null

Home Studio Soundproofing

How to Soundproof a Home Studio

How to Soundproof a Home Studio

Soundproofing a home studio has long been a dream project for many hobbyists, but 2020 expanded that dream to a whole new set of people. A recent study by Stanford University found 42% of the American labor force is working from home as a result of social distancing requirements from COVID-19. If you are one of the millions of Americans working from home, you don’t need to know much about the science of acoustics to know how valuable a quiet space to get some work done is. With kids running around, dogs barking, and doors slamming, quiet space is hard to come by.

With so many people working from home, we’ve seen more people looking to soundproof a room in their house than ever before. Another trend is the growing popularity of podcasting. With more than half of US consumers over the age of 12 listening to podcasts (according to Statista), podcasts are an increasingly popular way to communicate information. If you’re a podcaster, you know how important sound quality is to the product you’re creating — soundproofing is a critical component of that.

So whether you’re a musician looking to convert your basement into a sound studio, a podcaster looking to increase your production value, or someone working from home in desperate need of peace and quiet, investing in a home studio will have big returns.

Soundproofing a home studio has long been a dream project for many hobbyists, but 2020 expanded that dream to a whole new set of people. A recent study by Stanford University found 42% of the American labor force is working from home as a result of social distancing requirements from COVID-19. If you are one of the millions of Americans working from home, you don’t need to know much about the science of acoustics to know how valuable a quiet space to get some work done is. With kids running around, dogs barking, and doors slamming, quiet space is hard to come by.

With so many people working from home, we’ve seen more people looking to soundproof a room in their house than ever before. Another trend is the growing popularity of podcasting. With more than half of US consumers over the age of 12 listening to podcasts (according to Statista), podcasts are an increasingly popular way to communicate information. If you’re a podcaster, you know how important sound quality is to the product you’re creating — soundproofing is a critical component of that.

So whether you’re a musician looking to convert your basement into a sound studio, a podcaster looking to increase your production value, or someone working from home in desperate need of peace and quiet, investing in a home studio will have big returns.

Free USA shipping
Free USA shipping

Popular Home Studio Soundproofing Materials


Acoustic Pro™ Fabric Wrapped Panel
Acoustic Pro™ Ceiling Cloud

Green Glue™ Noiseproofing Compound

Differences Between Home Studio Soundproofing & Acoustics

There is a common misconception that soundproofing a room is the same as installing acoustic treatment. Let’s go ahead and shut that down. Good soundproofing does not equal good acoustics. Think of it like this: the goal of soundproofing is to block loud noises from entering (or exiting) a space. The goal of adding acoustic materials is to improve the quality of sound within that space. (For a deep dive on all things acoustics, check out our guide on acoustic material.)

Soundproofing is all about creating barriers — isolating unwanted sound and preventing it from getting into your home studio. We measure soundproofing materials by their sound transmission class (STC) rating. The higher the rating, the more sound a material can block. An STC rating of 60 is effectively soundproof. The typical wall in your house is likely in the 30-34 range.

Acoustic materials are graded by their noise reduction coefficient (NRC), which tells us on a scale from 0 to 1 how much sound a material can absorb. A 0 means that 100% of sound is reflected back. A rating of 1 means 100% is absorbed and transmitted. If a material can absorb sound effectively, you’ll hear fewer reverberations and enjoy a clearer sound.

Both soundproofing and acoustics have a role to play in a home studio.

difference between soundproofing and acoustics
Difference between soundproofing and acoustics

Reasons to soundproof your home studio:

  • You don’t want the sound of your neighbor’s lawnmower to appear on your podcast.
  • Your family keeps complaining about all the racket you’re making.
  • Your dog interrupts your Zoom meetings every time a squirrel walks by the house.

Reasons to improve the acoustics in your home studio:

  • You would like to actually enjoy the sound of the music you’re playing during your jam session.
  • You want to increase the listening enjoyment of your podcast community and make it easier for them to process what you’re telling them.
  • You want to control the reverb vs echo noise being picked up by the mic.

Acoustic Treatment for a Home Studio

If you’re interested in creating a professional-quality product in your home studio, sound quality and room echo cancellation are absolutely essential. Just like an HD television gives your eyes a better viewing experience, better audio gives your ears a better listening experience. Better sound is:

1. Easier to understand. The more difficult it is for your listeners to comprehend what you’re saying, the less likely they are to continue to listen. The less mental strain you require from your listeners, the more likely they are to report an enjoyable experience and return for more.

2. More efficient. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If your message requires listeners to backtrack, most aren’t going to catch your point. Low quality sound can be just as harmful as inarticulate messaging.

3. A competitive advantage. Whether you’re a podcaster, leading an important presentation, or teaching a class, you need every advantage you can get. Your sound quality communicates something to your audience about your work. High quality sound can help build the relationship between you and your listeners.

podcast with home studio sound treatment

Acoustics for a Podcast Studio

The good news for podcasters is that installing acoustic treatments is relatively straightforward. You’re not dealing with the intricacies of a music studio. The primary sound you need to account for is the human voice. That keeps the acoustic setup pretty simple.

Your main concern is acoustic panel coverage. We recommend acoustical panels instead of acoustic foam for a home studio, because fabric wrapped panels are more durable and look much better aesthetically. You’ll be glad you chose panels in case you ever want to video record or take pictures of your studio. For podcasters, the “40% Rule” is the standard. Calculate the square footage of your room’s floor (length x width), and then multiply that by 40% to get the square footage of acoustic panels you need. At minimum, you need to install those panels on any walls a speaker faces while recording and one adjacent wall.

We recommend our Acoustic Pro fabric wrapped panels, which are currently available in 8 colors, 6 shapes, and 2 thicknesses. Installation is easy — each panel comes with the Rotofast Snap-on Anchor system that makes setup a breeze.

soundproofing home studio

Acoustics for music Studio

Adding acoustic treatments to a home music studio can be somewhat complicated depending on the size/dimensions of your room and the specific goals you have in mind. In most cases, you should contact us to come up with a customized gameplan, but you can also get very good results by sticking to two core principles.

First, almost every home studio needs to focus acoustic treatment on low frequency sounds. Low frequency sounds are the hardest to treat, and if you’ve treated the low frequency reverb – your higher frequencies should be in a good place as well. The only way to effectively treat these lower frequencies is by using acoustic panels or bass traps – acoustic foam will fall short. Install triangular bass traps in the corners of your room or use flat acoustic panels (preferably 4” thick) in the corners with air gaps behind them.

Second, treat the first angle of reflection and rear wall. The first angle of reflection is the angle at which your sound waves travel after their first surface reflection. You need to treat the side walls that your sound initially bounces to and the wall to your rear. If you do this, you’ll create a reflection-free zone (RFZ), or an area surrounding your listening position where you don’t hear initial reflections.

To find first reflection points, use the mirror trick. Sit in your listening position and have a friend move a small mirror across the walls in your studio. At each point where you can see your speakers in the mirror, mark the wall. These are your reflection points. Sound moves like light. If you can see the speaker, you can hear its first reflection.

We recommend our Acoustic Pro fabric-wrapped panels for music studios. Go with the 2” thick panels as they do better with low frequency sound.

How to Soundproof your Home Studio

Start by considering the basic construction of your room as is. In most homes, the two biggest weak spots are doors and windows. Although we don’t always have a choice, you’re better off converting the windowless room into a studio as opposed to the room with lots of “natural light.”

In terms of the actual walls, most residential walls have an STC rating of 30-34. If they are particularly well-sealed, the STC rating may get up to 38. Keep in mind that you’ll need an STC rating of 50-60 to achieve sound proof walls and good home studio soundproofing, with most professional studios in the 60-70 range.

To get started, attack the weakest spots first — doors, windows, and air gaps. Here are a few inexpensive solutions to boost your STC rating to about 40, meaning loud speech will be heard as a murmur:

1. Add soundproof window inserts to block out exterior noise.

2. Replace your hollow core door with a solid core door.

3. Add a door seal kit to plug gaps around the solid core door.

4. Seal gaps between drywall and floor, around outlets, etc. using acoustic caulk.

To reach an STC rating of 50+, you’ll need to soundproof the walls, ceiling, and check out out article for a soundproof floor. All 6 surfaces in the “cube” that is your room need to be treated. Otherwise, the sound will “flank” around the surfaces you do treat and still escape. For that reason, it's important to have soundproof widows, soundproof doors and a soundproof ceiling to the best of your ability. Those can be the toughest to get right, but they're also the peskiest when it comes to soundproofing any room.

home studio acoustic treatment

Good Soundproofing

The easiest soundproofing solution for DIYers everywhere will not require any serious construction. Start by getting some acoustic caulk and sealing up any gaps in your existing drywall (around outlets, vents, pipes, and between the floor and the wall). Next, add an extra layer of ⅝” drywall onto your walls and ceilings, using Green Glue. Green Glue is a damping compound that improves sound isolation and is easy enough for anyone to use. You’re not treating the floor, and that may be ok depending on your goals and the building’s structure. Contact us if you have questions about your specific project.

STC rating: low 50s (loud speech not heard)

Better Soundproofing

The next solution will require some construction because you’re starting at the studs, but the results are worth it. Add resilient channel sound isolation clips (RSIC) to the studs in your walls with 25 gauge aluminum channel. Install the ⅝” drywall on top to get your wall and ceiling STC rating to near-professional level of sound quality. Seal up any gaps with acoustic caulk. If you’re going this route, you’ll also need to treat the floor with a rubber underlayment which will stop all impact noise and increase the STC rating of the floor by 10-20 (depending on specific situation). Either remove the existing floor or install the rubber underlayment and new floor directly on top.

STC rating: high 50s (close to soundproof)

Best Soundproofing

The best soundproofing solution pulls out everything in the toolkit. Start with the RSIC clips and 25 gauge aluminum channel on the studs of your walls/ceiling and add your first layer of 5/8” drywall. Just like before… seal up gaps with acoustic caulk. Next, apply Green Glue to the back of a second layer of 5/8” drywall and screw that on top of the first one. This, combined with sound proofing panels or an interior sound blanket, will help you reach your soundproofing goals. Finally, install a rubber underlayment with new flooring on top to ensure your floor is soundproof. You have to treat the floor to have professional level home studio soundproofing!

STC rating: 60+ (you're soundproof)

If you’re interested in taking the next step to building your own home studio, reach out to us — we’re happy to discuss your plans and recommend a solution that fits your goals and budget. We’ll be happy when you’re happy!

Need Help SOUNDproofing your home studio?

By now you’ve got an idea for what acoustic panels can do for your studio, but if you still have questions on how many you need, or how to effectively install them, feel free to reach out. Contact us anytime and our experts can help you find the right materials to improve the sound in your space or block outside noise from getting in.

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.866.570.5440