The core of soundproofing comes from the materials that are used. Soundproofing can sometimes be mistaken as simply sound absorption. Don’t get me wrong; sound absorption is a key element in soundproofing. You can add layers of soundproofing and sound absorption to new or existing walls, but efficient soundproofing comes from the material used.
One major key to remember with soundproofing is that we are trapping the sound, not stopping it from existing. With proper soundproofing, we are trapping sound outside of our given area and keeping the sounds that occur inside our area, well, inside our area.
When attempting to soundproof a home, we must consider the best materials to efficiently achieve our goal, and below you will find the 5 most impactful materials.
Owen Corning 703 is designed to carry out its primary function of conserving energy through climate control, but its benefits go further than climate control. The acoustics within a building are also improved when insulation is properly installed.
One of the most commonly used acoustic panels in the construction of homes, churches, theaters, and more, the Owens Corning 703 Acoustic panels are fiberglass boards which are great at capturing higher frequency tones. If you are into a more bass sound then the Owens Corning 705 panels are equally appealing due to their density.
While most people think of insulation specifically as the barrier to keep their homes and rooms climate controlled, all forms of insulation have some properties of sound control by not allowing sounds to pass directly through empty space.
Major companies like Roxul have created acoustic insulation, which aids in blocking additional sound. This type of material helps greatly reduce sound and is a great starting point for soundproofing; especially if you are in the process of building, remodeling, or new construction.
Alternatively, if you already have sheetrock on your walls, then it will need to be demolished and removed in order to apply this properly and achieve sound attenuation.
Johns Manville Wool insulation is listed as a sound barrier insulation and is more of a standard insulation with sound barrier properties. It is less dense than the two previous recommendations and is not a “faced” insulation. This means that all sides are just simply insulation with no pad covering.
This wool insulation comes pre-cut for 2 x 4 framed walls with 16” studs. This insulation is really only recommended for interior walls of a building and not the exterior walls. However, this is still a viable option at a lower cost than that of the Owens Corning or the Rockwool by Roxul.
The ATS acoustics rigid fiberglass boards are insulation boards, although they are made for a different style of use than inside the wall insulation. The ATS acoustics boards are predominately used by covering them with fabric and affixing them to the outside of a wall to absorb sound carrying throughout a room. These might be seen on the walls of a theater or inside a church.
While they are somewhat less popular than the rest, they are still effective as a soundproofing insulation material.
An Arrowzoom Acoustic Mineral Wool insulation board is similar to the top three options with a lesser-known name. It is most comparable to the Johns Manville Mineral wool with no “face” on the insulation. The engineers behind this product were specifically looking to improve sound quality while maintaining all of the practical uses of insulation.
The Best of the Best
If you were asking me which one you should pick when insulating your home for efficient soundproofing, I would have to choose Owens Corning fiberglass insulation. Owens Corning is the leading fiberglass insulation company and for a good reason. Not only is Owens Corning insulation designed for climate control, it is also designed with acoustical control in mind, too.
While insulation materials are typically thought of as the insulation you would find within the framework of a home between two hanging sheets of drywall; you should also remember that soundproof insulation can include foam panels, too.
Foam panels are used on the exterior of the walls of a room to provide soundproofing within the room. If you need to add an additional layer of soundproofing to your home, you should consider adding foam panels.
These flat foam panels are 48 inches long by 24 inches wide and 1-inch thick. They are thick and can cover a large surface area. Depending on how much soundproofing insulation you need to add to your room may determine if you need one or many of these flat panels.
These foam panels are 48 inches long by 24 inches wide and two inches thick. Instead of a flat surface, the surface is sculpted with a 2-inch pyramid design.
To apply foam panels to your existing walls, simply spray the foam panel with a foam-safe adhesive and apply to the wall.
Soundproofing foam panels now come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. This gives you a variety of decorating options to choose from, rather than the standard black or dark gray color.
The best way to soundproof your home is to add quality insulation in the framework of the walls.
This insulation will help soundproof the room, as well as help keep the temperature inside the home regulated. Owens Corning fiberglass insulation is the pick of the litter, but all 5 of these options are useful for successful soundproofing.
If you need to add extra soundproofing, you can add foam panels to the exterior walls of the room you are soundproofing. These foam panels will absorb and reflect sound from entering the room in which they are installed.