Homemade Sound Absorbing Materials

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It might not look as good, but you can achieve high level sound reduction with homemade equipment.
It might not look as good, but you can achieve high level sound reduction with homemade equipment. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Creating a music room or recording studio doesn't need to involve costly expenditures on high-performance studio sound treatments. Everyday objects around the home and affordable alternatives available from home supply and hardware stores provide you with great ways to absorb sound in your space. In many cases, these homemade treatments create results as good as those achieved in a similar space with professional sound absorbing materials.

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons work well for absorbing sound based on both the materials they are made out of and their shape. For an egg carton to absorb sound well, it needs to consist of Styrofoam or thick cardboard. The cartons made from plastic will not absorb sound efficiently. The shape of an egg carton also helps break up and absorb sound. This is why many types of acoustic foam feature a peak-and-valley construction that looks similar to the bottom of an egg carton. Egg cartons aren't effective soundproofing, but instead mimic the absorption properties, albeit not as well, of acoustic foam.

Quilts

Hanging quilts on the wall or on rolling clothing racks makes for a highly effective sound absorbing layer that will dampen any sounds in the space. Among the most effective quilts for this application are the thick, heavy-duty quilts used by moving companies for wrapping furniture or protecting elevators when loading them with cargo. However, any quilt will work effectively for blocking sound.

Furniture and Accessories

Almost anything in your home can help to absorb sound. The denser and more irregular the surface of the object is, the more it will help to absorb sound in the space. For instance, add furniture, throw pillows, heavy curtains, rugs, books and other household items to a room where you need to absorb sound. Fabric is particularly good at helping to absorb sound, especially when compared to a reflective surface like a painted wall or smooth floor.

Mattress Pads

Mattress pads with a dimpled surface, like egg cartons, mimic many of the properties of professional acoustic treatments. Cut-up mattress pads put into frames and covered with a decorative material make a professional-looking sound absorption panel. If you're not worried about appearances, a mattress topper that you simply hang on the wall or lay on the floor will help absorb some excess sound.

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