How to Soundproof: Acoustic Foam Does Not Block Sound
This title says it all, basically. I explain that acoustic foam does not block sound about 5 times a day to prospective customers wanting to know how to soundproof. The question invariably comes back, “Why not? What the heck is it used for?”
It’s not that I’m trying to ruin anyone’s day here—I would love to have foam that could stop sound from going through walls. I would sell a ton of it. But physics is physics. We are not going to sell anything to someone that has zero chance of meeting a customer’s expectations.
Now, a lot of Audiophiles and people very familiar with the nuances of sound will say: “Well if you have a relatively small confined space with a given large sound source the waves will build up and potentially amplify certain frequencies due to modal responses of the shape of container—and therefore adding absorption to the inside of said confined space will indeed reduce overall dB from escaping into the environment,” but that’s not the point, I say.
Foam does not Block Sound Transmission
The point I’m trying to make is that putting a few squares of 2” thick foam here and there on a partition wall in an apartment will not keep someone from hearing the other guy’s TV and sub woofer at 3 AM. Even covering the wall 100% with 2” thick foam is not going to, to the extent of the person’s expectations, stop that sound from traveling right through the wall. Acoustical foam is porous and does not block sound simply because it is porous which allows sound to pass through.
For instance, some speakers used to use foam as the speaker grille cover years ago. If foam is that great at blocking sound, then why do that? Or the old earphones on Walkman’s from back in the day (I’m showing my age here). They had foam right over the head phone to make it more comfortable for the listener. The foam in both of those examples was not blocking the sound in any way. The sound just poured right through.
So if you want more information on how to soundproof and block sound, you may want to read:
Absorbing Sound And Blocking Sound
Here’s the deal, absorbing sound and blocking sound are two totally different things. Sound absorbers prevent sound from continuing to bounce and echo through out a space. This is done by disrupting the sounds path and converting the energy to heat. This is often done by using fluffy and porous materials. Blocking sound requires materials that are heavy, dense and thick. These materials are often used in multi-layered assemblies so that sound will not penetrate or pass through. Soundproofing a wall requires the structure itself to be modified.
I will explain further with some analogies. The color white “reflects” all light, right? And the color Black “absorbs” all light. What we perceive as white is simply just all colors of light mixed together, and what we perceive as black is the absence of all color. Shine a flashlight at a bright piece of tissue paper and you will register a great deal of reflectivity. Shine the flashlight at a dark black colored piece of tissue paper and you will register very little reflectivity.
However, being that it’s tissue paper, you put either the white or black paper up against the light and use a rubber band to totally cover the end of the flashlight with it, and you will register nearly the same amount of luminosity traveling through both colors of tissue paper. Maybe a tiny little less with the black…it’s not a perfect analogy. Splitting hairs aside though, the point is that sound does the same thing: It reflects off certain surfaces and it’s absorbed by other surfaces, in much the same way white reflects light and black absorbs light.
When you look at recording studios that have all this fancy foam all over the place, don’t make the assumption that it’s the foam that is blocking sound from going through the wall. It’s not. They have added layers of mass and caulk and isolation to that wall first to block the sound from traveling through, then added the foam to reduce echoes in the room for various reasons.
Reverberation Time In A Room
One of the main reasons foam, or any acoustically absorbent material (baffles, banners, fabric wrapped wall panels, etc.), are used, is to reduce the average reverberation time in a room. A good example of a space that will benefit from adding acoustical absorption is a large gymnasium. Here is an excerpt from a recent email exchange I had with a customer:
ME: “Sound goes out from its source and goes until it has simply gone through enough air that it loses energy and falls below the background noise level or below the threshold for our hearing. If there happens to be a wall, floor, or ceiling in its way before it has gone through that certain amount of air, the sound will bounce right off and head in a different direction still looking for enough air to go through before it dissipates. The louder the sound, the more air (distance) it has to go through to dissipate.”
“PA systems are a great deal louder than a person’s voice. If the sound hits a surface that is very hard and immobile, it will bounce the sound energy at nearly 100% efficiency, which means the sound from a persons voice over a PA system is literally bouncing around the room for about 5 seconds or so. That five seconds is the Reverb Time, or RT 60, of that room. People speak in a quick succession of vowels and consonants, so if the listener is hearing 5 or 10 vowel sounds still hanging in the air with 5 or 10 consonant sounds…all you hear is garble. Hanging Sound Baffles work because they are not 100% efficient at reflecting the sound—in fact they are nearly 100% efficient at NOT reflecting the sound. They are absorbing the sound reflections and therefore reducing the overall average Reverb Time. ”
Examples Of Sound Absorbing Materials That Reduce Reverberation And Improve Speech Intelligibility
AlphaSorb® Quick Ship Acoustical Panel
Improves speech intelligibility in small to medium sized rooms. Available in a range of sizes and colors.
Mounts direct to a wall or ceiling to reduce reverberation in an array of spaces. These are available in a range of patterns and colors.
Acoustic Ceiling Baffles
Suspends from the ceiling to reduce reverberation in large open spaces. Available in a range of sizes and finishes.
These clouds suspend from the ceiling to reduce reverberation in small and large spaces.
Read More Articles on Absorbing Sound.
CLIENT: “So, how do I actually go about blocking sound through a wall or ceiling or anything else?” That, unfortunately is a much bigger discussion. It takes mass, or weight, and layers of it that are mechanically disengaged from one another, and sealed up tight 100% with caulk and putties, and…etc. There is also a previous blog entry on the subject.
Mass loaded sound barriers are roll goods used to add density to wall, floor and ceiling assemblies or wrap pipes or ducts to block sound.
PrivacyShield® Combination Sound Blankets
Combination blankets utilize absorptive quilted fiberglass with a sound barrier septum or backing to block sound. Use these to cover walls, create enclosures or used as temporary barriers. We offer both interior and exterior combination sound blanket options.
- Interior Use: PrivacyShield® Absorptive Soundproofing Blanket
- Industrial Use: PrivacyShield® Dual-Sided Absorptive Soundproofing Blanket
- High-Temperature Use: PrivacyShield® Industrial Dual-Sided Absorptive Soundproofing Blanket
PrivacyShield® Ceiling Tile Barrier
Ceiling tile barriers are installed on top of existing ceiling tiles above the grid to prevent sound from flanking over a ceiling grid. Most often used in office soundproofing.
PrivacyShield® Light Hoods
Light Hoods are installed above a ceiling grid over light fixtures. This helps to reduce the sound transmission while still allowing the required air flow for the light fixture.
Read More Articles on Blocking Sound.
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.
Ok, not sure if i’m in the right place for this question. I am a musician (electric/acoustic and sing. I want to put up a recording studio in my garage. It is a freestanding 2.5 garage. Unfinished walls and concrete floor. I want recording to be clear from ambient sound and also to try and stop some of the noise from getting out, not that it would disturb anyone, but since I Will have thousands of dollars in Equipment, I don’t want to advertise its’ there. I Will have cameras and an alarm of course. I plan to section off a portion of the garage, build walls, an enclosure about 12×12 or so. I will air condition it (off when recording) and supply Humidifier and Dehumidifier (for the Equipment also off when recording. QUESTION – Acoustic Wedge Soundproofing Studio Foam Tiles should cover all the walls and ceiling or just in areas around the room to absorb and what on the floor, is just a large rug ok or does that also require something special. It will be just me recording and I also do have a form of electronic drums, bass guitar and will use a Digital recorder, amplified speakers, in ear for voice, etc.
I am terrified that my daughter will wake up from all the fireworks in our neighborhood on the 4th…any way to put anything over the windows to try and decrease the noise? She sleeps with a noise machine so i plan to turn that up to muffle the quick changing bursts of fireworks but i thought about taping foam on the windows just to add another layer to block noise, but the foam pieces i bought don’t cover the entire window anyway…i’m not a DYI type of person but just want a solution for the 2-3 nights that will be horribly loud, please help!!
I live in an apartment where the neighbours have complained about noise from my dogs while I’m out.
I keep the dogs in my bedroom when I’m out to prevent the noise going directly into the corridor which works fine, however the complaint is from the adjacent room in my neighbour’s apartment.
As I am not allowed to make any permanent changes to the walls etc, it somewhat limits the amount I can do.
The noise is not wildly unacceptable so would only need to be reduced 10-20% at a guess.
Anything you can recommend?
Hi Geoff, this article may be helpful to you: Soundproofing an Apartment
I also strongly suggest calling in and speaking with one of our architectural reps: 800.782.5742.
Great article! All along I thought foam was “blocking” sound when it was actually absorbing it. My question is about the harsh sounds from a hvac return air. This is a residence and the return air opening is in the living room at ground level. When the unit comes on the noise level increases and the you have to talk louder or turn up the tv. The opening is roughly 20×24. Not sure if acoustic foam is best to absorb the sound to keep it in the return air box or sound proofing as you talked about in previous comments. Thanks!
For your application, a sound absorber lining the return would help keep the sound from entering the living space. Check out our AlphaSorb® Flat Acoustic Foam and please feel free to call in with any additional questions.
I rent a room in an office building, which has a door that lets a lot of conversation-noise through. I can often hear my office mate in the next room. The door has 15 panes of single-thickness glass in it, which lets a lot of noise through. I’ve put draft guards & weather seals around the door jam, and put curtains across my side of the door, but nothing has helped decrease the noise from my neighbor. And I need to keep the door functional. And I’m on a shoestring budget. And since I rent, I can’t replace the door. Any thoughts on what I can do in this situation?
Mike, the answer is Yes and No. There are too many variables to give a clearer answer. If you stacked sand bags 8′ high and 10′ wide, and then stood 100 yards from it and shot a 30.06, your neighbor is going to hear it because the sound wave will just wash right over and around your wall like it wasnt even there. If you stood right next to the wall, it would be blocked somewhat, but the echoes off of everything around you will bounce back and wash right over the wall again. If you built a little igloo around yourself out of sand bags with a plywood roof and sandbags ontop of that and shot a 9mm with the opening facing towards a target about 25 yards away that had a 50′ x 10′ high wall of sand bags behind the target….and threw in some hay bales to absorb echos off on the sides….yeah. You are probably going to be quiet enough to call it “stopping the sound”. This is a good time to mention that Gun Silencers are legal in about 38 states in the USA. Check your localities, but imagine trying to sound proof the exhaust of a car without intalling a muffler. Thats essentially what we are all talking about here.
It was asked if sand will stop sound, the response was “If you actually meant to say a “Resonating Mass” then the answer is no, short of any real data to look at. Some kind of low frequency large impulse sound like a gun shot may resonate the mass with something like a quick square wave impulse, but that’s about it.”
This goes way above my head. will sand stop the sound from a gun?
Oddly, or maybe not THAT surprisingly, I have heard this complaint before a number of times. There is no real way to soundproof a sleeping person without accounting for the ability for that person to be able to breathe fresh air and not suffocate themselves, short of of installing ventilation fans and soundproofing those, and Im not qualified to tell you how to make one of those and maintain enough oxygen in there to keep a human being alive. LOL.. I mean, I probably could, but please excuse me if I duck out of that liability! Look up on google “Isolation Tanks” They are essentially what you want minus the saline water and add a bed mattress. They are not cheap. Because: They are taking the liability of keeping a human alive. Point blank. This is a great time to discuss sometimes in acoustics its best to treat the cause rather that the symptom. Your husband likely has a condition called Sleep Apnea. This is best treated by using what is known as a CPAP machine. Its a medical device covered under most insurance policies, and is the best way to stop the snoring, as well as restoring your husband to a well rested condition. Have him ask his doctor about it and let me know how it goes. Im 100% positive you will be satisfied with the results. Thanks!
i forgot to mention this would prob be something I or my my hubby wud have to make, as I don’t think anything like that exists. I just want to know materials so I don’t keep wasting money. and my husband is very handy so he could prob put it together…. even if it just blocks it significantly more than earplugs, that’d b great!!!
ok matt, you have probably never heard this one before I’m pretty sure. I need help for a snoring hubby. it’s killing both of us we can’t share a bed, so ANy help you can give would be soo appreciated! I’ve tried ear plugs, noise machines, Bose heels phone to bed ( worked but a lil too uncomfortable), tried everything! maybe I’m crazy or just love my husband but I’m thinking some kind of box that is soundproof that my would go over my head or partyly over? I have no problem with something like that , money is not the issue just don’t know what to do!! ANY help would be awesome! thanks for even reading this as I know I probably sound crazy lol ;)
Sheppers, hi there! The first rule of Acoustics is: a 1% gap will transmit 50% of the sound. Caulk is your friend. The second rule of Acosutics is: Foam doesnt block sound. The whole article above explains why that is. What you need is to add Mass Loaded Vinyl to the walls and ceilings, or use Green Glue with another layer of sheet rock. You want to add mass to your walls and ceilings, and make them 100% airtight. Thats about it. Good luck!
Hi there, Sheppers here, after non-recently receiving a noise complaint themed letter from my local district council I have since been attempting to sound-proof / reduce the overall sound output from my spare bedroom AKA the YouTube karaoke lounge.
Unfortunately, despite my less than best efforts, I have been unable to reduce the sound to a level deemed acceptable by the borough. Having covered approximately 40% of the ceiling in soundproofing foam the remaining 60% of the ceiling still appears to be leaking sound in much the same way as the upstairs flats bathroom leaked substantial quantities of liquid through into my own (they didn’t even realise until I told them).
Do you have any hints, tips or suggestions as to how I can remedy this situation – the noise, the upstairs bathroom situation has been remedied by a competent local tradesman.
We have a small server room with constant humming. The room is adjacent to a meeting room and we would like to block the server noise so the meeting room is quiet. I looked at auralex pro panels, but they are over a 100 bucks each. Drywall is not an option in this setting. Any other ideas? Thank you.
Standard acoustic foam will not block sound, but composite foam over 100% of the shared wall will. Composite foam is acoustical foam with a mass loaded barrier, so it both absorbs and blocks sound energy. I know you said that drywall is not an option, but it would be the cheapest option. Please call in if you have more questions: 800 782 5742
This information is great – we are a small fitness studio with a serious sound system and new neighbors who are not fans of the music. We are just learning about proofing vs barrier and frankly – it’s a bit out of our element. We share a huge un-insulated wall with them – the music facing away from their side. What would be your suggestion for killing the noise we are forcing on them? So far estimates that we have gotten have varied so much that we are truly at a loss and concerned we will pay a small fortune and not ever correct the problem.
Hi Lori, for the shared wall, I would suggest isolation clips and two additional layers of drywall with green glue sandwiched between. If the music you’re playing has bass frequencies, then this will help isolate some of that vibration and sound transmission. You may also want to consider where else the sound is getting through. Is it just the wall or is your ceiling plenum connected to your neighbor as well? Please call in so one of our architectural reps can talk you through your noise issue and offer any possible solutions: 800 782 5742
thn which things can stop outsider sounds in my bedroom…?
This article may help you out: Sound Blocking
Hi, hoping you might have a suggestion for me.
There’s a door between my apartment and my landlord’s which is letting in A LOT of sound. It’s an old house and the landlord doesn’t want to replace the door, which has two thin panels (maybe .5 inches thick?) over most of it. She tried having the handyman “fix” it, which led to me having a rectangle of Tuff-R insulation foam nailed over the door on my side. I took it down almost immediately as I could still hear everything from their side with just the tiniest bit of added muffling, I was concerned about fire safety, and it was hideous.
So what could I do on my side of the door to reduce the noise? I have severe dust allergies, so heavy curtains (as suggested by friends) aren’t an option.
First off, make sure all gaps are sealed. If the panels are not covering 100% of the opening or gaps around the door, they aren’t doing a thing. Fill any gaps with acoustical caulk. The obvious option is to install a door seal kit, but it sounds like the door is inoperable at the moment anyway so it may be a waste of time. A combination sound blanket can also be hung over the door to add mass, but again, it must be larger than the opening to cover all gaps. Please call in if you need more help! 800 782 5742
Do you have suggestions to block out the sound from an upstairs apartment. When she walks on the area rug or wood floor the pounding/vibration is horrible. She’s a heavy walker and I’m trying to think of ways to block out that vibration without having to take out my ceiling. Would a foam work, I don’t care what it looks like, I’m willing to put anything on my ceiling just so I can sleep at night without being woken up by that heavy walking. Thank you
As the title to this post states, foam does not block sound. So your options for your ceiling, if installing an underlayment in the upstairs apartment isn’t possible, is to use Green Glue or create a floating ceiling with isolation clips. Please call if you have any more questions: 800 782 5742
How are you? I wish there were an easy simple answer to your question, because it would make explaining this easier, but if it was that easy then I guess nobody would need me so…lol. There are no less than 100 different ways to soundproof a wall. All of these different ways come with varying degrees of effectiveness, cost, labor involved, mess, and all of which depend on the existing construction materials of the wall in question; as well as how other rooms are connected to other places via doors, HVAC air vents and returns, windows in the case of outside noise…and on and on it goes.
In an effort to give you something to go on: Green Glue and another layer of sheet rock on the walls. It’s not the most effective, but its the most effective method given the cost and difficulty, or the best bang per buck way to soundproof a wall based on my experience. If possible put Green Glue and another layer of 5/8″ sheet rock on BOTH sides of the wall, the studio side, and the other side of the wall in the other room.
Here is a link to another blog of mine that discusses Studio set up: Studio Acoustics: Treat Recording and Live Rooms
I wanted to soundproof a recording studio that I’ll be putting up in a bedroom. I wanted to know the best and most inexpensive way to soundproof the walls or decrease the volume.
Generally no, but the potential exists. For instance, if you pour sand into CMU walls during the building phase – that wall will block more sound as averaged across the octave band spectrum. But you will have created a mechanical connection from one side to the other. Because that scenario is just so much mass, typically it will block a lot of low frequency, however if you bolt some kind of heavy unit that vibrates like an AC compressor or something, then that mechanical connection could cause the wall to resonate at whatever frequency it that wall likes based on the density of the sand, humidity, size of the wall, etc. But you said Reverberating mass, which to me means: Reflects an echo. And yes, it most certainly would reflect sound back at you, however most sand bag bunkers Ive seen are irregularly shaped and thus would diffuse the sound and not give you a harsh echo, but there’s got to be an exception to that Im sure of it. If you actually meant to say a “Resonating Mass” then the answer is no, short of any real data to look at. Some kind of low frequency large impulse sound like a gun shot may resonate the mass with something like a quick square wave impulse, but thats about it. I could be wrong there though, its not an application that I have a large amount of experience with. My sense is there are too many variables and variance between different piles of sand bags to accurately predict or draw a specific conclusion about its potential point of resonance. Water being the biggest variance in my opinion. Stomp down on the dry sand on a beach and you wont feel much thump in the ground with the other foot. Stomp down on the wet sand near the water and you will feel some thump going through the ground. Here again though, these are mechanical impacts of energy, they carry much more energy, by far, then typical every day sound energy in the air can impart into solid things. …Thats about as complete of an answer as I can give I think. One more time though: Im not sure as I have seen no data one way or the other on the subject, nor do I have direct experience with measuring this scenario. Thanks!
hello, excellent info site you got here Matt. My question is about sand. Sand is mass. It isn’t solid. It can be contained in sandbags. But in a stacked sandbag scenario, does the accumulated weight compress the sand making it a potentially reverberating mass? Thank you, Paul Rose.
Hi there, I would suggest using Housed Isolation Spring mounts for the entire rack of AC units rather than trying to isolate each one individually, see here: Isolation Mounts. That should do the trick for that, from there if there are still issues you would need to isolate your ceiling with a new layer of sheet rock from isolation clips, and would definitely recommend doing exactly that on the elevator room wall. Side note: Ive had others complain about elevator room noise in the past and I usually recommend having a technician look at and service the equipment. Typically buildings are going to be constructed so that those rooms don’t transfer much noise especially into residential areas, but if they are its “sometimes” because the equipment is now, over time, making more noise than was originally anticipated. –Thanks!
Hi Matt, I live in a condo with a rack of ten a/c condensers on the roof above my bed. Drywall stucco ceiling. Also there is an elevator room by the elevator that is very noisy with concrete walls and a vent in the door. My air conditioning guy recommended vibration isolators on the condensers. Suggestions.
Hi. We are remodeling our unfinished basement. I suffer from severe migraines and plan to have a “migraine room” what do you suggest to soundproof that room to keep out all the noise. The furnace is close by, bathroom noise, washer noise, lawn mowers etc. Can’t stress enough had bad they are and what the noise does. We are getting bids now from contractors. What should I ask them? Thanks!
If you are building this room from scratch or remodeling, it is the perfect time to soundproof properly! Ask your contractor to use a mass loaded vinyl like our Audioseal on the interior of the walls and ceiling. If you want additional soundproofing or are concerned with footfall noise from above or loud structure-borne sound like banging on the walls you should consider isolating the room (called creating a ‘room within a room’) with isolation clips. But for the average soundproofing application, MLV is enough. Also, make sure you are using a snug, solid core door. A majority of sound transmission through buildings comes through ill-fitting or thin doors and windows.
Audioseal® Mass Loaded Vinyl Soundproofing Barrier
Green Glue Damping Compound
Resilient Sound Isolation Clips
Greetings from Downunder Matt.
This is a tip I give to people trying to figure out what would help them blocking sound:
The room you wanna block is the swimming pool and sound is the water. Your swimming pool is full of cracks and if you fill the cracks with foam it won’t hold the water once you you start filling up the pool – no matter how thik the foam is. Same with sound. Foam won’t hold the sound.
Or, if you use plywood boards for example, it may help a tiny bit to holding back some of the water for a while but as the water pressure builds up, the plywood will eventually crack and let water through. Same with sound, as the sound pressure increases, the plywood will be less effective to the point of making no difference at all.
An efficient swimming pool is built with solid-pressure-resistant materials and sealants. A good sound proofed room is the same.
So, whenever you’re trying to figure out what would work, don’t think about sound, think about water. It’s not fail-proof but it can help the non-expert to figure things out for himself :-)
Great analogy, Marco, I’ve never heard that one before! Thanks for visiting the blog :).
Hey Matthew! The window is a problem, The only way to block more sound is to add layers of weight to the window and make it more airtight, but how do you do that and still see through it? Airtight layers of glass. I have a seal kit that you get 1/4″ thick laminated glass and build a frame around the whole window and seal it off. Works great but its a DIY project for sure, and, it makes the window so you can’t open it…I don’t recommend that in a bedroom because you want that window to open as an emergency exit way in case of a fire. That kit I mentioned is great for someone making a window in a studio more soundproof but a bedroom window? It’s just a bad idea. You could change out the window with a soundproof window but $$ and installation, etc. would deter most people. The next best thing is to get a custom sized ABSC-25 acoustical blanket from us and hang it in front of the window. You cant see through it and it doesn’t look pretty, but as I said the other options are pretty challenging: ABSC-25 AudioSeal® Combination Sound Blanket
As for the door, that’s much easier, just get a solid wood core door, install that and get rid of the hollow door that’s most likely there (I’m guessing), and put on a 485-2 door seal kit seen here: Acoustic Door Seal Kit
Given the parameters, this is about as good as you are going to get. Anything more soundproof than what I described above is going to require demo, sheet rock work, etc. Good luck!
I am a student in the last year of college with a noisy family in the kitchen that is next door to my room and has just had the floor replaced with tile which has made sound a nightmare to study with. We also just got two dogs that repeatedly wake me up when they bark at 4am outside. So my issue is twofold: noisy family in the kitchen and noisy dogs outside my bedroom window which opens to the backyard. I have read a lot about foam and have unfortunately learned that it cannot block sound but I am wondering if there is anything I can do aside from addin caulking or drywall(not an option for me). Is replacing the door with a thicker or more tightly fitted door an option?
Nigel, hi there! I would recommend using a composite foam. Whats that? Its two products combined: Mass Loaded Vinyl and Foam. 1/4″ layer of decoupling foam, 1/8″ thick layer of sound blocking vinyl, then 1″ of foam to control reverberation. Its going to be the perfect thing for this and is something I go over in my “sound proof box” blog seen here which you may want to read: Soundproofing Small, Loud Machines Thanks!
How would you recommend sound proofing an apartment water pump. I was initially contemplating building a wooden cover and lining the internal with foam but is there any better ways?
I would recommend using Green Glue and an additional layer of drywall. If there is a lot of vibration being transferred through the wall, I would recommend decoupling the wall with isolation clips, then adding two layers of drywall with Green Glue between.
Thank you and please feel free to call in with any additional questions: 800 782 5742
We built a home and moved in this last September (2013). Its a bungalow and our masterbedroom is right on the other side of the wall as our kitchen. The fridge is directly behind our bed (our pillows are essentially seperated from the fridge by the non-insulated wall). What do you suggest to help from hearing the noise of the fridge compressor? (without tearing down the wall…yet…)
I’m not sure what you mean by sound boarding, or ‘above the drop ceiling on the neighboring walls’, but if you are still having issues with distortion and bleed through, the treatment is probably not very effective.
If the neighboring units have drop ceilings as well, the best way to reduce bleed through is with our PrivacyShield® ceiling barrier, replacing your tiles with more soundproof ones (Signature Sound Barrier Ceiling Tile), or both of these treatments used together. Another add on option is using our PrivacyShield® Plenum Return Silencers to soundproof ceiling vents.
To increase intelligibility of music and speech, sound absorptive materials like our AlphaSorb Acoustical Wall Panels should be installed on the walls.
Thank you and please feel free to call in and speak with one of our architectural reps who can talk you through your noise issue and offer any other possible solutions: 800.782.5742.
I lease 2800sf of space for dance studio. The previous tenant (from whom I bought the business) split the cost of installing sound board above the drop ceiling on the neighboring walls. Problem is the soundboard seems to wobble, so I am not confident that the soundproofing is terribly effective. As I indicated, the ceiling is dropped with accoustical tiles (old school). My studio teaches Zumba Fitness, among other forms, and the music is a crucial element of the experience–volume and clarity of sound are necessary; but distortion and hot spots are a problem; as are is the bleed-through into my neighbors’ units (a particular concern of my landlord). What would you reccomend?
My upstair condo neighbor is about to install a washer/dryer directly above the closet in our bedroom. I have a tall closet with at least 3 inches of height to install sound proofing. My closet is 4 feet wide by 5 foot deep.
What would you recommend to keep the sound down?
If it’s not too late, I would first recommend getting your upstairs neighbor to install the appliances on top of vibration isolation materials. This would keep you from having to mechanically isolate your ceiling, which is much more difficult. For the airborne noise, installing an additional layer of drywall to the ceiling with Green Glue will do wonders!
If you want to go all out and isolate your ceiling, you can do so with resilient isolation clips.
I’d recommend Green Glue and an additional layer of drywall, sealed up with noise proofing sealant.
Please give us call directly if you have any more questions: 800.782.5742.
My neighbors LOUD snoring through common wall of duplex, What do you suggest to block sound from entering my room? I have tried thick giant blankets, book shelf,nothing helps
Our PrivacyShield Window Seal Kit would be a good solution for you.
If you are trying to do this super cheap – you can always try very heavy curtains completely covering the window first, and see if that provides satisfactory noise reduction. But if the sound is enough to bother you, curtains are likely not enough. Call us if you have any questions on our products or this post: 800.782.5742.
I’ve just moved in a new flat which is on a very busy road. The constant traffic noise is bothering me very much. Do you have any tips on how to block the sound even if it just drops by a few db’s? Most of the sound comes through the window.
I am a student so I don’t have much money to spend on expensive material and such.
Bassel, I love you too. And I realize that this can not very easily be addressed in apartments, because you have to alter the structure of the wall, and if you don’t own the wall, then landlords usually wont let you do this. My apologies for disagreeing with Memaw on the subject of blocking sound waves effectively, but I do. Sorry. Tell her I love her too though! :) –Matt
I have a 40’x72’x12′ showroom with concrete floor. The 12′ wall is 4′ of pine wood and 8′ of metal. Metal ceiling as well. A full bar on one end with a dropped ceiling to give a nice look…You get the picture, acoustics are terrible. Echo, etc…Was considering egg-crate type foam. However, given your analysis, maybe now wall panels, ceiling panels??????
We will be hosting 6 events a year within the showroom along with various visitors at the bar….Need help-advice as to what to use to improve the acoustics and to minimize the noise. 4 of the events will have live music—we play country/country rock music.
Please let me know.
Blake, sorry for the delayed response here, but that’s good to hear. Im glad it was useful to you. Its a very common misconception, In fact years ago before I got into this industry I tried the same exact thing: got some foam, put them right behind my speakers on the wall, went and asked my neighbor in the adjacent apartment if it was any better, and sat there scratching my head as to why that wasnt working. In fact…that might have been the moment that led me down the path of my current chosen career come to think about it? Anyway, let me know if you have any questions, thanks!
Great post, Matt. To be honest, I hadn’t taken the difference between blocking and absorption into consideration, and your explanation broke it down for me perfectly. Thanks!