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During a recent decoupling project, I started wondering which would perform better, whisper clips vs. genie clips. I did some research so here’s a quick answer:
In terms of performance of whisper clips vs. genie clips, whisper clips come out on top. This is because the screws are isolated from the clips through the rubber foot, meaning there’s complete isolation. Genie clips can still result in a level of noise transfer.
In this article, I’ll look at the specific differences between whisper clips and genie clips to see how they hold up. Hopefully, by the end you’ll know which is better, and why.
Differences Between Whisper Clips and Genie Clips
Both types of clips are used for mechanically decoupling walls. They offer an easier solution than building 2 sets of wall studs, if only because they take up less space.
Decoupling is the process of completely isolating one side of a wall from the other. For more in-depth information, check out this video on decoupling.
Noiseproofing clips offer a much more practical solution with almost the same results.
Both whisper clips and genie clips share the same basic design. They’re metal clips fitted with a rubber foot. It’s the rubber foot that absorbs vibrations passing through the structure.
Genie clips (Amazon link) have a large rubber foot through which the fixing screw passes. You then fit the hat channel into the clip to isolate the drywall.
Whisper clips (Amazon link) are designed to overcome the failings in traditional designs. Importantly, they can’t be “short-circuited” in the same way.
This is because the screw physically passes through the rubber foot rather than through a hole in the rubber.
While this might not sound like a lot, it makes an important difference. Screws provide the only point of sound transfer in a resilient clip, and so passing them through the rubber means that any vibrations are still absorbed.
That said, both products are entirely suitable for making floating walls and ceilings.
Whisper clips are designed to be more effective against lower frequencies, which is an area where many resilient clips fail.
Another major difference is their load bearing capabilities. Whisper clips have a safe load of 46lbs., which is equivalent to 4 layers of drywall.
Genie clips, however, have a higher safe load. You can mount up to 70lbs. on them, which is equivalent to 6 layers of drywall.
In short, either product would be fine for a decoupling project. But which you choose will depend on your specific aims and objectives.
Comparing Whisper Clips vs. Genie Clips
It’s worth going through a specific comparison of the 2 products to understand which is better in terms of all-round performance.
While I’ve mentioned a few major points, here’s some more information assembled into a handy chart.
|Whisper clips||Genie clips|
|Number of screws||Two||One|
|Ease of use||Moderate||Moderate|
|Effective against||Impact noise, airborne noise, low frequency||Impact noise, airborne noise, low frequency|
In order to understand this information, it’s worth comparing it in a bit more detail.
First is the number of screws. This might not seem like an important factor, but it does make a difference.
For genie clips, even though they have one screw, it can be a point of sound transfer. This isn’t the case with whisper clips.
Also, it means you need different screws. For example, if you have a load of 40lbs., you’d need 2 x 2lbs. screws for whisper clips or 1 x 40lbs. screw for genie clips.
Again, this doesn’t make loads of difference but is definitely worth considering when it comes to buying materials.
Next, it’s worth considering STC, which stands for sound transmission class. This is a rating of how much sound a structure attenuates.
According to tests, whisper clips have an STC of 56. Another test shows that genie clips have an STC of 55. One point might not seem like much, but a higher STC rating means a product is more effective.
STC can also be impacted by other materials used. In fact, it’s worth considering a structure’s STC as a whole rather than for its individual components.
However, adding these products won’t make a considerable difference once you’ve decoupled a wall because that’s the most effective way to reduce sound transfer.
Finally, it’s worth talking about the ease of installation. Both products require some DIY knowledge because you basically have to build a wall. I’ll provide an in-depth method below for more detail.
To an extent, I don’t think it’s really worth discussing price. While genie clips work out slightly cheaper, the difference is negligible.
What’s more, both products are relatively pricey, but they’re good investments. If you want the best results from a soundproofing project, decoupling clips are definitely the way to go.
So in a side-by-side comparison, I recommend whisper clips. They’re an updated design on the older resilient clip model and overcome some of the most significant failings.
How to Install Resilient Clips
Resilient clip is the more general name for both whisper clips and genie clips, and their installation process is identical.
As I’ve mentioned, you’ll need a good bit of DIY knowledge for this job because you’ll need to take down a wall and put it up again.
However, with a careful bit of planning and an awareness of the process, a DIY novice could probably tackle it.
For this you’ll need:
- Either whisper clips or genie clips
- Hat channels
- Drywall (thickest you can find)
- Green Glue
Appropriate spacing and loading are vital for best performance with resilient clips.
If clips are too close together they can become transmitters, while if they’re too far apart they won’t isolate properly.
Generally speaking, you’ll need 1 clip every 48” horizontally, and roughly 24” of vertical space between channels.
However, this depends on the manufacturer’s instructions, so always check there before starting.
Anyway, here’s the method:
1. Expose the wall studs
Start by taking down the old drywall if needed so you can see the wall studs.
Measure the total length and height of the wall so you know how many clips you need.
Also, now might be a good time to fill the wall cavity with some mineral wool insulation for extra sound absorption.
2. Attach the clips
Resilient clips need to be fixed directly to the wall studs using the correct screws.
Your measurements will tell you how many you need, so work along fixing them in place.
The bottom row should be no more than 3” from the floor, and the top row should be no more than 6” from the ceiling. You also need to use more clips in corners for support.
3. Install the hat channels
The hat channels clip directly into the resilient clips (hence the name). You don’t need any screws for this, so everything should be fairly easy.
There’s no real conclusive method for this; just start wherever and make your way through.
4. Hang the drywall
You fix the drywall onto the channels as you would attach it to wall studs. Use screws rather than nails, but make sure they’re not too long otherwise you could hit the studs.
Generally, 1-1/4” fine thread screws will be fine.
Be sure to follow the clips’ relevant safe load specifications.
For best results, it can be worth using Green Glue sandwiched between 2 layers of drywall.
Green Glue is a noise dampening compound that helps to absorb sound waves. This is useful because it simply prevents fewer sound waves from passing into the structure.
What’s more, it’s really effective against low frequency noises, making it a useful addition.
However, it’s not actually glue, so you’ll have to fix the layers of drywall together with nails or screws before you had them.
Finally, seal gaps between drywall panels with more Green Glue.
Which is Better, Whisper Clips or Genie Clips?
As you may have already guessed, my opinion is that whisper clips are a better all-round product.
They have a higher STC and are more effective at lower frequencies. Importantly, too, they prevent sound from transferring through the screws.
However, genie clips are still a good choice and a more budget-friendly option. Granted, there’s really not much difference between prices, but it can add up if you need a lot.
That said, both products are ideal for a decoupling project, so it might ultimately come down to personal preference.
Some Final Thoughts
Hopefully, this article has given you some useful information on whisper clips vs. genie clips.
With such similar products, it really boils down to specific and minor differences to determine which is better.
My advice is to use this article as a starting point and do some of your own research. It’s only then that you’ll be able to decide which is better for your specific needs.