There are so many materials that can be used for sound deadening, some more effective than others, with each one of them having its own properties, but which sound-deadening materials are best?
The best sound deadening materials are dense, absorb sound, disperse sound, or block the sound waves entirely. The best material to use is dependent on the project and how much sound has to be dampened. Acoustic insulation membranes and fiberglass are perfect for most projects.
With so many reasons for sound deadening, and so many sound-deadening materials available for different purposes, it can be quite difficult to know exactly which material will be best used for your own purposes.
Let us take a good look at a few of the best sound deadening materials to use for specific purposes, as well as some of their different qualities.
Also read: Best Cheap Soundproofing Materials
What Types Of Sound Deadening Materials Are Available?
There are multiple different types of materials that are commonly used for sound deadening.
Sound deadening can be a process undertaken during the construction of a building to sound treat a room within a building for a specific purpose such as audio recording or even building a sound-treated chamber.
There are sound-deadening materials that are available for every situation, every purpose, and every project.
Below is a list of various commonly used sound-deadening materials:
1. Acoustic Isolation Materials
Acoustic isolation materials and membranes are polymer-based materials that are very well suited for blocking sound, making them perfect for sound insulation.
Acoustic isolation membranes are very thin, light, and even more effective than almost any other traditional sound blocking material for blocking sound transference.
There are multiple different brands and types of acoustic isolation materials on the market. Still, these are the best sound deadening materials to consider to block sound and prevent sound from leaving a room and disturbing those on the other side of the wall.
Acoustic isolation membranes are very effective, but they are also very expensive.
Another upside to using this material is that it will not increase a room’s overall air temperature very much, unlike many other in-wall sound-deadening materials.
2. Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass-loaded vinyl insulation adds mass to your walls and ceiling without increasing their physical area, making it a type of cavity insulation.
Adding mass is one of the best ways to deaden sound and prevent it from entering or leaving a space, and mass-loaded vinyl is perfect for this.
This material is ideal for sound insulation within a building, such as a house, because it prevents outside sounds from getting into the building and disturbing the occupants but will also not increase the building’s internal temperature too much.
Fiberglass is another type of cavity insulation that can be very effective for sound deadening.
This material can be difficult and dangerous to work with, so be sure to use the proper protection and take the necessary safety precautions when working with it.
Fiberglass is excellent at breaking up sound waves and dispersing them throughout an area.
Fiberglass is also cheap and versatile. It is ideal for installation within walls and ceilings as it can be confirmed and fit into almost any area and space.
This sound deadening material is particularly useful for blocking out everyday sounds such as speaking voices and general white noise such as traffic sounds and wind.
It is also exceptionally well suited for improving the acoustics of a room for the purpose of recording music or voices. It can be made into panels that can be covered with foams and fabrics to make the fiberglass safer to use and move and improve its aesthetics and sound dampening properties.
Fiberglass is one of the best all-around sound deadening materials on the market. It is suitable for commercial sound insulation and sound treatment within rooms.
Mineral Wool Insulation
Mineral wool insulation, whether it is made from stone or wood, is an open-cell insulation material.
This material is great for sound and thermal insulation, so it will make your space warm as well as quiet.
Mineral wool insulation materials are among the cheapest and easiest to install sound-deadening materials.
They usually come in large slabs of varying thicknesses and are installed within walls and ceilings inside the building for insulation from outside and internal noises and sounds.
These materials may be flammable, though, depending on what they are made of, so be sure to install them carefully and do all you can to protect and insulate them from fires and other heat sources.
Acoustic sealants include various materials such as acoustic caulk, acoustic putty, acoustic plaster, acoustic paint, acoustic wallpaper, and even acoustic spray.
These materials are intended as sound-dampening reinforcement and not to deaden or soundproof a room or surface on by their own abilities.
Acoustic sealants are placed between surfaces to prevent vibrations from traveling from one surface to another.
This is known as decoupling and is a very effective form of sound-deadening reinforcement. It can prevent even minimal transmissions of vibrational energy between two objects, such as walls, boards, or panels.
Acoustic caulk is designed to deal with gaps where sound may escape and cause unwanted noise to bleed in or out of a specific space. This caulk blocks the gaps where the sound is escaping and absorbs the sound instead of allowing it to pass through.
Materials such as acoustic paint, acoustic spray, and acoustic wallpaper may not be very effective simply due to their lack of mass. Still, they can help to block up gaps and spaces where sound may be filtering through. These materials are their most effective when applied as thick as possible.
Acoustic plaster and acoustic putty are much better options for sealing up gaps on flat surfaces for the purposes of sound deadening or absorption. These materials are quite effective, easy to apply, and long-lasting.
They do an excellent job of sealing small gaps where the sound is leaking through, helping to maintain the acoustic properties of other materials that had had to be modified when they were installed.
For example, suppose an acoustic panel has had holes drilled into it to be hung on a wall. In that case, acoustic putty may be used to seal the gaps that have been drilled into it, to maintain the acoustic dampening properties of the panel.
Soundproof drywall is not technically soundproof, but this material is tough, cheap, and easy to find. It is the perfect material to use when building with sound deadening in mind while keeping the construction as affordable as possible.
Soundproof drywall can be used to build rooms or chambers to help with sound deadening, but it is very reliant on the type of sound deadening that is done behind the wall.
This material does not create a genuinely sound-absorbing barrier on its own. Still, soundproof drywall does help add to the sound deadening qualities of the insulation materials used for the primary sound treatment.
Be sure to seal the drywall well against humidity and fires, as it is both susceptible to mold and very flammable.
Sound Insulation Foam
Sound insulation foam is a high-density, high-mass foam that is very cheap and easy to find.
This foam is effective for dispersing sound and preventing echoes within rooms and is often used in corners of rooms to absorb and disperse bass frequencies.
This material is not effective within walls or ceilings. It usually has to be very thick and cut into specific sound-reflecting shapes to maximize its effectiveness.
Sound insulation foam is a good option for small rooms that are difficult to keep quiet, as well as for large rooms for the purpose of preventing unwanted echoes and reverb, but precise placement is crucial for this foam to be used effectively as sound deadening material.
Which Sound Deadening Materials Are Best?
The sound-deadening materials you choose should be decided upon for your specific purposes, not just because they are currently available.
Sound is complex, and it exists over a large spectrum of frequencies and volumes.
Sound moves very fast and has the unique ability to cause objects that it encounters to vibrate at the same frequency that it is moving at.
All of the various properties of sound and how it works must be considered when attempting to sound-deaden a space. The materials that are used must be well chosen for this purpose.
When deciding on which sound-deadening materials you should be using, consider the source of the sound or noises that you are trying to control, contain, or deflect, as well as the frequencies of the sounds. This will help you to make the best decision on which material is best for your needs.
Sound Deadening Materials For Studios
If you are trying to treat a room for acoustic purposes to make it sound better for playing or recording instruments, you will have to use sound-deadening materials that are specifically designed for dealing with the frequencies that musical instruments and singing voices produce.
Fiberglass and acoustic isolation membranes are the best choices for deadening a recording studio or podcast room.
These materials are fairly simple to work with, and they come in many different shapes, sizes, and forms. They can be installed within walls or ceilings or as panels that are hung on the walls.
They can even be installed under the floor or set up as panels on castor wheels as moveable walls to modulate a room for specific purposes.
Fiberglass and acoustic isolation membranes are effective over a very wide range of frequencies, making them the ideal choice for deadening sound generated by musical instruments, speakers, singing, and talking.
These materials will also do an excellent job of keeping outside noises from penetrating into the room that is being insulated.
Sound insulation foam is perfect for sound treatment in studios as well. Whether for music or for podcasts, sound insulation foam is excellent for preventing echoes and reverb, a well as snapback and other unwanted sounds.
Acoustic foam is often formed into acoustic panels that are designed to change the sonic characteristics of a room.
When a room is said to be “dead sounding,” it is usually due to the placement of acoustic panels that are made from acoustic insulation foam, placed in the exact right locations for keeping the room quiet.
Building A Quiet Room
Suppose you want to make a room quieter on the inside for the purposes of privacy or simply for escaping the noise of the world. In that case, you will have to look for materials that are designed to trap and block sounds that are generated by everyday things, such as traffic noise and wind roar, rather than materials that disperse sound for fewer echoes and reverb.
The materials that work best for this are open-cell insulation materials such as mineral wool insulation.
These materials are designed to be built into the walls and other structures within buildings to prevent sound from escaping, as well as preventing outside noises and sounds from entering the building.
These types of deadening materials are best installed during construction. Still, they can be installed once the structure is already built, but it will require many alterations to the room, more than merely hanging acoustic panels on the walls.
For keeping sound contained within a room or building to not disturb the neighbors with excessive noise, an entirely different sound deadening solution must be considered, involving installing embedded sound insulation with the walls and ceiling rather than simply placing sound traps on the walls of the room.
Fiberglass and open cell insulation are best for this job as well. Soundproof drywall should be considered in this situation, provided that the insulation material that is used behind the drywall is a good sound deadening material as well.
Do All Sound Deadening Materials Work Well?
Sound deadening, soundproofing, sound absorption, and sound treatment are different concepts and require different materials and processes.
For the purposes of sound deadening, some materials work better than others.
The best material to specifically use for sound deadening are materials that absorb or disperse sounds. Materials such as acoustic foam, fiberglass, and acoustic isolation materials are best for this.
These materials are best for sound deadening, as they absorb and disperse almost every type of sound and practically every frequency.
These materials will help to make a room sound quieter, with drastically fewer reflections, echoes, and reverberation than otherwise.
Other materials are not very good for the specific purpose of sound deadening, such as soundproof drywall and mineral wool insulation.
These materials are better suited for soundproofing, and should be installed during the construction process, and are not ideal for deadening sound within a room or building as a post-construction renovation.
That being said, all of the materials that have been mentioned above will work exceedingly well for sound deadening if they are used appropriately.
Sound deadening is a complicated process. Many materials on the market may be used for this purpose.
Most sound-deadening materials have been specifically designed for particular use in the process of sound deadening a room or building.
The most important aspect of sound deadening a space is identifying the space’s specific requirements and the source of the sound.
If you are deadening a room for the purposes of recording musical instruments, singing voices, or podcasts, then sound deadening may be as simple as a few acoustic treatment panels made from acoustic insulation foam installed in the perfect locations around the room, such as in corners and on bare walls.
If your sound deadening requirements are more serious, such as full-on soundproofing or sound deadening an entire building, more drastic measures must be taken, such as installing fiberglass or acoustic insulation membranes within the walls and ceiling of the building, as well as installing all-new soundproof drywall.
Smaller sound deadening requirements may be fulfilled using simple products and solutions, such as acoustic caulk or acoustic plaster, for sealing gaps between boards, or acoustic putty for plugging up holes that should be more soundproof.
Whatever your sound deadening needs are, whether it is a small project or revamping an entire building, there is a way to do it well!
Do the research, find the right materials and the experts to install them, and your sound deadening problems will a thing of the past!