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It can be irritating when you are not able to have a decent conversation with your co-passengers while driving in a car because of the road noise.
If you are fed up and want to do something about it, then you will have to think about soundproofing. But is soundproofing a car really worth the cost?
High-end cars like the Mercedes S-Class do not require soundproofing but vehicles like jeeps, trucks, and cars owned by people like you and me, do let in a lot of road noise, and these vehicles would need some soundproofing.
So, yes soundproofing such a car, truck or jeep would definitely be worth it. Your car speakers will also sound better with the reduced road noise.
It is next to impossible to soundproof your car completely but what you can do is deaden the amount of road noise to a great extent.
Why Is It Not Possible To Completely Soundproof A Car?
The reason is quite simple actually. For effective soundproofing, you require to add a lot of mass to the surface. But it is impractical to add that much amount of mass to a car which would be necessary for complete soundproofing as it will make the vehicle too heavy.
So, the only solution is to add sound deadening material to the doors, the floor, the engine compartment, trunk and other surfaces of the car.
Reasons Why Soundproofing Your Car Is Worth It
There are three main reasons which are motivating enough.
A car with a reasonable amount of soundproofing will give you a quiet and peaceful drive every time you take it out for a spin.
That rattling from the engine and the other parts of the car will be less heard. The horns, the sound of vehicles outside, and sounds coming from the tires of your car will also reduce.
The difference that you will experience is big enough to make soundproofing a car entirely worth it.
Music from your car speakers will sound much more crisp and clear as there will be less road noise. This will make the drive more pleasant as you will be able to enjoy high-quality music.
Better In-Car Conversation Experience
With all the road noise, it is difficult to have an enjoyable conversation with your co-passengers while driving.
By soundproofing, your conversations inside the car will be clear and clutter free.
What Are The Best Sound Deadening Materials?
As I mentioned before, the top choice for sound deadening a vehicle is Dynamat. Dynamat is the industry leading brand which makes sound deadening materials that are very effective at reducing road noise.
The downside of Dynamat is that it is too expensive. However, if budget is not a constraint, then there is no other brand that beats the Dynamat. Soundproofing your car with Dynamat would definitely be worth it.
Other sound deadening materials which are more affordable as compared to Dynamat, are from Fatmat and Noico brands.
Apart from being less effective as compared to Dynamat, Fatmat and Noico sound deadeners have the disadvantage of being asphalt based.
The problem with asphalt is that in warm temperature conditions, it tends to melt and this causes a mess and foul smell in the vehicle. A few owners who have owned these sound deadeners have complained of this. But many have also shared delightful experiences after using these products on their vehicles.
So, before you go for any Asphalt based sound deadener, it would be a good idea to factor the climatic conditions which your vehicle will be exposed to.
For more information, read my article on the best sound deadeners for vehicles.
How Much Soundproofing Do You Need For Your Car?
The amount of sound deadening material you need would mostly depend on the amount of road noise that you are experiencing inside your car. Installation of sound deadening material just takes about an hour or so, and you can do it quickly.
It is a good idea to prioritize the areas which require the most treatment and tackle them one by one.
The first priority is to treat the floor area which is directly under the feet of the driver and passengers. These are the places where most of the road noise is heard. All you have to do is to measure the area, cut the sound deadener to match the specification of the floor area and stick it.
After you have treated the floor area, it is time to move on to the door panels, the engine compartment, and the trunk to reduce rattling noises.
By now you would have noticed a definite improvement. Next, it’s time to cover the other surfaces like the roof or any other surface inside the car which has not been treated.
How Much Soundproofing Can You Expect?
As mentioned earlier, it is not possible to completely soundproof your vehicle, but you need to know beforehand as to how much soundproofing you can expect so that you can decide whether spending all that money is really worth it.
As per the test result, a full application of Dynamat can help in reducing road noise by 9 to 18 dB.
10 dB reduction is equal to 50% reduction Road noise levels. While this may not seem very promising, I can tell you from experience that 10 dB reduction really makes a lot of difference.
Even with other products like Noico and Fatmat, many have found a noticeable improvement after installing the sound deadening materials.
Now that we know that soundproofing a car can help in reducing road noise by more than 50%, let us now do a Cost Analysis to see if soundproofing a car or other vehicles is really worth the money.
As I had mentioned earlier, Dynamat is expensive, but you can save costs if you purchase bulk packs. I have looked around and found that the best prices for these 12 packs are available only on Amazon.
The Dynamat Xtreme 18″ x 32″ x 0.067″ Sound Deadener Bulk Pack, (Set of 9) is available for about $150 on Amazon and provides an area coverage of 36 Sq Ft.
How many of these do you need?
While going through the questions and answers on the Amazon product page, I found that on an average for a car, there is a requirement of 2 to 3 boxes.
Three boxes of the bulk pack of 9 would cost about $450. So it is up to you to decide whether the money spent is worth it for your car.
For a truck, an Amazon buyer used seven boxes.
The next option to consider is the Fatmat Self-Adhesive RattleTrap Sound Deadener Bulk Pack with Install Kit which is also available on Amazon.
The 100 square feet option, which is akin to 3 boxes of Dynamat, would cost about $200. That would be less than half the cost of Dynamat. Even though the Dynamat is more effective, I would consider the Fatmat better value for money.
The last option that we will consider is the Noico 80 mil 36 sq ft car Sound Deadening Mat (check on Amazon). Three boxes of these which will cover a little over 100 square feet and would cost approximately $192 which is almost equal to the Fatmat.
So, instead of going for the Noico sound deadener, I would recommend the Fatmat as it is slightly more effective and costs only about $8 more.
There are many more options available, but I have chosen the three performers based on user experiences available on forums and E-commerce websites like Amazon.
So, Is Soundproofing A Vehicle Worth The Cost?
Definitely yes. You will not be able to completely soundproof your vehicle, but even if you cut the road noise by half, it would make a huge difference.
The driving experience, the in-car conversation and listening to music would be so much more pleasant and enjoyable.
Now it is up to you to decide if you want to go for the best sound deadening material (Dynamat) or something which is priced well with a decent performance.
If you are still undecided, then go ahead and read the Amazon reviews of all three products by clicking on the links given below and then make an informed decision.
Thanks for reading. Cheers!