If you live in a noisy urban neighborhood like me, then you probably know the cost of a quiet and peaceful environment.
External sounds we’ve got no control of- like traffic, kids shouting next door, loud motorcycle hoods- to mention a few are enough to disrupt you.
I can guess that you probably got two options in mind right now- one- moving into a quiet neighborhood or buying a house far from human civilization-if that’s possible, two using cheap soundproofing materials for your home.
But wait- what’s the viable option? Soundproofing your house is the only viable option right now, and in this article, I’m going to show you some of the most inexpensive materials for soundproofing.
In this article
Examples of sound absorbing materials
Sound absorbing materials and products are used to absorb and get rid of unwanted noises. These materials are dense, thicker and are made using sound absorbing raw materials. Here is a list of some sound insulation materials.
- Green Glue
- Moving blankets
- Mass loaded vinyl
- Foam mattress toppers
- Roxul mineral wool insulation
- Fiberglass insulation
- Bass Traps
- Noise reduction underlayment
- Acoustic wedges
- Sound panels
- Foam factor acoustic foam
- Medium density fiberboard
Best cheap sound deadening materials for DIY ideas
1. Green glue sealant
Green glue sealant is damping product used for new or renovation projects. It’s one of the popular and cheap soundproofing materials on the market today. Green glue noise-proofing compound unique characteristics act as a damping material to absorb the sound waves vibrations as they travel through walls, ceilings and floors.
The compound is not hazardous, has no odor, and it’s environmentally responsible.
How does green glue work?
Many people wonder how a simple layer of this glue is so effective at absorbing noise. But to understand the science behind the green glue compound, you first need to understand how sound waves travel.
Sound travels through the air like an airborne vibration or a wave. When sound waves hit a wall or ceiling, vibrations pass through the ceiling or wall and are transferred to the other side of the structure as sound again- unless the wall or ceiling is damped.
Green glue compound has a unique polymeric formula that transforms mechanical energy caused by sound waves into heat. So when green glue is sandwiched between two layers of drywall, it creates a damping system. Greenglue between two layers of drywall reduces sound up to 90%. Check out these green glues available for less than $50.
2. Soundproof curtains
Sound absorbing curtains are made of sound insulating materials which make the curtains two times better than traditional curtains you find on the market today.
These curtains are sewed in black liner making them not only absorb sound but also keep out UV ray and sunlight. You can use these curtains for your baby room, your house or at work. The thick material used also ensures that your room stays warm during those cold winter days while the black liner keeps out heat during summer.
Soundproofing curtains come in different colors and styles and are available at friendlier prices. (See the curtains I use for my home here).
3. Thick moving blankets
You might be surprised to hear that moving blankets are not only handy when moving out but also great for soundproofing.
Using moving pads is a common technique with many people here in the USA using these blankets to reconfigure their homes.
Fancy creating a practice drum room in your house? You can use these moving blankets instead of doing professional soundproofing which can be quite expensive and time-consuming.
But before you order a bouncy of moving pads, there are a few things I feel you should know first.
What you should know about moving blankets for soundproofing
- Moving blankets absorb sound. But their effectiveness cannot be compared to professional soundproofing. However, they are cheap soundproofing materials great for those on a budget, people with minimal technical knowledge and those renters who can sound isolate their rental units.
- The heavier the moving blanket, the better. For best results, thick moving blankets are the best- this is because the heavier the blanket, the more sounds it will absorb.
- Moving pads with grommets are better. Because you will be hanging these moving blankets on the wall, the best way is to ensure that you buy moving blankets with eyelets or grommets.
4. Bass Traps
Bass traps also known as acoustic energy absorbers are cheap sound dampening materials whose purpose is to absorb low-frequency sounds. Bass traps are commonly found in mastering rooms, home theatres, recording rooms and other rooms designed to offer critical listening atmosphere.
There are two common types of bass traps: porous absorbers and resonant absorbers. Resonant bass traps are further divided into two categories- Helmholtz and Panel absorbers. On the other hand, porous absorbers are made of materials such as cell foam, fiberglass, mineral wools and others.
Bass traps are efficient and cost-effective as well- if you’re looking to get rid of bass noise in your home- then these traps are for you- Check user reviews and latest price on Amazon.
5. Acoustic Foam Panels
Sound dampening foams not only provide soundproofing benefits but they also help in reducing reverbs.
If you want to get rid of those irritating reverbs or are in the process of building a studio you will need to find the best acoustic foam panels.
Sound blocking versus sound absorption
Acoustic foam panels can be used to either absorb sounds within a room or block out external sounds from the outside world. So it’s important to know what your end goal before investing your money in any technical acoustic foam. These acoustic foams are good in both absorbing and blocking out unwanted sounds. These foams are best if you’re looking for a cheap temporary soundproofing solution.
6. Sound deadening mats
Sound dampening mats for cars have different used- not only are they useful in sound isolation but they also ensure that your car stays cool/warm. These mats are affordable, easy to install and lightweight.
But since the market has evolved over the years, finding the best sound deadening mats can be a hassle as people often get mixed up on which feature is more important. In this section, I’m going to highlight three car sound isolating mats I have found useful- so they should help you as well.
a) Kilmat car sound deadening mat
Kilmat Sound deadening mat dampens unwanted sounds and also improves the audio quality of your car stereo. Investing in this mat will save you 20% compared to other dampening mats such as Extreme, GTmat and Boom.
Installing the Kilmat (read how to install here) in your car will increase the bass quality of your old stereo- because the mat is capable of absorbing ratter noises up to 5decibels.
b) Noico sound dampener
It is one of the best deadening material you’ll find on the market today. What I love about it is the fact that its high-quality material available at a friendlier price compared to other brands the likes of Fatmat and Kilmat.
c) Fatmat self-adhesive sound deadener
Fatmat boasts a RattleTrap tech capable of absorbing your car’s rattling vibrations. According to research,- article posted on the manufacturer’s website- using this Fatmat Sound deadener can increase the sound quality of your car stereo by 3 decibels.
The mat is fitted with a self-adhesive aluminium sheet that provides insulation against heat. Check Fatmat latest price on Amazon here.
7. Weather stripping tape
Unwanted sounds can travel easily through the gaps found in doors and windows of your home. If you spot these gaps, I would recommend you to use this weatherstrips- for its great in sealing and closing the gaps and hence reducing the amount of unwanted sounds coming through. These weather stripping tapes are pretty cost-effective and installing them takes less effort and time while saving you some cash.
8. Roxul mineral wool insulation
Roxul mineral wool insulation is one of the most inexpensive soundproofing materials on the market today.
It’s made of wool that’s compacted as 2.5lbs per cubic foot which contributes to its flexibility better than fiberglass board. Not only does this material provide better sound insulation but also gives better fire protection for comfort and safety.
Factors to consider when buying cheap soundproofing materials
a) Material and weight
I emphasize that you should always confirm the material used. This is because, most products you’ll find on the market today will claim to help with sound isolation- to some extent it’s true- but some manufacturers are just salesy.
For instance, moving blankets should have all the features (check what I mentioned above) that make the soundproof. A moving blanket made of lightweight material will give poor results compared to one made using heavy materials.
Acoustic 101: States that the denser, thicker or heavier the material is, the better it is in soundproofing. In general, look for soundproofing materials made of denser and fluffy materials.
b) Price and Reviews
How much are you willing to spend? At times you’ll find sound dampening materials priced cheaper and gives the best sound absorbing and the opposite is true. But don’t expect these cheap sound blocking materials to provide the same results as high-end premium sound dampening materials like- these Medium density fiberboards or these Mass Loaded Vinyls.
You get what you pay for.
Additionally, you should watch out for reviews posted by other users online. For example, you can check weather-stripping reviews here. If Amazon reviews aren’t satisfying, you could check reviews on the manufacturer’s website or google.
There goes my list of the cheapest soundproofing material that works especially if you’re on a budget. I truly hope you found this article helpful. Have you used tried using any of the materials highlighted above? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. You can see how I fixed my noisy air vents in this article.