Men's Life Today: Expert Q+A
I love to blast my tunes. How do I soundproof my space so I don't get complaints from others?
Wow! That’s great to hear that you’ve come into some serious money, because soundproofing ain’t cheap. And if you plan on actually soundproofing your living space, get that credit card ready! Doing it right requires some serious construction gravitas, like building an external room (which is essentially just a husk) and the actual listening space that “floats” within the other room.
What’s that? You don’t have tons of money to devote to this project? That’s fine, but just don’t expect to completely soundproof your 3 a.m. “California Gurls” sing-alongs.
To knock down sound transmission on the cheap, try these tricks.
- If you can stomach some construction, install special soundproofing drywall. (I recommend QuietRock from Serious Materials on top of the existing drywall.)
- Find how sound is leaking out of your room, then seal up any gaps under doors with carpeting or rubber matting and around electrical outlets and light switches with caulk. There’s a special acoustic kind just for you!
- If you can sacrifice aesthetics, hang some sound-absorption sheets (available at audimutesoundproofing.com) -- essentially the audio equivalent to what the dentist drapes over your junk pre-X-ray. Rugs, carpeting and traditional drapery can also help absorb sound.
Other ways to keep from ticking off your neighbors:
- Instead of using a traditional noise-polluting subwoofer, attach a “butt kicker” (also known as a bass shaker or a tactile transducer) directly to your furniture, allowing you to feel the low notes. You’ll still get a bass sensation but without the boom-boom.
- Sit closer to your speakers. If you halve the distance to your speakers, it will increase the output by 6 decibels -- nearly doubling the perceived volume level.
- Close all the windows and doors when you’re listening to cut down on noise pollution, allowing you to enjoy at a lower volume.
As a final solution, just go and buy yourself a nice pair of headphones, dude.