How to Soundproof Your Home Office (or Other Room)

Like everyone else in the world, people in Adelaide have had to adapt to spending more time at home over the past year. For many, this has meant working from home. Whether you’re acclimating to work-from-home employment, starting a new side gig, or helping your children attend virtual school, a quiet place to work is essential. This is especially true if you record podcasts, participate in video conferencing, or make calls from your office.

Don’t let traffic noise, housemates, or a neighbour’s conversation cause you embarrassment or cost you a client. Soundproof your home office, recording studio, or workshop for professional quality. The following soundproofing tips will improve your recording quality and save you headaches without breaking the bank.

Tip #1: Prevent Sound from Coming in Through Doors and Windows

Thin walls, doorways, and windows provide opportunities for unwanted sound to enter your room through the air. Here are some simple ways you can fix this and create a soundproofed, quiet room:

  • Add panelling to the door and walls to make them thicker. This will allow them to absorb more sound.
  • Press inserts between your windows and window frames to absorb sounds.
  • Install double glazed windows. Double glazing absorbs sound and has the side benefit of insulating the room and saving on heating bills. Seriously, double glazing can be customised based on your requirements and can achieve up to a 42 db sound reduction as shown in this case study
  • Hang carpets or tapestries on the walls increases their ability to scatter and absorb sound waves.

Doorways are more of a challenge because there is an unavoidable small gap between the door and the door frame. Adding a door sweep designed to slide along the floor when you open the door will absorb some sound waves that would otherwise come in through the door.

Tip #2 Disrupt Sound Waves Within the Room

Sound reflection within the room is another source of unwanted sound. A sparsely furnished room with flat walls allows sound waves to bounce back and forth, amplifying each other and producing a distracting echo effect.

Wall hangings and panelling with rough edges or uneven texture disrupt the reflection pattern, scattering the waves and causing them to cancel each other.

Plants, particularly tall plants or a wall of plants at different height levels, reduce reflected sound because their leaves scatter sound waves in frequencies that are important for audio recording.

Furniture within the room breaks up the flat wall surfaces and absorbs sound waves, especially if the furniture surface is not smooth. Upholstered furniture with fabric covers instead of smooth leather will be more effective at dampening sound.

Adding books to bookshelves makes them less flat so that they do not reflect sound. They also have the benefit of making you look well-read if they appear behind you in your camera feed.

For professional results in a home recording studio, spending the extra money to install soundproofing materials such as foam wedges and acoustic absorption panels will remove any remaining reflected sound.

The floor and ceilings are also potential sources of sound reflection. Fixing the ceiling may require a little more work, but you could add soundproofing foam or soundproofing panels to the ceiling if necessary. Adding insulation or another layer of drywall to the ceiling will prevent sound from coming through the ceiling. This could be particularly useful if you have an upstairs neighbour or a child’s bedroom above your home office.

Tip #3: Take Control of Your Environment

No soundproofing method is perfect. Even the best home recording studio might not entirely block road construction or a loud argument outside. One simple aspect of soundproofing that you should not overlook is either controlling or adapting to the acoustic environment to reduce distracting noise.

  • Schedule house cleaning and dishwashing so that they do not conflict with your meetings, recording schedule, or other activities that require quiet.
  • Contact your municipal government to find out about construction projects in your area so that you can work around the construction schedule if necessary.
  • Add a do not disturb sign to your office door if you live with family or housemates.

Tip #4: Ask for Help

The City of Adelaide offers noise management advice and assistance through their Acoustic Advisory Service and Noise Management Incentive Scheme. They provide partial reimbursement for some noise reduction improvements, including double glazing, for eligible residents. Many of these fixes are simple DIY projects, but some require installation and commercial soundproofing products. For professional installation of double glazing, please see doubleglazed.com. They build and install high-quality double glazed windows in Adelaide and are committed to providing Australians with sustainable living options and enhanced quality of life.

About AdelaideExperts

Writing about Adelaide businesses to spread good information and help people good products and services.

Speak Your Mind