If you are thinking about building a rehearsal room in your house, or if you want to soundproof a drum room so that the neighbors won’t call the cops on you, or maybe you want to start a podcast or a YouTube channel. Or maybe, you just have really loud neighbors.
If this is the case then you should be looking at soundproofing blankets, since they will minimize outside noise to a point where it becomes more tolerable, plus they are an extremely affordable solution.
Do Soundproofing Blankets work?
Soundproofing blankets will not block off 100% of the outside noise but rather dampen or deaden it to a much more manageable level.
In other words, the outside noises will have a harder time entering the room.
Just like anything used for noise-reduction purposes, getting 100% noise-cancellation is almost impossible, but you can deaden it to a point where you won’t notice it anymore.
What are soundproofing blankets?
Soundproofing-, or more accurately, Acoustic blankets are used to absorb sound and reduce noise by creating a sound barrier.
They can be suspended from any surface you’d like; from door frames, to windows, portable frames, floor mounted frames, you could even attach them to the sealing.
Most of them have grommets which allow you to hang them anywhere you’d like.
How do Soundproofing Blankets Work?
Soundproofing blankets are made of multiple layers.
The outer layer doesn’t provide any soundproofing at all, but it allows the soundwaves to pass through it so that they can reach the materials responsible for sound absorption, instead of reflecting them outward.
The inner layer is the one that’s actually doing all of the work.
It’s made of sound absorbent materials such as mass loaded vinyl, fiberglass, mineral wool, and others, which work amazingly well.
Mass loaded vinyl is typically used when soundproofing a car.
Can they block sound?
Soundproofing blankets are excellent at dampening or deadening sounds, but they can’t block off 100% of it.
So, to answer the question literally, no, they don’t block sound, but the really good ones, like professional studio grade blankets, can absorb up to 80% of it.
What are soundproofing blankets used for?
Soundproofing blankets have multiple applications, you can get creative with how you use them.
The most common applications are;
Music Studios: If you take recording seriously then you will need to take care of the echo and reverb in the room. Soundproofing panels and acoustic blankets will do this properly. They can also be used for a homemade vocal booth.
Rehearsal Room: One of the most common applications is for deadening the sound inside a rehearsal room, not allowing it to leave.
Home: If you have loud neighbors or family members, you could attach some soundproofing blankets to your doors or windows. This will dampen the outside noise quite a bit.
You could also use them in laundry rooms, bathrooms, music rooms, on the ceiling, etc. Basically, if you want to reduce noise in a room, you can use them there.
Industrial Applications: In this case, soundproofing blankets are used as a sound barrier around a loud piece of machinery.
These industrial blankets are much better at sound insulation because they are much heavier and made of a higher density material like fiberglass and mass loaded vinyl.
Where and how to install soundproofing blankets?
Since most of them have grommets, they allow you to hang them easily anywhere you want.
So, if you’re soundproofing a window, one option would be to use the grommets and hang them from the window.
However, if you want to get the best seal possible as not to allow sound to get through, you should use Velcro around the window frame and attach the blanket that way, making sure that it seals off the entire window completely.
The same thing could be done when using these blankets to soundproof a door, you could hang it from the door’s frame or you could use Velcro, or even nails, to firmly attach it to the door.
This is important for one single reason; You must seal off every little gap as tightly as possible in order to get effective soundproofing.
These blankets are also commonly used for Vocal Booths, or frames that you hang from the walls, or even portable sound barriers.
What makes a good soundproofing blanket?
There are a couple of factors which determine if a soundproofing blanket is good or not;
Density: Density is very important, even more than thickness since a thick blanket may not be dense at all, which means that they won’t block any sound.
A lack of density means that there isn’t much material in them that can absorb the sound.
Thickness: Thickness is also important, but like I just mentioned a thick blanket should also be dense. This will give you the best results.
So, make sure that when choosing a blanket, it must have a high density and thickness.
Materials: You should be looking for Cotton, Mineral Wool and Multilayered polyester blankets. These are the most affordable ones and they are also very high-quality.
If you need some even higher-quality ones, like the ones made out of vinyl, then you could either make them yourself (more on this later) or you could purchase some custom-made ones.
These are, however, a lot more expensive and they take about a month to be delivered. If you buy the vinyl yourself, you could make them for a fourth of the price.
Grommets: Grommets are much more important than you may realize, without them you won’t be able to easily hang them.
Which are the best soundproofing blankets available?
These are the ones I would recommend the most, especially if you plan on using them for a home recording studio, rehearsal room, etc. since they can absorb high and mid-range frequencies by up to 65% all on their own.
They may be a bit pricier than the next ones on this list, but they are worth it.
You can get a pack of twelve of these for the price of one of the Audimute blankets, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t excellent.
The overall quality might be a bit lacking, but what can you expect at such an affordable price?
If you buy just one pack of 12 blankets you will have more than enough to cover the entirety of any room and their sound absorbing capabilities are great.
If you are of a tighter budget then go for these ones, otherwise you should purchase the Audimute blankets.
Soundproofing Blankets DIY
Like I said, I’d recommend the Audimute Blankets, however, you could make one yourself that is much better and for much less.
You will need to purchase some mass loaded vinyl, some Velcro and any type of fabric that you want to use to make the vinyl look better. This is because mass loaded vinyl only comes in black, which isn’t very decorative.
Simply cut the vinyl to the shape and size you need and use the Velcro to attach it to where it needs to be. Otherwise you could insert some grommets into the edges to allow for some easy hanging.
How much of an improvement can you expect?
Depending on the level of noise and the blankets you use you could expect anywhere from a 20% to 60% noise reduction.
However, using a blanket on its own won’t do as much as soundproofing the doors and also the windows and THEN adding soundproof blankets.
If you do some basic soundproofing first, they will make a bigger difference.
If you are a home music recording enthusiast, or if you do podcasts, basically if you work from home and need a quiet space, soundproofing blankets can help you with this.
Note that soundproofing blankets alone, even though they might help, aren’t the best solution. A combination of methods should be used, from sealing the gaps between a door/window and the frame, to changing the glass in the window, etc.
If you want to know more about sealing the gaps in a door or window to soundproof the room properly, then read this article.