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Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Room

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. 

How to Soundproof Your Room?

To soundproof your room and reduce noise you need to absorb the sound. You can accomplish this by adding acoustic foam and acoustic panels on walls, hang blankets over sound entry points, and position furniture and rugs to help absorb sound. Place the sound absorbing material within the direct path of the sound’s source.

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.

PRODUCT DETAILS

BEST VALUE

moderncastle-table-__image
Acoustic Foam
  • Price: $
  • Sound Reduction: Great
  • Best For: Everywhere
Check Price

EASY INSTALL

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

BEST OVERALL

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

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 the 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 to identify the source.

Once you know exactly where it’s coming from, you’ll be better equipped to address it and dilute or mute it.

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 above, this might lead you to do soundproofing 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 the 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 quiet compared to more traditional vacuum cleaners. Check out our full list of robot vacuums we’ve tested 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 click here if you want to tackle your soundproofing project at the construction level.

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 inexpensive on Amazon.

For a relatively low cost, you can find inexpensive soundproofing foam. Better yet, you can usually find soundproof foam in a variety of colors, so it doesn’t have to be purely functional. It 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 closet into a sound booth.

Alternatively, if you’re recording music or vocals, you may need to step up the budget 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 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 room 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 adding some white noise are great ways to held dilute or mute unwanted sounds.

When there’s something else to listen to, it becomes easier to drown out other annoying sounds, even if they’re still happening.

Three different approaches to this technique include:

Sound Machines

Many sound machines can offer a variety of background noise, including white noise, nature sounds, rain, and more.

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.

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

Air Purifiers

Adding an air purifier is another great way to mask unwanted sounds while also cleaning the air. If you like the idea of a dual-purpose device, air purifiers can be pretty loud at high speeds and help to remove unwanted air particulate.

Levoit Vital 100 air purifier
Levoit Vital 100

The Levoit Vital 100, for example, is a good mid-size purifier that has the power to generate enough noise to cancel out other sounds in the room.

Fans

If you don’t need or want to purify your air, a ceiling fan, box fan, or other modular fan is a great way to add air flow and white noise to your room.

Nash CoolSmart smart fan review
Nash CoolSmart smart fan

It doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. You’re really just looking for that little extra white noise to help your brain drown the annoying sounds out.

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 and we may add your suggestion to this guide!

Updates

  • February 2, 2021 – Made a few minor content and layout changes. Fixed a couple of typos.
  • April 16, 2019 – Made a few minor content and layout changes.
  • March 31, 2019 – Updated layout and page design.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

Need Help? Ask Your Question Below.

94 Comments on “Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Room”

  1. Hello Derek I hope you can help me. I just moved into a new home and it on open floor plan, one story, all hardwoods and tiles. If someone is watching the TV in the living room the sound can be heard in every single room and makes it difficult for anyone to sleep. Also, our son’s room is directly next to ours (shares a bedroom wall) which makes us very hesitant to engage in “relations” because he can hear ANY and every sound we make. I desperately need help to keep my marriage and home! We are renting so we can’t make structural changes to the house.

    Reply
    • Hey Carmen,

      I think the easiest first step would be to put up some acoustic sound absorbing foam panels – https://amzn.to/2WORc3g

      They are cheap, put up quickly, don’t require structural changes, can be taken down without much issues, and you can do some cool style stuff depending on the colors you go with.

      I would put those on the walls in your main living room with the TV. This will help to keep sound from the living room / TV area in the TV area (and not bouncing all over your home).

      As far as amorous activities go, same thing…put up the sound panels in your room on the walls where the sound is going to exit and make noise. This will keep the sex sounds in your bedroom and not bouncing all over the home.

  2. We have foam panels to block sound, TV, voices, from a bedroom. I assume we place them on the wall of the bedroom that shares a wall with the 2nd bedroom where the noise is coming from? Do panels need to be placed tightly together, with no gaps?

    Reply
    • You place them so that they are inline with the direction the sound is traveling. What you’re trying to accomplish is to prevent sound from bouncing from one wall to another.

      And yes, place the foam tightly together. No gaps.

  3. I have CPTSD with hyper sensitivity to noise. The Fourth of July is coming up soon and it scares me to death frankly. I want to be prepared this year. My Street sets off fireworks almost every day for two months in a row. I feel like I’m dying inside. Q: I want to reduce as much noise coming from the windows as I can. Witch is better foam boards Cut to fit windows or a roll egg shell foam? Also is it unheard of to soundproof your bathroom or would that cause mold problems?

    Reply
    • Given you have a medical condition and you’re mostly worried about short term (relatively speaking) noise I would recommend simply buying a set of noise blocking headphones.

      You could get something like this – https://amzn.to/33MeMSh – which just blocks the noise.

      Or a set of headphones with active noise cancelling and the ability to play music, like this – https://amzn.to/3tQPFIK

      The level to which you’d need to modify the room to create a sufficient level of noise cancelling doesn’t seem worth it, and unlikely it’s going to be strong enough for your needs.

      In theory, you should be able to soundproof your bathroom. However, you’d need to be careful with material selections. As you’ve said, there is a mold concern, especially with some foam soundproofing products.

    • Christine
      This is terrible. Are you not able to talk to you local representative? Two months?? Even two weeks is too much.

    • The best you could do would be to put as many sound absorbing materials between you and the noise. In this case, since most of the noise is coming from the street, you ideally would just put most of your sound materials on the wall closest to the street.

      Sound absorbing foam blocks or panels, in addition to the thickest sound absorbing curtains you can find should do the trick. Or at a minimum, help to significantly reduce the noise. I would start with that and see what type of an impact it’s able to make.

  4. My dog and I can’t take another firecracker season , which in my neighborhood lasts from April to when it freezes. I need to soundproof a street level bedroom in my house built in 1941.

    Reply
  5. Hey Derek,

    I have an acoustic drum set in my garage, and as you can imagine, it seems about as loud as gunshots when played. I’m wondering if there are any better sound proofing techniques than what I have planned currently. At the moment, I plan on simply framing out a small drum room, using plywood as the exterior walls and ceiling, insulating it, lining the interior with moving blankets, and setting it on a thick area rug (There will be a door, and ventilation as well). As it is, I see this already costing around $300..

    Do you think this will even be effective? If so, how much can I expect something like this to cut down the sound? I’d love to hear alternative suggestions as well, or ideas for avoiding the “weak points” like the door and vents from leaking too much sound.

    Thank you,
    Austin

    Reply
    • Hey Austin,

      New construction soundproofing is far more technical, and quite frankly I just don’t know as much about it.

      I did a little digging this morning and found this guide – https://www.tmsoundproofing.com/How-to-Soundproof.html

      Since your building something brand new you have the opportunity to really build the soundproofing elements into the drum room itself. I would try and incorporate as many of these construction techniques and materials as you can, as they will all help to reduce the sound. If you find these are still not enough after you’ve build it, then I would suggest adding further soundproofing materials to the walls and ceiling (basically the sort of stuff you see on this page).

      I hope that helps.

  6. Hi Derek,

    I live on the 4 floor beside a road. I believe the traffic noise bounces off the balconies concrete roof, before entering the apartment’s doubled glazed windows.

    I am considering treating the noise before it enters the apartment.
    I would like to change the angle of reflection by adding a saw tooth like panel to the balcony ceiling.

    Do you think this would work, and what kind of material might work?

    Cheer

    Reply
    • I expect it would probably help. I’m not exactly sure what you’re envisioning that would look like. But the more you can put material directly in front of the sound the better you’ll be at absorbing / reflection that sound…and ultimately keeping it out of the apartment.

      On the balcony it may be as simple as a sort of thick sunshade that hangs down from the edge. This would stop a good chunk of the sound before it ever had a chance to enter your apartment. I’m not as familiar with exterior soundproofing options, so I don’t have as many suggestions there.

  7. Hello Derek,

    I’m delighted to find this blog and am hoping you can give me some advice.

    I live in London in an apartment block next to a dual carriageway. The traffic is pretty much constant and heavy (including construction trucks, cars, motorbikes and idiots with holes in their exhausts).

    My windows are double glazed but next to them, in the corner, in front of my desk where I work from home, are two wooden ventilation doors. They look like morgue doors, about 80cm square each. Behind the doors is an open vent which cannot be closed.

    The noise from the traffic is unbearable and as I work from home it is a constant issue.

    I part rent part own but as I’ve been here longer than a year the architects won’t sort the problem out.

    I currently have some polystyrene type insulation foam in the space between the doors and the vents and have strapped a thick duvet to my side of the doors but it is not working adequately and I have no idea what to do. There is foam aplenty but what kind and how dense and which way do the pyramids face? Or would a yoga mat shoved into the space work? Would a moving blanket be better than a duvet? I just don’t know.

    Ideally I would take the doors down and brick the hole up but the doors are in a wooden frame which is part of the window frame so I can’t muck about with that.

    Any advice gratefully received.

    Candice

    Reply
    • Thanks, Candice. Let’s just dive right in.

      1. Pyramids on the foam face the direction the sound is coming. So point those towards the street if at all possible.

      2. The thicker and more dense the foam the better. What you really need to do is try and absorb as much of that sound right as it enters your home (before it’s able to travel throughout your home)

      3. Yoga mat isn’t going to be dense or thick enough, in my view

      4. Moving blanket could be better. It really depends on how thick and dense your duvet it. Ultimately, you just need physically more material in there. The thicker and denser it is the more sound absorption it is capable of.

      In your case, it really comes down to quantity of material. That’s a big sound problem and the only real solution in my view is more sound absorbing materials between you and the outside.

  8. Okay, I have an elderly aunt who lives with me, and who makes at least 100 different kinds of sounds and noises while she’s sitting at the kitchen table eating. I sleep in my living room. She sleeps in the one bedroom. There is an open space 80″ high and 48″ wide that separates the living room from the kitchen. It’s an apartment and there’s no way I can put a door or anything else there that must be attached to the walls, the only exception being small push pins like you’d pin something to a bulletin board with. What is the best thing—if anything—that I can do to greatly reduce (or totally block?) her noise from the kitchen (including coughing about a hundred times) when she wanders in there at all hours of the night for one of her twenty or so daily meals? I’m serious. Thanks.

    Reply
    • That sounds like an incredibly difficult problem. One that I’m not sure the solutions here is going to fully solve.

      What I would start with would be cheap sound proofing foam – https://amzn.to/2WORc3g

      Wherever you have a wall / door surface in the kitchen and could place these, they will help to dampen the sound and prevent it from bouncing out and into your living area.

      The biggest thing to help would be putting something, anything in that big open area. Hanging a blanket, adding a thick rug, putting furniture there…literally anything to absorb sound as it tries to leave the kitchen.

  9. Hi! Great advice, and would love your suggestions. Our bathroom shares a wall with our teenage daughter’s bedroom. It’s her closet wall, but she complains that she hears everything happening in the bathroom- yuck!

    Would foam panels on her closet wall keep the sound out?

    Reply
    • It will definitely help.

      Since the sound needs to travel from your bathroom, through the closet wall, and then through the closet door, you have several opportunities to help kill the sound.

      I would probably start by putting foam panels on the closet door and then the closet wall itself.

  10. Hey, I’m trying to soundproof my office as much as possible. As I still talk quite a lot in the evenings when my wife is asleep I need to reduce the sound as much as possible. It’s quite a thick wall already but I fear that late at night the sound will pass through it to the bedroom.

    I’ve brought there https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08BCR5YXR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I imagine the best place to put them would be in front of me (the way I’m facing) and then the wall behind me which backs onto the bedroom.

    Is that right?

    Reply
    • Hi George,

      Yes, that’s correct. By placing them in front of you the sound won’t have time to bounce and go to other walls / rooms. You’ll simply stop / reduce it right at the source.

      I would suggest starting with that and if you’re still getting too much noise you can always add additional panels on other walls.

  11. Hi Derek, very helpful information! Recently I had recessed lighting added to a new unit I purchased and kicking myself as it’s very noisy. Any advice? Thanks.

    Reply
  12. if i have an adjoining wall with a neighbour, which would you recommend: (1) sitting against the wall furthest away from the adjoining wall; (2) sitting with my back facing the adjoining wall with furniture as a barrier; (3) sitting as far as possible, perpendicular to the adjoining wall?

    Reply
    • I’d go with #1.

      Reducing sound and noise really comes down to a few different factors…1) stuff absorbing noise, 2) distance from the noise, and 3) walls / objects to reflect noise.

      In the case of #2 you’re bringing yourself closer to the noise. While it might be quieter in the room at large, since you’re in the same position as the couches (which will absorb), you’re going to still get more of the noise on your person.

      #3 might be okay, depending on the exact room layout, but won’t be much (if any) better than #1. Ultimately, distance is your friend here.

  13. How can I reduce the noise coming from below, I can hear my neighbour tv when trying to sleep. If I got a curtain rail and put soundproof curtains all around my bed, would this help? Also is there anything I can put on my bedroom door to stop noise coming through

    Reply
    • It would help, but it’s probably not going to be a miracle worker.

      Noise from below is a challenge, because you really need to stop it at the floor itself.

      Any type of sound absorbing materials in the room are going to help…so sound proof curtains, sound proof foam, furniture, fabrics, blankets, pillows, etc. Put as many of those types of materials and objects between you and the sound. That’s going to be your best bet.

  14. I need to stop sound from coming in from my neighbor upstairs. Can I put something on my ceiling that would absorb sound and is safe and easy?

    Reply
  15. In the place I’m renting, the walls between my room and my neighbours’ are so thin i can hear them talking and doing other stuff. I am sure they can hear me too. I am intending to tape pyramid-style acoustic foam panels to the back of my wardrobe and place the wardrobe against the adjoining wall. Would that only help in muting sound from their room? If i want to mute sound coming from my room, should the pyramids be facing me?

    Reply
    • Yes, the pyramids should be facing you (or whatever the source of the sound is coming from) to have the most effect.

      You’ll get a benefit both directions, but a greater benefit when those pyramid points face the sound source.

    • It depends on the metal, thickness, construction, design, etc. But in general, yes.

      Most solid materials are going to reflect more than they absorb.

      Furniture, fabrics, carpets, curtains, etc. are all good at absorbing sound.

      Tile, wood floor, and other hard surfaces reflect.

  16. Good advice here Derek. I see those acoustic panels can be pretty expensive. I don’t want to totally deaden my room but it needs correction. A guy on one site recommended putting bass traps from the corner top wall completely down to the bottom corner of all four corners. In this diagram bass traps were also placed between the walls and the ceiling throughout the room, from corner to corner. Must admit that bass traps are cheaper than acoustic panels.

    I think I’m gonna save the acoustic panels for the ceiling. I’m thinking of using maybe 4 (medium to large panels) near the four ceiling corners and 2 to four panels in the center of the ceiling. I can use the diffusers you recommend where recommended to be placed on the ceilings or the walls.

    As I mentioned yesterday. I think I’m gonna cover my walls with those harbor freight 72×80 moving blankets. I am absolutely sure that even one moving blanket which is only about 1/4 inch thick will be far better than music bouncing off a bare wall. I will need to measure my room to avoid buying more materials than I need.

    Sorry to be so wordy. Hope this info helps someone with music mixing. I want my room to sound better. But I don’t want another house payment to get it done.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your plan! I’d love to hear how everything works out once you get setup.

      Sounds to me like a good solution. Excited to hear how it works.

  17. Thanks for the tips. Think I’m gonna look for some thick blankets and hang on my wall after I install some bass traps. I hear that bass traps are the most important for acoustic treatment.

    Reply
  18. PS: the shared wall in question is 12’ long by 8’ high. There are no electrical sockets in that wall.

    The neighbour says that the room upstairs above their kitchen also hears my “noisy tv”…

    Reply
  19. Hi,
    I recently moved into a semi-detached rental home that has a shared wall in my living room with the next door neighbour’s house’s kitchen/dining room.

    It’s the only wall that I can place my 3 Large wall units, one of which contains my old style CRT TV. The unit that holds the tv is open in the back to allow for the depth of the tv, and the unit itself stands in front of the heat vent in the floor. Currently, the sound comes from the tv itself, from the front and back corners of the TV set.

    I couldn’t place the tv anywhere else because one of the room’s 3 walls is a built-in brick fireplace, and the other is the only one that fits my 3-seater leather sofa. The other side of the room is open to my dining room.

    My neighbour keeps complaining that my tv is too loud, once coming over at 3 in the afternoon when I was watching a movie, which shocked the heck out of me, since so far I’ve only turned up the volume to 16 on a SONY set that can go up to 64!! Usually, it’s at just 8!
    One night he called the cops cuz I was listening to a Grammy Prince tribute special on tv that ended at 11pm!!!

    I couldn’t believe it!!! 🙁

    My landlord doesn’t want to pay for a proper soundproofing, and I don’t want to get a $450 ticket nor live like I’m in a library.

    I JUST painted the entire room myself in a light beige, and my furniture is black. I’ve heard that soundproofing panels and curtains only come in black. Black wall units and black furniture against a black wall of panels would be too dark! There’s no window in that part of the room.

    I’m pretty handy myself, but really don’t have money to sink into a rental… but I need some kind of solution!

    Have any low cost suggestions?

    Reply
    • Thanks for all the background. Here are some suggestions for you:

      1) Add sound proof foam or panels on the neighbors wall – https://amzn.to/3eVyezU – While black is the most common color, you can find foam panels in a other colors as well. If you have a little more budget a pre-built panel would probably look better and performance should be better also – https://amzn.to/2Zu9CaZ

      2) Get a soundbar and place it further away from the wall…perhaps on a coffee table or at least in front of the TV. Right now, a lot of the sound is probably bouncing directly off that wall. With a soundbar that sound source is now closer to you, so you can get the volume you want without distributing the neighbor. Some sound bar options here – https://amzn.to/2NMB7XW

  20. I live near an above ground train commuter train in New York City and want to block out the noice as much as possible. I have curtains now, but need something more substantial.

    I am debating the following:
    + Buying professional sound proof curtains which can be expensive and often custom.

    + Building a sound insulating window plug

    + Doubling up on the thicker thermal curtains.

    Reply
    • All of those would probably help.

      I would guess the biggest issue is train sound late at night…in which case you may be better off building a type of window insert with dense foam or other sound dampening materials.

      Ideally, you could add that + the sound proof curtains. Together they would be a better solution.

  21. I am about to buy a drum set and want to soundproof my bedroom as much as possible to not bother my neighbors. My room is on the 2nd story of the house and I have a shared wall with my roommate. Also there is a skylight right where I will be putting my drums. The ceiling is not flat so the skylight is at an angle and it’s hard to put any kind of curtain. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Put curtains and/or blankets and/or panels and/or foam on as many surfaces as possible.

      With drums you’re going to have high volume sound bouncing everywhere.

      You probably won’t be able to do much about the skylight, so minimizing it on as many of the other walls and ceilings as possible will help to reduce the impact there.

      Panels are more expensive, but also the better choice. After that, sound dampening blankets would be better, then foam, and then finally thick curtains.

  22. Hi Derek, re: ‘. I think you would be better off minimizing the sound from the most prominent sound bounce locations.’ Would sound absorbing tile behind the speakers or TV make a difference?

    I’m going to try the foam behind the mounts of the TV and in addition try the following; 1) speaker stands with small surface area feet e.g. https://amzn.to/3aV13d0

    There seems to be a bewildering array of available acoustic tile options on amazon but seemingly no standard way to measure their effectiveness. Do you have any tips on finding the best choices?

    cheers!

    Reply
    • It would probably help, but better would be to have sound absorbing tile or foam on the wall in front of the speakers.

      Sound is coming out from the front of your speakers, hitting that wall, then bouncing all over the room. I’m not sure you’d get the performance you’re looking for by putting the materials behind the speakers.

      You’re right. It is definitely a hard and confusing choice with soundproofing materials…I think mostly because every situation is just so different. I would encourage you to start small and scale up as needed.

    • Oh nice! That’s great.

      Wow, that’s exactly what you were talking about. Looks good. I had never seen or heard of a product quite like that.

      I’m glad you found what you were looking for.

  23. I realised I didn’t mention that the TV is 65″ and to be mounted onto plaster board wall (or more than likely require mounting into the blocks behind) in a living room in a wall that is shared between two houses so we don’t want to cause unnecessary noise for the neighbours.

    Reply
  24. We would like to mount a TV on our wall that will conduct sound through it’s mount points. Are there any mounting systems that also dampen / eliminate transmission of noise? In addition if we instead move to using speakers rather than the TV as the sound source, are there any speaker stands that isolate the speaker vibrations from the floor, so that the sound is more effectively kept in the room? Great site and articles by the way!

    Reply
    • Hi Ben,

      Unfortunately, I don’t know of any tv stands or speaker stands that isolate sound vibrations. I think you would be better off minimizing the sound from the most prominent sound bounce locations.

  25. I live in a place that has almost no insulation. The upstairs neighbor makes so much noise that she wakes me up early in the morning just moving things around, or if she wears hard-soled shoes or slippers. What can I put on my ceiling that isn’t terribly expensive that will eliminate hopefully most of the noise. I already wear earplugs. Thank you.

    Reply
  26. Hi we have a big classroom that was just built. The back and half of the sides are into the bank. Only the front is in the open. It has small kitchenette and one bathroom. It echos inside. We have a few quilts hanging on the walls. Other than that just long tables and folding chairs. It is just too noisy when there is a lot of people there. We are a community center so our monies are few. What can we do? Thank you, Diane

    Reply
    • That’s a pretty hard situation, Diane.

      If the quilts aren’t getting the job done then you probably want to step up to either foam panels or true acoustic dampening panels. The foam will be better than the blanks and the acoustic panels will be ever better than that.

      That would be the next step. I would start small and gauge what’s working / not working in your space, then simply add more specific foam / panels where the sound seems worse.

  27. Hi I live on the top floor of an apartment block and i need help with the noise from the neighbours downstairs air born noises such as tv and stereo are not too bad i know that a carpet underlay and a thick rug can reduce that a significant amount but what i really want stop is the impact sounds like the excessive stomping and scraping things on their kitchen work surfaces i rent the property so im restricted to what i can do… ive tried speaking to them but it makes them do it more.

    Reply
    • Honestly, Larry, that’s going to be really hard to stop that level of sound, especially with them living below you.

      Sound dampening can help, but if they are stomping and scraping there’s just only so much you can do.

      I would start with thick rugs in the most critical areas, as they will cover the most square footage on the point of entry. Add them one at a time and see if they are giving you any relief and then scale up from there.

  28. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

  29. 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

    Reply
  30. 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

    Reply
  31. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

    • 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.

  32. 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.

    Reply
    • Hi Mary,

      Most economical would be to install these foam wedges on the bathroom wall that is closest to your bedroom – https://amzn.to/2LUvB3B

      They will absorb the sound before it has a chance to enter your bedroom.

  33. 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.

    Reply
  34. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

  35. 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

    Reply
  36. 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?

    Reply
    • 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.

  37. 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.

    Reply
    • 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/2WORc3g – 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.

  38. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

  39. 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?

    Reply
    • 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!