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What is the Best Sound Proofing Material?

written by: Baby Rani•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 2/22/2009

Soundproofing refers to the process of blocking out unwanted sound from a living space or from professional spaces such as recording studios and conference halls. A variety of materials can be used to achieve optimum soundproofing and sound absorption.

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    Definition of Soundproofing

    Soundproofing refers to the process of blocking sound from entering or leaving a certain space, like soundproofing your bedroom to prevent road noise from entering it. On the other hand, sound absorption refers to the process of enhancing the sound in a space such as in the room where you plan to setup the home theater in your home, or typically in a sound recording studio. Let us take a look at the various soundproofing materials used to achieve both these effects.

    First of all, whichever soundproofing material you use, a lot of meticulous planning needs to be done to achieve the best results. The best soundproofing results can be achieved if it is planned and executed along with the construction; it is totally possible to integrate soundproofing into your space post-construction, but it certainly will not equal the quality provided by a pre-construction soundproofing.

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    Insulation:

    Insulation can greatly help in your process of soundproofing if judiciously carried out. Insulating floors is quite an inexpensive and effective method to block sounds between floors of a building, and is especially useful in apartment blocks to block sound between apartments on the various floors. The best floor insulation material recommended by experts is cellulose that is sprayed into place in the required area. Other materials such as rock wool can also be placed between the floor beams to enhance the insulation.

    When it comes to windows, you can go for special soundproof windows made from soundproof glass that can be installed over the existing windows; these work best when coupled along with efficient and heavy sealing. As an added measure, heavy drapes can also be hung over the soundproofed windows to further deaden sound.

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    Selection of soundproof materials:

    There are also many other options when it comes to choosing sound proofing materials. Open celled foams, better known as acoustic foam, are excellent soundproofing options and can be used in sound absorption as well. A type of vinyl material called Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is also a popular soundproofing option. This material is lightweight but has a much higher mass than what can be expected of a thin material, which lends it its soundproofing ability.

    Sound absorption has different needs than that of soundproofing as it has more to do with the enhancement of the quality of sound in the desired space. Be it a sound recording studio, a conference hall or the room in your home where you place the home theater system, it is essential to deaden unwanted noises and enhance the positive noises in the process.

    In places like recording studios, where the sound quality is of utmost importance, the extreme step is to construct a room within room; that is, to add an extra layer of wall to the entire space and even the floor. But for less intensive requirements, special foams that loosely resemble egg crates and sound boards can be used to facilitate absorption of sound. The material that is considered the best soundproofing material for sound absorption purposes is sheetrock. When used between walls and along with rock wool insulation, it offers excellent results. This material though, is quite expensive and works best when installed prior to construction of the space.






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