There are some pretty hair-brained ideas on the internet about how to solve one of life’s many bugbears – noisy neighbours. Despite what some think, it is much more complicated than laying a shaggy rug on your floor or strategically placing a bookshelf against a wall.
The reality is that absolute soundproofing is a professional, or adept DIY handyman’s, job. This is because soundproofing, as opposed to sound absorption, eliminates all gaps between the two spaces through which the noise is transferring. Therefore, actually soundproofing your apartment means preventing all (or most) noise from travelling from a street through a bedroom window, or between two residences, for example.
So instead of wasting time rearranging pillows searching for the secret soundproofing solution, here are some soundproofing myths to avoid:
No matter how much of an echo chamber your apartment is, this has nothing to do with soundproofing.
If it sounds like the noise is bouncing around your apartment, this is solved through sound absorption NOT soundproofing. You can have an acoustically comfortable apartment full of soft furnishings, but this won’t stop noise from entering your apartment and ruining a good night’s sleep. So if you want to fix your echo problem and deaden the sound in your home then consider absorption.
If your apartment has a lot of hard surfaces then the sound will bounce around and propagate to other areas of your home more easily. Simple sound-absorbing panels can offer a small amount of soundproofing, but alone they really aren’t enough for those suffering from external noise entering your demise.
You can line the top to bottom of your walls with standard acoustic panels and you are going to have a very comfortable and quiet (dry) interior acoustic environment, but again, this won’t prevent noise from entering your apartment in the first place.
There is a particular article on the web that suggests placing a sound-absorbing pillow headboard above your bed as a good way to soundproof your apartment. Note: hanging a few pillows above your bed WILL NOT do anything to soundproof your apartment.
No matter how much sound absorption you place within your home – you are not going to achieve soundproofing through this means alone – you need to address structural faults. Sound will always find a weak point to transfer through. It is helpful to think of sound as smoke in the way permeates weak points.
Soundproofing your apartment can end up being a big project depending on the scale of the problem. Therefore, we would recommend leaving it to professionals, as they can come up with custom solutions specified for your problems and needs.