Soundproofing Materials – Reviews
Create Your Own Peaceful Environment with These Soundproofing Materials – Reviews and FAQs
It can get in the way if you’re trying to record songs or podcasts. Noise is similarly unwelcome if you’re at home and just trying to relax after a long day at work. You will also want to eliminate as much as unwanted noise as you can in certain public venues.
Unfortunately, most establishments are not designed to minimize noise as much as possible. You may need to introduce some special materials if you want to create a quiet environment.
This article will focus on those soundproofing materials. We’re not just going to focus on any specific kind of material however. If it can work to effectively reduce the level of noise, you can expect to learn more about here.
We’ll also answer a couple of questions regarding soundproofing materials near the end of this article.
Top 5 Best Soundproofing Materials Reviews
1. AlphaSorb FR701 Acoustic Panel
To kick things off, we’re going to examine the FR701 Acoustic Panels from AlphaSorb.
When it comes to noise reduction, these acoustic panels focus foremost on eliminating echoes and reverberations in the rooms in which they are installed. Considering how echoes tend to overlap and muddle the sounds in a room, you can count on these acoustic panels making it easier for words spoken through loud speakers to remain intelligible.
I would say that these panels are best for larger spaces such as auditoriums or even gymnasiums.
Do they excel at absorbing noise too? Well, kind of. It’s hard to deny that they are better at managing echoes than absorbing sounds from external sources, but they can still do the latter well enough.
I also appreciate that these panels do more than just cut down on echoes and other types of noise. They also bring more visual intrigue into the rooms they are used in.
The panels are offered in a wide variety of colors and you can also choose from one of four edge types. The varied edge options will enable you to properly fit these panels into a room without having to leave any surfaces exposed.
The manufacturers also offer the panels in different sizes.
If you are interested in using AlphaSorb’s Acoustic Panels, be sure to place your order well ahead of time. Because the panels are made to order, it may take a while for them to be delivered.
2. Auralex Acoustics RC8 Resilient Channel in 25-Gauge Metal
Next up, we have the RC8 Resilient Channel in 25-Gauge Metal from Auralex Acoustics. The best way to describe this metal device is that it’s essentially a kind of clothes hanger for drywall.
You will have to install one of the metal devices at the top of the wall and then another one goes into the bottom of your wall. To fill in the gap between the metal devices, you will need to slide in the drywall.
With these devices installed, you will no longer have to rely on the studs to prop up the drywall. So, how exactly do these Auralex Acoustics creations reduce the amount of noise?
They work by essentially separating the drywall layer from the rest of the wall. Since the drywall layer is no longer directly connected to the studs in the wall, the amount of noise that is transmitted through the walls can be significantly reduced.
The sounds looking to travel through the walls must also first pass air pockets created by these metal devices and that minimizes them even further.
Don’t worry about the possibility that these metal devices will break early thus necessitating replacement. They are highly durable and you can leave them be for a long time with no drop-off in performance.
Homeowners who are not very used to working with drywall will probably require some assistance to get these items installed. Beyond that, there’s not much else to complain about.
3. F-Factory Acoustic Wedge Foam Panels
- Specifications Quantity = 12 Pack of Wedge Acoustic Foam; Panel Size = (12 x 12) Inches; Panel Thickness = 2 Inches; Foam Color = Charcoal Grey; Overall NRC: 0.65
- 12 Pack of (12 x 12 x 2) Inch Charcoal Color Acoustical Wedge Foam 2 inch wedge foam is effective against standing waves and flutter echoes in most small-to-medium sized rooms like vocal booths, control rooms and studios. It also functions as a full frequency bandwidth absorber for any size room when used in conjunction with corner bass absorbers and male/female broadband absorbers.
When you try to conjure up a picture of soundproofing materials in your head, you will probably come up with something that closely resembles the Acoustic Wedge Foam Panels from F-Factory.
It’s important to point out right away that these foam panels are not what you need if you want materials that can just completely cancel out any noise being produced. They simply aren’t capable of that.
What they can do instead is serve as a cost-effective solution for reducing the amount of noise inside your home.
Let’s say that you have a kid who’s trying to learn how to play a guitar. You obviously want to encourage your child and give him/her the opportunity to practice, but you also don’t want to say goodbye to peace and quiet inside your home for good.
F-Factory’s foam panels can help because you can place them in strategic locations inside your kid’s room and prevent excessive amounts of noise from reaching the other parts of your home, such as your bedroom.
Because of how affordable these foam panels are, you can also get them right away if the amount of noise inside your home has gone past tolerable levels.
If you want to get the most out of these panels, you can use them alongside corner bass absorbers and male/female bass absorbers. By establishing that kind of setup, the foam panels can work as full frequency bandwidth absorbers.
4. Foamily Acoustic Foam Wedges
- Each WEDGE comes uncompressed and in prime condition! The Wedges in the photo will be exactly what you get.
- Great for spot treating sound on walls in your studio or office – For use in recording studios, control rooms, Offices home studios, home entertainment theaters, Home Offices
For those looking for a soundproofing solution that’s even more affordable than the foam panels offered by F-Factory, it’s worth taking the time to check out the Acoustic Foam Wedges from Foamily.
There are a few notable differences between Foamily’s panels and the items offered by F-Factory. As noted previously, Foamily’s panels are more affordable compared to F-Factory’s creations.
The price differential is not that significant, but it will matter more if you are planning to get multiple packs to use inside your home.
You should know that despite being less expensive, Foamily’s panels are just as big as the items provided by F-Factory. That means you can pay less and still get the same amount of coverage.
The panels from the aforementioned manufacturers do look the same, but I appreciate that Foamily’s wedges are offered in different colors. You can even get a 12-pack featuring different-colored panels.
Installation is a bit of an issue with Foamily’s panels though. For some reason, they don’t stick as easily to surfaces as other comparable panels. You may end up having to use plenty of adhesive on them.
They also struggle with lower frequencies so don’t be surprised if certain sounds get through on a regular basis.
You’re still getting a great deal on these foam panels, but they do have flaws of their own for sure.
5. Grodan A-OK Stone Wool Starter Sheet
The next two sound-absorbing materials we’ll talk about in this article are very different from the items that have already been highlighted. They are materials known as stone or mineral wool and this particular variant is made by the folks from Grodan.
According to Green Matters, stone wool is a material made from a kind of igneous rock and a byproduct from the steelmaking process that is known as slag. Those materials are first melted down before they are spun together to create stone wool.
For the most part, people purchase stone wool to use as insulation inside their homes. The tiny pockets found within the stone wool structure itself allow it to work well as a form of insulation.
Of course, we’re not highlighting stone wool in this article because it’s a great form of insulation. What we’re after here is its sound-absorbing properties. Stone wool excels at absorbing sound thanks to how dense it is.
To be honest, there are other materials that are better at reducing noise levels inside the home than stone wool, but the reason why this item deserves your attention is because of its other qualities. It’s sustainably made, fire-resistant, and capable of repelling moisture. Don’t forget that it works as insulation too.
Homeowners who already have insulation installed will probably be best-served to look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for something that can serve as an insulation and sound absorber, Grodan’s Stone Wool should work just fine.
Just be careful when using this sheet of stone wool as the cubes can crumble easily.
6. Johns Manville MinWool Sound Attenuation Fire Batt
We have more mineral wool for you to consider and this time, it’s made by the people from Johns Manville.
Right away, let’s get into the number one reason why you may prefer this type of mineral wool over what Grodan offers. Personally, I appreciate the convenience that comes from the mineral wool being formed into sheets.
The thing about Grodan’s stone wool is that it’s supposed to be a kind of planter along with working as insulation and a sound absorber. That explains why it’s produced the way it is.
The MinWool Fire Batts from Johns Manville are considerably easier to manipulate and work with because they are in sheet form. You don’t have to be overly concerned about placing your hand in the wrong spot and suddenly destroying the mineral wool.
All that said, you should still take extra care when handling this sheet of mineral wool because it remains prone to crumbling.
Much like what Grodan offers, these sheets of mineral wool from Johns Manville provide additional benefits. They can also be used as insulation, they are fire-resistant, and they are still fully capable of keeping moisture at bay.
The mineral wool batts from Johns Manville may not be the first items you think of when you’re trying to come up with something that can muffle the sounds in your home, but they will prove useful in that regard.
7. MuteX Soundproof Material
Yet another example of soundproofing material that can pull double duty as an insulator and sound absorber is MuteX.
MuteX on its will probably not offer as much insulation as you need especially if you live in a colder area. It will help for sure, but that’s not the reason why you’re investing in this item.
What you’re really after are the soundproofing capabilities of MuteX.
MuteX works to cut down on the amount of noise rumbling through your home by using two different materials. First, there’s the interlocking carbonweave and that material is responsible for capturing the sound. Then you have the polymute resin and that material is tasked with minimizing the vibrations that can contribute to the spread of noise inside your home.
They work in conjunction with one another to consistently reduce noise levels.
Once the rolls of MuteX make their way to your front door, you can get started on the installation process and that’s not going to be as easy as you may have assumed. While yes, the material itself is lightweight and easy to move around, the problem is that cutting it down to size will require plenty of effort.
As it turns out, carbonweave and polymute resin are not the easiest materials to cut through. Find a safe spot in your home to cut the MuteX roll to more manageable pieces to prevent any accidents.
8. New Level Acoustic Foam Bass Traps
- High Quality foam bass traps will help eliminate reverb and unwanted sound in any studio
- Professional design, aimed to target the low/mid frequencies
In smaller spaces where using acoustic panels does not make plenty of sense, you will likely need some other type of sound-absorbing material to deal with noise issues. The Acoustic Foam Bass Traps from New Level warrant consideration if you want something to muffle the sounds in those aforementioned smaller spaces.
As you can tell from the way they’re designed, these foam bass traps are meant to go into the corners of a room. Put a bit of adhesive of them, slide them snugly into a corner, and then allow them to reduce the amount of noise coming from that room.
These foam bass traps are suited best for eliminating echoes and reverberations. They can still work to reduce mid-range frequencies, but don’t ask them to absorb anything higher.
Conveniently, they are sold in packs of four so you should be able to properly outfit a room right away with just a single purchase.
The manufacturers of these foam bass traps have gone ahead and created different color variants of them. It’s nice that they went through the trouble, but the colors don’t do enough to obscure the appearance of these items.
Simply put, they do not look good. You can’t cover them up either so just try to keep lights away from them and hope that they don’t draw too much attention.
9. NICETOWN Blackout Curtains
- ELEGANT DESIGN: 2 panels per package. Each Blackout Curtain measures 52″ wide x 84″ long. The design of silver grommet (1.6-inch inner diameter) creates casual elegance for your house, which makes the curtains easy to install and slide.
- AMAZING MATERIAL: Super heavy and soft Blackout Curtain Panels are very upmarket. Besides, 85%-99% light blocking, thermal insulated, soundproof, Fade-resistant, energy-efficient. Thread trimmed and wrinkle-free, both sides are the same color.
Curtains can also help you significantly lower the amount of noise present in your home. That’s assuming that you get the right type of curtain though.
For those looking for curtains that can cut down on the noise, NICETOWN’s Blackout Curtains can be a good purchase. It’s important to manage your expectations when it comes to these curtains.
If you’re thinking that these curtains from NICETOWN are the solution to all of your noise-related woes, you are sadly mistaken. On their own, these curtains are not going to be enough to create a completely tranquil environment inside your home. They will help for sure, but the way to get the most out of them is to use them along with other noise-reducing materials.
It’s a good thing that the curtains are available in multiple colors. You can just pick out the color option that fits in best with the rest of the room.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how the curtains work in terms of sound absorption, but it’s still worth the time to address the light-blocking capabilities of these blackout curtains.
The thing is that they aren’t blackout curtains, or at least not in the truest sense of the word. The curtains will indeed reduce the amount of light that enters the room, but to say that they can block everything out is inaccurate.
10. Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation Kit
Few things can cause the people inside a home to wake up faster than the loud rumblings of an old car as it pulls into the garage. It’s particularly annoying to deal with that ruckus when it’s the middle of the night and you have to get up early for work the next day.
Still, it’s not like you can ask the people you’re living with to just park elsewhere. Instead of doing that, you should look into using this Garage Door Insulation Kit from Owens Corning.
Though made mainly for the purposes of keeping homes more comfortable during those stretches of the year when weather tends to get extreme, this insulation kit also works great for reducing noise levels. Unless you have a decibel meter on hand, it’s tough to put the manufacturer’s claim of 20 percent noise reduction to the test.
What I can say with confidence though is that this insulation will indeed lessen the amount of noise emanating from your garage.
Installing this insulation is a relatively easy process, but you will need a few items. The clips provided along with this kit are not enough to hold it secure. You will have to purchase stronger fasteners.
After it’s installed, you can expect this insulation to last for a long time on your garage door. You can prolong its life further by cleaning it regularly with some detergent.
11. QuietRock Drywall Panels
Many of the soundproofing materials available today are meant to go in between the walls of your home. They’re supposed to be an additional layer of material that the sound has to go through, thus lowering its volume as it escapes through to the other side.
Some homeowners may not want to add extra layers of insulation or other material to their walls. If you’re among them, you may be more interested in QuietRock’s Drywall Panels for your noise reduction needs.
QuietRock’s panels boast impressive sound transmission class (STC) ratings and they are legitimate. You will notice a difference in sound level as soon as these panels are installed in your home. The manufacturers set out to create drywall panels that are primarily meant for noise reduction and they have come up with some terrific products as a result.
The panels are available in different sizes so you should be able to find one that fits best inside your home. The installation process is also fairly easy as long as you have the right tools on hand.
Before you go and order a bunch of QuietRock panels, you should know that they are quite expensive. Some of QuietRock’s panels cost twice as much as a typical drywall panel.
Even with the higher price tags attached, QuietRock’s Drywall Panels are worth getting if you have serious noise problems at home. More budget-conscious homeowners may be better-served to look elsewhere.
12. Roberts 70-193A Felt Cushion Roll
- For use with engineered wood and laminate flooring
- Provides cushion over concrete and wood subfloors
The last item we’ll be discussing in this article is the 70-193A Felt Cushion Roll from Roberts and this is something that can turn out to be quite helpful in almost any home.
The roll is supposed to go underneath your floor tiles. Because it does work as underlayment, you can count on this cushion roll providing protection for your flooring. Line the tiles over it properly and they should remain in good condition for a longer period of time.
Sadly, this cushion roll will not work with all types of floor tiles. It is only meant for engineered wood and laminate floor tiles. Remember that fact before you decide if this roll has a place in your home.
The installation process is one you should be able to handle yourself, but it can be difficult at times. The difficulties you’ll encounter will likely stem from the roll itself.
It’s tough and cutting through it can be a chore. You should use a specialized tool for it instead of hacking through it and potentially ruining the whole roll.
After you’ve cut the roll down into workable segments and laid them underneath your floor tiles, you should be able to enjoy more peace and quiet at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is STC all about?
A term you will encounter very often while looking for soundproofing materials to use inside your home is STC. It was already noted in one of the reviews above, but just to make sure we’re all on the same page now, STC stands for sound transmission class.
But what exactly is the sound transmission class about and is it something that you should pay attention to while shopping for soundproofing materials?
The STC is conveyed as an integer rating, according to Wikipedia. This rating is usually assigned to a building partition and it is an indicator of how well or how poorly that building partition reduces the amount of sound that reaches and eventually passes through it.
You will often find STC ratings assigned to objects such as the aforementioned partitions as well as ceilings, doors, floors, and even windows.
The easiest way to interpret an STC rating found on a particular object is that the higher the number is the better the item in question is at attenuating sound. If that’s still not enough context, the Soundproofing Company offers a handy guide that can be used to better interpret the many STC ratings that are assigned to different objects.
The vast majority of household structural partitions and segments should be able to block noises that register below 30 on the STC rating scale. That’s why there is no need for soundproofing items with an STC rating ranging from 20 to 30.
STC ratings that go from 30 to 40 are assigned to items that can block conversations maintained at a normal volume, but they may let yells and other loud sounds made by people go through. Items with 40 to 50 ratings are much better at filtering sound as they won’t let those loud noises people emit pass and they can also block off the radio’s sounds quite well.
Once you get to the 50 to 60 range, even plain old loud noises will not be able to pass through the soundproofing material you have installed. Go beyond 60 on the STC scale and you should be able to effectively block most of the noises that can be heard around a typical household.
As much as possible, I would urge you to look for soundproofing materials with an STC rating over 60 if you really want things to be quiet at home. Failing that, I would go no lower than 40 so that I can still block the majority of noises.
Which Type of Soundproofing Material Do You Need?
To answer the question above, you should consider the primary source of noise you want to eliminate. Is it noise coming from a single teenager practicing an instrument in his/her room or are you dealing with louder noises coming from outside of your home?
For more localized noise sources, using acoustic panels should be sufficient. You also don’t have to spend much on them typically and that should allow you to pick up a pack right away.
If the noises are coming from all over the place, then it would be best to invest in some insulation that also works for noise reduction
Enduring too much noise on a regular basis can drive you crazy and it will have an adverse impact on your health sooner rather than later. Address the issue of excessive noise by installing some soundproofing materials at home. For me, the best items you can get for that are QuietRock’s Drywall Panels.
Even taking into account how expensive they are, those drywall panels are still worth buying because of how effectively they eliminate all kinds of noises.
The noise problems you are experiencing may not be severe enough to warrant the usage of QuietRock’s Drywall Panels, but if you really want to create a peaceful setting at home, those items should be high up on your shopping list.
Check those drywall panels out for yourself to see that those high STC ratings are the real deal.