Windows inside of a home can be one of the easiest ways for sound to enter (and leave a room) and cause a distraction. No matter how big or small, it is seen as a vulnerable area that faces the outdoors. Not only does it allow light in, but plenty of sound creeps in as well.
What are the best ways to solve a window? The best way to soundproof a window is by replacing it with a double or tripple pane window. Add some acoustic sealant around the window frame and window cassing once the new window is installed.
There are also a lot of different ways to soundproof a window that can be done a lot cheaper than replacing the window itself. Also, most of these window soundproofing options can be done completely DIY.
UPDATED AUGUST 28, 2022
1. Fix Any Gaps Near The Windows
Upon further inspection, there might be some gaps around the windows that are a bit puzzling to some people.
This could be due to the age of the windows as well. Older windows can have gaps forming around the window itself and also around the window casing.
Removing those gaps and closing everything off as much as possible cannot only be pretty easy, but a change that makes a significant difference.
There are two pretty easy ways to do this without having to get a professional to help out. Depending on the situation with the windows in general, both of them will work pretty well.
2. Acoustic Caulk
Acoustic caulk (Amazon) is the best bet for closing any gaps between window panes and the wall. It forms to the area and it’s pretty easy to operate without having to get too deep into crevices.
The reason using acoustical caulk is better than regular caulking is because it will not dry and crack over time. Acoustic caulk will remain rubbery and flexible for many years.
Usually you will need to do a touch up every 5 years if you opt for the acoustic caulk.
These are technically used to help out with controlling temperature, but they also do a great job with sound.
Being able to retain heat is very important, and it relies on the same type of principles as making sure the sound doesn’t leak through.
Weatherstripping tape (Amazon) is made up of silicone or rubber in many cases, but can also be made of foam.
It will take just a short amount of time to put weatherstrips on a window, and they can be done for every room in the house if need be. It’s pretty inexpensive, and difficult to mess up.
4. Double Pane Windows
Having an extra pane of windows will help to control noise by as much as 50%. The only problem is, it is expensive, so making an upgrade is sometimes a little easier said than done.
Some people don’t want to spend the extra money, but it’s the best method that keeps paying off well in the end.
For starters, people will begin to realize that double pane windows help tremendously with saving money and energy costs.
It does a much better job of keeping the temperature the way it should be inside of a home. A lot of people will start to look at double pane windows because of this, and then realize later on that it helps with noise as well.
Double pane windows also help from a security standpoint. Some people may not realize this, but having another barrier helps out to keep any intruders from entering a home.
Windows can be very susceptible if they are single pane, but double pane steps things up a notch.
The investment’s pretty hefty, but the results are well worth it. Shop around and see if there are any good prices locally to get double pane windows installed correctly.
5. Triple Pane Windows
To take things to another level, going with triple pane windows might be the smartest way for some.
This is for people who want their soundproofing to go to the next level, since triple pane windows don’t make that much of an impact from a temperature-control perspective.
Every bit of mass added to windows will help out tremendously when discussing sound. That gap in between the two panes will also be very significant in helping control as much sound as possible.
People notice right away that upgrading from double pane windows to triple pane windows definitely makes a difference.
It’s worth it to many to pay that extra bit of money and get it right the very first time. Those who try to get by with something else usually end up being frustrated, and want to upgrade to triple pane windows at another time. (Source)
6. Soundproof Curtains
Installing soundproof curtains (Amazon), also known as sound absorbing curtains, is one of the easiest ways to take care of noise, without having to sacrifice looks at all.
Just about every window needs curtains anyway, so why not install them to help soundproof windows as well?
These curtains are also advertised as blackout curtains because they are so thick and capable of blocking the sun entirely.
This thick piece of material is great for creating a barrier to stop sound from traveling into or out of the room.
Not only that, but it’s a soft piece of material that helps to crush any echoes that might get in the way.
A lot of people love that soundproof curtains are becoming so common these days that there are many different design options to choose from.
It seems like no matter what a person is looking for, they can find something that fits into their aesthetic.
It is very important to search for blackout curtains instead of soundproof curtains in most cases. Companies know that more people are looking for the blackout aspect of these curtains instead of controlling sound.
It’s a little bit frustrating to search at times, but for the most part, people are going to find what they want. Shopping online usually yields more results, and cheaper prices.
7. Blinds And Shutters
Blinds and shutters are two more ways that people can help soundproof their room without having to make any changes that look like they are out of the ordinary.
These special blinds (Amazon) made of thicker fabrics that can cut down on the amount of unwanted noise coming in or leaving. From standard blinds to honeycomb cell shades, there’s something for everyone out there.
For an added benefit, look for options that have double cell builds. It just adds another layer to helping out with soundproofing, which means that there needs to be less work done for everything else.
Blinds are great for the indoors, but shutters are popular options for the outdoors. Not everyone loves that outdoor shutter look, but it fits certain aesthetics.
Shutters might not be as important as they used to be in construction, but they help reduce sound while not cluttering up the inside of a home.
This porous wood material usually dampens noise quite a bit, and then add another layer of privacy when needed. This way, no one‘s looking inside when something noisy occurs.
8. Moving Blankets
With moving blankets (Amazon), it’s all about versatility. People want to have moving blankets to put over a door that is causing problems at a moment’s notice.
It’s very easy to do, and the setup process takes less than 10 seconds in some cases. For windows, the setup is pretty much the same, although there may need to be something put up to support the blanket itself.
They might not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but moving blankets are more of a solution for those who just need something temporarily.
It doesn’t make sense to invest in anything too fancy, as their ability is movability more than anything.
Even though moving blankets are not a long-term solution for a window, that doesn’t mean that they are a complete waste of money.
In fact, most people have a few moving blankets around at all times in case they are needed. There’s no saying when they might come in handy, as they are a pretty versatile option for people to count on.
9. Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels at the professional level can do a great job of controlling sound inside of a room. They are usually made of a quilted type of fiberglass, and work a lot of the same ways as blankets.
The difference is that they are a bit more permanent, and they are generally quite a bit thicker. This helps them provide value at a professional level that some people really want to have.
The downside to acoustic panels is that they are pretty expensive. They get even more expensive when counting on someone else to install them instead of a do-it-yourself project.
Acoustic panels are not a soundproofing product but more of an acoustic treatment product. Some people however build their own panel the size of the window they want to soundproof.
You will have minimal success in soundproofing your window using this method however.
10. Exterior Barriers
So many people only focus on the interior part of their home when they are trying to control sound.
The truth of the matter is, exterior barriers can also do a great job of helping out without really seeming like they are there for soundproofing.
Try to be creative with exterior barriers as much as possible. There could be some wood, hedges, or shrubs right in front of the window to help cut down the noise.
Even having a wall or other structure can help out significantly. Not only does it help block the sound, but it can be distracting for those who are looking over and seeing where any type of sound might be coming from.
The best part is, it adds some character to a person’s home, so they are ultimately not that frustrated with it.
Every single exterior barrier has a different price tag, so keep that in mind. Some of them are going to be pretty expensive, while others are simply installed once and forgotten about.
Depending on what type of look a person wants with their exterior barrier, try to put a budget together to see how it all forms.
11. Soundproofing Window Kit
So many people are very intrigued by soundproofing that window kits are starting to pop up. It is some combination of one extra layer of glass, and some other options that are said to improve window value overall.
The benefit of going with a kit instead of another option is that everything is included in one price.
Instead of having to shop for a bunch of different things, the better option here is to just pick and choose from some of the options available and let everything else work as it should.
This is good news for people who don’t want to spend too much time going around and hoping for the best.
On the other hand, some people will think that they don’t necessarily need a kit to get the entire job done. By itemizing everything, sometimes people can save money, but that takes a lot of extra time.
12. Window Plug
A window plug could be the answer to a lot of people’s problems who don’t want to always have the window completely compromised.
It might seem like a difficult task to put a plug in, but it’s important to remember that a window plug is only going to be there temporarily.
They can be inserted into the window area, sometimes going completely flush with the wall and adding some much-needed mass.
Some will go ahead and create their own window plug, while others will buy one that’s already made. The material usually doesn’t have to be anything too crazy since it’s not permanent in the first place.
As long as it is sized correctly and doesn’t constantly fall out after installation, it will be perfectly fine to go with.
The drawback is that when the window plug does go into the window, there is no more natural light coming in.
If recording is being done at night, or there’s just no need for light coming from that window, everything is good to go.
Most will sacrifice natural light for the proper sound in a room if they are in an audio field.
13. Window Inserts
A window insert works by installing sliding window panes over the interior part of existing windows.
They are soundproof and ready to go right away, but it’s a little bit trickier than some of the other solutions already discussed. In fact, most people will only hire a professional to take care of this insulation.
The good news is that this is one of the most effective ways to have permanent soundproof qualities at a somewhat affordable price.
It’s less than having a professional take care of every part of the room. The results are hard to argue with, and most people are very satisfied in the end.
14. Window Soundproofing Film
A very thin solution that sometimes works for certain setups is vinyl window film (Amazon). It is a type of film that is easy to attach, and it will start to cut down on noise right away.
It also helps with sun control, as some films will be able to block people from viewing from the outside, while not hindering the inside.
Think of soundproofing film the same way as a window sticker. All that needs doning is to attach it directly to the window and even things out.
Press onto the window as long as it’s clean and ready to go. It’s important to not have anything trapped underneath.
It’s not going to be the strongest piece of mass added to block some sound, but it’s pretty good overall.
For added value, think about adding some acoustic caulk around the window and fixing up the window frame as much as possible.
This will increase the efficiency of the window and ensure that everything works as it should.
15. Added Depth On The Outside
It’s been talked about a bit already, but there are ways to add some type of depth to the window on the outside that looks a little more natural than just putting up a wall or some shrubs.
An external storm window might be an answer for some, as they are very efficient in blocking noise.
This is another option originally designed to help with temperature control and other issues that go on with a home.
There is something to be said for having storm windows installed and ready to go. They are effectively pretty good since they could be a bit thicker than putting in storm windows on the inside.
As long as the frame is capable of handling this type of weight, everything should be fine.
16. Cover the Window Up Entirely
This might not be what people want to hear, but there is the option of covering up a window completely and no longer having that in the way.
This means that the window loses its functionality, but some people are fine with that if they never really use the window in the first place.
This can really come in handy when buying a new property that was not exactly designed for efficiency. If the window is not providing much value from a seeing perspective, it just makes sense to cover it up.
Covering up windows occurs in a variety of ways. Some people will make it still look like a window, but they have permanent protection around it so that it’s blocked off.
Others will move large furniture in the way and hope that they see a difference there.
Why Soundproofing Windows Is So Important
There are so many different reasons for people to install new setups so that a window is completely soundproof.
Whether it’s recording, or just having a better quality of life, more and more people understand that this can be pretty valuable.
To help out even more, it’s an investment that will ultimately pay off in the end. People who have soundproof windows can usually sell for a higher price because it is one less thing that a person has to do when they move in.
It’s a move that a lot of people are doing, even if they don’t necessarily need to have soundproofing at the highest levels.
The best suggestion for anyone out there is to start small, and then go from there. Try to invest in a cheaper option that makes a lot of sense, and then gradually build up more and more.
Jumping to a very expensive option in the very beginning is probably going to end up being a bit of a headache for a lot of people out there.
They don’t want to necessarily spend a lot of their money on something that might not make a true difference.
Do-it-yourself options are always great ways to save money, but don’t be too prideful in avoiding professional installations.
It’s frustrating for a lot of people out there to muster up the extra bit of money, but if it saves headaches, it’s good to go.