SoundProofing 101

HomeSoundProofing 101

What is Soundproofing?

Soundproofing 101: Soundproofing is reducing the sound pressure between the source of noise generated and the receiver of the sound or reduction in auditory perception of sound pressure. Sound isolation works the same, both ways, so there is no difference in approach to keeping sound in or out. Use the best soundproofing Materials such as Mass Loaded Vynil (MLV), Soundproof Drywall, Sound Damping Sheets or Spray Foam. New York soundproofing for apartments can differ from soundproofing in Los Angeles for houses.

What are the best soundproofing materials?

10 Best Soundproofing Materials are

1. Sound Proof Insulation (Mineral Wool, Rockwool, Owens Corning) 2. Mass Loaded Vinyl MLV (Vynaflex, Sonic-Shield) 3. Soundproof Drywall (Quietrock, Soundbreak XP) 4. Viscoelastic Compound (Green Glue, Noxudol) 5. Resilient Isolation Channel (Kinetics, Studco) 6. Resilient Isolation Clips (Pac, Resilmount) 7. Sound Damping Sheets (Acoustiblock, Megasorber) 8. Acoustical Caulk (OSI, Manus) 9. Spray Foam (Foam it Green, Great Stuff) 10. Acoustic Foam (Auralex, Sonex)

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Soundproofing 101 | 5 Elements of Soundproofing

There are 5 elements in sound reduction (Absorption, Damping, Decoupling, Distance and Mass) The “Absorption” aspect in soundproofing should not be confused with Sound Absorbing Panels used in acoustic treatments. “Absorption” in this sense only refers to reducing a resonating frequency in a cavity by installing insulation between walls, ceilings or floors. Acoustic Panels can play a role in a treatment only after walls or ceilings have been soundproofed, reducing the amplified reflection in the source room.

  1. Absorption

    Reducing resonating frequencies within a cavity such as a wall, ceiling or floor. Materials such as Rockwool Safe and Sound Insulation, Rockwool Comfortbatt, or Open Cell Foam, Sound Panels.

  2. Damping

    When sound damping a wall, we are aiding in the effectiveness of decoupling, mass, and absorption materials. Think of a wine glass ringing out, for example. If you were to place a crumpled napkin in the glass or wrap the glass with a wet napkin, the resonating sound within the glass will change significantly. Materials such as Sound Absorption Adhesives (Viscoelastic Compound), Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) or other sound deadening materials to reduce vibration on impact noise.

  3. Decoupling

    Separation between sheetrock and studs/joists. Materials such as Resilient Channel, Sound Isolation Clips, and Rubber Pads will minimize impact vibration.

  4. Distance

    Sound waves spread out with distance, eventually lessening the sound intensity from the source to the receiver.

  5. Mass

    Adding dense materials to a soundproofing treatment in order to stop sound waves from exiting a source wall, ceiling or floor. Similar to damping, we can use Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV). Also, QuietRock, Plywood, MDF, Concrete, Rubber… Different materials reduce sound within different frequency range. Therefore, use of multiple layers of materials is essential to the success in any treatment.


Most common problems for reducing noise between offices are duct work and drop ceilings. Also walls above drop ceilings can be unfinished and only framed to the drop ceiling. Also, leaving a gap above the wall where sound can transfer from one office to the next. Other issues are speech intelligibility, sound damping a conference rooms due to reflection or echo in the room. For example, Acoustic Panels being installed strategically can help reduce echo and improve speech clarity. 


Larger spaces require heavier acoustic treatment. In this case, echo, reflection, and reverberation can be an issue with higher ceilings, large windows, flat surfaces, etc. Large machinery, HVAC systems, elevators, or pumps in New York, produces lower resonating frequencies. Due to the heavy impact vibration, these machines requires spring loaded isolation mounts and sound deadening materials. As a result, it is recommended to add mass to walls (MLV, Soundproof Drywall) and ceilings to prevent vibrations from transferring to the larger rooms. These frequencies can otherwise reflect and cause major issues in the work space. 


New York Soundproofing

In New York soundproofing a room in a apartment can be a challenge, we are trying to keep noise out from noisy neighbors. We experience impact noise from ceilings and street traffic from windows. All of which require different levels of treatment, rarely corrected with acoustic panels or acoustic foam. Window noiseproofing requires sealing the framing of windows, we may replace windows, or install an addition window.

Soundproofing Los Angeles

Similarly, we see these problems a lot when soundproofing in Los Angeles due to noisy neighbors. This also involves adding insulation, mass and decoupling the walls or ceiling, sound deadening materials. We may suggest installing heavier solid core doors, weather stripping around the perimeter of the doors. This will create a tight, more precise door frame. 

Room Within a Riim (RWAR)

Creating a large air-gap between the outside wall and inside wall in combination with decoupling the drywall from joists and studs. In this case, it is recommended to use all mediums for reducing sound transfer from exterior noise. This works both ways keeping sound in and out. Although this treatment is most commonly used in a recording studio, the technique has shown great results in apartments. 

Sound Deadening Material

Several factors come into play when using different soundproofing materials (MLV or Soundproof Drywall). Acoustic foam for instance, we are looking at the thickness, cell size, shape, density. Density in all material is what determines the true effectiveness in any given treatment. New York Soundproofing for instance, resonant absorbers are a certain density and thickness based on specific frequency range being reduced. 

New York Residential Noise Control Guidance Sheet