11 Best Ways To Soundproof a Room from Outside Noise

Are you getting noise outside from the streets and neighbors? You are probably wondering what you could do to Soundproof a room from outside noise easily and what works and what doesn’t.

When soundproofing your room, try to create a sound maze that aims to provide insulation against any sound waves or noise. When the sound waves find it difficult to travel through, it will reduce their noise energy.

A quiet room helps the mind relax a lot better. I love my solitude, most especially because I have very noisy neighbors around me.

This was when I knew I had to find a solution fast.

My solution?

I finally worked out some ways to completely soundproof my room. Although I had to spend a little on sound-reducing materials and techniques, I found that it was necessary to cut down the noise coming into my room.

For convenience sake and to save more time, you can also consider getting a soundproof kit for your room

Read on to find out more about the eight methods I used to build my soundproof room.


How Does Sound Travel?

Before you start soundproofing your room, you have to understand how does sound travels.

Sound travels via airwaves, so unless you can survive without air, living with some noise is inevitable. [Source]

Sound can also react differently depending on what is in your room.

For example, sound will travels through steel about 15-16 times faster than through air. This may mean building the walls with dense heavy materials like concrete or lead or using a soundproof curtain that can help to block a lot of noise.

In the United States, a common way of comparing sound insulation in buildings is using a measurement called STC (Sound Transmission Class), which describes how well or badly sound waves (broadly in the range of normal human voices, 125–4000 Hz) travel through ceilings and walls. [Source]

Easiest ways to build a soundproof room from outside noise

If you need to get rid of external noise, completely soundproof your room from outside noise, and enjoy your room without traffic noise interference, you can try these methods. After many months of frustration, these are tips that worked for me and allowed me to enjoy my room.

These methods are cheap and effective as I kept in mind that the objective of soundproofing is to make a thick hindrance that will absorb most if not the majority of outside noise before it gets to my room.

You can attempt some of the tips I will list down below:

Use a solid Core door installed together with a door sweep

Door sweeps

I have never considered the type of door I use as a factor for outside noises until I changed to a solid mass door.

The best approach to shield sounds from noisy neighbors from entering your room is to introduce a solid core door, and this is because it absorbs sound better than a lightweight hollow door.

Apart from using a solid door, I added a door sweep to the base of the door to entirely block noise from entering my room.

Frost King 2 x 36 SB36 Extra Brush Door Sweep, 2in Wide x 36in Long, Silver-Aluminum

The door sweep I ordered from Amazon is super useful. This door sweep is pretty easy to apply and sticky enough to remain on the door for a long time. It is also adjustable. Hence, you can tweak it to fit whatever type of door you have.

Get a soundproofing curtain

When I initially mount thick curtain covers on my wall, I felt relieved that outside street noise was reduced, but then the curtain also absorbs heat and makes the room calm and quiet.

You will get many advantages of investing in dense material like a thick blackout curtain. Don’t hesitate to spend a little on a thick curtain if you want a quiet room at night.

soundproof curtains

These 3 layers thick, noise-absorbing curtain will help, not only to counter noises coming from your neighbor’s room but diminishes vibration from the sounds inside your own home.

I also found that because of the full structure of these acoustic curtains and the numerous layers of their materials, echoes in my room were massively reduced.

For effective soundproof, I picked a curtain that is four times wider than my window which reached the floor. This enabled it to absorb sounds that filtered through my window. Even if it is longer than usual, it is better to roll it up than buy a short curtain. It is a worthy investment that I am so happy I got.

[Related Article: Best soundproofing curtains and buying guide]

Install an acoustic foam panel ( Soundproof foam) on the wall

I don’t want a recording studio, but I had to go the extra mile for these.

Quietness was essential to me; hence, I was ready to do anything to enjoy my room in peace.

Even though hanging acoustic boards can be very costly, yet it is one of the best and most ideal approaches to soundproof a room.

Acoustic foam panel is excellent and very effective at absorbing annoying sounds. Being very easy to install, all I needed to do was to hang them on the wall like one of the pieces of my art collection.

They are so classic that you would hardly notice they were acoustic panels because I used assorted colors to spice up my room

Upgraded 12 Pack Acoustic Panels Sound Proof Foam Panels Sound Proof Padding, 12"X12"X 0.4" High Density Bevled Edge Sound Panel, Idea for Acoustic Treatment & Wall Decoration (Sesame)

Based on the concept of sound reflection, I installed these acoustic panels on the opposite wall of the source of noise so that the unwanted sound can be reflected and absorbed effectively. The only thing I don’t like is the design looks a bit out of place for my room. If you have a bigger budget, you may like to consider customised acoustic panels which helps to enhance the aesthetic look of your space.

There are bigger acoustical board sizes, which were beyond my budget, that can be introduced with heavy-duty equipment or flush-mounted z-cuts. These can be used as a single vast board or utilized independently.

Use a window liner

I should have ignored this sound-deadening material since I already have a curtain, but then, I had to rethink because the polyester-insulated cotton window liner has more benefits than just noise reduction.

Window liners often come together with curtains and can easily be ignored. They are very useful not only for soundproofing but they block light rays and also absorb heat and sound. Hence, I was able to maintain quietness and also maintain optimum room temperature.

Thermalogic Ultimate Thermal Energy Saving Blackout Window Curtain Liner, 45" X 88", White

The window liner helps to absorb vibrations coming from the massive musical sound system. If you have a noisy neighbor who parties a lot, the window liner will help absorb heavy vibrations that are later filtered out as soft hums.

The one I got from is 45 inches wide with a white color that fits on any curtain.

Stuff the wall with a bookcase or artworks

Being a bookworm, I had a lot of old books I thought I could put to use. With the abundance of reading materials I had, I used them as upholstered furniture to cover the wall and make it thick.

Extensive heaps of reading material can be utilized for more than dust gathering. If you and your noisy neighbor have a mutual wall, push a book cabinet against it. The bigger the cabinet, the lesser the noise intensity that can travel to your room.

To be successful, I had to boost the sound-deadening material on that bookshelf. And so, I ignored a neat or regular arrangement and stacked all my reading materials together pressing the books tightly together to reduce sound penetrations.

If you don’t have many books to create a book cabinet, hanging artworks might be a little costlier but also effective in blocking outside noise.

Add weather-strips to doors and windows

Suptikes 2 Pack Door Draft Stopper,Door Sweep for Exterior & Interior Doors,Door Bottom Seal Dust and Noise Insulation Weather Stripping Draft Guard Insulator, 1-4/5" W x 37" L,White

After using door sweeps and window curtains, I still hear irritating sounds from my noisy neighbors. This made me realize that soundproofing is a combination of various materials and several methods. Of all other techniques, weatherstripping is the cheapest, yet it is often ignored.

Noise travels through air and if air can find its way around the window or door, so also noise. The more significant part of the sound doesn’t get through an entryway, and it sneaks around it.

Fit weatherstripping in the door frames or window frames to give a seal. Generally, the most effortless and best material you can use is glue-supported high-thickness foam tape.

Elastic bulb weather-stripping gaskets can likewise seal the supports, and a weather-stripped edge and door sweep can seal the hole underneath an entryway to plug up any sound leaks.

Window Inserts Or Window Plugs

window inserts

If the window in your room is big and weatherstripping is not working in reducing noise, you may like to consider using window inserts. We recommend the Fantastic Frame Soundproof Window Inserts which you will be able to custom fit to any window and reduce exterior noise by more than 10+ dB.

Another advantage is that it reduces heat loss through the window unit(energy saving). And you can remove it when you do not need it anymore which is perfect for a simple DIY soundproofing project. Do note that this can be an expensive option depending on how many windows are there in your room.

If you are on a tight budget, you may like to consider getting window plugs instead for the windows. They are quite easy to make and if done correctly can be a quite effective soundproofing technique.

Insulate the ceiling and floor

My room is located between two noisy neighbors who play loud upsetting music each night. This prevents me from having a decent night’s rest. Instead of tossing and turning all night, cussing and fuming at my neighbors, I decided to work on soundproofing my floor.

Rubber mats or rugs are perfect for calming an apartment, even one where all the commotion is your own. A solitary, huge carpet does great for reducing echoes.

When you have an especially boisterous downstairs neighbor, one floor covering probably won’t cut it. Luckily, you can swing to another pattern to enable you to soundproof floors– layered carpets.

I varied the texture of the rugs I needed for the layer because irregularity in layering helps to absorb sound. Another alternative will be putting extra layers of carpet liners under the carpet such as the polymath Audio Trunk Liner. Heavy furniture are also quite effective in absorbing more unwanted noise.

TMS Sound Proofing Padding for Wall – 4 x 10 Feet Mass Loaded Vinyl – 1Lb Soundproof Wall Panels – Effective Blocking of Sound and Noise – Wide Applications

For my upstairs neighbors, I added a layer of soundproof padding to my ceiling. They are known to be very useful with soundproofing. To accomplish better adequacy, you can utilize a double layers mass of soundproof padding on the roof. Just be sure it is very much installed and set up.

Another way you can consider is using a drop ceiling to keep sound out of a room. If you decide to go this route, do remember to get some acoustic hangers as well.

Fill wall and window cracks with acoustic caulk

Whenever outside noise filters into my room, I’ve discovered that little splits and holes on the wall can increase vibrations and undermine soundproofing.

Exceptional acoustical caulk or acoustical sealants fill these holes with a flexible, sound-safe material but it is better to use regular caulks for small cracks and window creases.

When buying one, I picked a caulk that explicitly says it very well may be painted over so that it can match the painting on my wall. It is also advisable to use water-based caulks since they are less demanding to tidy up.

Air Vent

Another area that is normally overlooked will be the air vent in the room. The main purpose of the air vents is to ensure normal air circulation in and out of the house

What I did is trying to seal gaps from ducts but I find that it actually negates the purpose of the air vent. The only option left will be getting an acoustic air vent instead.

soundproof blanket

However, if you are renting the room, modifying the air vent may not be an option for you. We will then suggest you get a quality soundproof blanket and press the absorptive side against the wall that the noise is coming from.  A good soundproof blanket is more expensive but has a vinyl-coated polyester absorber for maximum noise protection (blocking and absorbing).

Airtight Seal

Another option you can consider is adding double panel windows to your room. There is a misunderstanding that the double glass helps to block sound. However, the real blocking of outside noise actually comes from the airtight seals formed with the airspace in between the two panels of glass

Wrapping Up

It could be annoying to live with noisy neighbors and around a busy street. Rather than picking quarrels with your neighbors and fuming under your breath, you can take the necessary steps to soundproof your room. Learn from the steps I took that solved my issues take the steps needed to soundproof a room from outside noise today.

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