitions, sound panels, and privacy screens all at affordable prices. Their products serve uses in corporate offices to home studios.
Read more: Best Acoustic Partitions
6. Acoustic Foam
For most users, this is the go-to solution for their soundproofing problem.
Its biggest promise lies in absorbing echoes and acoustic feedback.
Other benefits includes its ease-of-use, cost-effectiveness, and decorative potential. But these benefits come with a serious blow on the quality of soundproofing.
This foam comes with a limited capacity to absorb sound with a significant portion that will stay in the air (and pass on to the next room).
To maxmize the full efficiency of the acoustic foam panel, you should combine it with other soundproofing techniques.
- ★ Professional Sound Absorbing Properties - Acoustic foams are installed to reduce noise pollution as they remove echoes and background sounds not by blocking the sound but by absorbing it. Acoustic foams are used to control the reverberation sounds make and this is quite different from soundproofing. Use our acoustic foam to treat any sized areas including acoustic studio, recording booths, control rooms and radio studios. They effectively delete standing waves and flutter.
- ★ Quality - Our Acoustic Foam Panels are made with flexible, professional grade acoustic foam, made for quality sound absorption in a variety of soundproofing projects. The foam is dense and consistent in firmness, so acoustic absorption performance will also be consistent.
- ★ More Comfort/Less Stress - The most common problem in large rooms with high ceilings is that of echo. An echo creates multiple wavelengths of retracting sound waves that interfere with the conversations in the room. Acoustic foam panels absorb unwanted sound such as echoes and noise from surrounding areas, making other sounds clearer.
- ★ Better Entertainment - Acoustic foam works fairly well at sound absorption and can be used to acoustically treat a room to improve the quality of sound. It is widely used for treating recording studios and theaters. Acoustic Foam Panels absorb sound generated at any range of frequencies, making them perfect for recording or listening environments.
- ★ Easy to Install - Acoustic Foam Panels are lightweight and can be installed to a variety of different surfaces. No special tools are needed for installation. Please note: Double tape/strips or glue are not included in package, and must be purchased separately.
7. Acoustic Caulk
This special caulking material is used mostly when constructing drywalls. They put the finishing touches to the gaps and effectively block out noise. It prevents air from entering and thus lowers the impact of noise.
8. GreenGlue noiseproofing compound
Similar to acoustic caulk, GreenGlue is used to seal up gaps and holes in a variety of settings such as walls, ceilings, drywalls, or even electrical boxes.
Compared to regular caulk, the manufacturer has enhanced their soundproofing qualities and can also dampen vibrations. Many soundproofing professionals swear by it, and amateurs like myself have also benefitted from it greatly.
- Applies in just minutes
- Independent lab tests prove that using Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound dissipates up to 90 percent of noise
- For best results, cure time is seven days and reaches peak performance 30 days after application
- Ideal for dissipating low frequency noise common with home entertainment and theater systems
9. Soundproof Window Film
Do you ever realize that your windows are actually one of the biggest culprits in letting noise into your home? Yes, it is true, and there are not really a lot of home based solutions you can use. People who really wants to get rid of noise through windows will have to engage a professional to install double or triple glazed windows, but that will cost a fair bit.
What can the rest of us do then? The humble window film can provide a simple yet effective solution. It has the effect of thickening your window glass, which you would know by now that adding mass and distance will help in reducing noise. Not the best solution, but a cost effective one nonetheless.
- ☆High brightness, 80% increase in definition, good lighting; HD, high transparency, good definition, and the background is clearly visible.
- ☆The curtain is made of environmentally friendly high-permeable membrane material, which is an environmentally friendly plastic foam material with good cushioning, impact resistance, heat insulation, cold resistance and water resistance, non-toxic and non-toxic. Does not absorb.
- ☆The heat-insulation sealing film for windows can raise the room by 3~5 degrees, and put cold-proof double-layer heat-insulating stickers, sound insulation materials and windshield on double-layer windows to seal the windows in winter.
- ☆When purchasing, please choose a size larger than the original window. The size of some of your windows is: 1.45M * 1.45M. You can choose 1.5M * 1.5M to make.
- ☆The reason for the size error is the difference of the ruler or pure handwork. An error of about 1-2cm away from the size you reported is normal and cannot be avoided in the industry.
10. Soundproof Fiberglass
This acoustic material works better than acoustic wool as we can use it out of construction projects. So if you are given a well-constructed room and your goal is to only add to its soundproofing capacity, Acoustic fiberglass is a great option for you.
It’s best features are increased soundproofing quality and ease-of-use. But you should shop around to look for the most affordable option as they can quickly burn a hole in your pocket.
11. Weatherstripping tape
When it comes to sealing the gaps in windows and doors, weatherstripping tape is a fantastic choice. It is easy to use and is inexpensive.
Although it was not made strictly for soundproofing but rather insulation, it achieves the effect by sealing off gaps that allows air to enter.
Just like regular tape, all you need to do is peel and stick at the spots you have identified. They come in various thickness so most of your problems can easily be fixed with this soundproofing material.
Related: 5 Best Weather Stripping for Soundproofing
12. Acoustic Curtains
Also known as thermal blackout curtains, acoustic curtains are the best material to help with reducing the noise coming in or going out of a room through doors and windows.
Although these curtains are not as great as noise insulators, acoustic fiberglass, and acoustic wool, they are flexible and do not interfere with the functions of a window or door.
In addition to sound blockage, these curtains also help with energy conservation in the room.
- READY MADE: 2 panels per package. Each Curtain with 1.6" diameter rings measures 52" wide x 84" long (Total width of 2 panels is 104"). 3 layers together: front is pure white, back is grayish-white & 1 detachable felt fabric lining in the middle.
- NOISE REDUCING: Detachable felt fabric liner in the middle which makes the effect of absorbing sound is 2.5 times higher than the ordinary curtains. So that minimize the effect of noise on you at any time. But these curtains are not noise cancelling, but noise reducing. The more folds the better the noise dampening.
- 100% BLACKOUT: Curtains are made with 2 layers triple weave fabric and 1 layer detachable felt fabric liner. Thick enough to completely keep out the 100% SUNLIGHT and UV RAY. Offering you a real dark environment, a great choice for any room you would like to turn day into night.
- THERMAL INSULATION: 3-in-1 curtains can balance room temperature by insulating against summer HEAT and winter CHILL meanwhile protect PRIVACY. Help you to reduce energy costs. Tips: You will need a rod that is strong with a center support to support the heavy curtains.
- EASY CARE: Good quality finishing will withstand years of use. Detach the felt liner before machine wash. Machine washable and Wash the water temperature below 86℉. Mild detergent no bleaching. Low-temperature ironing.
13. Floor Underlayment
In homes where the floor is made of engineered wood, laminates, or hardwood, noise is always going to be present. The way to reduce floor vibrations include several methods, one of which is installing a floor underlayment.
Although this step is usually done during the construction of the house or during a renovation, you can still try out this step on a smaller scale. Do this in a room which gets the highest foot traffic and one that affects the people below most.
Installation is pretty simple too as the underlayment typically has a self adhesive layer, making this one of the best floor soundproofing materials.
- For use with engineered wood and laminate flooring
- Provides cushion over concrete and wood subfloors
- 360-Feet square roll.The IIC and STC tests measure sound transference from an upper level room to a lower level room. The IIC measures sound such as moving furniture and walking, while the STC measures sound such as voices and television.
- Sound Transmission Lost Test (STC) rating of 66
- Impact Sound Transmission Test (IIC) rating of 67
- 360 sq. ft. roll (60in. x 72ft.) 1/cs
14. Moving Blankets
Definitely one of my favorite tools to have around the house are moving blankets. Most people only employ them when moving homes, but they are actually great for soundproofing too. I use them often in my DIY soundproofing projects and always get a good result.
Moving blankets are thick and are excellent at sound absorption. I use them when the area is typically out of sight such as my utility room since they are not the best looking material around.
Take note though that they usually do not have grommets, so you have to figure out a way to hang them up. Large clips are my go to.
- Professional-grade: Oversized, 80" x 72" premium quality moving pads that provide exceptional damage protection from scratches, nicks, dirt, and moisture when moving or transporting furniture, appliances, and other valuable large items
- Superior cushioning: Constructed with thick, padded virgin cotton batting with polyester binding, these packing blankets offer superior protection compared to most competitor's blankets made from inferior materials. Zig-zag stitching holds inner cushioning in place for consistent padding protection and prolonged pad life.
- Durable: Weighing approximately 2-3/4 pounds apiece, these heavy-duty furniture blankets feature a reinforced double-lock stitched fabric with polyester binding that is highly resilient to tears and built-to-last
- Multi-purpose: Ideal for both professional and do-it-yourself moving, these versatile, general purpose blankets are well suited for safe, breathable protection for items in storage, as well as protecting floors, car upholstery, and much more
- Dual-sided: Quality, double-sided construction allows for added convenience and protection when securely wrapping up items or sliding furniture across floors
15. Sound Deadening Spray
Remember the MLV described above? This is basically the liquid version. I do not really see it being used around the house though, and I believe it was made mostly for car owners instead.
They work great at getting to hard to reach spots in a vehicle and all you do is simply point and spray. After drying out, it forms a layer that acts like a MLV and reduces noise transmission pretty effectively, not to mention that it is super cost effective.
16. Dry Wall
You can either build your own and engage a professional to erect a drywall for you. They act as a sound barrier as it thickens and adds mass to room or wall.
There are a number of ways you can construct your own drywall, but to receive the highest soundproofing benefit (increase STC rating), you should use GreenGlue as a sealant and include MLV sheets in between the walls.
17. Resilient Channels
These are metal rails that are attached to studs and ceiling joists to decouple the drywall from the studs and it greatly enhances the noise blocking ability of your internal structure.
That said, this project is mostly done during the construction phase and would most likely require professional help.
18. Anti-vibration floor mats
When it comes to reducing the impact of electrical appliances, an anti-vibration mat will do an excellent job. Machines such as the dryer and washing machine can emit a lot of noise when in use, and these rubber coasters can dampen the amount of vibration caused, thus eliminating the noise.
If you want to have an extra layer of noise reduction, you can also throw a moving blanket over the machine.
- 【 ✅ANTI VIBRATION】：4 Pack of Anti Vibration Pads which are used to reduce noise and shock absorption of HVAC equipment or machinery.
- 【 ✅LOADING CAPACITY 】：Indoor or Outdoor Rated,60 PSI max load,960 lbs per pad max.
- 【 ✅STRONG QUALITY 】：Extreme vibration attenuation is the latest generation, Made of High Strength Rubber and blue EVA center material, which is structurally more sound than cork, no more affected by oils or chemical; more effective at vibration dampening than solid rubber.
- 【 ✅WIDELY APPLICATION】：Design to Resist Aging & Shock Absorption of Heavy duty Mini Split Heat Pumps,Air Compressor, Stereo Equipment, Harvester, Generator, Water Pumps, washer and dryer machine.
- 【 ✅PACKAGE INCLUDED】:4×Rubber Pads.LBG Products offer you 100% satisfaction guarantee, well packaged and served.
Wrapping up the Best Soundproofing Materials
In this article, we looked at the most common soundproof materials used in homes and offices. These are the best materials because of their quality and performance.
Is there such a thing as a cheap soundproofing material? Well, the answer is yes and no and it depends on what you are trying to achieve.
The good thing is that most of the material above is readily available and you can get a quick estimate on the cost of soundproofing before you start.
Do you know of any other soundproofing material that is worth mentioning? Send me a message and I will add them to this list!
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