Laptops are a very convenient option for people who need a computer they could take with them anywhere. Unfortunately, one drawback is that they can start to become pretty noisy. The more intensive work done on a laptop, the noisier they become. Fans kick on and become annoying, and there could be other noises as well.
The tricky part is creating a soundproof laptop box that actually works. There is the option of creating something that can work specifically for a laptop, and also find something that is ready-made.
What is the best choice overall? A detailed look at what is out there right now is below for people to consider.
Going The DIY way
For a lot of people looking at their laptop and the sound that comes from it, the goal is to try a few different things and see what works.
Most laptops are making a lot of noise because of the fans, but the only way to soundproof something is to have it enclosed in a way that could block those fans from working properly.
The workaround is to have an enclosure that might not go right up against a laptop, but can still kill the sound by providing a softer surface that absorbs everything.
That is where something like acoustic foam can come in handy as a cover for a more rigid surface that stays in the same shape.
Laptop boxes work a lot of the same way as a voice isolation box, and other options out there to keep the sound relatively contained. It is more about killing echo and deadening the sound as much as possible, rather than eliminating it.
To create a laptop box, all that is really needed from a do-it-yourself standpoint is some type of sturdy material to surround the laptop, and then acoustic foam that will go on all the sides.
The box needs to have space that ensures that it can sit there properly, and there is no risk of anything being caught up in the fan area.
Whatever it is sitting on inside the box, it needs to provide that same type of reliable surface that is available on a table or other place to work. Another tip with a do-it-yourself laptop box is to think about an option that can close completely.
This is to use the laptop box as a carrying case if a person wants to. The foam provides a good amount of protection from impact, and it is one less thing for people to carry around throughout the day.
Purchasing a Sound Isolation Box For Laptop
Laptops are extremely popular, either used on the go or at home. Due to their popularity, there are so many people out there who will rely on their laptops for every single thing to do. For those people, it just makes sense to have a laptop box (Amazon)that helps with sound in some capacity, and that might mean buying something that is already made.
There are a lot of people who use a set up that might be for something else but also works as a soundproof laptop box as well. For example, any portable microphone studio isolation box that has the right dimensions will also work well with a laptop. It provides a great amount of sound deadening, and it does not distract anyone from their work.
The important thing when shopping is to pay close attention to the dimensions so that something too big or too small is not purchased. If it is too small, the laptop has no chance of fitting inside. If it is too big, it becomes so bulky that a person is turned off by using it in the first place. People use a laptop for convenience, not to fight against a huge box all the time.
A lot of the soundproof laptop boxes are very inexpensive, so do not feel like a lot of money needs to be spent to get a proper setup. In a lot of cases, people will stay under $60, and some are even available for much less than that.
Additional Tips To Keep a Laptop Quiet
For some people, soundproofing is just not enough. There are a few other tips out there that will help keep a laptop quiet overall.
Most of them center around quieting the laptop fan since it is often the source of the noise. There are a few other tips to help with a laptop overall that might be noisy for one reason or another.
It might seem silly to put this on the top of the list, but some people just do not know how to place their laptop when they are using it properly. A laptop should be on a flat, solid surface if at all possible, and that is because the computer has built-in mechanisms to keep things cool.
The rubber feet that are on the bottom of every laptop prop it up just enough so that there is some airflow that keeps things a little cooler.
If the laptop is on a softer surface and it sinks into that surface, it could potentially hurt the effectiveness of fans and overheat the laptop considerably. This can go from anything from being on the bed to laying on someone’s lap and sinking into clothing.
There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the convenience factor of a laptop, but be aware where it sits for long amounts of time. It could cause the fans to kick on a little faster.
Monitor and Stop Certain Processes
One of the most common reasons why fans start to pick up and spin at a higher rate is that they are dealing with some type of demand put directly on the hardware. More than likely, it is the GPU, and the fan is going to stay on until the process is killed.
It is pretty simple to find what exactly is causing the problem, as Windows offers Task Manager, while Mac offers Activity Monitor.
Simply find what is eating up a percentage, and end that process. It is something that will help with reducing the heat of the laptop, which is why the fans could not in the first place.
Restart the Computer
There are times when the laptop simply needs restarting to get back on track. There are different types of resets, and some work better than others when it comes to killing the noise that is associated with the laptop.
Each computer is different, but make sure to do a full shutdown instead of putting it to sleep. This gives people a clean slate, with very little running as soon as it turns back on.
If just restarting is not sufficient enough, another option is to do a reset. This is a bit more drastic, as some reboots will go back to factory settings. Before going through with this, make sure all files are backed up.
Look Into a Cooling Solution
Fans start to kick on as soon as the laptop reaches a certain temperature, which might seem inevitable when running certain processes or playing games.
However, for people who are continually pushing their computer to the limit, it might be worth looking into ways to cool down the laptop overall.
There are many different layers of cooling down options out there for people to explore. In some cases, a simple fan underneath the base of the laptop will keep things cool enough that it does not become a distraction. In other scenarios, a more intense set up might be necessary to keep the temperature down.
It is a little cumbersome to carry around laptop coolers on the road, so most people only use these at home. Base plates can clip on so that they are not causing any real problems, but it still hurts the overall lightness of a laptop when moving things around.
Some of the lighter cooling options rely on the battery of the laptop to receive power. This might sound convenient, but it drains the battery just a little bit faster to the point that people are frustrated. For more intense cleaning options, they might have their own power source, but that just makes it bulkier to the point that so many people are frustrated.
Keep Everything Clean
Day after day of constant use with a laptop starts to make the machine a pretty dirty one overall. The dirt and grime on the keyboard become pretty noticeable, but not everyone pays attention to what might be going on near the fan areas.
Not only is it a magnet for dirt and grime, but dust can get in the way as well. There is even a chance of hair building up in the fans and causing a lot of problems that no one wants to have to deal with.
Compressed air will help to a certain degree, but there is a chance that it is not as effective as one would like. When that happens, everything needs to be taken apart so that there is more access to the fans inside the laptop. Maybe a person will feel comfortable enough to do some cleaning themselves, but a professional will be better and getting everything done exactly as it should.
Keep in mind that taking apart too much of a laptop is going to potentially void a warranty if that is still available. Do not go around messing with the set up too much if it feels like there could be a chance of ruining a warranty. The last thing a person wants is to find out the warranty is voided because of some dusting.
Software to Cool Down Laptops
There are an increasing number of options available now that allow people to control their fans in a laptop themselves if they want.
In the past, manufacturers have pretty much put in a set up that dictates when a fan turns on, and when it turns off. Not everyone will find it worth investing in software that helps people control how a fan works, but those who want to keep things quiet might go in this direction.
The downfall is that if a person does not know what they are doing, they might actually do more harm than good. It is one thing to keep a laptop quiet, but if it is not properly cooled off, it might prove to be a little problematic.
Do not rely on software unless there is enough confidence in keeping a monitor on everything. Also, if the laptop is going to stay on while the person is away, let the software control the fans normally instead of trying to mess with the set up too much.
The price and effectiveness of noise-canceling headphones (Amazon) have shot up in the last few years. Many people have started to rely on these headphones more than ever before. It might not stop the sound from a laptop specifically, but it can block any distractions out and allow people to focus a little more.
Whether a person wants to go with a wired or wireless option, there are two pretty standard setups for headphones depending on what a person feels comfortable with.
Over the ear options are usually a little bit better at providing a good seal, but they are bulkier and not as convenient for some. Those who want a more streamlined experience will go with in-ear buds and those do a solid job of helping cancel out everything around.
One thing to keep in mind that could be problematic is that a microphone is still going to pick up on the noise that was coming from the laptop. If the goal is to record sound, take calls, or something else involving the microphone, it is necessary to also soundproof the laptop as well as use headphones.
Replacing The Hard Drive
A hard disk drive is becoming more and more outdated as so many manufacturers are moving to a solid-state drive (Amazon). It is not only much more efficient, but it runs quieter as well. A lot of people who have made the move comment right away just how quiet their laptop is.
For those who still want to hold onto their current laptop, there is a way to switch things out if a person wants to. It is just a matter of finding a solid-state drive that is compatible with the laptop, and then going from there.
There are also opportunities to use an external SSD if it does not bother and individual.
Update and Changes to the Power Supply
Power supplies can sometimes be noisy with a laptop, which is why it is crucial to make some upgrades if it looks like things are overheating a bit too much. More than likely, they are not able to handle all the upgraded components that already go with the laptop.
Do not be afraid to add more power in the form of a charger or a battery to the laptop. It makes the operation quieter and safer.
What is the Best Type of Acoustic Foam to Use for a Laptop Box?
Try to find acoustic foam that is shaped like egg cartons for the best effect in a laptop box. This is because it offers the best opportunity for airflow, which is still essential with a laptop.
The computer is not actually sitting on the foam, so there is no chance of it sinking. It allows for solid coverage on the sides and top, depending on the layout of the box itself.
Is a Soundproof Laptop Box Actually Worth It?
There are not a ton of solutions out there for noisy laptops if a person diagnoses everything and can’t make any changes to the machine itself.
A soundproof laptop box works to a certain extent, but they get in the way for others. No one wants to deal with a set up that does more harm than good, which is why it is not worth it for everyone.
Try some do-it-yourself methods first to quiet the laptop down, and then possibly create a laptop box from scratch. If that does not work, a ready-made solution might be more productive and size appropriate.
If all else fails, there is always the option of potentially upgrading to a new laptop. This might not be the case if somebody already has a relatively new laptop, but manufacturers are doing whatever they can to make things quieter than ever before. Not only does it run quieter in general, but it is capable of handling higher workloads so that the fans do not kick on as quickly.
Understand that no matter what happens, fans are there for a reason. Without fans on a laptop, it is not going to run as efficiently as it should. A very hot laptop could potentially face some tough challenges. That might even mean the laptop not working at all.
Even if they are noisy, they are there for a reason. There is nothing wrong with wanting to control the sound and some of the more unnecessary noises altogether.