To soundproof a room is to keep sound from entering or exiting. Usually, it is a highly expensive and challenging task. While acoustic foam panels target a lot of the frequencies that soundproofing foam doesn’t, many of those frequencies would also be absorbed or reflected by the wall, ceiling, or floor.
This holds true for both sound entering and exiting the room. Foam panels therefore have fairly low soundproofing properties in the traditional sense. However, soundproofing foam does lessen the volume of noise that irritates your neighbors or roommates by reducing the room’s overall acoustic energy.
How Does Soundproofing Foam Work?
Dissipation is a fundamental physics principle that is used by soundproofing foam. Acoustic energy is converted into heat during this process. It mostly happens in porous materials, so there’s a good probability that fabrics like carpets or curtains in your environment already contain it.
Visualize how the sound waves would interact with the carpet pile, creating friction that would change the energy and absorb the sound. Of course, today’s materials that are made expressly for this function are considerably more efficient than carpets.
Mineral fiber and polyethylene foam, in particular, have high absorption characteristics. No matter how appropriate the material is for the task, the absorber’s size is the determining factor. Or thickness, to be more precise.
How Do I do Soundproofing?
As stated in the opening, soundproofing a room is difficult and expensive. One answer seems quite clear given what we’ve discussed thus far: strong walls. Unfortunately, we can’t normally control that parameter.
However, there are alternatives. You can install drywall with sheeting in between, or you can use mass-loaded vinyl to artificially thicken your walls (mlv). Time and money you invest in a project like this rarely match the intended use of the space.
A room-in-room design is the most expert technique to create soundproofing in control rooms or recording studios. Imagine that the air between the walls acts as a cushion, allowing the room to float inside the other room. No sound will enter or leave the room if everything is done correctly. Again, a project like this is absolutely out of the question for the majority of us. We therefore came up with a concise list of actions you may take that are effective on a smaller scale (and on a smaller budget):
Your roommates or family members may notice a difference after using door seal kits.
Plan your recordings at times when there is less noise and traffic.
Plan with your neighbors periods when you won’t bother them as much.
Invest in a good pair of headphones if you wish to work after those hours.