House and studio spaces can often be quite lively, with sound bouncing around and creating an echoing effect. This is not ideal for recording or for enjoying music. Also, if you live in close proximity to your neighbors, soundproofing may be something you’re interested in.
According to the report of the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 15% of Americans (37.5 million people) aged 18 years or older report some degree of hearing loss and other mental health problems.
Most are affected by tinnitus, a ringing, buzzing, or roaring sound in the ears. The condition can be caused by exposure to loud noise, certain medications, and other health conditions.
Even if they are using some kind of soundproofing but still, their condition is not getting better. However, soundproofing your home or office can be an effective way to reduce the amount of noise that you’re exposed to on a daily basis.
But sound absorbing materials are different from soundproofing. Soundproofing is designed to keep noise from coming in or going out of space, while sound-absorbing materials are designed to reduce the amount of noise that is bouncing around inside a space.
That’s why sound-absorbing materials work well in large, open areas like offices, classrooms, and studios. They can also be used in smaller spaces like closets and studio rooms to help reduce the amount of noise that is echoing around.
But this is difficult to achieve if you don’t know which one is the best sound-absorbing material for your home or office.
So, we have created a list of sound-absorbing materials that you can use to soundproof your home or office space. Also, I have covered types of sound-absorbing materials.
So, Let’s Get Started!
Types of Sound Absorbing Materials
If you willing to check out the list of sound absorbing materials then you can escape this particular section else it is good to understand the types of Sound-absorbing materials to understand the application of sound absorbing materials.
All the sound absorbing materials absorb the sound waves and dissipate them in the form of energy such as heat or mechanical energy.
Based on the application and their quality of manufacturing all sound absorbing materials are classified into three different types.
Porus Sound Absorbers
Probably you are familiar with sound absorbers like wool, insulation blanket, and carpet they are types of porous sound absorber.
These types of materials are porous in nature that cause it to allow sound waves to penetrate through their top layer and with their fibrous structure it traps the noise and creates resistance.
That is why it dissipates most of the sound energy to heat and will be having a very low reflection of noise that is why Porus materials are the most effective sound absorbing materials.
Membrane Sound Absorber
Probably you have seen the suspended plaster ceiling or hardboard hanging on your ceiling, these types of materials are mainly dissipating the energy of sound into the mechanical form of energy.
These types of materials when used just below the ceiling create an air space and will have a suspension system, so when noise or air trap into that it starts oscillating and dissipate all noise energy.
Resonate/Resonance Sound Absorber:
Resonance absorber which is also known as a resonating sound absorber is working best for the low-frequency range of up to 100Hz.
These types of materials are rigid, they are having a front plate which is packed against the tight air behind it, which means when the noise or sound waves came to them.
It allows them to pass through but trap them at the backend, so no more reflection of the noise. To learn more about Resonance sound absorber you can refer to this detailed article.
Probably now you are familiar with the expected type and quality of any sound-absorbing materials and if so below are the top 5 list of sound absorbing materials.
List of Sound Absorbing Materials
The purpose of all the listed materials are to absorb the noise and minimize the noise amplification, but it matters which material you use for which place.
Like on the window you can not use Acoustic foam and similarly, it is not effective enough to hang the curtain over the wall instead of window or door. So I listed all the materials based on their properties and effective use.
In the list of sound absorbing materials, the best key material is Acoustic Foam, which is also known as soundproofing foam as it is widely used over the walls in-studio to minimize the echo.
But I am suggesting acoustic foam instead of conventional foam, as Acoustic foams are made for the deadening or absorbing of the soundwaves however conventional foams are for the purpose of DIY.
You can use the Acoustic foams on walls or any hard surface area, where you feel a lot much reflection of sound is going on.
Acoustic Foams are classified into five types
- Flat Panel Acoustic Foam: Best fit for Low to Medium frequency range.
- Egg Crate Acoustic Foam: Best fit for Low as well as High Frequency.
- Pyramid Acoustic Foam: The most effective Acoustic foam to absorb high-frequency waves.
- Wedges Acoustic Foam: Same as Pyramid type but affordable in price.
- Grid Acoustic Foam: It Fits well in a smaller area but efficient enough as compared to Flat Panels.
To learn the uses, types of material, and individual purpose, I strongly recommend reading a detailed guide on Is Acoustic Foams really works?
But I have filtered out a couple of foams from amazon which you can checkout using the below link which I used myself as the best sound-absorbing foams.
The basic property of any sound-absorbing material is soft and dense in nature and in this list, the noise reduction curtains are the best-fit solutions.
I am sure you are already using the curtains but why can’t you replace them with the one which can really help you in noise absorption.
Such curtains are bulky and mostly backout in nature which means they do not allow to pass light through them but I have prepared the best list of Noise curtains which can reduce noise.
These types of curtains, not only used for hanging over the windows but can also be used to cover the door and as a result, it not only absorbs the noise but also reduces echos.
Probably you have experienced the same in a room with and without curtains that the later has less reflection then prior. When you plan to buy sound absorbing curtains make sure to check below things.
- Size of the curtains: should cover the complete window or Door.
- Materials of the Curtains: Find out the bulky or dense curtain for the best results.
But if you are keen to look out a few of my best findings then I suggest trying with the NiceTown Microfiber noise absorbing curtains on Amazon.
Acoustic Carpet and Rugs
The major area other than the wall which causes most of the sound reflection is the flooring, as it is dense in nature and there will be a major area that is not covered with anything.
Then the Rug or Carpet would be the best solution, the same I implemented while I was doing soundproofing for my bedroom.
Both Rug and carpet are soft in nature and can cover almost all the areas of flooring as they are decorative in nature and thick enough to absorb the noise.
And in addition to carpet or Rug, you can also use the underlayment which can also help to reduce or absorb all the impact or structure-borne noise.
When you will doing the selection of the carpet then always prefer the thick carpet over the thin, and if you are willing to absorb the noise in the studio then you can use the same carpet over the walls as well.
This is a bit awkward but I did that as that was the need of time.
If looking to soundproof the flooring then better to focus on the manufacturing of the floor, subfloor and underlayment used.
If you would ask me then here is the one which I strongly recommend to checkout from the Amazon best Carpet or Rug list.
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Without a second thought, we can say that soundproof blankets are heavier and bulky in nature as their main purpose of the use is to move things from one place to another.
It will surprise you that earlier conventional blanket was used by the musicians to wrap up their instruments in the studio to avoid any breakage and that came into the notice of blanket manufacturers.
They did a little bit twist with the blanket like the ability to hang this around grommets. They were already heavy and denser in nature, so obviously they were efficient enough to absorb the noise.
Hence soundproof blanket or moving blanket is multipurpose materials in the list of sound-absorbing materials and if you are keen to buy the best available in the market.
Then click to below link to access and but the sound-absorbing blanket offered by Sure Max.
Acoustic Bass Traps
Probably you have covered your wall, window, door or even you replaced some sound-reflecting materials with soft things but still, you are not efficient enough to tackle the low-frequency noise, why?
Because these types of noise are mainly trapped to the corner of the wall or ceiling and that causes reflected and less absorption of the noise.
But thanks to our sound engineering, we also have a solution for the area which is making a 90-degree angle or space where three sides are joining together in 90 degrees.
In that list, you can use the acoustic Foam blocks for the bass trap which are effective against the low-frequency noise and they are available in various colors.
You can stick them to the ceiling three corner joints or can fit them to the ground corner and if willing to buy a few of those collections there click below to Amazon link.
Acoustic Window Film
Windows are mostly made of the glass materials and they are having very high noise reflection, so why can’t you add any layer of softness over the window.
Yes, this is possible by either setting up a double layer glazing of the existing window and using the thin layer of vinyl over the front-facing or middle layer of the glazing.
Obviously, it will not impact that much but having a plastic material will defiantly going to reduce the reflection of noise up to a certain percentage, you can also give this to the best try.
But for more effective results, obviously we can use soundproof curtains in addition to the thin layer of vinyl. Here is one of my best thin layers of the film if you would like to try.
Use Soft Furniture
Key to get rid of from the noise is to replace every reason which causes noise reflection and probably you read our detailed guide on NRC there it was explained that the material which is hard on the surface has lower NRC.
Such as glass has 0.05 which means only 5% absorption rest 95% will be reflection hence always replace every such material with soft and floppy things such as.
- Add Sofas in the Room
- Hang Curtains or the blanket in the room.
- Cover the door or window with curtains.
- Place some soft things near the door which causes all incoming noise will be absorbed.
- Add a couple of cushions that are excellent in sound-absorbing.
- Use fabric materials instead of leather materials.
- Use dense carpet instead of nothing on the flooring.
These small changes of adding soft materials will impact greatly on the sound-absorbing capacity of the house.
Why can’t you check exclusive design and list of home design and furniture from the great collection of the ShoppingSignma.
Best Pick In List of Sound Absorbing Materials
In the list of best sound absorbing materials always check the one which is soft and has a high score of Noise reduction coefficient (NRC).
If you are expecting sound-absorbing materials to use as a full soundproofing purpose then this is not the practical case you need to use different soundproof materials.
If willing to buy a few of them make sure you focus on curtains, use of acoustic foams on the wall, and replace every hard surface with soft materials.
Let me know which one you like the most and would like to try out of the above list of sound-absorbing materials.