Top 10 Best Soundproofing Materials (Effective)


There are many reasons to soundproof a structure. Soundproofing can let hobbyists enjoy their passions without fear of disrupting their neighbors, help business owners operate in peace, or simply allow you to get a better night of sleep. 

I’m here to share with you what some of the best soundproofing materials are, how they work, and the measures that you can take to ensure that you pick materials which will actually soundproof spaces effectively. 

Here are some of my all-time favorite soundproofing material options. I have been making and correcting mistakes in construction and renovation for a long time.

Hopefully, my experiences can help you save time and money if you decide soundproof your home, business, shop, or studio.

Keep in mind that homes, businesses, and studios, may have different soundproofing requirements. For instance, in your home, may have to use several different materials in each room for absolute noise isolation. Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite soundproofing material options. 

Rockwool Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation

This is the ideal soundproofing material for walls. If you are are in the construction process and want to add in panels to help keep noise at bay, Rockwool Acoustic Mineral Wool can work very well.

Rockwool mineral wool is also more reliable than other kinds of mineral wool and is comparatively easy to put up. You’ll instantly notice a reduction in room echo, reverb, and ambient noise.

It’s made of a kind of matted inorganic material that can insulate a space fantastically. Keep in mind that this stuff isn’t something you can just stick up on your wall in an afternoon.

It’s a construction material meant to go inside of your walls in the same way that fiberglass insulation would. Mineral wool batts are great for insulation because they have an R-value of 23, compared with R-19 for fiberglass batts. If you’re already renovating a room and want to make it soundproof, this stuff will definitely do the trick. 

Benefits

  • Insulates better than fiberglass 
  • Blocks sound 
  • A good value 
  • Multi-functional 
  • Easier to work with 

Drawbacks

  • Not for great for simple DIY projects 
  • Requires a lengthy construction process to install 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 

If you are building a structure that needs to be quiet inside, this stuff can definitely help. 

Fiberglass Acoustic High Density Insulation

OWENS CORNING Soundproofing Insulation can be used for all kinds of projects. Similar to mineral wool, this soundproofing insulation comes in panels.

However, unlike with mineral wool, you can use OWENS CORNING Insulation for many other projects.

It’s clean, durable, doesn’t have much of an odor, and is easy to install. It comes pre-cut, which is really handy for all kinds of DIY projects.

You can cover this insulation material with spray-on adhesive and fabric as well. This is great for building sound panels.

To make a sound blocking panel, you’ll want to wrap the material in burlap or another thick kind of fabric. You’ll want to use a spray-on adhesive to make it stick.

To do this, pre-cut your fabric so it goes about 2″ on to the back side of the panel.

Only spray the front side of the material at first. Then roll the burlap or other fabric over the front side and smooth out the bubbles and wrinkles.

Wait about 3 minutes then smooth the rest of the fabric in place. Then, just flip the insulation over and do the other side. Fold or cut off any excess fabric. 

Benefits

  • Great for DIY applications like making sound panels 
  • Acoustic sound absorption 
  • Versatile 
  • No smell 

Drawbacks

  • Not cost effective for big jobs or large rooms 
  • Only comes with enough material for one door at a time 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
If you want to make sound panels or soundproof a small room, this material can be used. 

Blackout Curtains for Soundproofing Windows

Windows tend to let in a lot of noise. If you are tired of listening to cars drive by or simply need make your living room feel more tranquil, Rich Linen Blackout Curtains may be for you.

They are attractive, thick, and easy to use. You just hang them up like you would any other curtain.

They come in multiple colors and give any room an upscale and quality look.

These curtains are not soundproofing curtains; but they are not even that much more expensive than most of the curtains you’d find at a home furnishing store.

The only downside is that they don’t completely eliminate sounds coming from outside.

For that, you could consider getting double-paned glass windows, applying some kind of adhesive weather stripping, or maybe both. 

Benefits

  • Easy to use 
  • Come in many colors 
  • Can reduce noise around windows 
  • Large in size 

Drawbacks

  • Won’t completely eliminate exterior noises. 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
Ideal for soundproofing windows without detracting from the look or a room. 

Acoustic Panels Studio Foam – Studio Insulation Foam Wedges

Wedges style acoustic foam

If you have a production studio and need to reduce echoes and eliminate acoustic feedback, these panels may be a good option to consider. Mybecca Wedges are easy to install, come at a good price, and las for a long time.

They have a wave design that has been specially designed to absorb and diffuse sound waves efficiently. They’re also pretty easy to put up. You can use adhesive, staples, or whatever tickles your fancy. For more information on how to hang studio sound insulation panels, click here

Benefits

  • Eliminates acoustic feedback 
  • Will reduce reverberation 
  • Cost effective 
  • Easy to hang 
  • Good quality 

Drawbacks

  • Not ideal for total soundproofing 
  • Primarily for recording studios 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
If you have a studio of some kind and need to record without dealing with tons of acoustic feedback, these panels are a great solution. 

Pre-made and Easy to Hang ATS Acoustic Panels

Do you need to get rid of noise but don’t want to hang up unattractive egg crate sound foam? Maybe you need acoustic panels but don’t want to make them yourself.

If so, ATS Acoustic Panels may be right for you.

These commercially produced panels can be purchased as a ready-made sound panel solution. All you have to do is purchase enough of them and hang them up.

They’re attractive, nicely textured, and won’t shed, stink, or fray. They have a solid wood frame and are very easy to hang.

They work amazingly for auditoriums, living rooms, radio studios, and other places where sound can carry.

These panels are rated NRC 1.0 out of 1. If you need to deaden sound but don’t want to start a construction project, these panels can really help you out.

They work to provide users with clearer, more enjoyable sound by effectively controlling unwanted reverb and echo. On the downside, these panels can get pretty expensive.

If you have to buy multiple acoustic panels, you may save money by simply buying mineral wool and making your own panels. However, if you don’t have the time and energy to do that, these panels are a great option. 

Benefits

  • Great for getting rid of echo 
  • Absorb acoustics 
  • Easy to hang 
  • Attractive 
  • Good quality 

Drawbacks

  • Won’t totally soundproof a room 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
Ideal for easily reducing noise in rooms that echo or have lots of reverb. 

Polyester Absorption Panels (Great Material For Soundproofing Ceilings)

Acepunch Soundproof Insulation Polyester Absorption Panel packs are really awesome for DIY enthusiasts.

Are your upstairs neighbors talking loudly? These panels can help.

While they won’t totally reduce loud sounds or get rid of low toned vibrations, they can definitely help you improve the acoustic noises that travel down from above you.

You literally just hang them on your ceiling however is easiest for you. They come in many colors and are made of unique materials. 

Benefits

  • Easy to use 
  • Come in many colors 
  • Can reduce acoustic noise and echoes 
  • Come in many quantities 

Drawbacks

  • Won’t get rid of low frequency noise 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
Great for cutting down on echoes, getting rid of acoustic sounds, and keeping certain noises from traveling. 

Door insulation weather strips

If you want to block drafts, reduce outside noises, and seal up all kinds of gaps around your house, this Foam Seal Tape may be worth buying.

Basically, this is a self-adhesive insulation material that can be used for all kinds of applications. Y

ou get a lot for the price and it lasts for years. With adhesive backing, you just measure, cut, peel and stick it wherever you have cracks or gaps that are letting in air.

For a low price, you get over 20-feet of this material, so it’s pretty cost effective; especially when you consider how much money you’ll save on your heating and cooling bills. 

Benefits

  • Inexpensive 
  • Durable 
  • Easy to use 
  • Versatile 

Drawbacks

  • May degrade after a few years 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
This foam sealing tape is great for soundproofing doors, windows, or cracks where the air is getting in

Door Draft Stopper – Windproof and Waterproof Sound Insulation for Doors

Man insulating a door with soundproofing material

I like the quality of this particular door draft stopper. It does more than just block soundwaves, it can make a room more energy efficient.

The TRSCIND Door Draft Stopper is really easy to put up as well. You just measure your door, clean and prep the area, and cut the stripping to fit.

It sticks directly to wood, glass, metal, plastic, and other hard surfaces. It works on sliding glass doors too, which is great. It takes only a few minutes to complete the entire process.

Made of heat and cold resistant silicone, it won’t harm your door or your floor beneath it. It also doesn’t snag on the carpet as some plastic door stoppers can.

Since there are 3 layers of silicone in place, plenty of air gets trapped with this stopper.

This helps enormously with insulation and soundproofing. There are little rectangular soundproofing cavities inside of the silicone bottom of this stopper to block and trap noise.

This means that soundwaves will easily be absorbed, dispersed, and blocked. It’s also really flexible.

I like how it sticks to the door so easily. I have had one of these up in my parlor room for about three years and the seal isn’t gummy, gunky, or cracking at all.

The TRSCIND Door Draft Stopper helps to insulate an area and seal the gap under your door quickly and easily. It’s weather resistant, insect repellent, and can reduce sound up to 5X better than other door stoppers.

It sticks on with a peel-off strip. Underneath that, an inch of thick gel super glue grabs on to your door and dries within the next day or so.

Finally, this product comes at a really low price so it won’t have much of an impact on your wallet but will have a big impact on sound reduction.

It’s important to remember not to open and close your door much until the strip has been able to dry for 24-hours.

This will help it form a better seal. The kit comes with 2 stoppers and a full set of instructions.

If you have a gap on the side of your door, you’ll also need to get something for that as this product is only for the bottom of your door. 

Benefits

  • 3 layers of silicone 
  • Blocks sound well 
  • Easy to install 
  • Multi-functional 
  • Great price 

Drawbacks

  • Will peel off if you don’t let it set for 24-hours 
  • Doesn’t seal the sides of a door 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
All types of doors, soundproofing a room, keeping bugs at bay, and improving energy efficiency. 

Weather Stripping Door Kit – Reduces Noise, Dust, Air Escape, and Other External Factors

This is a weather stripping door kit that’s a great value.

It comes with an adhesive backing so you don’t have to use glue or silicone putty to stick it on. This makes for a fast, clean, and easy installation process.

The best part about this kit is that it seals your entire door. You apply the stripping to the bottom, sides, and top of your door.

Just like with the weather strip draft blocker above, the bottom piece has silicone chambers that absorb sides.

However, unlike the other kit, you get rubber stripping for the other parts of your door as well. This helps to block all sorts of things from coming or going.

It’s versatile, easy to use, and does a fantastic job of blocking sound. There are a few drawbacks to this kit. For one, the bottom piece isn’t as nice as some other draft and sound stoppers are.

It’s a bit thinner and not quite as flexible as I would like.

However, it still works well and won’t catch on the carpet or damage wood floors.

Also, this stuff takes a little bit longer to install and may peel off if you don’t do it right.

However, if you apply all of the parts of the kit correctly, you’ll notice an immediate drop in external noise. It’s also an amazing way to make a room more energy efficient.

Each kit comes with enough material to soundproof one door. For the price, it’s a pretty good deal. It can be used on pretty much any hard surface.

You’ll want to make sure to clean your door and the area around its sides and top with soap and water and let it dry before you put this stuff on. All in all, it’s a great option for fully soundproofing a door. 

Benefits

  • Complete door stopping kit 
  • Blocks sound 
  • Weather resistant 
  • Multi-functional 
  • Good value 

Drawbacks

  • Must be installed correctly to work 
  • Only comes with enough material for one door at a time 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
Most doors, soundproofing and weatherproofing, keeping dust out, and improving energy efficiency. 

High Density Tape Foam for Sound Insulation

Windows can let in a lot of noise. If you have unsealed or uninsulated spaces around your windows, sealing them is a great way to reduce noise.

This weather stripping foam does that quickly, easily, and inexpensively. It’s like a fluffy roll of sticky tape that you measure and stick on.

You’ll get tape foam material that is 3/4 inches wide X 5/16 inches thick X 13 feet long (3/4in 5/16in).

This means that you could do about 3 small windows or one very large window easily. It’s made of high-density foam so it not only blocks sound but it also helps to make your rooms a bit more energy efficient.

You can use it to seal other things too. It can be applied to electrical cabinets, cars, speakers, toys, sports equipment, and more. Just measure, cut, and stick.

The only thing I don’t like about this foam is its industrial look. Still, for soundproofing, it works well. 

Benefits

  • Will soundproof window gaps 
  • Forms a weather seal 
  • Anti-skidding 
  • Sticks on easily 
  • Low price 

Drawbacks

  • Must be installed correctly to work 
  • Only comes with enough material for one door at a time 

This Soundproofing Material is Great for… 
Window gaps and other cracks that let in noise. 

Understanding the Soundproofing Process

Now that you’ve seen some amazing soundproofing materials, we can go over how soundproofing actually works.

Whether you’re trying to soundproof your home or are attempting to block external noise factors in your business, choosing the right soundproofing material is key.

That being said, after soundproofing my shop, home, and a couple of other structures over the last three decades, I have found that not all soundproofing materials have been created equally.

Certain thermal insulation materials aren’t actually able to deflect noises or absorb sound waves efficiently. You’ll need to use materials that are not only effective for blocking sound but are also efficient and available in the right quantities. 

Soundproofing isn’t a complex process in theory, but in reality, things can get a little bit tricky. Soundproofing involves the deflection and absorption of sound waves to create a quieter area.

Sounds pretty simple, right? However, to soundproof a space properly, you will need to have a special and cost-effective mindset.

You’ll also need to know what materials are best for the particular job that you’re trying to accomplish and be able to tell the difference between the various different soundproofing materials. 

A Bit About Material Acoustics: Soundwave Absorption VS Soundproofing

There’s a common misconception out there that sound absorption is the same as sound deflection or complete soundproofing.

The biggest difference between a sound absorbing material and a soundproofing material comes in with acoustics.

Sound absorbing materials mainly improve the acoustic properties of a space. Soundproofing materials keep sound from coming in or going out. 

Sound Absorbing Materials

Sound absorbing materials are used to reduce reverberations, echos, and other sounds that are already in existence within a contained space.

They don’t do much to prevent noise from coming or going. Have you ever seen that egg carton looking foam on the walls of a studio?

This is a sound absorbing material.

It keeps soundwaves from bouncing all around and interfering with recording equipment.

It helps to channel sound waves in the right direction. It’s not good for soundproofing and doesn’t help with insulation either. However, if you’ve got a music studio, this stuff is essential. 

Soundproofing Materials

Soundproofing materials block noise from entering or exiting an area. They’ll defuse soundwaves and soak them up to create a quieter environment.

If you yell into a pillow, you’re essentially utilizing a form of soundproofing. If you want to totally isolate noise, you can combine sound absorption materials and soundproofing materials simultaneously. 

To better understand the science of soundproofing, I recommend checking out this article.

It goes into noise reduction, sound dampening, decoupling, and other sound reduction methods. It will also help you understand the different sound transmission classes (STC) and show you how to read the sound reduction index (SRI). 

What should you look for?

Soundproofing materials are specially engineered to absorb, diffuse, and deflect sound waves efficiently, without getting in the way of day-to-day operations in the space that they’re used in.

After soundproofing multiple spaces, I’ve gotten a little bit picky about the materials I use.

This is because some soundproofing materials are significantly better than others which can simplify a project, save you space, time, money, and help you avoid a number of unnecessary construction headaches. 

Good soundproofing of materials will be able to help you get the job done without costing you a fortune.

Additionally, the right soundproofing materials can do more than just block noise.

Many soundproofing materials will actually work to make rooms or even entire buildings more energy efficient by trapping air as well as halting sound waves.

The best soundproofing materials will have superior insulating properties, an efficient overall design, be durable enough to last for a very long time, and come at a reasonable price. 

I recommend choosing soundproofing materials that:

– Have been designed to be easy to work with. 
– Are of durable material construction. 
– Possess potential air insulation properties. 
– Are of adequate thickness. 
– Will be a good fit for the specific job I am doing. 
– Come available in the quantity I need. 
– Seem to be a decent overall value. 

Doors and Windows

For doors and windows, you’ll usually use some kind of foam or rubber soundproofing materials. Windows can also be soundproofed with sound blocking curtains.

The goal with doors and windows is to create a barrier of air and soundproofing material between the openings in a room and the exterior and interior sound waves being produced.

While glass isn’t a great soundproofing material when it’s flat and thin like in a window pane, window panes can be soundproofed. Certain types of window panes come with soundproofing properties built-in. 

Floors

Floors can be soundproofed in many ways as well. There are also many materials designed to help insulate flooring from noises.

Some go directly under your carpet while others will go underneath floorboards. 

Existing Walls

Walls are the most common area that will need to be soundproofed. This is because they take up the most surface area, meaning they will also usually be impacted by the most soundwaves.

Since sound bounces, walls can deflect sound around a cul-de-sac or next to a street.

Mineral fibers are ideal for soundproofing walls, though there are some other good materials out there as well. We will go over them more in-depth momentarily. 

Are some soundproofing materials really superior to others?

The answer is yes, absolutely and unequivocally yes.

That’s why I included the extensive list of impressive soundproofing material options. There’s nothing worse than installing soundproofing materials that don’t work.

Completing a renovation just to find out that you need to open things up and start over again is not a fun experience.

I know, because I’ve been there. Any contractor will tell you that doing the job right the first time can save you from heaps of misery later on down the road.

The effectiveness of the soundproofing material you go with will have a lot to do with the actual job you’re working on.

For instance, the materials used to soundproof a music studio will be different from the materials needed to make a master bedroom feel quiet and tranquil.

The thickness and durability of the soundproofing material you go with is another big factor to consider. Finally, it’s smart to look at what materials have a history of being reliable. 

Questions to Ask Before You Begin

Before you start any kind of soundproofing project, there are some factors that you are going to want to take into consideration.

Understanding the scale of your venture, the root cause of any external or internal noises, certain acoustic properties, and what materials are actually available for use within your structure is critical.

Here are a few questions that I usually ask myself before I pick out my main soundproofing material for each job. 

• What purpose will each soundproofing material need to accomplish?

Soundproofing any area completely will involve covering a few bases. You’re going to need to identify the source of noises.

Are they internal or external? If you’re soundproofing rooms in your home, you’ll probably need to soundproof your walls, windows, doors, and sometimes even your floor to some extent.

Shops and studios have different soundproofing requirements and usually involve mass deflection or sound containment. You’re going to want to get the right materials for the job you need to do. 

• How much noise really needs to be blocked?

It’s a good idea to have an understanding of how much sound will need to be blocked before starting a job.

If you’ve been living in your house for a while and are sick of traffic noise and hearing your neighbor’s party music, you probably already have a good idea of how loud things are around you.

However, if you are building a shop, studio, or workspace, you may not have an idea of how loud things are going to get. 

• Do I need to insulate for energy efficiency as well?

With some soundproofing materials, energy efficiency is an added bonus. I recommend insulating and soundproofing at the same time if at all possible.

That way, you won’t have to re-do your sheetrock again. That being said, if you are insulating say, a music studio, energy efficiency probably won’t be a big factor.

Single room soundproofing won’t impact your energy bill much either. 

• Will this be a commercial or personal job?

There are certain industrial-grade soundproofing materials that can be used for big jobs where noise is an issue.

Factories, businesses related to the automobile industry, and other structures prone to sound output or interference issues will require heavy-duty soundproofing material.

Homes, offices, and outbuildings don’t usually require the same commercial or industrials kinds of soundproofing material.

Even if you are trying to insulate a garage or shop where you’re planning on running light machinery or power tools, you should be able to get away with mid-grade soundproofing materials.

On the other hand, if you are in a residential area with noise ordinances and you want to blast your music and run a bandsaw in your garage, you’ll probably want to soundproof with industrial grade materials. 

Conclusion

So there you have it. Now you know how soundproofing material works and what materials may be best to consider.

Did I leave anything out?

Do you have any tips on soundproofing that you’d like to add?

What methods do you use when soundproofing a building or home? Please feel free to comment below, share your opinions, and leave your feedback!


One thought on “Top 10 Best Soundproofing Materials (Effective)

  1. I have a 1 car garage door that bleeds low frequency. Would I need to cover side, top,and bottom gaps? Do i cover the entire garage door surface with ATS ACOUTSIC PANELS?

    Thanks,
    Richard

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