Silencing the Noise: How to Soundproof a Room for Podcasting
It’s hard to believe it’s been about a decade since I first heard the word “podcast”. I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to start one myself, but I sure do listen to quite a few. True crime and comedy podcasts have kept me entertained on my morning commute for years now. Several of my favorite shows started with a simple set up in a spare space in someone’s home.
I can attest to that because I talk to aspiring influencers all the time who want to know how to soundproof a room for podcasting or create a better sound quality in a sound studio.
Podcasting By the Numbers – The New Medium for Content and Conversation
Numbers from Statista show that in 2006 only 22% of American adults had even heard of podcasting. By 2022, this number rose to nearly 80%, as over 82 million Americans listened to podcasts. Over 100 million Americans are expected to listen by 2024.
In 2022, roughly 38% of the U.S. population reported that they have listened to a podcast in the past month, which is roughly triple the amount from a decade earlier. The audience is diverse, but the main consuming group is 12- to 34-year-olds, a prized demographic for advertisers.
With the growth of the podcast audience, advertising dollars have flooded the space, and with so much money entering the market, more and more podcasters are trying their hand at the medium. Numerous platforms can be used to select, download, and subscribe to podcasts, but the biggest, according to Net Influencer, are Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher. Spotify alone has roughly 4.7 million podcasts on the platform!
Podcasting is fun, engaging, and potentially profitable. With so many options available, consumers are extremely finicky about which podcasts they want to listen to. They expect a quality story and they won’t tolerate poor sound quality. Regardless of the content itself, if a podcast has echoes, flat sounds, inaudible voices, outside noise, or a hissing quality, listeners will quickly move to one of the other millions of options.
Sound quality, which includes soundproofing, sound absorption, and sound diffusion, is essential. With the rise of the medium, I have seen an increase in requests for soundproofing a room. No matter what the situation, I have suggestions that will help create a better podcast.
How to Soundproof a Room for Podcasting: Simple Tips for the Best Results
When a creator comes to me with questions about soundproofing a room or improving the sound quality for a podcast, the first question I will ask is whether they rent or own their home. For clear reasons, this can dictate the available options for creating better sound quality.
I’ll also ask about their goals and general needs. In other words, why do they need my expertise? Is outside noise reaching the microphone, or is the podcast product too loud, and creating issues with neighbors? Or does it sound dull, hissy, or distant? Are there too many peaks in noise, or is the sound too flat?
These questions are important, but again the solutions I can provide largely depend on whether someone rents or owns. So that’s where we start…
How to Best Soundproof if You Rent
Renters can’t typically change their walls and install new material. If you rent you are stuck with what you have unless your landlord will allow major changes, which is rare.
Assuming you can’t make changes, you have to add items that are not attached or can be removed without too much damage. In this case, an enclosure is probably the best option. It’s also possible to modify a walk-in closet that doesn’t have many common walls.
In fact, a large closet is often the best option for renters or homeowners, because you have a small encapsulated room that can be cleared out, with only a desk and a few small items. Then, podcasters can close the door and do their work.
You’ll still need soundproofing no matter what room you select, so you may want to use a door-seal kit and sound blankets, which can be ordered to a specific size and cover walls with minimal-invasive installation. You might also add some foam material to reduce echos. In most cases, these simple additions will create the podcast sound quality you need.
How to Best Soundproof if You Own
Soundproofing Your Own Space
Owners have more options. For homeowners, I’ll usually start by asking if they want to build a new room for creating podcasts. If that’s the case, I’ll go through the different materials, such as Green Glue, which can be used to retrofit existing walls. I might also recommend a privacy door or a door kit to ensure noise does not enter your space.
Soundproofing Complete, On to Sound Control
Step 1 is soundproofing. Step 2 is sound control. If a room is completely soundproofed, this isn’t necessarily the end of perfecting your acoustics. The soundproofed room may be *too* dead, meaning that the soundproofing is working as intended, blocking all external sounds, but a podcaster likely will want to clean up the noise they are making for the project.
To do this, homeowners can improve the sound quality by installing acoustic sound panels to tame reverberation. This has to do with the sound the podcaster is making him or herself. For example, if it is a lively podcast with one or more people speaking (or shouting) in animated fashion, this “mess” of noise will be bouncing around all over the room, the sound waves interfering with one another. Utilizing acoustic sound panels, like Alphasorb Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panels, will reduce reverberation and echo, taming the sounds and making the product ultimately sound cleaner.
I’ve seen these solutions work. We once had a customer contact us with issues related to his studio. He wanted to bring down reverberation and echo in an area that measured roughly 15 feet x 10 feet. This area was part of a larger room, so we used multiple products, including acoustic panels, fabrics, and foam to create a clear, distraction-free podcast recording.
A Final Touch – Diffusers
Once a room is properly soundproofed and sound control measures are in place to handle reverb and echo, the sound is going to be very clean. While this is desired by many, sometimes podcasters may want to add a bit of “sparkle” back into the mix. To do this, I would suggest a diffuser. Sound diffusers work to maintain the “live” ambiance of the sound, breathing life back into the overall sound by scattering sound waves.
Find the Best Soundproofing Solutions for Podcasting with Acoustical Solutions
I can’t create the perfect podcast story, but I can help enhance the sound quality in any room where you create a podcast. Whether you rent or own your home, let me help you create better sound to ensure a superior podcast. And completely renovating your owned home or majorly outfitting a rental isn’t the only option.
An assistant for Mike Rowe once called me asking about a desktop enclosure for Mike to record his podcast at his desk with just his laptop and microphone. As Mr. Rowe’s lovely, calm voice is the product, they didn’t feel like they needed to go all out to capture the essence of his product. We worked with his team to come up with a desktop enclosure where he could still see out his window to the Golden Gate Bridge, but would provide the right amount of soundproofing and sound control to properly capture his voice. Everyone has a different space, a different voice, and a different product, and we pride ourselves on designing the perfect mix of acoustical solutions for your specific needs.
Contact me today, tell me about your situation, and I’ll show how I can enhance your podcast with simple, innovative, and often surprisingly affordable solutions!
To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.