Installing acoustic foam panels ( soundproof foam), which is one of such methods, can be very tasking even though it is cheap.
Outside noise, which is a source of distraction in your home, can irritate your psychological and physical rest and also reduce your productivity.
Indeed, even the best-built house may be inadequate to keep out these unwanted sounds all the time. There are different methods available for soundproofing your house, studio or office.
More tasking of them is the question of which acoustic foam panel is the best, where to place them if installing one is really worth it and also if there are cheap acoustic foams that can effectively soundproof your room.
What are Acoustic Foam Panels?
Acoustic foam panels also known as sound absorbing foams are used to reduce echoes (the reflection of sounds) in a room.
These sound deadening foams take the place of hard walls and ceiling – 2 main causes of echoes.
Although these absorbing foam panels are produced in several assorted colors and sizes to fit the design of your room, their main purpose is to prevent sound waves from reflecting hard surfaces.
This gives you a peaceful and quiet environment, suitable for sleep and study.
How Does Soundproofing Foam Works?
I got myself confused when I asked a seller this question and it is because the whole concept is based on the science of sound which involves boring scientific mumbo jumbos.
But, actually understanding the working of sound deadening foam gives you an idea of why outside noises can be very irritating and why you would ultimately need it.
It is simple! Sound produces traveling vibrations that are lost in the air as they travel through long distances, reflected as they hit hard surfaces produce irritating reverberations or absorbed by soundproof foam insulation.
Sound energy is similar to light energy but there is a difference.
Light can not travel through hard walls but sound waves travel through hard walls and most times they produce bigger vibrations which can be irritating as they bounce from one wall to another.
I wouldn’t have thought that outside noises can enter through my room but the truth is, these sound vibrations hit your window panes, walls or ceiling and the energy are transferred into your room.
What sound absorbing foams do is to absorb this traveling energy and transfer it to heat energy. An acoustic foam panel also dampens the effect of sound vibrations.
What are Acoustic Sound Panels Made of?
It is not just enough to hang any dense or thick material on the wall for the purpose of soundproofing your room. The texture of the sound deadening foam is produced with different important materials to reduce outside noises.
The thin open cell porous solid you see on the acoustic foam is made of polyurethane – a substance gotten from the process of addition polymerization.
The thin open cell is a result of gas bubbles occurring from its production. Sound vibrations travel through the fluid within the porous lightweight cell creating stress waves that are carried through the frame of the polyurethane.
The fabric of the foam is polyester which is popularly known as a non-woven fabric.
They are perfect for soundproof foam insulation with a density of 2000g/m3 and a NRC (noise reduction coefficient) rating ranging from 0.8 and 1. Polyester is resistant to fire impact and wears or tear.
Some sound absorbing foams are produced with fiberglass which is rigid and also lightweight.
Do Acoustic Foams (Soundproof Foam) Really Absorb Sound?
I guess what you want to know is if you won’t be disturbed by outside noises after using an acoustic foam because all you want is a quiet room.
Here is the hard lesson I learned, acoustic foam panels do not block sounds but absorb sounds. Yes, there is a difference.
I placed acoustic foam all over my apartment only to continue hearing heavy metal music from my neighbor’s room and I wonder if spending so many resources, time and money, on installing an acoustic foam panel is really worth it.
If these sound deadening foams do not block outside noises, why am I buying it? Or rather, what is the difference? Acoustic foams are also called sound absorbing foams and as their names imply, they can only absorb sound vibrations which only reduces the effect of these vibrations and not totally stop it.
Think of it this way, when sound passes through thick walls, the vibrations reflected are stronger but when they are absorbed by sound deadening foams, the vibrations are weakened.
To totally block noises from outside, heavy materials are often placed on each other so that outside noises will not be able to penetrate it.
Benefits of Using Acoustic Foam Panels
The major reason why anyone would buy sound absorbing foams is noise pollution reduction which is exactly what prompted me to install one.
With the acoustic foams, I have been able to cut down unnecessary reverberations (multiple echoes) created in my room. Through absorption, the acoustic foam actually works best in enhancing the quality of sound in a room.
To make this work better, I made sure that there is enough air gap between the panel and the wall on which I installed them.Sound absorbing foams can be considered as a cost-friendly heat reduction facility as it converts sound energy to heat.
Another key benefit is the design that comes with acoustic foam. They are produced in different colors and assorted textures which you can blend to fit your room’s aesthetic.
Where Should You Place the Acoustic Foam Panels?
This is a major problem that comes after getting or deciding to get the sound deadening foam because there is actually no direct answer to the question if at all you are looking for one.
Yet, you can’t just buy an acoustic foam and hang them anywhere to achieve your aim. Initially, it depends on the type of room you would like to soundproof.
For a Recording studio, sounds from the microphone and recorder are very vital. Other sounds need to be eliminated through absorption.
In the case of a listening room, something like a little room assigned for gatherings or individuals holding addresses little sound absorption is required for this type of room.
While for home theater, the objective is to give the room a channel like inclination, where the sound of the speakers is transmitted to the gathering of people watching motion pictures or whatever else you wish to play. Hence, a little absorption is also required here.
As a personal rule that I used, measure more than once and cut once. All things considered, estimating is a procedure that can be rehashed on various occasions, while a cut can’t be turned around.
This is something to remember when “estimating” your acoustic needs in your home. Moderate and purposeful, persistent methodologies is more effective than speculating and evaluating dependent on your feelings alone.
The principal thing you have to do is check for any acoustic inconsistencies. In other words, you have to decide if any part of the room could be an issue later on. Playing different sounds, in different ways, around the room is a way to help with this.
For instance, taking your telephone and strolling around the room, playing a melody, for the most part, can help you observe if there are any sound irregularities that needs fixing.
For me, I applied acoustic foams on every area that produce most of the echoes and absorbent areas. This way, my room is better than before.
Things to Consider When Buying Acoustic Foam Panels for Soundproofing
If you have finally decided to install acoustic sound panels, you have to be certain what you want to achieve and the important factors that are necessary for getting the best acoustic foam panels for your home.
So as not to purchase any available acoustic material, these are the questions to deal with.
01. Where you are soundproofing
The main thing you have to consider is the place you intend to soundproof. For instance, would you like to soundproof the room?
Provided that this is true, you may pick acoustic boards with a calm color. Would you like to soundproof an exercise zone where sweat and moisture move around? What you need is water-resistant foam.
02. What precisely would you say you are attempting to soundproof?
If you need to soundproof a whole room, at that point pick a material you can introduce on the wall that meets your sound-absorbing needs and your financial plan.
03. Also, what makes a good sound absorbing panel?
It is the measure of how pressed together the particles of a material are. A dense material can dampen sound waves while a material with low-density range retains sound waves, in other words, if the material’s thickness is excessively low, the sound waves are transmitted through.
But if the thickness is excessively high, the waves get reflected off the material’s surface.
This property helps to absorb sound but is not good for blocking them.
✔ Size and arrangement of the cell
The cell size of the material must be smaller than the wavelength of the sound it is intended to absorb. You should also consider the type of cell arrangement in the material.
Open cell is excellent for sound absorbing foams and the amount of twist and turns in these cells also determine if they are good absorbents or not. This is because sound waves lose energy as they travel through long distances.
✔ NRC Rating
NRC means “Noise Reduction Co-efficient.” It fundamentally shows the rating of how much outside noise the acoustic foams can diminish. Boards with higher NRC evaluations will, commonly, eliminate more unwanted sounds than those that have lower ratings.
You can discover the NRC data in the product description of any respectable brand. As a rule, the higher the number, the more prominent the absorption process. So, you should think about this parameter genuinely too.
Best Acoustic Foam Panels | Soundproof Foam 2019
There are so many sound absorbing panels out there on Amazon and you can easily get confused on how to find the best product. I have tried some excellent ones and some regrettable ones, yet I can tell you that it all depends on what you want to achieve.
So as to push in a safe direction, I will recommend just 4 acoustic products which you can get on Amazon but the fact is that there are so many acoustic foam panels online which you can easily get for cheap prices and can also suit your need perfectly.
01. Foamily Acoustic Foam Egg Crate Panel
The Egg Crate Wall Panels are made of high-thickness acoustic board and measure 48″ long, 24″ wide and 2.5″ thick. The additional thickness will work with a more extensive scope of frequencies. These boards are best utilized for spot-treating walls.
Key Specifications include:
- 2.5 inches thickness
- Fire Retardant.
- High NRC Rating
- Available in different colors
This cheap acoustic panel is suited for recording studios, practice rooms, and home stereo listening room. The sound deadening panels are sold in packs of one, two, or four. A few diverse color choices are accessible, including Ice Blue, Charcoal, Red, and Burgundy.
02. Mybecca 12 Pack- Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges
In case you are searching for moderate sound absorption foam, and you don’t have a need of outright solid deadening, these 1″-thick wedge boards will be simply impeccable. You can utilize them on walls, roofs, entryways, and windows as well. The wedge boards from Mybecca come in 12 tiles, so they are good for large wall surface.
These wedge boards go 1″/2″ inside and out, and I’d suggest going for this sort of thickness when you’re working with extensive regions. The motivation to it is that by putting a more slender panel over a vast region, there’s a little possibility of distortion and muting sounds.
The wedge shape will help trap the noise, while, at the same time, reducing reverberation. What’s more, they lessen the undesirable reflections too and, by and large, they offer a stunning sound control that will be ideal for your requirements.
Key Specifications include:
- Polyurethane material
- 1-inch thickness
- Fire Retardant
- High NRC rating
With everything taken into account, if you settle on the Mybecca wedge boards, you’re in for a treat! These acoustic foam boards are perfect for spot-treating studios, practice rooms, vocal stalls, and control rooms.
Also, you are guaranteed that the panels won’t break down or go to pieces after some time. All that is required is regular cleaning, and that is as simple as it can get!
03. Auralex Acoustics Studio foam Wedges
The Auralex Acoustics Wedges are explicitly intended for the financially minded individuals. These boards have more wedges for each square foot; subsequently, expanding their surface territory for better exposure to sound waves.
Auralex is a common name in acoustic treatment, trusted by experts and beginners alike. With the magnitude of an individual board at 1ft x 1ft and 2 inches thick, one pack is sufficient to cover 24 square feet of wall.
Each bundle accompanies 24 boards, which are sufficient to counterbalance the sound influxes of your recording studio. These cheap acoustic foam panels additionally highlight a Class B fire rating to protect your sound equipment from fire threats.
The official NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) is 0.80. The main accessible shading alternative is charcoal dim.
These wedge-molded boards are a decent decision if you need light to halfway acoustic treatment and work best in the mix with bass traps.
Key Specifications include:
- Cheap price for a tight budget
- 2 inches thickness
- Class B fire rating
- NRC Rating: 0.8
- Charcoal grey color
I would prescribe these for both home and expert studio acoustic treats. Their size permits a more extensive scope of placement choices and therefore covers large areas.
04. Foamily 12 Pack- Red/Charcoal Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges
All things considered, with this type of acoustic board, you get the chance to reduce undesirable sound while in the meantime keeping up to some degree engaging look.
Putting up these boards is likewise very simple. They are not self-glue in spite of the fact that you can utilize any adhesive to join them to the walls.
You could likewise choose to staple them to the wall. But I recommend utilizing command strips to set them up.
Key Specifications Include:
- 1-inch thickness
- High NRC Rating
- Sizable for large rooms
- Also acts as microphone diffusers
The general design of these sound absorbing boards was very extraordinary. The cuts and the panels were surely worth the cash. The boards are of high caliber and are long lasting too.
Although they are not thick, they worked incredibly in lessening the echoes in the room. But take note, they do more of sound absorption than sound dampening.
How to Install Soundproof Forms ( Acoustic Foam Panels)?
I’ll tell you!
With so many easy DIY’s on the internet, it is usual for many to skip this step and that’s exactly what a friend of mine did.
Obviously, she probably wants to soundproof her room without damaging the wall, unfortunately, she did.
Regardless of whether you’re a DIY fan, treating one terribly thing can prompt extensive harm.
Firstly you ought not to use any adhesive spray directly on your wall. Furthermore, you ought not to staple or nail these boards on your wall.
Fortunately, this isn’t troublesome. So, in case you don’t have any aptitude in placing these foam panels and you don’t want to end up destroying your wall, simply follow the guide underneath to steer clear from any property harm.
01. Plan Ahead
Before anything else, you should decide the exact spot where you need to hang up the soundproof panels. You can begin by estimating your room size to decide exactly what number of boards can fit.
Like I have mentioned before, do more measurements than fixing. For me, I mapped out the wall measurements in a book and also made markings on the wall with the goal to know the exact position to hang the panel.
02. Use glue to mount your board on a cardboard
If you use glue to the acoustic panel and stick them to the wall, getting rid of them will be tasking. The glue will take pieces of the wall off, and your board will be demolished.
Rather, you can take cardboard and mount the boards on it. At that point, subsequent to letting the glue dry, you can cut the excess part off.
03. Use Command Strips to mount the panel on the wall
You can utilize Command Strips to mount anything on your wall. In addition, they should enable you to keep away from any potential harm to both the panel and wall. They are fantastically easy to utilize.
You should simply expel the strip that covers the glue from one side and presses it into the acoustic foam board.
At that point, you take the other one and do likewise to stick it onto the wall. All that is left to do is to mount the board is to press the tapes that are on these strips.
DIY Acoustic Panels – How to Build Your Own Acoustic Panels?
Here is my favorite part. After installing some soundproof foam, I discovered that I can make one myself. Yes, I saved more money in the process but I spent quite a lot of useful time.
Nevertheless, it was worth the experience as I had the opportunity of making my own design.
✓ Hand saw with a Miter Box to cut the frame pieces
✓ Measuring tape and Pencil to measure the edge piece lengths.
✓ Staple Gun with Staples to append the texture to the edge.
✓ Cutting Knife to slice the protection to measure, if important.
✓ A core sound absorbing material which comes in packs of 6 panels
✓ 12 8ft wood frame materials for the 6 panels
✓ Box of small wood screws
✓ Spray adhesives/ Wood glue
✓ High-quality fabric to cover the panels with.
I used a DIY video which is the best option. Simply make sure that you are adequately prepared for this process else, you will waste both time and money.
Don’t forget to read my post about the – How to Build your own Acoustic Panels (Sound Absorbing Panel) in 5 Simple Steps ( DIY Guide)
Without a doubt, installing an acoustic foam panel is the cheapest way to get rid of outside noises and the advantage is more than just enhancing sound quality. Acoustic foam panels also beautify the interior of your home.