There are a number of terms for sound deadening materials including acoustic foam, sound proofing foam and sound dampening foam for example. All these terms fall under the umbrella of sound dampening material.
These kinds of products are the best way to create any kind of noise reduction for a chosen area. In this article we are going to look at what it is used for, and take a look at some of the popular products in that range.
First let’s start off by talking about the many uses it has.
Does soundproof foam really work?
The short answer is yes. This sound deadening material is used in a variety of ways, but the first and foremost reason it tends to get used is when it comes to music studios. Music studios use this type of sound deadening panels to soundproof the entire studio which helps them to keep the noise generated to a minimum. This is particular crucial when the studio is operating in a business district where the noise could cause problems for the other businesses. It isn’t only limited to studio use however. Many bands use this type of foam to insulate their practice rooms, which keeps their neighbors from getting too fed up with the noise they make!
Another popular use for this type of soundproof foam is in computer cases. Those of you who have higher end or modded computers know that running powerful graphics cards, or larger 120mm case fans will be all too familiar with how much noise these components generate. Using some sound proofing foam, you can help to tone down the noise a bit, which is especially handy if you sleep in the same room as your computer.
Musical instruments and computers aren’t the only noisy devices however, and there are many other reasons people invest in this type of soundproofing. Are your house walls quite thin? Do you have neighbors or family members who tend to be quite loud or noisy? Or perhaps the tv is close to your room. All you need to do is soundproof the area a bit, then your problem is solved. This can also be used around poorly insulated windows where the sound can come in. Another popular usage is to put it underneath your doors. This is a small area where noise from traffic or passers by can slip in, but using a bit of foam you can get rid of this annoyance quite easily.
How do you install sound deadening material?
At this point you may be wondering how you attach the sound deadening foam to the walls, or wherever you need it to be for maximum sound absorption. The good news is that you can get special foam adhesive spray to attach the foam with ease. This spray is specifically designed to create a strong bond that is leakproof, and is fairly cheap and straightforward to use. If you are only trying to seal off a smaller area such as around a window, then it is recommended that you only use the foam adhesive without any sound absorbing foam. In this instance we are talking about sizes that are 1/2″ or thinner for this particular purpose.
Some folks use a type of caulk to do the job, but it isn’t specifically designed to be used to bond foam to objects. There is no denying it does work, but you should stick to the recommended foam adhesive for the most positive results. The actual adhesive foam spray is only a little more so this is what we recommend you use when you are doing your installation.
We’ve talked about some of the uses for this type of this foam, and how to install it.
Now it is time to take a look at some of the top rated products in this category type. Keep reading to find out more.
Foam Glue – Auralex FoamTak
Above we mentioned that you need a type of glue to stick your soundproof foam onto whatever you are bonding it to. This is one of the good types of adhesive we can recommend. Foamtak is made by Auralax soundproofing, and is designed for all kinds of foam adhesive applications. Some people have complained that the spray is too runny, but this is only a really an issue if you have the nozzle incorrectly set. You can adjust the degree of how much you are spraying by turning the nozzle. This makes it easy to get just the right amount you need.
Overall this is a good , cheap adhesive which will help you get your foam installed in no time. Auralex make their own foam products, so you can be sure they have put that wealth of experience into this product. The price of $25 may seem a little steep, but the can should cover an area of 96 square feet which is quite a large area. You can read more about it on the product page.
Subwoofer Dampener – Auralex SUBDUDE Riser Dampener
Time to take a look at another product from Auralex soundproofing. This is a little stand for your subwoofer. If you like your bass, then this is just what you need. It absorbs and prevents all the vibrations from the sub from affecting anything else in your room. By doing this you get a cleaner sound without all the rumbling and distortion. This is especially handy if you have people staying below you as this little stand takes care of all the noise they would normally hear from you.
It is charcoal in color, and is covered with velour for a smooth and stylish look. It can support up to 300lbs, so it is very strong! It is 15″ x 15″ x 2.5″ in size. Retail price is under $60, so if you have a loud sub woofer then this is just what you need to get the best performance out of it without annoying the neighbours! You can read some of the user reviews and check the latest pricing here.
Studio Sound Deadening Panels – Auralex Studiofoam Designer Kit
Now we are going to check out some higher end sound deadening foam products. Auralex provides a range of high quality foam tiles specifically for studio based soundproofing. This is one of the more popular sets you can get, and is comprised of 32 tiles altogether. They are 1′ x 1′ in size, and are a hefty 2″ thick for maximum sound absorption. These are high quality acoustic foam tiles, and when installed correctly work wonders to keep sound escape to a minimum. As a bonus, this kit comes with 2 tubes of adhesive, so it contains everything you need to get your soundproofing project up and running.
If you are building a home theater room then these are also a great sound deadening material, as you can build an entire wall of these to keep the noise within that particular room. For the price these are a steal, and the many positive reviews really show how good a investment these are. For any serious soundproofing jobs, these are what you need, and they can do the job without maxing out your credit card! You can find out more about these on the Amazon listing.
Home Soundproof Foam – Sonic Barrier Acoustic Foam
Next up we are going to take a look at a product from Sonic Barrier. This is a budget set of sound dampening foam, but it has received lots of positive praise so thought it is worth a look. The picture to the right shows the thickness and density of this particular set. This is a 1″ thick piece of foam, which is 18″ x 24″. Retail price of this is normally under $20 which is quite cheap, but don’t expect a soundproof miracle when using this particular set of soundproofing foam.
For basic soundproofing around the house it should do a very good job, but if you are looking at soundproofing a studio then you might want to look at a higher/thicker performance foam material. More info on this product over at this link on Amazon.
PC Soundproofing Foam – SilverStone Foam
Now we are going to look at something for computer enthusiasts. Those of you into computer building and modding may have heard of Silverstone. They make some great cases and power supplies, and this is one of their products to help you keep your computer running nice and quietly. This foam set is 20.8″ x 15″, and is 4mm thick so it won’t take up too much space in your case or get in the way of your components. There are two sheets included for both sides of the case, and it has pealable adhesive backing on one side to allow easy mounting in the case.
It is also very simple to cut and shape to the existing dimensions of your case. It is made out of high density EPOM foam for maximum noise absorption. Keep in mind that when you fit it in there, you could be restricting airflow in the case. Make sure you have enough ventilation in the case if you fit these pads. With a retail price of around $15, you really can’t go wrong with this foam. You can find out pricing and availablity over at Amazon.
So that is a brief look at a few respectable sound deadening materials and products. It should hopefully point you in the right direction to start your project. Keep in mind that you must get your measurements correct, as doing a quality job requires the correct amount of material.