Airborne and Structure Borne Noise : Major Differences Explained in Detail

Airborne and structure Borne noiseEvery noise is annoying to hear and like me even you are also searching on differences between Airborne and structure borne noise. Earlier I considered the noise from louder music, dog barking or party going in the neighbor house as same but the reality is different.

Do you know the differences between Airborn and structure Born noise? Airborne noise is created due to sound generating source, where soundwaves travel through the atmosphere and reach to your ear, however, Structure borne noise is generated due to the impact with the structure of the building.

If you are looking for one line simple answer then probably you already got an idea but I have explained more in detail to get you an idea of how both noises work and what things can help you to minimize the same.

Before deep-diving into it, let me give you an idea of what is Noise and how it works? Noise travels by creating pressure in air particles, which causes displacement of air particles and will continue vibrations till the point it found any blocker.

Not all the noise is annoying as there are few such as white and brown noise is mainly used to minimize the irritating noise but now let discuss what is the difference in between Airborne and structure-borne noise.

Differences between Airborne and Structure Borne Noise

If you are searching for soundproofing your house then probably you have read on ways to overcome both of these noises but the source of both noises is totally different.

So let discuss each one of them separately, which will give you clear ideas.

What is Airborne Noise?

Airborne noise from the name itself explains that noise which born due to the atmosphere or air and in simple term it need a medium of air to travel from one place to other.

Probably you have heard a noise coming from the neighbor loud music, whispering or barking of dogs and that is all we call Airborne noise. But do you know the principle behind how it works?

Airborne noise is generated from any sound generating source, which travels through the airs and in case found any barrier like Wall, windows or door it tries to pass through it by vibrating the solid materials.

If you are seating inside the room then this solid vibrating noise will again come to the air atmosphere and will start vibrating the air particles and this continues until it reaches your ear.

Such noise is known as Airborne noise, which generated due to the sound source no matter what it is and that is why you have definitely heard the loud music of the party going on besides your house or near your stay because it got medium of air to travel.

Till this, point you got an idea of what is Airborne noise, so let discuss what is Structure borne noise and how it generated.

What is Structure Borne Noise?

Structure borne noise is also known as impact noise where the origin of noise is due to the impact of any object with others, Due to an impact cause vibrations and in result, noise generated.

If you are living in an apartment then you have heard below noise types.

  • The noise of the footsteps from the person living to the top of your apartment
  • The noise generated due to the fall of any object on the floor
  • The impact of a chair or any material on the existing floor.

Above explained all the ways are the reason for the impact of noise and due to them the vibrations in the structure of the building. These vibrations cause resonance in the structure, which transmits from one place to another and will start vibrating the air particles and reach your ear.

Ideally, all the structure borne noise generated in solid materials like wooden, steel, concrete, etc. Hence here the origin is not any noise source but the impact of objects which makes the real difference of Structure borne noise from Airborne noise.

How Both Airborne and Structure Borne Noise Are Closely Related

Here is the major highlight to learn:

  • In our previous learning, the only difference we found is the origin of the noise, where airborne noise generated due to sound source however the structure borne noise is due to the impact of the objects.
  • End transmission to the hearing of the noise is only possible through the atmosphere air as every noise by creating vibrations will reach the human ear through only air.
  • The medium requires to travel airborne noise is atmospheric air but for structure borne noise the prime need is having any solid structure

I imagine the above three are the key factors you should aware of in case you are dealing with airborne and structure borne or impact noise.

After learning the major differences, the next question that can click your mind is how to reduce these noises and what major changes required to prevent or block such noise, so here are our additional Tips.

How to reduce Airborne Noise

If you are planning to deal with any noise then the first point of focus would be to identify the medium of noise and in case of Airborne noise, it is air.

If you have any corners with holes that allow air to pass through, then it will also create an opportunity for noise to come through. So let discuss what are the probable fixes you would need to work on.

SoundProofing Window

Due to the thin layer of glass window and no proper installation by the professional cause noise get a good chance to pass-through the window.

Here are various tips on soundproofing a window that is affordable and easy to implement very quickly and you can also use soundproof curtains to minimize the echos within the room generated by airborne noise.

SoundProofing Door

The next major area which causes airborne noise to come to the room is from the door. Almost every door has space left below the door or around the joints with frame connections.

In addition due to the thickness, noise can easily pass through the door. Hence you can fix this by soundproofing a door where you can use the best Door sweeps and soundproofing foams and acoustic sealant to fill the gap.

SoundProofing a Wall

Here is the major problem with most of the houses as Airborne noise in most of the cases generated from the neighbor house, so how to block or prevent the transmission of noise from another side to yours.

The only way is doing soundproofing a wall, where you can use drywall, mass loaded vinyl (MLV) to increase the mass of the wall. If you have gone through all the suggested guides you will not be left with any query.

In addition to this, I advise going through the detailed guide on how to soundproof a room to minimize the noise generated from the different sources using different soundproofing materials.

How to Reduce the Structure Borne Noise?

As we learned the reason for the generation of structured noise is the impact of the different objects, where the most often is from ceiling or floor so how to fix this issue lets discuss the reason and their quick fixes.

Soundproofing a floor

Flooring causes the main reason behind impact noise due to footsteps or fall of any object on the floor, so why not fix it and minimize the structure-borne noise.

Flooring is the key area that is made of a total of four layers Joist, subfloor, underlayment and floor covering ideally underlayment is optional for flooring but if you facing any issue of impact noise then definitely use this under the subfloor.

We already explained, how using underlayment you can reduce the impact noise and improve the Impact insulation class of the material. Make sure you visit all the tips shared on how to soundproof a floor.

Soundproofing a ceiling

Many of you have suffered the noise coming from the ceiling of your apartment due to the person living on top of your flat so why not fix this ASAP, there are various ways to soundproof a ceiling one of the most famous way is to use of drywall and insulation materials.

Better to set a new layer of drywall on top of the existing wall using the resilient channel will give you great results of structure borne noise reduction.

My View on Airborne noise and structure Born Noise

If you are in the middle of soundproofing then make sure to use the materials which have the sound transmission class (STC) as much higher as possible, which helps to block the soundwaves.

If facing an issue from window make sure to add double glazing on the existing glass layer and if already used drywall with the wall then covers this up with a new layer of mass loaded vinyl which adds additional mass on top of the existing wall.

Whenever you try to add an additional layer of mass on top of the existing layer make sure to use a resilient channel that helps to create decoupling and trap the noise within the layers and use soft thick materials on the floor to avoid direct impact with the floor.

The scientific research has already been done on side effects to sleep in a noisy environment so make sure to reduce as much noise as possible.

If you have found any other useful tips to overcome airborne an structure-borne noise then feel free to share with our readers.

Airborne and structure Borne noise

Hey, I am Kirtish Vyas a YouTuber and believer in making life peaceful, a couple of years back I started soundproofing my house, bedroom, studio, and Car to reduce the unwanted noise, and the same experience I am sharing on SoundProofidea. Read More

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