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If you are looking to reduce noise for whatever reason, soundproof panels are a cheap option to try, especially compared to other soundproofing methods.
Soundproof panels work reasonably well in reducing mid and high-frequency sound waves only as they have a moderate amount of mass. Soundproof panels do not block noise entirely as they are less capable of insulating low-frequency sound waves which have long wavelengths.
It mostly depends on the type of sound you are trying to block out since some panels work better than others, but soundproof panels are mostly intended for acoustics and not intense noise reduction.
Deciding on whether soundproofing panels will work for you depends on a number of factors. To help you choose, in this post, we will go over how soundproofing panels actually work, the different types of soundproof panels, the prices of soundproof panels, and which ones are the most effective for soundproofing.
Check out my top recommendations for soundproof panels.
How Do Soundproofing Panels Work?
Soundproof panels work by dampening and deadening soundwaves, thanks to the sound absorption materials that these panels are constructed from. These panels will help to eliminate both background noises and echoes by controlling ‘reverberation’, which is what happens when sound bounces off of walls.
Typically, you would choose the specific soundproof panel you want to buy based on how much sound you actually need to block out. For example, if you simply want to eliminate the sounds of birds chirping, then you would likely not need anything more than a standard, cheap soundproof panel. However, if you would like to reduce noise from a much louder source such as a garbage truck, you would need high quality, expensive soundproof panels, and possibly more heavy-duty options.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how soundproofing panels actually work, let’s take a look at the two main types of soundproof panels.
Types of Soundproof Panels
There are two main types of soundproof panels, which are:
- Wedge ridge soundproof panels, and
- Egg crate soundproof panels.
The difference between the two is all based on design, which has an effect on how they work to reduce sound travel. Depending on your budget and your soundproofing needs, you may require one design over the other.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both types of soundproof panels.
Wedge Ridge Soundproof Panels
Wedge ridge soundproof panels are sleeker than egg crate panels, which is why many prefer them since they tend to look better on a wall. Wedge ridge panels use a design that consists of squares with alternating designs, with horizontal and vertical ridges, that help to trap noises without distorting sounds.
This style of soundproof panel usually is about an inch thick and can come in a variety of colors, which makes it easy to fit in with your room’s decor. Wedge ridge panels can often be found in recording studios thanks to their capabilities with sound.
The main benefit of wedge ridge panels is the cost since they tend to be cheaper than egg crate panels. That said, they also tend to be less effective when it comes to actually block out sound- while that isn’t the main intention with these panels, it’s important to keep in mind if you have a moderate to severe level of noise you would like to block out.
Egg Crate Soundproof Panels
This style of soundproof panels is better than wedge ridge panels at absorbing sound, which makes them better for blocking out the unwanted noise you would like to keep out of your room.
As the name suggests, this style of panel faintly resembles an egg carton. They will usually be delivered wrapped up tightly in plastic so make sure to allow them up to three days to fully stretch out before you decide to install them in your room.
Egg crate panels are usually about 2.5 inches thick, which helps with noise reduction, especially compared to the thinner wedge ridge panels. Since these panels tend to use more material because they are bigger, they will usually be more expensive than wedge ridge panels.
It’s important to note that some people believe that simply putting up egg cartons on a wall will help with soundproofing. While it may have a small impact, egg cartons from the grocery store will not have nearly enough mass to block out any significant sound, so make sure to use actual soundproof panels for your needs.
Now that you know the two main designs of soundproofing panels, let’s go over the three materials that are most often used in building these products.
Materials Used in Soundproof Panels
There are plenty of materials that companies use in order to make soundproofing products, however, there are some that are used more often than others because of their price point and capabilities.
How much you spend on a soundproof panel will largely depend on the type of materials used, so it’s useful to know which are best. As you can expect, better materials mean better soundproofing, and better soundproofing means more expensive. So, when determining which material you would like to have your panels be made of, it’s wise to consider how much sound you need to block out and whether you are willing to pay more for better quality.
Let’s look at the three main materials used for building soundproof panels.
Fabric is one of the best materials that you can use for soundproof panels when wrapped over other, more powerful materials, however, fabric by itself will not do much to block out sound.
The benefits of fabric are its many different colors, sizes, and types, which means it can be used to fit a number of requirements.
All in all, fabric is not a preferred material for proper soundproofing.
Perforated wood is a great choice of material for those who like to engage in eco-friendly practices and sustainability.
Obviously, wood can come in many different types, shapes, and sizes, and can fit in well with your room and decor. Wood is a great material for soundproofing, but not the best.
Foam is the best material for soundproof panels, which is why it is one of the most popular materials used for all soundproofing needs.
Foam is not only cheap but effective, easy to install, and lightweight, which makes it easy for suppliers to ship it out. Although soundproof panels will not work as well as more expensive soundproofing options, they will certainly help to block out unwanted noise coming in and out of your room.
While soundproof panels are great products to help block out sound and reduce noise travel for your room, they will not be as effective as other soundproofing methods. If you have minimal soundproofing needs or don’t have a large budget, installing soundproof panels are certainly great options and will help.
If you need high-quality soundproof panels, find ones made from foam, preferably using the egg crate design, although wedge ridge panels are almost as good. If for whatever reason you cannot get panels made from foam, your next best option is perforated wood.