The cheap sound-absorbing materials discussed in this guide will allow you to achieve effective soundproofing without going over the edge on your soundproofing budget.
Most of these materials are readily available, and thus you won’t spend a dime while others are inexpensive and won’t break the bank to purchase them.
These materials are great for soundproofing any room in your house even including soundproofing the basement.
In this guide, I’m going to discuss some of the cheapest soundproofing materials you can get on the market today.
Acoustic Treatment and Sound Absorbing Materials
Acoustic treatment is the process of reducing unwanted echoes, reverberations, and other noises in a space.
On the other hand, acoustic absorbers are devices that reduce the amount of noise that is reflected back into a room. These materials work by absorbing sound waves, which in turn removes the echo and reverberation caused by bouncing sound off of nearby surfaces. Along with acoustic treatment, they also help provide an environment conducive to recording and mixing audio.
Acoustic treatment is necessary in any room that has a high level of reverberation. This includes recording and mixing rooms, as well as live rooms. Acoustic treatment will help to remove the echo and reverberation caused by bouncing sound off of nearby surfaces.
Cheap Sound Absorbing Materials
If you want to achieve effective soundproofing that will reduce unwanted noise to manageable levels, then consider below soundproofing materials.
1. Carpets and Rugs
Carpets and rugs are among the cheapest sound-absorbing materials you can find. They can also be used on any surface to reduce noise.
You can use these household items to soundproof your door against outside noises.
Carpets can muffle the noise by absorbing sound waves transmitted through a surface.
When installed on a floor, for instance, they reduce the noise leaking to your neighbors below you.
A shaggy carpet or rug is at a better position of absorbing noise because of the individual fibers. However, the carpets or rugs will only be effective if the backing is impermeable.
For more effectiveness, choose a carpet that has a strong underlay, pile tufts, and more fibers. A good example is Safavieh California Premium Shag Collection.
If your carpet’s underlay is not strong enough, you can always buy a sound-absorbing underlay.
The underlay is placed between the carpet and floor for both soundproofing and sound absorption.
You can find underlayment of different materials such as rubber, foam, or vinyl, which are all effective. They make the footsteps softer and less noisy.
2. Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains are also excellent material for noise absorption. These curtains are similar to the regular curtains you have at home but are much denser.
Sound-absorbing curtains contain sound absorbing properties. They are made of wool, which is fitted in between the curtain’s liner and the fabric that you can see.
These curtains are also easy to use. They come with hooks for easier installation.
The curtains can also filter harmful substances in the air, thereby making your home environment safer.
These curtains can be used on the walls, doors, and windows, depending on where you want to soundproof.
They prevent the noise from outside or inside from hitting the walls, doors, or window frames and causing reverberations.
When installing them, make sure they are pooling on the floor for effectiveness.
The curtains are also aesthetically pleasing, which means you can use them when you want to transform the look of your home.
Ever wondered why you are advised to fill an empty room with furniture if you want to reduce noise and echo?
Furniture can absorb noise if they are strategically placed.
However, not all types of furniture can absorb noise; some are only good at blocking sound.
Upholstered furniture such as couches and chairs are at a better position of absorbing noise. The softness and the cushiony aspect make them ideal.
If you have leather furniture, you can add throw pillows; then, you should consider adding pillows on them.
Using furniture to absorb noise is a cheap way of noise reduction because they are right there at home.
4. Wall Arts and Tapestry
Wall arts and tapestry are also some of the things that can help in noise absorption. They are also good at improving the appearance of your home.
If your home is full of small children who like running around, furniture may not be a good idea because they take up too much space.
However, with wall arts and tapestry, you can soundproof your home without taking any space on the floor just walls.
Go for a wall paint that is large enough to cover your wall. The idea is to leave no room for noise to come through or cause vibrations.
Unlike painting, which is restricted on sizes, you can get a tapestry that is long enough to cover most of your walls.
If it is heavy, then that is also an advantage at blocking noise.
When shopping, go for a tapestry that is made of cotton because they are better at noise absorption.
A good example is Sunshine Joy Plain White Tapestry.
5. Room Divider Curtains
Acoustic room divider curtains are also good at absorbing noise. The curtains are used to split a room into two.
Regular soundproof curtains are good at noise absorption, but they are not good for dividing a room.
This is because they are made of triple weave technology, which means they have three-layer of different colored fabric.
Due to the difference in color, they may not be ideal for dividing a room.
Room dividers, on the other hand, are designed to hang in the middle of the room where people can see both sides.
So, you’ll want them to be of the same color.
These curtains are useful when you want to contain noise in a room. They can also be used to prevent reverberations by absorbing them.
When shopping for these curtains, go for those that are heavier and denser. Consider room divider curtains such as NICETOWN Blackout Curtains.
Unlike window curtains that are hanged on the window rods, these curtains are attached directly to the ceiling. You’ll have to install ceiling rods if you want to use them.
6. Acoustic Blankets
Acoustic blankets are also good at absorbing noise. These blankets are different from regular blankets because they have acoustic properties.
Initially, these blankets were used to move stuff from one place to another and prevent breakage due to collision.
Because of their heavier padding, the blankets can be used to absorb noise in a room.
The curtains are used to cover doors, windows, and even walls. They can also be used to cover noisy equipment.
These blankets are also used in recording studios to absorb noise and reverberations, thereby making the room sound better.
Blankets such as Audimute isolé Sound Absorber are best for a recording studio; you record what you want because the blankets absorb unnecessary noise.
These blankets come with grommets for easy installation, which means you won’t have to hire a professional for the job.
7. Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam is among the best products for both sound and echo absorption. It is also common among homeowners because of the ease of installation, affordability, and effectiveness.
These panels can be hanged on a surface to absorb sound waves. They also come with their own adhesive so you won’t spend more on purchasing new adhesive.
When installing them, ensure you follow all the given instructions; otherwise, the panels won’t work at minimizing noise.
An excellent example of foam panels is Foamly Acoustic Panels.
8. Acoustic Paint
Paint is a great way to add color and style to your walls. But did you know that there’s paint that can also help you reduce noise?
Acoustic paint is designed to absorb sound. It works by converting sound waves into heat energy. The heat energy is then released back into the atmosphere as thermal energy.
This type of paint is usually a better option for areas where sound isn’t the only issue, like an office or bedroom, because it doesn’t cover up noise completely like some other sound absorbers do.
9. Soundproof Wallpaper
One of the best ways to create a soundproof environment is by using soundproof wallpaper. Soundproof wallpaper is usually made from heavy textile that can be installed on any existing wall as long as it’s dry and clean. The best part about soundproof wallpaper? It’s inexpensive and easy to install.
Soundproof wallpaper will reduce noise from outside your home, like construction or traffic, but it also helps with noises coming from inside. For example, if you have a baby and you want to create a room where they can sleep without being woken up by other noises in the house, this is perfect for that purpose!
Soundproof wallpaper is not only great for bedrooms and nurseries, but also living rooms or any other room in your home where you want peace and quiet.
10. Sound Panels
If you spend most of your time indoors, sound panels can be a great way to reduce noise. We’re talking about the kind that you mount on one or more walls and they absorb sound waves. The best part is that they don’t require any installation. You simply stick them on the wall and enjoy the peace and quiet!
If you have an office job, but are still bothered by outside noises like honking horns and screeching tires, these can help too!
Sound panels are available in different shapes and sizes depending on your needs. They also come with a variety of features like hinges so they can be adjusted to be effective at either cutting out low or high frequencies. And if you want maximum noise reduction, there are even double-paned models that block sounds from both sides.
Household Sound Absorbing Materials
In order to make your house quieter and more relaxing, there are plenty of sound absorbers that can help. Here are household items that can cut down on some unwanted noises and give you a little peace and quiet.
- Curtains – Curtains can act as a great sound absorber. They’re available in many different colors and patterns to match any room, and the sound is absorbed by the curtains when they hang over your windows.
- Blankets – Blankets also make great sound absorbers that won’t take up too much room in your home. They work really well because they’re light weight, so you can easily transport them to another room if needed.
- Cushions – Cushions are another simple way to absorb noise. The cloth absorbs the sound waves coming from it in all directions, meaning it will be less noisy for everyone around it than without cushions.
- Plants – Large potted plants work well as sound absorbers too because they absorb excess noise in the corner of a room or near a window where you might want to put them for decoration purposes as well!
- Pillows – Pillows are another one of those household items that can absorb noise from almost anywhere in your house (or office). You don’t need a lot of pillows; one or two strategically placed will do wonders for your peace and quiet level.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Material Best Absorbs Sound?
Generally, softer, more pliable materials (like cloth) serve as the best acoustic absorbers – absorbing most sound waves. Dense and hard materials (such as metal), on the other hand, reflect these waves back to their source.
Is Thermocol A Sound Absorbing Material?
Thermocol does not absorb sound, so it is not a good idea to put it on your walls or windows because: First of all- it’s reflective, and instead of absorbing sound, will cause echoes in the room.
Is Wood A Good Sound Absorber?
Wood is not very dense, so it can’t block sound. However, the air spaces in wood are great at absorbing sound- which is why rooms with lots of wooden furniture or doors do generally have better acoustics than those without any pieces made of wood.
Does Plexiglass Block Sound?
Plexiglass and glass both provide good soundproofing properties. Plexiglass is better at dampening, while glass has more mass which makes it better for blocking sounds. Plexiglass is cheaper, allowing you double up on the material if you want increased soundproofing effect.
On Cheap Sound Absorbing Materials
Above are some of the best cheap sound-absorbing materials that are considered effective in noise reduction.
While professional soundproofing projects can turn out to be expensive, there’s always a great DIY alternative to help you deal with loud noises.
Have you tried any other DIY method? Let me know below.