Sound adoption is something that just about any property owner can benefit from. There are many different reasons why sound absorption makes sense, but a lot of people do not realize that it is often easier said than done.
Those looking to do the best job at absorbing sound will want to look at a few different types of materials out there that provide great overall value.
Many manufacturers are coming out with products that are specifically designed for soundproofing, and this is the best way to get a solid setup overall.
After taking a look at the best of the best, we will then break down some of the other common solutions people have used in the past. This will examine just how great it performs.
With a high NRC and plenty of aesthetically pleasing options, Acoustic Foam (Amazon) is the choice of a lot of professionals needing the best in sounds option. Not only do businesses use acoustic sound, but people at home are willing to invest since it is pretty affordable.
The foam comes in many sizes, and the good thing is that it can be something that covers an entire wall or ceiling if a person needs to.
They come in many different shapes as well so that people can get the type of sound they are hoping for, without having to really do too many changes overall.
These are pretty much like bigger versions of acoustic foam, but the shape and materials are a little bit different.
There is a wood frame panel (Amazon) that acts as a decoration, and there could even be a large picture frame type of look that many people love.
Foam is something that not everyone is crazy about. It might not look the best in certain situations, which is where acoustic panels can come in and act a bit differently.
This mix of a wood frame, mineral wool, and a fabric cover makes it look pretty professional.
Hanging them on the wall is pretty easy to do, and it does not take much time at all.
There is always a way to buy multiple panels if a person wants to so that they can save money and make it a little less complicated for any annoying sounds to act as a distraction.
Sound Deadening Curtains
Having acoustic curtains, or sound deadening curtains (Amazon) set up ready to go can be extremely beneficial for those who need sound and noise control as much as possible.
While most people are going to use acoustic curtains over windows, they can actually be hung up just about anywhere that a person wants to absorb the sound and control everything a little bit more.
There is nothing quite like having something soft on a wall instead of a hard surface. This is especially true near windows, as they can be very problematic as far as sound leaking is concerned.
On top of everything else, these curtains also act as a way to black out the sun and keep everything looking as clean as possible.
These curtains do not look any different from normal curtains that a person opts to hang up. That is one of the best reasons to go with an option like this, as it does not stick out in the slightest.
No one has to know that the curtains are doing some serious noise control.
Heavy-Duty Moving Blankets
Thick, dense moving blankets (Amazon) are the best option for people who might need some temporary solution here and there as far as sound absorption is concerned.
Either people are a little strapped with cash, or they are hoping to figure something out along the way. They may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it gets the job done and can go just about anywhere.
Moving blankets are made of a pretty thick fabric overall. They are heavy-duty enough to carry things around, but most people are just going to use them as a barrier to making walls and ceilings not as flat so that sound can’t bounce around.
The one tricky part is hanging them, as they do not have any grommets in most cases. That is why they do a better job of draping over something, but they are all creative ways to put them up as well.
For the most part, moving blankets should be purchased to have around for any sound-absorbing jobs that come up from time to time.
It might not be the best to look at or something that will be a permanent solution, but a lot of people end up making some type of use for them in the end.
Door and Window Sealant
Having some type of sealant for the door and windows (Amazon) will be the final way to put the finishing touches on sound absorption.
The doors and the windows are the most vulnerable areas in a room, and it be very difficult to get sound absorption right without doing some extra treatment there.
That space between the bottom of the door and the floor is a very frustrating part of any room.
Putting a door sweep (Amazon) in there will be the best way to seal things off and help out with sound absorption as well. It is pretty easy to install, and a professional will not have to come out and do it.
Close the gaps on the side of the doors and the windows so that everything sounds as good as can be.
This is going to help with energy bills as well, which is never a bad thing for people who are looking to pay a little less during the extreme weather months.
There are a lot of people who have never really done any type of fixing up to their door or windows, and this could be a way to try things out and see that it is not so bad.
Does Water Absorb Sound?
Sounds in the ocean water are hard to distinguish the same way as above ground. That is the easiest way to illustrate that water does absorb sound. (Source)
In fact, it does a fairly good job of it for the most part, since sound waves have a hard time passing through.
In the water, high-frequency sounds do not travel as far as low-frequency sounds. This is pretty standard across the board for many different materials, but it helps specifically when it comes to understanding sounds underwater.
There are certain animals that make high-frequency sounds and can barely be heard, but low-frequency sounds are traveling a little bit easier.
How does this work in a home or office? The only options people might explore is using a fish tank or something similar as a barrier.
Sound absorption will be decent, but not better than using real sound absorbing materials. If a person is really worried about sound, water is not a true solution that will get the job done. It helps if it is already there, but otherwise, no. (Source)
Does Cardboard Absorb Sound?
Cardboard is one of those options that sound like they would be good in theory when it comes to absorbing noises.
However, it does not actively absorb sound, but it will do a decent job helping to reduce the noises and echoes that are heard when bouncing up against empty walls.
It is just another way to creatively obstruct the process of soundwaves moving around, and it will make a change when compared to nothing at all.
The reason why so many people are looking at cardboard as a way to absorb sound is that it is one of the most affordable solutions out there. People can either use cardboard that they already own, or purchase it for next to nothing.
Of course, when trying to absorb sound, most people are trying to also make sure that they have a look that is pretty cool overall.
That means that it is not just any old cardboard, but usually some type of decoration as well. If a person really wants to step up their sound absorption qualities, they can put something else as far as materials are concerned with the cardboard.
This is usually the best way to go for those who are a little bit on a budget but still want to see some type of improvement that gives people the confidence that they are hoping for. (Source)
Do Canvases Absorb Sound?
Canvas wall art is pretty popular in all types of settings, but does it help with absorbing sound? Unfortunately, canvas is not the best at doing a lot of work with absorbing sound by itself.
However, there is a bit of help along the way, as people can put sound-absorbing material behind the canvas to help out.
It might not be the exact answer people are looking for, but it allows the space to look good while still having some nice sound absorption qualities.
The only thing that will really be noticeable is that some low frequencies will be absorbed with the canvas by itself.
Look for some sound absorption material that is very thin to go behind the wall art. Otherwise, it will stick out a lot more than a lot of people would like.
Does Macrame Absorb Sound?
One of those hidden tricks that actually do work out well when it comes to absorbing sound is to use macramé as a way to make a difference.
It might not seem like it would be a huge difference maker, but it is a way to add some flavor to a room while also enjoying some sound-absorbing qualities.
Using macramé is certainly a great way to eliminate some pretty large flat spaces in a room. These can be pretty big, and there is nothing against having a lot of the walls covered with them. The same goes for any other type of tapestry and similar wall art options.
In many ways, these can act in a similar way to curtains that help with soundproofing and sound absorption. It is certainly a unique option that many people do not think about unless they were already going to add something like this to the mix.
Generally speaking, the heavy knotting that is in the macramé is what helps it absorb sound the way people are hoping for.
Do Pictures Reduce Sound?
The convenience of reducing sound in a room with existing material is something that many are hoping for.
While it is true that putting up any type of wall decoration helps with sound absorption, most pictures are not going to be the best at making a huge change.
Generally speaking, pictures do not help with sound too much because they are fairly flat and rigid themselves.
Most pictures go flush up against the wall, and they are made of material that does not exactly do the best job of absorbing sound.
It is not the end of the world, but people are going to really notice too much of a bonus even if they are really hoping for that.
Since a lot of people are searching for ways to use pictures to reduce annoying sounds and absorb sound, there are some companies putting out wall art and picture frames that help with exactly that.
They are going to be better than a traditional option, but it is still not going to be able to fully replace some of the best sound absorption options.
There are still plenty of opportunities to help with sound absorption, while also leaving pictures up and enjoying that aesthetic.
Does Styrofoam Absorb Sound?
With the lightweight feel of Styrofoam overall, some are pretty skeptical that it can absorb any sound.
While it is not the best, it does absorb some sound, but it usually needs to be paired with some other sound absorption solutions to really see an actual change.
Styrofoam is a very dependable option that has thermal properties to it. Since it is lightweight, people like the idea of putting it just about anywhere without having to do any major construction.
It is a very common material that people have around the house, which also comes into consideration.
One of the benefits of using Styrofoam to absorb sound is that it is good at insulating and absorbing shock. Some people want to do more than just absorb sound with the material that they put out. This is a way to be put in the situation and really see what difference it makes.
Think of Styrofoam as something that can be used as an alternative to nothing at all as far as treatment is concerned.
It is definitely going to provide some value when absorbing sound, just not anything that is going to blow a person away.
Anyone needing a professional setup with absorbing sound will need to look elsewhere besides just going with Styrofoam.
One thing to keep in mind is that acoustic foam panels will come up when researching sound absorption options.
While it might seem like this is very similar to Styrofoam, this is built specifically for helping with sound.
Not only that, but it comes with fabric that will help make it easier to put up and look good in a home or office. Compared to Styrofoam, there is really not much to say. They are in no way interchangeable, even if they both might be called foam for short.
Final Thoughts On What Absorbs The Most Sound
There are definitely plenty of options that people can explore to see what works for them when it comes to sound absorption.
Ultimately, it comes down to what type of budget the person is working with, and whether or not they want to worry about the aesthetics.
Since a lot of sound absorption material will be noticable when a person enters a room, most people also want to balance the look with how everything performs.