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Quietest Air Compressors Review Small to Large – 2022


Many companies out claims to have the quietest air compressors on the market or the most silent and quiet compressor out there. These adjectives can be thrown around pretty freely, but there will always be that perform better than others.

Not only is the dB level focused on, but their overall productivity also makes a big difference. Ranging from very affordable quiet air compressors for smaller areas to commercial grade solutions, there is something for everyone to take a look at.

The best way to break this down is to go by the size of the compressor. After all, it does not do anyone any good if there is a very quiet air compressor that is meant for small solutions.

To get full coverage, it would need to be much noisier, and it is better to go with a bigger option in an industrial setting. These are all high-quality air compressors worth putting on any shortlist.

California Air Tools 8010SPC

 

One of the smallest and quietest air compressors out there right now is from California Air Tools is the California Air Tools 8010SPC (Amazon). It will not be the biggest by any means, but it can run many different tools with ease.

Being able to fit into just about any location also helps considerably, as people working with smaller places do not necessarily want anything too big.

The standout feature of this compressor is the powerful, yet quiet motor. There is no oil needed, which cuts down on the overall maintenance of the machine.

The motor will operate at about 1400 rpm, which is pretty powerful for the level of sound it produces.

Helping with the sound of it is a soundproof cabinet that has a good amount of insulation to reduce noise and vibration.

It also helps with durability in a lot of ways, as the 8-gallon tank is very well constructed, yet protected to help cut down the sound.

If any accidents occur when moving this around, it will not break down like some lesser built options out there.

California Air Tools 8010SPC

The air output of the machine allows for maximum psi of 115. This is going to run most tools that a person needs just fine, but there might be some people who want something a little bit bigger.

It is pretty lightweight for an air compressor at 125 pounds, and the wheels on the device make it easy to move around the house without having any problems whatsoever.

All in all, this is a solid option for those who want something that is pretty compact and extremely quiet. The cooling fan is the only thing a person ends up hearing a little bit, but even that stays at a low level.

Pros

  • Very durable.
  • Easy to move around.
  • Very little maintenance needed.

Cons

  • Cooling fan gets a little loud.
  • Not big or powerful enough for some.

Kobalt Quiet Tech 4.3 Gallon Twin Tanks

 

A lot of people who have done just a little bit of research knows all about Kobalt and what it brings to the table in the industry, especially this Kobalt Quiet Tech 4.3 Gallon Compressor (Amazon).

It is a very high-quality option for anything from power tools to toilets, and their air compressors are no different.

This is one of their most popular compressors, and a lot of it comes down to being very quiet and portable.

With a strong motor that can get the job done in many different ways, quite a few people have relied on this for a while.

The motor on the Kobalt Quiet Tech is pretty impressive, as it works off 120 V. Like a lot of quiet options, there is no oil needed for the pump, so there is less of a risk of the motor burning out too early on.

It will stay strong throughout, and with very little maintenance, it is perfect for those who do not want to have to hassle with that.

Air pressure is also solid for this heavy-duty constructed option. It can get up to levels of 150 psi with the 4.3-gallon twin tanks. That means a person can run just about anything they need to without having any issues.

Kobalt Quiet Tech

Despite seeming very quiet and portable, there is some heavy-duty construction connected to this device.

It is made up of solid metal that will last a long time, and even the tires make it easy to move around and not worry about it breaking down.

Some people believe that they should not move around an air compressor too much or run the risk of breaking down. That is not the case at all with this air compressor by any means.

For people who do not want to deal with a less than stellar option, Kobalt is one brand name that just about anyone can trust.

The negatives of this compressor are few and far between, which is about as convincing as a person can ask for when shopping around.

Pros

  • High quality construction all around.
  • Motor is surprisingly powerful.
  • Limited maintenance required.

Cons

  • Brand-name carries a bit of a premium.
  • While portable, there are lighter and smaller options.

California Air Tools 8010

 

Another California Air Tools option that is well worth checking out is the California Air Tools 8010 (Amazon). With a 1 hp oil-free motor and 8 gallons available, this is a great and powerful air compressor overall.

People have been counting on this for a few years, and it is perfect for those who need a little bit more power added to the mix.

The standout feature obviously comes down to the very strong motor. With 1 hp, it is still very strong and durable for a variety of uses.

A little bit of oil is needed for the run, but it is overall pretty easy to maintain. Being able to operate consistently for a long time helps quite a bit, and if a person really wants to push the motor, they can get it up to 2 hp and not feel too overwhelmed.

Air output is among the best in its class, as it takes just a little bit of time for a tank to fill properly.

California Air Tools 8010

It is one of the annoying things about some of the other air compressors out there, as the time it takes to fill and be ready to go can be a little off-putting. This is one of the fastest options, with just as much durability overall.

A long-lasting air compressor certainly helps out quite a bit, and with a runtime of over 3000 hours, it is a great option to have people who do not want to worry about having to make any replacements anytime soon.

Being able to run at the dB levels that hovers right around standard chats helps out considerably as well.

Pros

  • Lasts a long time.
  • High air output.
  • Lightweight for the power.

Cons

  • Air pressure can be a little unreliable at times.
  • Despite being lightweight, can be a little cumbersome to move around.

Stealth 12-Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

 

The Stealth 12-Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor (Amazon) runs very quietly despite a 1.5 hp motor, and it is easy to set up and operate right away.

In fact, a lot of people will gravitate towards this one simply because of its ability to be put into use almost instantly.

There is no reason for people to have to worry about having to set things up every single time to move things around, and that is why people will count on it every time.

Having an air compressor that is powerful and durable certainly helps. Most are looking for a very stable structure overall, and the steel housing of this air compressor certainly helps.

It is much better than some of the aluminum options out there, which means that if something is to hit it or it is compromised somehow, it is going to be just fine.

Stealth 12-Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor

Most air compressors that jump up to 1.5 hp with the motor become a little bit loud. Stealth can keep the sound down a little bit, as it runs in the high 60s as far as dB is concerned.

Most people will be able to use it just fine without any ear protection, as it will be just a little bit louder than a normal conversation indoors. In an outdoor setting, it is going to be easier to utilize when it is time.

Need power at the right time? When that is the case, this motor produces as one might imagine.

It takes just over a minute for the tank to fill, and they can put out for CFM at 90 psi with these. It has a peek of 150 psi, which is just about all the people could ask for.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to connect.
  • Reaches high air pressure.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • A little bulky to move around.
  • Some get frustrated with just 12 gallons in size.

California Air Tools CAT 30020C-22060

 

For a 30-gallon air compressor, this is one of the quietest options on the market right now. With no required oil and many other setups that help reduce the sound, people love the fact that they can operate this in just about any location.

For an air compressor of the size, hovering around 70 dB is certainly impressive. Many people use this either at home or at a shop, and it can do well in just about any setting.

The motor is pretty powerful, operating at 1680 rpm, but it is durable as well. It can last over 3000 hours with minimal maintenance required, and that makes it well worth the cost if people are worried about spending too much money.

The power of the air compressor is certainly one that impresses a lot of people out there. It has a 2 hp motor that starts up with ease.

California Air Tools CAT 30020C-22060

This works especially well for people who might have trouble with other air compressors in the past because of the temperature.

There is nothing worse than dealing with an air compressor that just does not want to start because of the weather.

Holding 30 gallons of air, fortunately, means that it will be perfect for those who might have larger projects in place.

Sure, people may need to sacrifice portability a bit and deal with slightly louder motors overall, but it is well worth the trade-off for those who have quite a bit to operate. In this range of options, there is nothing quieter and better overall.

Pros

  • Works well in cold weather.
  • Lasts a long time.
  • Very powerful motor.

Cons

  • One year warranty could be longer.
  • Some might want a better CFM.

California Air Tools CAT 60 Gallon -60040CAD

 

Jumping up to 60 gallons, this is where an air compressor is starting to get pretty serious. Whether a person has a pretty impressive garage set up, or they run a shop of their own, this is one worth looking into.

With a higher capacity and an outstanding CFM output, most people who need something like this but do not want to go too big will settle for an option like this.

California Air Tools 60 Gallon (Amazon) put a 2 hp oil us motor in this air compressor. This is perfect for those who want a lot of power, but do not necessarily want to spend a lot of time keeping up with maintenance. It is an oil-less motor, which is always going to help out.

The motor operates pretty quietly, which is good news for those worried about larger units making a lot of noise. Overall, it sits in about 75 dB when running normally, which is considerably less than others in this size.

Pros

  • Quiet for its size.
  • Powerful, oil-less motor.
  • Better portability than most.

Cons

  • Some small reported issues online.
  • Some might need a larger option in a commercial or industrial setting.

EMAX E10V080V1

 

It might be frustrating for some people to look at large air compressors and find that they are pretty loud overall.

It is frustrating for those trying to keep sound down, but the Emax 80 Gallon Quiet Compressor (Home Depot) makes it realistic.

Capable of holding 80 gallons of air and operating with a 10 hp motor, this can handle just about any job out there. The best thing is that it is one of the quietest in its range.

Getting an air compressor like this under 80 dB is certainly impressive, to say the least. Most of the time, it is going to operate right around 75 to 78 dB.

This means that while it will be louder than a normal conversation, it will not overwhelm people who are trying to have a fairly quiet workspace.

It is really not that much louder than some of the smaller compressors out there, which is crazy impressive for something so powerful and large.

Since this is mostly recommended for professionals in an industrial setting, it is even easier to deal with the sound.

Most of the time, people are going to have larger spaces to work with, so they can have it in areas that will allow it to not be as overwhelming with the sound.

The longevity of this air compressor is something that will be very impressive for owners out there.

Due to the high-quality build and low amount of maintenance, this is built to last for over 70,000 hours of pretty steady use.

Being able to operate in extreme temperatures also helps considerably, as people get very frustrated with dealing with compressors that struggle in the cold.

Overall, this is perfect for those who need an air compressor of this size. It is not for everyone, but there are cheaper and more affordable options out there for a reason.

For those who need the best in power and a very large tank, the quiet options can feel few and far between. This is an exception to that rule.

Pros

  • Very high CFM.
  • 10 hp motor is impressive.
  • Works in all types of temperatures.

Cons

  • Not a portable air compressor.
  • Warranty is limited to five years.

Why Are Air Compressors So Noisy?

The goal of an air compressor is to be a very easy to use and convenient machine to have for multiple purposes.

Whether it is filling up some tires or operating some tools, it serves a purpose and is readily available at all times. However, if it is too loud, people will not be thrilled with using it that much.

It is not the end of the world if something is very loud, but a quiet air compressor makes it much more enjoyable to use. What causes an air compressor to be noisy? These are some of the reasons why.

Friction

Whenever something is hitting up against the hard parts of the machine, an air compressor will make a decent amount of noise.

That is why some of the quietest air compressors have very small and minimal moving parts, so there is less chance of being noisy.

Some of the older models might start to have more friction as they are coming apart very slowly.

Also, be on the lookout for any other materials near the air compressor, as when it operates, it can vibrate a little bit and rub against something that will cause friction.

Power

There are two main options for an air compressor, as it can be either gas-powered or electric.

The gas-powered option is always going to be louder when doing a direct comparison, as it operates on combustion and having metal parts move around.

Since electric air compressors are going to run off the voltage, it will be very similar to how new electric cars run. They are much quieter, and they will smoothly operate as they should.

A Clear Environment

It was already touched on a bit about how friction can cause a lot of noise. Where an air compressor is put inside of a specific area can largely dictate the sound.

Try to make sure that the environment an air compressor is put into is clear so that the chances of sound problems are greatly reduced.

How Quiet Can an Air Compressor Realistically Be?

Everyone wants the quietest air compressor, but just how quiet are they capable of being? A lot of noise measurements are done in decibels, and it is the best way to do direct comparisons.

When talking at a normal tone, the decimal levels tend to hover around 60. That can give people a pretty good idea of what to expect with an air compressor, as quiet units will be about 10 dB higher or a little bit more.

Yes, an air compressor, even at the quietest levels, is still going to be a little bit noisy overall. It just operates at too high of a level for sound to be avoided entirely.

The good news is that people will still be able to talk to different people and have a way to function without it being too overwhelming.

The sound of the compressor should stay pretty consistent from the first time it is used, to years later. If there is something troublesome, that usually means that it might be compromised a bit.

When hearing a rattling sound, there could be a part of the air conditioner that has come loose. If there is a loud humming, the capacitor might be starting to fail. The motor could need repair as well.

The sound might be tolerable to a certain degree, but remember that it should be repaired early on if there is something going wrong.

The sooner it is repaired, the easier it is to fix. If it gets to be too bad, there might be a chance that it needs to be completely replaced, and that will frustrate a lot of people out there.

If you already have a loud air compressor and want to just make it less noisy, video to show you how!

  

The Need For a Quiet Air Compressor

Not everyone will see the importance of a quiet air compressor, but it is definitely worth investing in if it is going to be used regularly.

Overall, having a quiet workspace makes a lot of sense, and they are not really that much more expensive than the cheapest options out there.

As long as the person knows what to look for, they could find a quality option that will produce at a high level. Air compressors can be extremely valuable, and investing smartly makes all the difference in the world.

How To Soundproof an Apartment – Doors, Walls, Windows, Floor!


If you live in an apartment, you may be asking yourself how to soundproof an apartment! Whether it’s your upstairs neighbor’s footsteps or the sound of traffic outside, unwanted noise can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep or focus on work.

So how to soundproof an apartment? Some of these strategies involve placing bookshelves or other barriers along the walls, using carpeting in key locations, or investing in soundproofing panels that can be installed on ceilings, doors, and windows.

Whether you’re a longtime renter or just starting in your first apartment, there are many things you can do to keep sounds from interfering with your peace and quiet.

With a little bit of effort and some good planning, you can create a more peaceful environment where you can focus on work or simply relax without being distracted by outside noise.

Here are several things you can do to soundproof an apartment and create a peaceful oasis right away. I will also touch on how to soundproof an apartment wall, window and door!

1. Use Bookshelves to Block Out Noise.

Bookshelf apartment soundproofing

By placing bookshelves along shared walls or in other high-traffic areas, you can help dampen the sound of footsteps and other noises.

The thicker the shelves, the more effective they will be at absorbing sound. In addition, you can add acoustic panels to the shelves to further reduce noise and echo within the room.

One great tip is also to sandwich a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl (Amazon) in between the wall and the bookshelf. This will add mass to the wall and you can bring the layer of Mass Loaded vinyl (MLV) with you when you move out of the apartment!

Just make sure you place the MLV and the bookshelf on the entire surface of the wall because it won’t be very effective if you only treat half the wall. 

2. Install Acoustic Panels on your Walls, Ceilings, and Doors

 

There are a variety of acoustic panels (Amazon) and other soundproofing materials that you can use to improve the quality of noise in your apartment.

These panels aim to reduce echoes and reverberations in your apartment, reducing the overall volume of sounds coming from outside. (Source)

For example, you can install ceiling tiles or add carpet padding to reduce echoes and reverberations from footsteps and voices.

Additionally, using special sound-blocking curtains or heavy drapes over windows can also help reduce unwanted ambient noises from outside. 

3. Invest In Noise-Canceling Headphones or Earplugs.

If you find yourself working in a noisy environment, it may be worth investing in some $50 Noise-canceling headphones (Amazon) or earplugs

This can help to reduce the number of distractions and help you to focus on your work. Some noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can be quite expensive, so you may want to consider other options first.

For example, a simple pair of foam earplugs are very inexpensive and still provide some noise reduction. Alternatively, if you have the option to choose where to to work, try finding a quieter location in the office or even working remotely.

There are many different ways that you can minimize distractions while trying to focus on your work. Noise-canceling headphones and/or earplugs are an excellent solution for those who work in loud environments.

These devices isolate the sounds around you so that they aren’t as noticeable, allowing you to concentrate more easily on your work.

However, these aren’t for everyone. Some people don’t see headphones as a solution, but as more of a cover-up. There is also such a thing as ear fatigue if they are worn throughout the day.

Here’s a study on how noise canceling headphones work in different environments. 

4. Hang Heavy Fabric Over Windows and Doors

 

Three Layered Sound Deadening Curtains (Amazon) and drapes are another great way to block out sound from noisy neighbors or traffic outside, as they can help absorb some of those sounds before they reach your apartment.

This will help absorb sound and create more soundproofing so that you don’t have any outside noise interfering with anything on the inside.

Many different types of heavy fabric can be used for this purpose, including blankets, curtains, and acoustic tiles.

Sound Deadening Curtains

Be sure to choose a fabric that works well as a sound absorber and is also flame-resistant since it could be next to electrical equipment.

Once you’ve hung the fabric, take some time to test out the acoustics in your space. You may want to add more fabric or sound-dampening materials if you find that the noise level is still too high.

If you’re satisfied with the results, they also double as a great way to keep the sun out.

5. Use Rugs and Other Soft Furnishings to Help Muffle the Sound

Placing thick rugs on the floor or soft pillows on furniture can help absorb some of the sounds that make their way into your apartment, making it easier to focus and relax.

Thick rugs on the floor can help muffle footsteps and other noises coming from below, while soft pillows on furniture can help dampen the noise coming from above.

Try to keep everything looking nice inside the room so that it is aesthetically pleasing as well. Too many people overlook that step, sacrificing the look of their interior to help with soundproofing.

6. Look for Appliances with Quieter Motors

 

Your dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer all generate noise when they’re in use, so try to find models that produce less sound while they’re operating.

Alternatively, you can look into purchasing a decibel reducer kit to reduce the overall volume of these appliances while they’re running.

There is a lot of new technology out there with appliances that make things quieter right away.

Some people might not know this since they haven’t had to purchase in recent years. Shop around, as there are ways to start hearing a difference soon.

8. Place your Furniture Away From Shared Walls

If your sofa is up against a shared wall, the sound of footsteps or other noises from the adjacent apartment can be amplified.

By moving your furniture away from these walls, you can help reduce the amount of noise that comes into your apartment.

Apartment walls are thinner than ever, which has caused a lot of people to realize that shared walls need to be avoided as much as possible.

Having a bare apartment likely causes a lot of sound issues overall. Try to load up the walls with different things, and don’t necessarily sit next to them if they are troublesome.

9. Use Weather Stripping to Seal Gaps Around Doors and Windows

 

Gaps and cracks around doors and windows can let in unwanted noise, so be sure to use weather stripping to seal them off. This will also help improve the overall energy efficiency of your apartment.

Most people already have some form of weatherstripping on their doors at this time. They also usually come included with just about every window installation. However, it could be time to upgrade them if they are not performing as they should.

Like everything else, there have been quite a few advancements in weather stripping overall. What works in the past might not be as great for soundproofing these days.

It makes a lot of sense for people to go out there and try to make some upgrades, as it’s pretty affordable even when going for premium options.

10. Treat Electronics Properly

Quiet PC Case

Don’t forget about the electronics in the apartment. Many electronic devices like computers (Quiet PC Tower Amazon), TVs, and stereos can produce distracting noise, so be sure to keep them in low-traffic areas of your apartment. There are also ways to soundproof them at times.

Be creative with placing noisy electronics in areas already soundproofed pretty well. If there is any type of echo inside the apartment, it’s going to become that much more of an issue when there are a lot of sounds generating from that area.

11. Choose Sound Deadening Paint for the Walls and Ceiling.

Sound Deadening Paint

Special soundproofing paint (Amazon) might work to help absorb sound waves, making it easier to create a peaceful environment in your apartment.

Soundproofing paint can help to reduce the amount of noise that enters our homes and workplaces, and make our environment more pleasant and peaceful. That is, as long as it is accompanied by other solutions.

There are many different types of soundproofing paint available on the market, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Some types of sound deadening paint are more effective than others, and some are more expensive. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the best type of soundproofing paint for your needs will depend on the specific situation.

Keep in mind that doing nothing else but slapping on some soundproofing paint won’t create a noticeable solution. Combine soundproofing paint with a few other tips from this list to get the best results.

13. Talk to Your Landlord or Property Manager

Talk to your landlord or property manager about potential solutions for reducing noise levels in shared spaces like hallways or laundry rooms.

For example, they may be able to install thicker doors in these areas, or add padding under carpeting to help insulate against noise.

It seems like a lot of people are very hesitant to ever talk to their landlord or property manager to see if something could be done about sound.

While everyone is different, some landlords are probably fine with making some small changes to improve the overall quality of life for the tenants.

It’s important to know that it’s not only helping your particular apartment, but the neighbors as well. If they are having trouble renting out certain units, showcasing their upgrades in soundproofing can be beneficial.

What some people will run into is that their landlord or property manager has their hands tied a bit. If there’s nothing that they can do themselves, then it’s up to the individual tenant to fix things.

Go ahead and ask them what can and can’t be done to the property to help with soundproofing. Some will allow people to put in more permanent solutions if they wish, as long as they are removed when moving out.

14. Talk with the Neighbors

Get to know your neighbors and talk to them about ways to reduce noise levels in the shared spaces of your apartment building. By working together, you can find solutions that will benefit everyone in the building.

Soundproofing a wall is so much more effective when there is treatment on both sides. The only way to get access to the other side is to work with a neighbor.

Since most people want to have peace and quiet, it’s usually not that hard to have a discussion with a neighbor and see what happens.

The unfortunate thing is that a lot of people don’t have a great relationship with their neighbors if they are renting.

It can be a little tough to establish a relationship and have a conversation, but when approached the right way, many are open to the idea of looking into some cheap soundproofing solutions that could help out everyone involved.

If it ends up working out well with one neighbor, reaching out to the others could be much easier. When you live in an apartment building, it is important to be aware of how your actions can affect your neighbors.

One way that this can happen is by creating too much noise, which can disturb those around you. To avoid this issue and not get the label as the problematic one, look into making many of the improvements detailed in this article.

15. Considering Moving

No one enjoys having to move. However, if all else fails, consider moving to a quieter location. If the noise levels in your current apartment are just too loud for you to handle, it may be time to look for a new place to live.

But before you make any decisions, be sure to check with your landlord or property manager first to see if there are any options for soundproofing your current apartment.

How Much Does it Cost to Soundproof an Apartment?

Soundproofing an apartment can be a costly endeavor, but it is worth it if you want to enjoy some peace and quiet. There are many different ways to soundproof an apartment, and the costs will vary depending on the method you choose.

The best suggestion is to start with something cheap and see what happens from there. For some people, it might be as easy as moving around some of the furniture inside of an apartment and hearing the difference.

If that blocks the minimal distractions that were going on, there’s no other reason to invest additional money.

For others, they could be spending quite a bit of extra money since they are only coming up with temporary solutions that can easily be torn down once it’s hard to move out.

It’s not the most expensive thing in the world, but it does start to add up if the apartment is big and there are a lot of formal areas.

Shopping online usually provides the best deals when getting soundproofing material. However, since some of the soundproofing material is rather bulky, it might be easier to shop locally as well.

Installation is relatively straightforward, but there are always options to hire professionals to take care of jobs.

Overall, the cost of soundproofing an apartment is usually not enough to sway people not to look into it if noise is a true issue. There is no price to put on peace and quiet inside of a small dwelling.

Additional Apartment Soundproofing Tips

 

Some people might still have questions about soundproofing an apartment. If possible, doing research beforehand can save some hassle later on.

Is there an easy way to tell what type of insulation and soundproofing an apartment already has?

Unfortunately, it’s very challenging to know what kind of insulation soundproofing apartment currently has. The best way is to ask the landlord to property management, but they may not always give an accurate answer.

Try to let them know that you are particularly sensitive to noise, and they might be a little more candid with their response.

Going online and doing some research by reading some reviews can also help out. People are a lot more honest about how something sounds in this case.

How to Know If an Apartment has Great Soundproofing?

Before signing the lease, try to check out an apartment at different times a day. Ideally, someone wants to try to be there at times when they will be there if they live there. That way, it can be easy to spot if it will be a problem later on.

Try to pay attention to noise coming from outside and inside the complex. There could be some temporary noise such as construction, but try to see how long that construction lasts. Even though it might seem temporary, it could last for months and months.

How to Find an Apartment with Good Soundproofing?

It’s very hard to get accurate reviews these days on just about anything. Online reviews seem to show a little bit of bias one way or the other.

Most people are not that inclined to leave a positive review, but they will definitely voice their opinion if it’s negative.

When approaching the leasing office or property manager, it can be challenging to get accurate answers as well.

Their main goal is to lease out the property, so they might not always be as truthful as possible with sound and noise issues as one would like. They will talk in marketing terms more often than not.

The best, most accurate reviews tend to come from families and friends. They want to help out who they know, not protect a leasing office.

Unfortunately, people might not always have family or friends to count on during this time. That’s when reading reviews online and trying to find as much information as possible is worth it.

Usually, fake reviews are short and lack detail. Sift through those lackluster ones and focus on what provides the best, most accurate details.

Final Verdict: Is It Worth Soundproofing an Apartment?

Everyone should look into simple soundproofing methods with an apartment, to begin with. They don’t take that much time, and they are usually pretty inexpensive.

Some will need to go to more extremes and others, and there are a variety of products that help out with that. A little bit of work in the very beginning will make life much easier and quieter for the average person.

There might not be as many permanent solutions when going with apartment soundproofing compared to house soundproofing.

However, with neighbors so close by, it just makes sense to look at soundproofing and any methods that can actually work.

It’s always going to be easier to start with soundproofing in the very beginning. As soon as it’s time to move in, have equipment ready to put in the necessary work.

While soundproofing can be done at any time, it’s much easier when there’s nothing else in the way. At the same time, don’t be scared about noise problems with nothing inside of an empty apartment. It’s always going to be louder when nothing is helping out organically.

Soundproofing seems intimidating at first, but people get the hang of it and start to make some tweaks on their own.

It’s a game of trial and error more than anything, but at least a few methods above should work for those currently living in an apartment.

Bass Traps Actually Work & Need to be Floor to Ceiling?


Setting up a home studio comes with a lot of questions for first-timers. One question that often comes up is whether or not bass traps need to be floor to ceiling.

While it makes a lot of sense from a coverage perspective, is it a feasible solution for the vast majority of people?

Do Bass Traps Need to be Floor to Ceiling? No, they don’t need to be floor to ceiling. Instead, look for wall-wall-ceiling and wall-wall-floor corners because of acoustic pressure. This is where it accumulates, and is much more efficient than floor to ceiling bass traps.

A floor to ceiling bass trap does great with absorption, but it takes up too much space on the floor for most people to feel satisfied.

Recommended Base Traps (Amazon)

What Are Bass Traps?

Based traps are used to improve sound quality with all the different direct sounds and reflections happening inside of a closed area.

Low-frequency reflections come off the walls, floors, and ceilings. When untreated, they mess up direct sounds. Bass traps are great sound absorbers, reducing low frequencies below 300 Hz.

Not many realize that low-end frequencies have different wavelengths. To handle this issue, bass traps are pretty much essential. Whether it’s consuming or creating sound, bass traps essentially complete the area.

Where Should Bass Traps be Placed?

Base Trap Location

Look for the long distances inside of a room. Where bass waves build up, bass traps need to be installed. That’s why people usually have the biggest issues with corner-to-corner spaces and wall-to-wall distances.

Start by putting bass traps in the corner of the room. That’s where high-pressure sound waves are most likely to occur.

Think about placing two bass traps in each corner, or use the two corners closest to the speakers for treatment. Having them in the corners also takes up a lot less space, which can be crucial in some areas.

To be a bit more specific about placement, consider these three areas. When all three areas are covered, there is no longer a need to go beyond that for 99% of the people out there.

These traps are great for home setups, as well as professional rooms. There are not a ton of premium options out there, so most are using pretty much the same techniques to get the job done.

The technology might not be high-end, but they still make a world of difference when placed in the best positions. (Source)

Tri Corner

Tri Corner Base Traps

Sticking a bass trap where two walls reach the ceiling or floor is a great place to start. There will be eight tri corners in any standard room (number goes up with weirdly shaped walls). Try-Corner Base Traps (Amazon).

The best results will have bass traps in all eight corners, but not everyone can fit that into their budget.

Go with the upper corners first, as it offers slightly better absorption and saves floor space. It won’t be as great as having all eight corners covered, but it will still make an improvement.

Balance out the room with those four before putting any on the ground. Going with anything less than four will likely not have much of an impact.

Vertical Wall Corners

Vertical Wall Corners Bass Traps

Bass Traps Vertical Corners (Amazon) placed in a wall corner will reduce bass waves bouncing off the wall. Most people will combine vertical wall corners and tri corner treatment, as long as it fits in our budget.

Have a little bit of a gap between the corner and the bass trap with the setup. What it does is control the sound waves that bounce off the corners as they are absorbed by the bass traps.

Ceiling

A lot of floor to ceiling echo in a room is treatable with bass traps on the ceiling. Corners should be the most essential part, but placing horizontal base traps on the walls attached to the ceilings will help as well.

Going with bass traps that cover everything from floor to ceiling is overkill. For those who have fewer bass traps, put them halfway from the walls to the ceiling.

Make sure to treat the corners close to the speakers first, as it will absorb the low-frequency sound energy. Do a few different experiments to see where else they need to go before doing blanket coverage.

How Are Bass Traps Made?

 

There is a way to purchase ready-made bass traps for those who want to go that route. Others will think about the possibility of building them from scratch. They are fairly easy to build, needing just a few different items to bring it all together.

To start with, a wooden frame is necessary. Most will opt for something fairly convenient like a 1‘ x 4‘ set up. Since there’s a standard size, all the other sizes listed below are for that type of wooden frame.

Two fiberglass panels that are 2‘ x 4‘ become part of the project. Finally, some sort of breathable fabric like cotton, wool, or polyester rounds out a bass trap. The piece needs to be about 50‘ x 26‘to fit properly.

To start putting it together, lay the two pieces of fiberglass down. Clampdown the wood pieces of the frame and start screwing them together to make a perfect rectangular panel.

Look to pre-drill holes and potentially screw the long side of the panel into the short side to make life easier.

Once that’s done, cover up the frame with fabric. It needs to be stretched tightly, with the corner stapled so that it stays in place.

Once finished, put some picture wire and hooks on the back of the frame to put them up like a picture.

This makes it pretty easy to move around just about anywhere, and it’s an enjoyable experience for all involved. This process saves money, and it becomes easier and easier to put together as time goes on.

Shopping around for bass traps is pretty easy to do locally or online. Most people read up on what reviewers have to say to find the best deals currently.

Without investing much money, it’s pretty easy to have a few of them up and running. Because they are pretty big and the material is bulky as well, most buy locally so that they don’t have to spend a lot on shipping costs.

Different Base Trap Types

There are some minor variances out there as far as bass traps are concerned. Some absorb low-frequency sounds by trapping the waves before reaching a surface. Others will observe a wave’s pressure shortly after it hits a surface.

Porous Base Traps

This is the most common low-frequency absorber out there. Also going by the names frictional or velocity absorbers, they will slow down air molecules with friction.

This changes sound energy to heat, absorbing those waves. It’s very cheap to put together, and it works to absorb high and mid frequencies as well. Most porous base traps opt for acoustic foam, fiberglass, or Rockwool.

If there is a downside to porous base traps, it’s that they can’t absorb the lowest bass frequencies out there.

Even when extremely thick, they still struggle to get the job done. That’s another issue that comes up for some, as having bass traps that are too thick take up a lot of space.

Resonant Absorbers

These pressure absorbers work by trapping the wave as soon as it hits a surface. They are very effective in controlling sound by being specifically tuned for bass trapping. It ignores all other types of frequencies.

Setting up something like resonant absorbers is much more complicated for the average person. In fact, it’s highly recommended to go with a professional in this instance.

There are two types of resonant absorbers out there, as both a Helmholtz and diaphragmatic are worth looking into.

Do Bass Traps Actually Work?

Anyone currently looking at bass traps knows that they are pretty much essential when it comes to absorbing low-frequency waves. A good setup will make home studios, recording rooms, and so much more as dry as can be.

The best part is that there is no need to put bass traps going from the floor to the ceiling. It does end up being pretty effective, but just not applicable for the average person. By strategically placing them in the spots talked about above, it makes life easier for all.

Of course, bass traps are just one part of a proper setup for any acoustic needs. There’s still a lot of work necessary to ensure that everything sounds as it should. It’s a bit of an investment for anyone looking to improve a room, but worth it in the end.

SONOpan – What, Where and Does It Work For Soundproofing?


With so many different types of soundproofing materials, some of them get overlooked. There are obvious options for people to choose from, but SONOpan is picking up steam as a great competitor!

We take a closer look at this venerable solution that’s been around since 1946, and whether or not it lives up to the high expectations.

People are always looking for ways to soundproof efficiently and cost-effectively, so having a good idea of what’s out there makes sense.

What is SONOpan?

SONOpan is a Canadian company that offers soundproofing panels for residential and commercial buildings. Made from 100% recycled wood, It is safe and environmentally friendly for all types of soundproofing solutions.

In a world with high expectations and a lot of promises from companies, SONOpan has scored well over the decades while on the market.

Using Noise STOP Technology, it’s both versatile and affordable for the vast majority of shoppers.

Does SONOpan Absorb Sound?

The biggest selling feature of SONOpan is their trademarked Noise STOP Technology. It can absorb a variety of sound frequencies. It’s one of the only solutions that can handle low bass frequencies below 125 Hz.

It all works because of small impressions made in each panel to create an uneven density with the panels. With so many different densities, it can absorb different sound waves throughout time.

While it’s not the thickest soundproofing material out there, most people appreciate the level of flexibility and overall easiness of installation. There’s also the opportunity to put multiple layers down if needed.

What are the Major Positives When Using SONOpan?

Sonopan – Photo Credit Sonopan.com

Beyond what is covered above, there are a few other positives to using SONOpan. Anyone who is environmentally conscious will love the fact that it is made of 100% recycled wood.

This includes 60% post-consumer recycled materials, and 40% post-industrial recycled material. This ensures that there is no additional waste to using these panels.

Producing the panels is also eco-friendly. They avoid using formaldehyde or volatile organic compounds when they are producing the panels.

These extra steps felt necessary to the company when they first started, and it’s one of their core values.

These panels qualify towards LEED points, which is great news for many. It also has solid thermal performance, coming in at R 2.45. Having some of these added bonuses puts SONOpan over some of the other soundproofing solutions out there.

Finally, most people are very happy to see just how inexpensive the panels are. Not having to spend a lot of money on soundproofing material is a huge step in the right direction especially with everything else going up in price.

When this type of technology first hit the market, a lot of companies were charging more than they should.

Price has calmed down a bit, and SONOpan is doing what it can to keep prices down as well. Since 1946, they’ve always been one of the most cost-efficient solutions available.

The panels are 100% safe to use, and are free of any glue or chemicals that can cause harm. Being able to do anything with the construction that doesn’t require an extra layer of protection is always going to be great. Being made with natural materials always helps.

How Do You Use SONOpan? 

The panels produced by SONOpan work the same way as other soundproofing solutions out there. They can be used in the basement, homes, washrooms, bedrooms, flooring, business setups, and so much more.

Having one panel on a single side of a wall will soundproof noise traveling in both directions. However, it’s always recommended to install SONOpan on both sides of a wall to do a better job and maintain a sound barrier and full coverage.

Most will end up using SONOpan as part of a bigger soundproofing project. For example, combining SONOpan panels with quality insulation and drywall will result in much better soundproofing overall.

Using them alone makes a bigger difference than nothing at all, but most won’t be satisfied with just one level of soundproofing for whatever space they are working on.

Keep in mind that SONOpan is for indoor use only. It is not going to hold up in the element since it is 100% wood.

For any insulation questions in general, it’s best to go with a professional for assistance if possible. It’s pretty easy to hang SONOpan without professional help, but some people don’t want to run the risk of doing any damage.

Can You Glue SONOpan?

Can You Glue Sonoran? Photo Credit Sonopan.com

During insulation, the best way to attach SONOpan to the wall is to use glue directly. It can also be attached to a gypsum board or masonry wall if a person wants. It won’t compromise the panel in any way.

Most other soundproofing solutions also do this same type of setup on purpose to make it easier for do-it-yourself projects.

By having a glue already part of the panel, it eliminates the need for most to have to require a professional assistant.

Do You Need A Resilient Channel With SONOpan?

 

A resilient channel is not necessary with SONOpan. People who own a house probably want to go with SONOpan and 1/2” of drywall.

However, the goal is to contain everything a little bit more, so adding a resilient channel or isolation clips can help, especially if you’re wanting to soundproof low frequency noises. Otherwise, I would forget about the Resilient Channel!

The versatility of SONOpan is something that makes it pretty easy to implement with soundproofing.

Not having a stick to one solution is beneficial. Since the glue sticks to most surfaces, there should be no issues placing it in tricky situations.

How Do You Drywall Over a SONOpan?

Placing drywall over SONOpan is recommended to help with dampening sound transmission. The heavier the drywall, the better off people will be when it comes to hearing results.

That’s why it’s always recommended to go with a 5/8″ drywall and not your standard 1/2″ drywall. Adding an additional layer of drywall also helps with mass.

If the room is already finished, there’s a way to retrofit SONOpan between existing drywall and a new layer of drywall.

It might take a little bit longer to get everything set up and operating as it should, but most people are willing to put in the extra work if it improves performance.

If drywall and a single layer of SONOpan are not working as effectively as one might like, there’s always the option of doubling up on panels to improve performance.

The first layer will always be the most important, but each additional layer is going to add more to the mix.

Is SONOpan Fire Rated?

The construction of SONOpan panels is very similar to the construction of a home. SONOpan is UL-approved when installed as directed by the architect.

This can be a little bit tricky for people to figure out if they have never tested for fires or looked into it in the past.

The best thing to keep in mind is that these panels protect anyone from a fire if it breaks out. However, it doesn’t contribute to fires starting in any way.

What Other Soundproofing Methods Work?

 

Not interested in using SONOpan as a solution? Whether a person is looking for a different solution, or they simply can’t find SONOpan readily available, there are other options out there to try out.

SilentFX, Soundbreak XP, and other general options are also out there from different brands. Pay attention to all the different details to see which one makes the most sense for your soundproofing project and budget.

STC value is always going to be a great indicator for comparing different assemblies. They are all usually pretty close to each other, so it’s hard to pick a clear-cut winner. Most do end up siding with SONOpan because they have been around for so long.

Beyond very similar products, there are also other various soundproofing solutions out there. From mass loaded vinyl to soundproofing spray, there’s something for all types of problems.

Everyone has a different setup, and what might work for one person is not going to be great enough for the other.

Always keep in mind that multiple soundproofing techniques can be used in the same area to help with the overall effectiveness.

In the end, it’s all about getting the best sound possible, and SONOpan is relatively inexpensive, other options added on are possible.

A lot of people will compare this to Green Glue, but SONOpan is the less expensive option.

Not only that, but it’s easier to install with just a single sheet of drywall. At the end of the day, it also has a higher STC rating than Green Glue, making it the superior option.

Most people who talk about Green Glue love it because of its versatility, but SONOpan takes it to another level.

Final Thoughts on SONOpan

Is SONOpan a perfect solution for every single sound issue out there? No, it has its faults just like many other solutions out there.

However, it’s one of those well-rounded choices one can make if they are trying to stay under budget and see change pretty quickly.

It deserves mention at the top of the list for anyone trying to make improvements in a timely manner. They should last a long time, and people will be able to see changes happen in no time.

The more panels to attach, the better off effectiveness will be.

How to Stop Wind Noise In Your Vehicle – TOP 10 Ways!


Driving around in a car can be a pretty noisy endeavor. There are so many different things on a car that make noise, and that’s not even factoring in the wind.

How to stop wind noise in car? To stop wind whistle noise in your you fist need to find the source. Most of the time the wind noise comes from a damaged door seal. Replacing the car door seal with a new one will get rid of that annoying wind noise!

While the engine is always going to make noise, and they are other inevitable sounds coming from the car, the wind is controllable enough for the average person.

First, we’re going to take a look at the top 10 ways to reduce wind noise in a car. Then I’ll give you some tips on finding what causes wind noise in cars.

Arming yourself with this information, you’ll get rid of that wind whistle noise once and for all!

1. Spotting Exact Issues

Before getting started with any method, identifying the locations of the issues is key. There are some tests people can use that will allow people to better figure out where the sound is coming from.

The simplest test is something that most people are probably already using. It is to just drive down the road and listen for any sound. Try to keep the cabin as quiet as possible otherwise to pinpoint the exact location.

Faster results are possible if passengers sit in the car and also troubleshoot the location. They will be able to cover the entire car and identify as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind that the noise can be coming from multiple places at once. Just because one area is fixed doesn’t mean that the whole problem is over.

2. Treat Door Weatherstripping

 

The weatherstripping that comes on doors needs to be maintained properly for it to work as it should. Anyone who has a car that is a little bit older should be looking for air leaks that could create problematic noises.

Start by opening up each door and window to see if the seal is intact all the way around. If there’s any type of damage, look to make a repair or replace it completely.

There can also be some vulnerable spots near the trunk or the sunroof, since they act like doors and windows as well.

Weatherstripping is pretty easy to come unattached to a door. Try to find some way to stick it back to where it needs to be. If there’s a tear or more significant damage, replacing it completely makes sense.

3. Fix Car Doors

Dented Car Door Wind Whistle

If the weatherstripping is fine, the door might have a problem itself. Maybe the door is not closing all the way, or there’s some issue holding it back from working as it should.

If there’s any obvious damage to the car, that’s likely going to be where the problem is. Think about dents or cracks that look problematic.

They need to be fixed right away, either individually or going to a professional to get things taken care of.

Once everything seems to be in much better working order, try opening up and closing the door. It needs to be working perfectly so that there is not air being left in.

Anything pretty obvious is going to be easy to spot, but if there’s still an issue, a professional may be able to identify the issue.

The good news is that it probably won’t be too much of a problem for them to handle, but even something minor can make an impact.

4. Exterior Fixes

Rusty Car Wind Noise

If there’s any significant damage to the exterior of the vehicle, it can be a vulnerable area for wind. This is especially true if there are actual holes in the body.

Maybe someone got in an accident, or something tore off of the car. Whatever the case is, excess noise will be easy to hear from this.

Rust is also something that causes exterior damage from time to time. Older cars need to be checked a little more frequently to make sure that the wind is getting through by mistake.

Glass issues can be troublesome for a lot of people because not only does it cause wind issues, but it can be dangerous for the driver since it is the only barrier between them and the outside elements.

Treat any glass issues with extreme care, and count on professionals more often than not.

While all these fixes are on the pricier side, they help out tremendously with overall driving quality. Don’t put off exterior fixes for too long.

5. Count On Sound Deadening Mats

Sound Deadening Mat Car

Sound deadening material (Amazon) of any kind is extremely beneficial for noise control. It doesn’t just work for controlling wind noise either. People use the mats in order to reduce any type of noise transmission overall.

Most people have probably put sound deadening mats on the floor to start with. This can be a particularly noisy area of a car, but it might not be where the wind is coming through.

Instead, look at sound deadening mats as options for doors, around the trunk, and any place else to reduce any vibration and cut down on noise overall.

Insulation is a little bit tricky for people who have never done it before. The sound deadening mats need to get down to the metal of the vehicle so that they stick properly.

Handling the doors is most likely going to result in removing the door panel entirely. If this seems like too complicated of a move, hire a professional to help out.

The good news is that when someone installs sound deadening mats, they are going to last a pretty long time. They are protected from the elements, and people will be able to know the difference right away.

6. Wind Deflectors

Vehicle Vent Shades

There are a lot of people who have started using wind detectors, also known as vent shades (Amazon) as a cheap and easy way to reduce any noise that’s bothering them.

These plastic pieces cover the top of any window and prevent the wind from hitting that particular area where the window meets up with the weatherstripping.

As one would expect, it requires getting the exact fit in order to have them work perfectly. They make wind deflectors for just about every type of car, so take the extra bit of time to shop for the right one.

Installation is easy, as it just has some adhesive backing. They can be purchased online or at auto shops, and there’s no need to hire a professional to install them.

7. Treat Door Drain Holes

 

There are little holes that allow water to drain from a door that some people might not even realize they have. Whenever a car gets wet, water inevitably gets into doors one way or another.

Not only can water get through these holes, but so can dirt and debris. As soon as they get clogged, they cause more and more problems. If there is no air circling through, the air will try to find another way that causes more noise.

How can door drain holes be treated? It’s a very simple fix. Open the doors and use something small on the holes to clean them out. Even a paperclip will get the job done, and it’s usually a pretty straightforward process.

8. Acoustic Caulk

Using Acoustic Caulk (Amazon) is only recommended for those people who don’t have windows that work. If the windows are sealed to completely keep out when the noise, using acoustic caulk around them as well helps out the older the car is.

To see if the acoustic caulk is necessary, inspect the window and see if there’s any damage to the existing sealant. Even if there’s just a small crack or chip, it could be losing its overall effectiveness.

All it takes is one or two beads around the edges to seal things back up. Acoustic caulk is relatively inexpensive, and a person doesn’t have to get a professional to get this done.

9. Sound Deadening Spray

Boom Mat Sound Deadening Spray

Sounds can easily come through the undercarriage of any car. When the noise of a vehicle is reflected off the road and back up through the car, it gets noisy.

Minimizing that noise is frustrating since it doesn’t seem like much works effectively. Fortunately, Sound Deadening Spray (Amazon) undercoating is pretty solid.

Sound Deadening Spray

Most people will use this as a way to reduce noise transmission underneath. It’s fine to put on several coats depending on how noisy it is.

With a few different options to choose from, read up on reviews and see which one fits specific needs.

Make sure the area is clean and dry before spraying. The sound deadening spray will not stick to a damp surface and can also create premature rust issues if sprayed on wet surface. 

10. Acoustic Windshields

Sound is such a priority for people these days that there are acoustic-friendly options for everything. The same can be said for a windshield, as it’s dealing with a lot of wind noise every single day.

It seems costly to a lot of people, but those who don’t really find any true solution elsewhere should look into acoustic windshields.

Not only are they quieter, but they also do a better job of blocking ultraviolet rays. This helps out the driver, but it also helps keep the interior of the car looking nicer since the sun isn’t doing as much damage. 

Here’s some interesting studies regarding acoustic windshields and how well they work in reducing wind whistle noise coming from the windshield. 

What is the Cause of Wind Whistle Noise in Cars?

As soon as a car is in motion, it’s going to have some level of audible wind noise. The speed of the wind itself is obviously going to cause some problems, but so is the speed of the vehicle.

If a car is on a highway, it could be dealing with a combination of wind resistance and natural wind outside.

What creates this noise that is tough for people to handle? There are three main causes of wind noise within the average car.

Vehicle Aerodynamics

Every single vehicle has a different design as far as aerodynamics is concerned. If it can cut through the air with a smaller amount of resistance overall, it’s going to handle wind sound pretty well.

Sports cars usually have better aerodynamics overall. The ones that struggle are the larger designs that come with trucks and SUVs.

Basically, they are creating a bigger area of air pressure disturbance when they are moving down the road.

Seals Around the Car

The air that’s inside the cabin is always trying to get out, and it is supposed to go through discharge vents set up in the car.

However, when a person is in the middle of driving at high speeds, the air doesn’t actually know how it is supposed to leave.

It’s going to leave wherever is easiest, and that usually means the doors or the windows. These are the biggest holes in a car, and seems like a place for air to escape naturally.

Doors automatically come with weatherstripping to try to control air as much as possible. Every time a door is opened and closed, it is deformed a little bit so that it doesn’t do as great of a job.

There’s also a chance of this weatherstripping tearing or ripping for one reason or another. Whether it seals around the door or the window, they are always vulnerable to damage.

Windows can be particularly challenging because people are always rolling them up or down. It seems like an automated process that’s easy to keep intact, but that’s far from the case.

They can be sun-damaged or broken during regular use, which is extremely frustrating.

Air Pressure

When a car is in motion, it’s pushing the air in front of it and creating changes in the pressure. When air is moving rapidly right outside of the vehicle, there is lower pressure than the air that’s inside of the car.

High-pressure air wants to try to find any way possible to escape, and it wants to get to the lower pressure area outside.

All this creates that windy sound around the door and any openings while driving. Vents do help out to an extent, allowing air to escape and keep pressure neutralized in a cabin.

Vents purposely point away from any riders so that they make minor noticeable noise.

Attempting to get air to escape through these vents is the best course of action. Air coming out of the vehicle in other ways Is going to be much noisier.

Most people complaining about wind noise inside the cabin are probably hearing that. (Source)

Why Treating a Car For Wind Noise Matters

The longer wind noise remains a problem, the more frustrated the average driver gets. It’s recommended to just go ahead and take care of business sooner rather than later.

Even trying some of the cheaper options first could make the difference that people are looking for.

Just remember to keep in mind that no matter what is used, there will still always be some level of noise coming from a car.

It’s just impossible to eliminate every single noise coming from a vehicle that’s going 70 miles an hour.

Should You Leave an Air Gap Between Acoustic Panels and the Wall?


When putting up acoustic treatment, there are bound to be questions popping up throughout the process. Whether or not there should be an air gap between acoustic treatment is something most might not think of until they are in the middle of the process.

Leave and air gap behind acoustic panels? It’s recommended to leave an air gap behind any acoustic treatment. Not only does it help increase overall absorption, but it effectively extends the range of the treatment into lower frequencies.

Leaving an air gap is also great when it comes to bass trapping and similar effects for the average person.

 

Best Acoustic Panel Placement Brackets from Amazon

Recommended Acoustic Panels From Amazon

What’s the Effectiveness of an Air Gap behind Acoustic Panels

Most people get thrown off by the fact that an air gap is beneficial with any type of acoustic panel setup in the office or at home.

Many would think that mounting the panels right up against the wall would be the way to go. These panels indeed add more mass to the existing wall when put right up against them.

The reason why it’s a little bit better to have some type of air gap is that low-frequency absorption is much improved when the panel is slightly away from the wall.

Whenever new acoustic panels are placed on the wall, putting a spacer in allows the rear surface to also absorb sound.

Air gaps, when done the right way, can increase absorption by close to 50%. It also extends absorption coverage to some lower frequencies that are uncovered by flat wall mounting.

How Much Space Should be Between Wall and Acoustic Panels?

The more air gap a person can put between the wall and the treatment, the better (from a low-frequency perspective).

However, as the air gap becomes bigger than the acoustic panel treatment itself, there becomes an issue with the mid frequencies.

All this happens because the treatment doesn’t sit in the proper spot to handle initial absorption more traditionally. The low frequencies are always handled with ease, but the mid frequencies become an issue.

The happy medium that a lot of people find is that they don’t want to make the air gap any larger than the material itself.

If the panel is two inches thick, the air gap needs to be two inches or less. This setup provides the best overall sound and allows people to feel pretty confident that it will work for a long time.

Play around with the different setups within those parameters, and see what works specifically for a room. Every room may be slightly different, and the same goes for what people want out of their sound. (Source)

Can An Air Gap Also Help Eliminate Standing Waves?

The phenomenon known as standing waves is when soundwaves will bounce back and forth between two parallel surfaces in a room.

When the direct and reflective signals combine, there are a lot of peaks and dips that can cause trouble. It’s not something a lot of people want to deal with if it’s avoidable.

By including an air gap on both sides, it’s a lot easier to mount acoustic treatment with a slight slant. If the panels are at a little bit of an angle, there are fewer parallel surfaces in the entire room.

Keep in mind that slanting the treatment doesn’t need to be too extreme to have effectiveness. Look at it much like looking at actual mirrors reflecting off of each other.

They don’t need to be put at any extreme angles, but they do need to be angled away so that they don’t make a direct connection.

Getting the Most Out of Acoustic Treatment

Floating Acoustic Panels

Acoustic treatment, at the very basis of it, is extremely important. Whether a person is doing some home recording or setting up a new professional studio, any type of sound reflecting off of bare walls can ruin even the best sound. Flat, hard surfaces are a nightmare to deal with.

There are no amount of tricks that can correct these hard wall issues, so going with acoustic panel treatment is key.

The smaller a room is, the more important it is to have acoustic treatment. One of the benefits of using an air gap is that it maximizes the effectiveness of whatever treatment is used.

Sometimes, people don’t have the money to spend a ton on acoustic treatment. It’s better to do some of the smaller tricks that will help maximize the effectiveness, instead of paying hundreds if not thousands of more dollars.

With all that said, the costly acoustic treatment will last a longer amount of time and be more effective when compared to other options.

They do a great job with air gaps, and most find they can get a slightly larger air gap with better quality treatment.

Since the acoustic treatment is doing a lot of the heavy lifting controlling sound, the air gap doesn’t need to be as tight to the wall.

The Cons of an Air Gap Behind Acoustic Treatment?

While most of this article is focused on the positives, there are some negatives to an air gap behind the acoustic treatment. Maybe the biggest negative is the extra space it takes up in a room.

Everyone wants to maximize as much space as possible when setting up their new room. One way to maximize that space is by using thicker panels and a slightly smaller air gap.

That would have more of an impact than thinner panels with a huge air gap. At the end of the day, this is merely an inch or two for the most part. Most are willing to compromise a bit if the difference is noticeable.

Other than those issues, there aren’t any other negatives for people to be worried about. It takes a little bit of extra time to set up the proper air gap, but it gets easier and easier with each panel.

There’s also the option of getting a professional team to take care of the acoustics in a room. They’ll be able to better gauge just how much of an air gap is ideal. They’ll have actual tools to do quick measurements on sound.

Why Air Gaps Should Be Part of the Next Acoustic Panel Placement

At this point, there’s no reason not to do whatever possible to get some type of air gap behind acoustic panel placement.

Unless it is a super tiny room that can’t spare any additional space, the positives are going to far outweigh the negatives.

Keep in mind that large rooms probably won’t make that much of a difference with an air gap, but it’s still worth slightly more effort. Anyone who’s had particular issues with low frequencies in the past should keep this in mind.

There’s always going to be a little bit of give-and-take when trying out new setups with acoustic panels.

As long as people keep in mind that the air gap should never be any larger than the depth of the material, they should be good to go.

High-quality material can usually get away with slightly bigger air gaps, maximizing effectiveness. Depending on the use of the room, people might go in one direction or the other with what they think sounds best.

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