Soundproofing Plus: How to Soundproof an Apartment - And Why It’s Hard to Do Well

How to Soundproof an Apartment - And Why It’s Hard to Do Well

Apartment soundproofing is challenging. In fact, it is probably the most frustrating (for us and for our customers) aspect of our business. Sometimes, there simply is not a cost effective solution that will meet the needs of our customers. Audimute is a solution driven company; if we don’t have a solution that meets your needs, we won’t try to sell you a product.

Before you go too deep into planning for apartment soundproofing, you should understand that moderately soundproofing a single 150-square-foot room can cost over $800 … without labor. The cost and effort of soundproofing an apartment may simply be impractical for a renter; for the resident-owner of a condo or co-op apartment, the investment may well be worth it for the improved quality of life.

The good new is that if you follow our advice over the next couple posts, we will share some basic steps you can take to identify the scope and difficulty (as well as the potential expense) of your apartment soundproofing project. Today, we’re focusing on the problem of low frequencies. Tomorrow, we’ll give you a set of questions to use to identify your problem and set realistic expectations, and talk about solutions, specifically looking at sound barriers versus sound absorption products.

Anyone who’s lived in an apartment knows that noise travels easily between units. The reason is that a common, connected frame supports the floors, ceilings, and walls, and it readily transmits sound and impact vibration from one unit to the next. In simplest terms, apartment soundproofing must keep sound away from the entire frame—either stopping it before it gets there or isolating the apartment interior from the frame—and that’s not a simple proposition. Low frequencies, in particular, present a problem that often cannot be resolved by simple acoustic solutions.

The problem of low frequencies

Low frequencies, like those generated by machinery, traffic, aircraft, and subwoofers, are much harder to block than mid and high frequencies, and most simple noise reduction methods will not significantly reduce them. Sound barriers, like Audimute's Peacemaker, are better than sound absorbers at blocking low frequencies, but carefully assess the costs and benefits before deciding on any soundproofing. To see what is involved in installing a sound barrier product effectively, take a look at this video on how to soundproof a room using Peacemaker.

Now, if your problem is not one mainly of low frequencies, you have many more options, including absorption products. Knowing your options requires you to answer some questions.

Tomorrow, we'll cover the questions you need to ask when you want to know how to soundproof your apartment...or if it can be done. The key questions are:

•   What is the issue?

•   Are your expectations realistic?

•   What are the possible solutions?

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