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Soundproofing your car might not be something very high up on your list of priorities, but if you’ve invested lots of money in a high-quality sound system, or you’ve recently fitted a new, larger engine, then it will definitely be worth looking at a sound deadening product to improve your driving experience.
This article compares two major brands, Dynamat and Kilmat, to see which is the best sound deadener for your vehicle.
Dynamat Vs Kilmat – Which is Better?
Out of these two major brands, Dynamat (check prices on Amazon) is definitely the better choice. It might not be the cheapest option available, but as with many products, you definitely pay for the quality.
Kilmat (see it on Amazon), however, is a good product, and will be suitable for the job, particularly if you’re on a tighter budget. However, if money isn’t an option, Dynamat should be your top choice for sound deadening in a vehicle.
Here is a video demonstrating the superiority of Dynamat.
Dynamat and Kilmat, how do they work?
Both Dynamat and Kilmat are made from butyl rubber, and both have some sort of metal backing. For Dynamat, it’s aluminum alloy, and for Kilmat, it’s simply listed as “foil”.
As mentioned, Dynamat is a higher-end product, and so is made with more expensive materials where possible. This includes the backing material, which helps make it more tear resistant and easy to use. However, the foil backing on Kilmat does help with the durability of the product.
So what is butyl rubber? Butyl rubber is a synthetic rubber compound that has a variety of technical uses, ranging from tires and basketball inner layers to chewing gum and other food products. However, one of its best uses is as a sound deadening material.
Many of the major brands use butyl rubber, but some of the cheaper ones use an asphalt compound, which is nowhere near as effective.
Butyl rubber is very dense, and as a result, is quite heavy. As is probably logical, this means it’s great at absorbing vibrations that might pass through your vehicle, whether these come from the road surface, another external source, or the vehicle itself.
While both Dynamat and Kilmat use butyl rubber, one of the biggest differences is the thickness of the product. Both come in a range of thicknesses, but Dynamat produces a thicker product all round. Obviously, the thicker the rubber, the better the sound deadening properties.
The first image below is of the Dynamat and the second one is of the Kilmat.
One of the biggest drawbacks of cars is that in their normal state, they’re very poor at managing noise pollution. This is because metal – the main component of many cars – has awful noise management properties, and is very poor at reducing vibration. While this does have its practical uses in some situations, managing noise pollution inside a car isn’t one of them.
So if you find yourself driving along in a very noisy interior, it will definitely be worth installing a sound deadening material to deal with this issue.
How should you fit the sound deadening product in the car?
When it comes to fitting the sound deadening product in your car, whether you choose Dynamat or Kilmat, the amount you choose to install will depend on a range of things such as:
- Your budget for the project
- The amount of noise pollution you’re looking to reduce
- The source and intensity of the noise pollution
- Your time and experience for the project.
The job itself isn’t particularly hard if you have some technical experience, but it can be very time consuming. If this is going to be an issue for you, simply buy the product and get a local engineer to install it for you.
If budget isn’t an issue for this project, and you’re serious about reducing the amount of vibrations in your car’s cabin, then fit the sound deadening product on every available surface, such as the doors, the headliner, the trunk, the floors, and indeed the hood too.
However, if you don’t have the funds to buy that much Dynamat or Kilmat (you might find the bill racking up quicker than you expect), then at the very minimum make sure you do the doors and the floor.
One of the biggest sources of noise pollution is from the road surface. Anyone who’s driven on a poorly maintained road will know just how bad this can be, and so you’ll definitely want to concentrate on the floor as your primary area.
It’s also useful to install the sound deadening product on the doors because not only do these usually house speakers, but they can be quite susceptible to picking up vibrations from the car’s engine.
Installing the product around speakers will massively improve the sound quality, mainly because it will reduce the vibrations that travel from the speakers into the door.
As a general rule, you want to fit the Dynamat or Kilmat on between 25% and 50% of your car’s interior. This will make a noticeable difference to the amount of noise pollution you experience, and hopefully shouldn’t break the bank. However, if money isn’t as much of an issue, and you’re really serious about the project, then consider covering 100% of your interior.
Dynamat makes products that are specifically designed for different areas of the car. Their standard sound deadening mat can be used everywhere, but for maximum efficiency you should also use their Dynapad (Amazon link) material for the floor, Dynaliner (Amazon link) for the headliner, and Dynamat Hoodliner (Amazon link) for under the hood.
Kilmat unfortunately only produce the standard sound deadening material, but it can be used in most of these areas (avoid using under the hood because of the foil backing).
How to install Dynamat and Kilmat
1. Remove interior fittings
Both Dynamat and Kilmat are relatively easy to install. The most difficult part of the project is removing and refitting the interior of your vehicle, as you’ll have to remove the door panels, carpet, paneling, and headliner before installing the product. If this is something you don’t think you’ll be able to do, then take the car to a local engineer. Even if they haven’t fitted the product before, they shouldn’t have a problem doing so.
2. Clean the surfaces
Once you’ve removed any relevant panels, make sure you give the area a good clean to remove any dirt and dust. This is an important step because both products have a self-adhesive backing, and so need a relatively clean surface to ensure good adhesion. If you don’t take care at this step then the product won’t bond properly, and its effectiveness will be drastically reduced.
3. Cut and stick
The first two are the most complicated steps, and the next bit is very easy. All you need to do now is cut the product to size, remove the backing, and stick in place. You might want to use a roller or heat gun to make sure it’s properly stuck down, and this will also help you fit it into any contoured areas.
You can use a heat gun on both Dynamat and Kilmat, as the metal backing will offer some protection, and butyl rubber can withstand quite a lot of heat without losing any of its sound deadening properties.
4. Replace panels and fittings
The final step is to then replace any panels you removed before installation. Don’t worry about refitting the panels over the product as it’s not very thick, and so should make very little difference at this point.
If you’re using Dynamat, it’s worthwhile installing both the standard material and Dynapad on the floor, as this will give you adequate protection from road vibrations. Dynapad is a four-layer composite material that insulates from both noise and heat, but is very heavy, and so will add quite a bit of weight to your car.
I found this installation video very helpful.
Sound deadening products – are they worth the money?
If you’re serious about improving the quality of your drive, and you’ve already invested money in your car in one way or another, then yes, sound deadening products are definitely worth the money. Read my article ‘Is soundproofing cars worth the money?‘ in which I explain in detail.
They make a considerable difference to the amount of noise pollution you experience in the cabin, and will improve the sound quality of any speakers fitted in your car.
Dynamat, while more expensive, is the superior product. Not only is the base material better quality, the company offers a range of different products for the different areas of your car. Each is specifically designed for the job, and so ensures maximum efficiency for your money. However, if you’re on a budget, then Kilmat will still do a good job at deadening sound in your car.
Final Thoughts On Dynamat Vs Kilmat
To go back to the original question, “Which is the better sound deadener?” the answer is definitely Dynamat. It’s one of the leading products on the market, and easily beats the competition due to its superior construction and range of products. That said, it’s definitely not the cheapest option, but as with any soundproofing project, you get what you pay for.
Kilmat is still a good product though, and will be ideal for those not needing as much sound deadening in their car. The biggest factor in making your decision will be related to your budget, as the difference in price is very noticeable.
Read my other sound deadener comparison articles which are listed below. However, without a doubt, the Dynamat is the best sound deadener.