Soundproofing and sound-absorbing both are effective ways to reduce noise. However, soundproofing deals with blocking noise from entering or exiting a space, while sound absorption deals with reducing the echo and reverberation inside a room.
According to the report of the World Health Organization (WHO), noise pollution has become one of the top environmental risks to human health. It can lead to several cardiovascular diseases, sleep disorders, and hearing loss.
It means we should take some serious measures to reduce noise pollution. And, soundproofing and sound-absorbing are the most effective methods to achieve this goal.
But understanding the difference between soundproofing and sound-absorbing is very important. Because choosing the wrong method can be ineffective and a waste of time and money.
That’s why you should read this complete article. Because in this article I have facts and deep information about what soundproofing and sound absorbing really is.
Also, I have covered some other specs like the benefits, cost, and effectiveness of these methods. So, keep reading this article till the end to get all your doubts cleared about soundproofing vs sound-absorbing.
So Let’s Get Started!
Table of Contents
What Is Soundproofing & Sound Absorbing In General?
Soundproofing is the process of adding materials to a room or structure that will help block out the noise. This can be done to both the interior and exterior of a building.
It is often used in office buildings, homes, recording studios, and other places where it is important to reduce the amount of noise.
On the other hand, sound-absorbing reduces the reverberation time and sound intensity of a room. It can be done by using the same materials as soundproofing, but they are placed in a way that will absorb the noise instead of blocking it.
For Example: If you have a concrete wall, you can add a layer of insulation to block the noise or you can add a layer of acoustic panels to absorb the noise. Both will reduce the amount of noise that gets through, but they work in different ways.
However, it is important to note that soundproofing and sound absorption are not the same thing. But when it comes to choosing materials, they often overlap. The only thing that really matters is the result you are trying to achieve.
Different Types Of Soundproofing & Sound Absorbing Materials?
Soundproofing and sound-absorbing materials are designed to improve the acoustics within a room. Here are many different types of products available, each with its own unique benefits:
1. Acoustic Foam: Sound Absorbing
Acoustic foam is a type of insulation that is used to improve the sound quality within a room by absorbing and diffusing sound waves. It is commonly used in recording studios and home theaters.
It is usually made from polyurethane or fiberglass and is available in a variety of sizes and shapes. That will help to determine the best placement for the foam panels in order to achieve the desired results.
Start by covering the walls and ceiling with acoustic foam to create a sound-absorbing barrier. You can also use these panels to build custom sound diffusers.
But make sure not to cover more than 20% of the total surface area to avoid making the room too “dead” sounding.
2. Soundproofing Curtains: Sound Absorbing
Soundproofing curtains are a popular way to improve the acoustics in a room because they are effective at blocking out unwanted noise. They are usually made from thick, heavy fabrics like velour or velvet and are often lined with a sound-absorbing material.
When choosing soundproofing curtains, look for those that have a high sound transmission class (STC) rating. This indicates how well the curtains will block out noise. The higher the STC rating, the better.
Also, it should be noted that soundproofing curtains will not completely block out all noise. But they can significantly reduce the amount of noise that enters a room, which can make a big difference in the overall sound quality.
3. Soundproofing Insulation: Soundproofing
Soundproofing insulation is a type of insulation that is used to improve the sound quality within a room by blocking and absorbing sound waves. It is commonly used in recording studios, home theaters, and office spaces.
Because when it comes to recording studios, home theaters, and office spaces- you want to make sure that the sound quality is as good as possible.
This type of insulation will block and absorb noise so that it doesn’t echo or bounce around the room, which can be distracting and frustrating.
Especially, if you have to deal with outside noise pollution, then soundproofing insulation will be an ideal solution for you. You can install it by yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.
4. Rugs or Carpets: Sound Absorbing
Rugs and carpets can help to absorb sound in a room by trapping it within the fibers of the material. This can help to improve the acoustics in a room and make it feel more comfortable.
It can be used on different types of flooring, like hardwood floors, tile or linoleum floors, concrete floors, and more. But make sure you choose the right size and thickness for your needs so it doesn’t affect the look or feel of the room too much.
Also, keep in mind that some carpets and rugs are better at absorbing sound than others. Those made of natural fibers like wool or cotton tend to be more effective than synthetic options.
All you need is just a small area rug or carpet and then place it in the room where you want to improve the sound.
4. Weatherstripping: Soundproofing
Weatherstripping is a material that is used to seal the gaps and cracks around your doors and windows. It is very effective at preventing outside noise from coming into your home, and it can also be used to reduce the amount of sound that escapes from your home.
Usually, weatherstrip is made from EPDM rubber, which is a type of synthetic rubber that is very effective at blocking sound. Also, it is very easy to install and does not require any special tools or skills.
But before installing it, you need to make sure that the surface is clean and dry. Otherwise, the adhesive will not work properly. However, now there are also some self-adhesive weatherstrips available that make the installation process even easier.
5. Mass Loaded Vinyl: Soundproofing
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is a soundproofing material made from thick, dense vinyl. It is often used in conjunction with other soundproofing materials, such as fiberglass, to create an effective barrier against noise.
Although MLV is not a perfect solution for every noise problem, it can be very effective in certain situations. For example, if you live in an apartment and your neighbor’s music is bleeding through the walls, mass-loaded vinyl can help to block out the noise.
But MLV is not just for walls. It can also be used to soundproof floors and ceilings. If you have a noisy upstairs neighbor, mass-loaded vinyl can be placed between the joists of your ceiling to help dampen the noise.
6. Resilient Channel: Sound Absorbing
A resilient channel is a type of metal strip that are designed to improve the acoustics within a room. It is made of a flexible, resilient material that is able to absorb sound.
It is designed to absorb sound, and the grid-like pattern helps to distribute the weight of the material evenly. It is often used in ceilings and walls that are adjacent to each other, as it can help to reduce the amount of sound that is transmitted between them.
Start by identifying the areas in your room that are most in need of soundproofing. For example, if you have hardwood floors, you may want to consider using a sound-absorbing mat under your carpet.
If you have a lot of windows, you may want to use thicker curtains or shades to help reduce the amount of outside noise that comes in. You can also use acoustic panels on your walls to help absorb sound.
Common Myths About Soundproofing and Sound Absorption
Soundproofing and sound absorption have been confused for a long time. Part of the reason is that they are both used to improve the acoustics in a space. So here are some common myths about soundproofing and sound absorption.
- Soundproofing and sound absorption are not the same thing: Soundproofing is about preventing sound from entering or exiting a space. Sound absorption is about improving the sound quality within a space.
- Soundproofing is only for commercial spaces: Soundproofing can be used in any space, including homes and office spaces.
- Soundproofing is expensive: Soundproofing can be expensive, but there are also many inexpensive options available.
- Sound absorption is only for large spaces: Sound absorption can be used in any size space.
- Sound absorption will make my space echo: Sound absorption will not make your space echo. In fact, it can help to reduce echo in space.
Wrap Up On Soundproofing vs Sound Absorbing
So, which one should you choose for your space? The answer is – it depends. If you are looking to completely soundproof a room or area, then soundproofing insulation would be the best option.
However, if you are simply looking to reduce echo and reverberation in a room, then acoustic foam or sound-absorbing curtains would be more effective. No matter what material you decide on, make sure to do your research and understand the benefits and limitations of each before making a purchase.
And as always, if you have any questions or need help deciding which product is right for you, our team is here to assist.
FAQ: Soundproofing vs Sound Absorbing
Soundproofing and sound-absorbing both are difficult. That’s why many people just like you have lots of questions to ask. So I have added some of them in this article to provide appropriate answers:
Q1. How much does it cost to have a soundproofing or sound-absorbing room?
Ans: It really depends on what you need. For a soundproofing room, it may cost you around $3000. For a sound-absorbing room, it will be cheaper and the cost may fall around $1000.
Q2: What is better, a soundproofing or sound-absorbing room?
Ans: There is no simple answer to this question as it really depends on your needs. If you want a room where you can completely get rid of noise, then soundproofing is the better option. However, if you just need a room where you can reduce the noise, then sound-absorbing is the better option.
Q3: How long does it take to have a soundproofing or sound-absorbing room?
Ans: The time required really varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. For a small room, it may only take a few days. However, for a large and complex project, it may take several weeks or even months.