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Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Room

TLDR (too long didn’t read) Summary: Buy and hang acoustic foam like this, hang blankets over sound entry points, or add /  position furniture and rugs to help absorb sound.

Whether you live in a high-rise apartment or a sprawling suburban home, soundproofing can be an issue that affects all home types.

You may be addressing exterior noise, like traffic and outside businesses, or interior noise, like loud neighbors or noisy kids.

Cheapest way to soundproof a room

Regardless of your exact arrangement, finding the cheapest way to soundproof a room can be a quick and effective way to get some peace and quiet. 

There are many easy ways to soundproof a room that don’t involve holes in an existing wall or permanent fixtures. 

Below we’ve listed some of the best performance and value products you can buy to quickly install for a marked reduction to sound and noise.

PRODUCTDETAILS

BEST VALUE

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Acoustic Foam
  • Price: $
  • Sound Reduction: Great
  • Best For: Everywhere
Check On Amazon

EASY INSTALL

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Acoustic Blankets
  • Price: $
  • Sound Reduction: Good
  • Best For: Homes & Apartments
Check On Amazon
moderncastle-table-__imageSound Proof Curtains
  • Price: $
  • Sound Reduction: Great
  • Best For: Homes & Apartments
Check On Amazon

BEST OVERALL

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Acoustic Panels
  • Price: $$
  • Sound Reduction: Excellent
  • Best For: Home theater, professional music
Check On Amazon
moderncastle-table-__imageThick Sound Absorbing Rugs
  • Price: $
  • Sound Reduction: Good
  • Best For: Homes & Apartments
Check On Amazon
moderncastle-table-__imageSound Booth
  • Price: $$$
  • Sound Reduction: Excellent
  • Best For: Professional music
Check On Amazon

How to Make Your Room Soundproof from Inside

When you’re starting to consider soundproofing a room, location is everything. Making your room soundproof from inside isn’t as hard as you might imagine.

There are three critical points that can make a room feel noisy, so be sure to address each location to truly soften the noise in your space.

  1. Source of the sound
  2. Entry point
  3. Reflection point
Sound Reflection Basics - best places to soundproof
Sound Reflection Basics – best places to soundproof

1. The source of sound

Is it one specific noise that you’re trying to conceal, like a television, instrument, or traffic? This type of sound can generally be contained to one specific spot. The first step to concealing the sound is toidentify the source.

2. Entry point

The entry point is the area in your space where the sound enters your room. Again, this may be an exact point that is adjacent to the source of the sound or it could be an entire existing wall, like in the case of shared walls in apartments, condos, or duplexes.

Exterior windows are also common entry points for unwanted noise.

3. Reflection point

After the sound enters your space, it will reflect back at the same angle of entry. In the example below, this might lead you to do soundproof techniques on the headboard wall as well as the wall at the end of the footboard.

Since the angle of entry is a straight line in this case, the sound will likely bounce back and forth between the headboard and footboard until it dissipates.

Below we will go over different methods of cheap and easy ways to soundproof a room from inside. For effective sound masking, you will want to implement soundproofing techniques at all three of the points listed above.

RELATED – Can’t stand noise? Robot vacuum cleaners are very quiet compared to more traditional vacuum cleaners. Check out some of our favorite cheap robot vacuums here.

Cheap Ways to Soundproof a Room

One of the easiest ways to mask unwanted sound in a room is to  add furniture and natural decor to your space. Sound bounces off of hard surfaces, like hard flooring or blank existing walls. 

To kill sound in its tracks, consider adding finishes that the sound can be absorbed into. 

Here are three of the cheapest ways to soundproof a room using furniture and decor.

1. Use curtains and window treatments

Not only do curtains serve as a great visual barrier against nosy neighbors, but it offers dual purpose sound dampening as well. 

Hanging plush, thick drapery helps to absorb extra sound from the outside as well as unwanted traffic noise.

Soundproofing with curtains or window treatments
Soundproofing with curtains or window treatments

On the inside, these same curtains help to absorb ambient noise that floats around the interior of the space.

2. Add area rugs

To mask sound coming from lower neighbors in an apartment situation, consider adding thick area rugs to your main living spaces. 

Large and thick area rugs can help to soundproof your room

Large and thick area rugs can help to soundproof your room

Adding a pad under the rug is another way to enhance the sound masking, without taking up additional square footage.

3. Add upholstered furniture

Adding upholstered furniture to your space gives more areas for sound to be absorbed into, and keeps it from bouncing as much. If you don’t have room for more furniture, try adding thick blankets or plush throw pillows to your existing areas.

Soundproofing a room from the inside is all about dampening noises by targeting them at the entry or reflection point.

How to Soundproof a Room for Free (with Blankets)

Speaking of blankets, if you don’t have the budget to buy extra sound dampening furniture, curtains, or rugs, you can use blankets as a free soundproofing alternative.

  1. Get Blankets – Gather up all of the blankets and quilts you have around your home. Remember, the thicker, the better!
  2. Sound In or Out? – Decide if you are trying to keep sound in (i.e., sound that you’re making) or keep sound out (sound that’s coming from the outside)
  3. Sound In – If you want to keep the sound in, you’ll need blankets on all sides.
  4. Sound Out – If you want to keep the sound from the outside out you’ll need to put blankets over the source of those sounds. Most likely, that means a specific wall, door, or window.
  5. Affix to Wall – In both cases, you’ll want to hang the blankets using tacks, finishing nails, or screws, depending on how heavy they are.
soundproofing using blankets
Affixing a blanket to a wall, window, or doorway can help to dampen sounds

In addition to your blankets, if you have any large pieces of furniture in your room, you can position those against the appropriate existing wall to help minimize sound. Bookcases and headboards work great for this.

Best Ways to Soundproof a Room

Have a bigger problem and added furniture just isn’t cutting it? 

For especially noisy neighbors, kids in the band, or housing directly adjacent to high-traffic areas, you may way to consider a more powerful solution.

If you aren’t on a tight budget, check out this guide by HouseLogic.com. Or if you want to tackle your soundproofing project at the construction level see here.

However, if you are on a budget, continue reading below.

The following solutions may not be as cheap or dual purpose as those mentioned above, but they are more effective at soundproofing a room, regardless of what the source of sound is.

1. Hang acoustic panels

Depending on the size and quality, hanging acoustic panels can be quite expensive, but it’s certainly one of the best ways to soundproof a room. Acoustic panels are excellent at absorbing unwanted sounds and you can hang them like art or accents around your room or apartment.

These panels are generally pretty lightweight and come in a variety of colors to match your decor. Inexpensive acoustic panels, like these foam panels, are easy to install and help to absorb unwanted sounds.

soundproofing using acoustic panels
Properly positioned acoustic panels can stop noise from reflecting and dampen noise.

For a little extra cash, there are larger acoustical panel sizes that can be installed with heavy duty hardware or flush mounted z-clips. These can be connected to make a single large panel or used independently.

Want to use panels, but aren’t sure where to hang them?

As a general rule of thumb, you want to place panels on the opposite wall of the source of sound for the maximum absorption.

Sound reflection follows the same laws as light reflection and bounces back at an angle equal to the angle of the incoming sound.

Sound Reflection Basics - how to soundproof a room

2. Cheap Soundproofing Foam

If you’re on a tight budget, you can accomplish great things with cheap soundproofing foam. In recent years, soundproofing foam has come a long way, and it’s incredibly cheap on Amazon.

For a not too much you can find cheap soundproofing foam. Better yet, you can usually soundproof foam in a variety of colors, so it doesn’t have to be purely functional. You can add a nice aesthetic touch to your room, while also achieving your soundproofing needs.

soundproofing using foam tiles
Soundproofing using foam tiles

3. Use a sound booth

If you’ve got a higher budget and can identify the source of sound within your home, you may want to consider using a sound booth. This helps to isolate the sound before it has a chance to bounce around your space.

An example of this type of solution would be this customizable sound booth. Depending on the size, a sound booth can range from $50 up to $2,000 or more.

RELATED – Turn your closest in a sound booth.

Alternatively, if you’re recording music or vocals, you may need to step the budget up a bit further and rent a recording studio space.

For professional recording (or even prosumers), the logistics of noise isolation are much easier to control in a studio space designed specifically for for that purpose.

4. Easiest Way to Soundproof a Room

If you’re trying to soundproof a room, chances are that you may be looking for something that is just plain easy. In many cases, people wanting to soundproof a roof are in temporary living situations (like apartments or rentals) and can’t spend a lot of time or money on complicated strategies.

In other cases, the annoying sound is actually temporary, like construction work or a neighbor’s noisy project. One solution for these types of annoying noises is adding a little background noise.

5. Soundproofing Alternatives (add background noise)

Adding background noise is an incredibly easy way to soundproof a room— and it’s inexpensive also. 

Playing relaxing instrumental music or even getting a sound machine are great ways to add a little white noise to your space.

When there’s something else to listen to, it becomes easier to drown out the more annoying sounds, even if they’re still there. The Sound + Sleep sound machine, for example, has 10 different sounds it can play, including white noise, nature, or even sounds of a bustling city.

A sound machine or white noise machine can help to soundproof a room by drowning out the sound
A sound machine or white noise machine can help to soundproof a room by drowning out the sound.

If you prefer a more muted sound like a fan, check out the Marpac Dohm sound machine, which simply plays varying intensities of fan sounds.

While sound machines don’t remove the noise entirely, they are easy way to mask annoying noises and can be especially useful for temporary situations.

More Soundproofing Ideas

Have a soundproofing idea that works great that we didn’t mention? We’d love to hear it!

Drop us a comment below or send us an email using our contact form.

Updates

  • April 16, 2019 – Made a few minor content and layout changes.
  • March 31, 2019 – Updated layout and page design.

26 thoughts on “Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Room”

  1. hi,so I got a thin wall and a lady is living next to my room, she knocked on my door yesterday because she heard something, the only thing I am playing is my phone’s YouTube video, sadly I am a gamer, I play in my room, I don’t wanna sit so close to the TV so I can hear, any quick way to help the poor lady from my TV sound?

    • Hey Gino,

      So you’ve got a few options.

      First, you may think about picking up a set of wireless headphones. Lots of options here – https://amzn.to/2v8i2sG

      Or, if you want to keep your speakers, you may add some basic sound proof foam to the wall. Something like this – https://amzn.to/2qw9dDH – these actually aren’t too expensive, and actually can look sort of like a modern art piece on your wall.

      Those are your two best bets. Hope this helped!

  2. Hi, I have a chicken coop that I need to make sound resistant. I’ve just started a small hatchery and I need a cockerel to keep my pullets fertile. I’m trying to keep the noise, from my cockerel, to a minimal annoyance. My neighbors are loving and wonderful, but not so much at 6 am on their first Saturday off in 3 weeks. The problem I’m having is: I have chicken wire walls, minimal amount of studs, and I need to maintain consistent ventilation. It wouldn’t hurt any if if helped with the temperature gradient. I know it’s possible to get done and could probably give the place some cool pazazz, but I’m just a bit lost on putting it all together.

    • Soundproof foam still is probably the best option. You don’t really need studs, as they are super lightweight and could be installed a variety of non-invasive ways. However, you will need enough walls / roof to keep water off of them.

  3. Hey,

    I have people upstairs who play loud music. I can hear it very clearly in my house. I live in a basement apartment. What can I do to stop the sound from being so loud in my apartment downstairs.

    • First, you might consider making a complaint to your landlord. All rental units have an implied promise of habitability and enjoyable of the rental unit. And if it’s that loud, it’s certainly breaking that promise.

      If you cannot get anywhere with the landlord I would recommend:

      1) Try adding soundproofing foam to the ceiling – https://amzn.to/2C78Jfg – it’s not the ideal use case for the foam, since the source is coming through a wall, but it should help.

      2) Add a white noise machine – https://amzn.to/2wD0enK – This won’t stop the sound, but it may help your mind to start ignoring it.

  4. We have a relocatable home is in between a Depot where the day starts at 6am and
    a saw mill starting at 7am five days a week.
    Our lifestyle means we arise early on Sat/Sun/Wed/, our days off are Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri.
    The bedroom wall facing the Depot is windowless, (a window is to the right on the adjacent wall. I wear earplugs at present, my husband is deaf yet needs an alarm (me) Any suggestions please?

    • Hi Christine,

      That’s a pretty tough noise problem to resolve. I would recommend starting small and building on until you’re happy with the level of noise.

      I would start by putting thick and heavy drapes over your windows – https://amzn.to/2Pyhu56

      Then add thick and heavy area rugs to floors, especially any hard surface floors you have in the home – https://amzn.to/2CKWepV

      If you’re able to re-position furniture along the walls, do that also.

      Lastly, considering foam (like this – https://amzn.to/2pRKHwI) or acoustic panels (like this – https://amzn.to/2CKWhSD) once you’ve done those other options.

  5. I have a dog that is petrified of fireworks. This time of year is horrendous. We have tried all the drugs herbal and from vets. Thundercoats etc. Load music u name it we’ve tried it. She gets on back of Sofa and screams. We even pay to put her in kennels but u never know when it’s gonna happen. I have a small room that could be sound proofed any ideas would be much appreciated thank u

  6. Good evening Mr Hales..
    I don’t want the music that I play inside my room goes out.
    I live in India.
    My parents don’t want me to visit Amazon.
    Could you please suggest a way that requires thermocol.

    • You could use thermocol in the same way you would use sound absorbing foam. Simply get a sufficiently thick pieces and cover walls and doors where the sound is most likely to penetrate and enter other rooms that you are trying to keep silent.

  7. My problem is our house had super thin walls, I’m talking there are panel walls ok… and they are in every room so we can hear everything from whatever room were in. I’d like to isolate the sound for one room in particular, my son is a gamer and he can get pretty loud when he has game time and his room sits in the middle so we can hear him if were in the living room or in our bedroom. We are unsure of what would work considering the walls are so thin.. and were on a budget.

  8. What would be the best and / or most economical option to soundproof a bedroom that is located next to a bathroom and toilet. Toilet flushes, running exhaust fans, and showers could be heard from the bedroom, which ruins sleep particularly during the middle of the night when sound becomes more vivid.

    • You certainly could. The more foam in the room = the more sound absorption is possible.

      I would start with one wall at a time and gauge performance and then add more as needed.

  9. How many inches of space do you put between the foam pieces? Or if I choose the thick blanket option how many inches of wall can be uncovered on the edges without losing sound absorption? I wanna keep sounds from going in or out. But I don’t wanna spend more than necessary on the foam or get a blanket thats heavier than necessary. Especially cause it’s for an apartment and I don’t wanna ruin the walls.

    • For more sound absorption use less space between. If sound issues are more moderate, you can use fewer panels and have more space between.

      Similarly with the blanket, use more coverage for more significant sound issues.

  10. I want to make low budget drum recordings in my garage, however we have a very thin garage door, as well as a thin wooden roof. What would be the best low budget strategy to create a reasonable recording envinroment?
    Thanks
    Josh

  11. I need to sound proof a room with double doors. I need to block the sound going out and coming in, only problem is I don’t want it to look tacky as one room is a living room and the other room is a kitchen . How could I do this with 2 double doors without it looking tacky? Thanks! Jacqueline

  12. Thank you for this article – lots of great ideas here! I am a musician trying to keep sound within a room in my apartment. I am on the top floor and have high, cathedral ceilings. Should I put sound proof paneling on the walls AND ceiling, or if I’m on the top floor already, are just the walls sufficient, and probably laying down a thick rug? Thanks for your help!

    • Just the walls with a thick carpet should be sufficient.

      In any case, I’d start with that and see what sort of sound bounce you’re getting.

      If you think you’re getting a lot of bounce / echo off of the ceiling then you could add them to the ceiling as well.

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