Here are the best soundproofing materials and resources in 2020, for a WIDE range of soundproofing needs.
We’ve spent hours researching soundproofing materials so you don’t have to, and we’ve created this list of materials based on our research.
The best soundproofing options for walls and rooms without spending a huge amount of money, is just to add mass to the walls, in the form of foam panels and blankets.
This is by far the cheapest and fastest way of soundproofing a room, and anyone can do it!
In general, there are a few types of soundproofing materials you can choose from for example:
- Foam panel type products (listed below) these are sometimes adhesive large foam panels you attach to surfaces
- Sound insulation bats: Wooden or sometimes plastic batons of material you can put in corners of rooms
- Architectural soundproofing materials: This includes things that are done to change the structure or makeup of the house or room, like changing the walls or adding insulation inside the walls themselves (These materials are almost always more expensive)
- Underlay for the floor: This is usually for carpets but can be for a range of flooring, and consists of a roll of soft dense carpet like material that absorbs sound and insulates the floor
- Acoustic coatings and sprays: These are the more modern soundproofing solutions and are essentially spray on coats of rubber usually, and can be a very effective cheap soundproofing solution for a lot of rooms
Best materials for soundproofing a room and walls
Here are the best soundproofing materials reviewed in 2020, in no particular order. You can also find links for places you can buy these things as well.
If you’re looking for something else, you might find out list of the best sound DEADENING materials more useful. It explains the difference between the two.
These are very high quality dense and heavy moving blankets.
Designed for moving house to protect items as you transport them, but they work VERY well for soundproofing just about anything you wrap in them.
The best part is they come in packs of 10 or more so you have plenty to cover a small room or wall.
Another great option for soundproofing a small room has got to be ‘stick on’ foam panels.
They come in packs of 3 or more and they’re very easy to install in a room. These are probably the best selling soundproof solution because they’re just so simple, effective and easy to use. They’re also super cheap!
As with all soundproof FOAM products, these are designed to absorb the sound, not reflect it. These work best when combined with a dense reflective material underneath them.
Foam panels like these should always be the last thing you stick or attach to your walls, so you’ll always SEE these panels in the room. (We like the look of a foam paneled room though, especially for a studio!).
These soundproof panels are much more expensive than the others we’ve listed, but for good reason. They’re much more effective and can block out a lot of the bass frequencies that smaller and cheaper panels just can’t.
They’re just as easy to install but these panels soundproof a lot better. The foam used for these is also much more absorbent and these are great for LOUD noises!
This is probably a bit extreme and we doubt they have good color options, but soundproof paint usually acts as an underlay for the paint you want. You can use this to coat the room in a soundproof barrier before starting to add panels and other things like that.
As we said before, the more of these things you use in any one room, the more soundproof the room becomes but you also have to consider that the room will get HOTTER the more you add to it!
These acoustic panels are mainly for people who just don’t like the LOOK of the spiked and pointed foam panels we listed above. Not everyone does, but these are almost as effective.
The reason the foam panels above are spiked like they are, is to better absorb the sound because the sound gets ‘trapped’ in between the foam wedges (They’re not just spiked for no reason).
That being said a foam panel that’s flat will still absorb WAY more sound than no foam panel at all!
A bass trap is a deep and thick piece of foam designed to go in the corners of rooms.
The idea is that the deep bass frequencies bounce around and usually gravitate to the corners of the room before reverberating out again, but a bass trap will trap them and absorb the bass in the corners of the room.
This is VERY effective for small rooms or echoey churches and studios where bass can get trapped easily.
Fiberglass rolls are very effective for laying underneath floors and in between walls. especially the foil backed rolls like this one because they can also keep heat and cool in in Winter and Summer, making them very economical as well.
Soundproofing is usually something that people do before moving into a house, while the builders are still fixing the last details, so add this to your shopping list!
8: Egg cartons
Although this is largely a myth or a wives tale, you can use egg cartons to somewhat dampen the sound in the room.
It won’t work nearly as well as any of the other items mentioned on this page, but egg cartons can be a fairly cheap (or free if you already eat eggs) way of reducing the sound in a room.
9: Carpets or rugs
We won’t include an image here because there are many types of carpet, and we can’t really suggest one over another (it’s down to personal taste).
Carpets much like moving blankets work by adding mass and density, therefore reducing the sound by absorbing some of it. The more soft surfaces in a room you have, the less sound escapes or enters the room .
10: Soundproof drywall or fake fall
We don’t have a specific product image for this one because usually people build their own walls, but adding a drywall on top of the existing wall, with proper soundproofing INSIDE The drywall and THEN acoustic panels on the outside will give you a very solid soundproofed room.
We have guides on how to soundproof a room with drywall that you can read as well!
Best soundproofing materials for podcasters and music producers
Podcasters have specific needs, and the chances are if you’re trying to get better sound for podcasting, you’ve looked into soundproofing your studio.
The good news is that you don’t always NEED to soundproof the whole podcasting room, you can actually get great results just by getting a good mic, one of the best quiet keyboards, a silent mouse and then soundproofing or protecting the mic itself with these materials:
This soundproofing shield hopefully shows you that you don’t need to rip the walls off your studio just to get a good sound.
This shield blocks out MOST of the sound that’s going to enter the room from outside or bounce around hitting the walls. It doesn’t cost that much but the sound difference you’ll get is enormous.
Again, you don’t need to change your podcasting studio’s walls if you don’t want to. This isolation shield is a great runner up to the first one (above) and can make a huge difference to your podcasting sound.
One of the most important parts about podcasting is the sound and audio quality and this really won’t let you down.
Best sound dampening materials
Sound dampening materials are things that aim to just add mass usually to the floor to make the sound bounce off and reflect back into the room.
This gives the dampening effect that reduces the amount of sound that escapes and enters the room. The most common types of dampening materials are mats, sprays (usually rubber) and rolls of material.
There are again lots of brands of this stuff but this Roberts brand seems to be the best. It’s a very effective roll of underlay designed to dampen acoustic vibrations and sounds, making the whole room quieter and letting less sound escape or enter.
This particular one is actually also a moisture barrier, making the whole room more efficient. These are great for keeping heat in the room in winter as well!
Like we said, there are lots of sprays but this one is the top rated one on the market at the moment.
Sound deadening sprays work by applying a thin layer of usually rubber or vinyl to the surfaces, which acts as a soundproofing barrier.
These work by reducing vibrations so these are best for stopping outside ROAD noise for example, from entering a room. This one also helps prevent rust.
Caulk is a pump action sealant used to seal off cracks and holes, usually at the edges of rooms and door frames.
It’s commonly used by painters before painting a room, but if you have an older room or one that hasn’t been decorated in a while, there’s a chance the cracks have begun to show.
Lots of sound can escape through the cracks, so seal them all off with something like this!
Best materials for soundproofing windows and doors
A HUGE amount of sound escapes rooms through the doors and windows, and they’re often the ‘low hanging fruit’ when trying to soundproof a space because so much can be done to them! you can get a coat rack on the back, or a door sweep and panels for the surfaces of the door!
Doors leak a lot of sound as we’ve said before, and this strip is just what you need. There are lots of brands of door strip out there, but this Trim Lok strip is very affordable but still made of good quality material.
It actually works as well (probably why it has so many good reviews). You can order different lengths of this stuff, and it’s good for cars and RVs as well as rooms and normal doors.
It’s also very easy to install which makes it a great choice, especially when the alternatives cost and take a lot longer to install.
This is more for drywall and studs on the wall, but adding this strip of metal in the right way to your walls can REALLY reduce the sound going from outside the room.
The way it works is by taking the vibrations from the room and channeling them into the bottom and top of the channel so they don’t vibrate the wall and cause a deep booming vibration to leave or enter the room.
This is a must-have for anyone soundproofing any room or space.
Sound escapes through doors, probably more than any other place so it’s critical to stop the sound going underneath the door. This sweep add on can be a very quick and easy way of doing that.
Windows are another huge way sound gets in or out, and most places have double glazing these days but that’s not everything.
You also need to have thick curtains because they can block a lot of the bassy noise from outside from coming in!
Best materials for soundproofing cars and RVs
There aren’t many options for soundproofing a car or an RV, but we’ll make sure to update this list as we find them.
Cars are tricky because there are LOTS of places sound could escape like all the vents, windows, ceiling, floors and panels etc.
The only real (easy) solution is to insulate the car panels which are typically quite thin and just made of solid metal.
The best option for soundproofing cars we’ve found at the moment, SoundSkins Pro is a roll of sound dampening material that can be applied to the panels of your car.
As we’ve said though sound can escape any number of ways from a car, so this only really works a little bit.