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Soundproofing Blankets

How to Use Soundproof Blankets (Indoors or Outdoors)

How to Use Soundproof Blankets (Indoors or Outdoors)

Soundproofing a space can often feel like a daunting project. Although we do everything we can to make the process as simple as possible, large soundproofing projects can have even more variables to consider when you factor in different products and installations. That’s why many people turn to sound blankets for their projects. Acoustic and soundproof blankets are versatile and easy to install. They’re great as a short term solution for things like construction, but also can be installed permanently both indoors and outdoors.

Soundproofing a space can often feel like a daunting project. Although we do everything we can to make the process as simple as possible, large soundproofing projects can have even more variables to consider when you factor in different products and installations. That’s why many people turn to sound blankets for their projects. Acoustic and soundproof blankets are versatile and easy to install. They’re great as a short term solution for things like construction, but also can be installed permanently both indoors and outdoors.

Free USA shipping
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Popular Sound Blankets


Quiet Quilt™ Soundproof Barrier Blanket
Quiet Quilt™ Acoustic Absorber Blanket
Quiet Quilt™ Barrier Blanket (2-Sided)

The Wide World of Sound Blankets

Sound blankets are not all made the same, so before you decide to use them for your project, you should know what type would work best for you. First you should understand the difference between soundproofing and acoustics (sound absorption). Soundproofing materials are used when you need to block sound from entering or exiting a space. The goal here is to create barriers to prevent sound’s travel and reduce the noise level. Acoustics is important when you want to improve the quality of sound inside of a space. Acoustic materials absorbs echoes and reverberations which can build up in large spaces or rooms with lots of reflective surfaces. Acoustics also matters in rooms needing high fidelity audio, like recording studios.

Should I use acoustic or soundproof blankets?

Acoustic Blankets

There are a few ways to effectively apply acoustic blankets. In general, acoustic blankets should always be used in combination with some sort of barrier, as they will not actually block sound.

  • In small spaces that require a lot of absorption, like on the walls for a home studio soundproofing project
  • To cover dense barriers like a wood fence or brick wall
  • In large industrial spaces with lots of metal or concrete, like a warehouse or shop

Look for acoustic blankets with a stated NRC or noise reduction coefficient. The NRC indicates the sound blanket’s absorption of sound at different frequencies. If you are improving acoustics at home, there are some low-cost options out there that will get the job done. Just make sure the blanket you’re getting is actually rated for sound absorption. If you see anyone recommending various moving blankets as a cheap alternative, first look into actual sound absorption blankets that are around the same price and will absorb more sound (better bang for your buck). The cheaper sound blankets may not look very good, but they get the job done as long as they have an NRC rating. If aesthetics and the final look matter because you’re a business or care about the design of the room,  acoustic sound panels or other acoustic materials will add absorption with far more design options. For more durable needs like outdoor or industrial use, the Second Skin professional sound blankets are an excellent option.

Soundproof Blankets

While acoustic blankets are best used on top of hard surfaces to absorb sound, soundproof blankets can be used to create temporary construction barriers or soundproof room dividers to block sound. These blankets are used to create a wall or enclosure. Soundproof blankets are able to do this because they are not just a blanket. They have a dense barrier backing made of mass loaded vinyl and a vinyl coated fiberglass face for added sound absorption.

In addition to an NRC rating, soundproof blankets also are measured by an STC rating or sound transmission class. The STC rating measures how much sound a particular construction or material can stop. The higher the rating, the better the soundproof blanket will be at blocking sound. If you’ve been on a construction site, you’re no stranger to soundproof blankets, as they’re often used to meet local noise ordinances. These blankets are attached to a structure like a wood or chain link fence to create an unbroken barrier. Second Skin’s soundproof blankets are used at events like weddings or concerts, anywhere you need to create a temporary sound barrier. They can also be applied as long-term, permanent barriers at your home or business to create an isolated area like a soundproof booth or around loud machinery like an HVAC unit or a generator.  

commercial soundproof blanket installed outside
Commercial Soundproof Blanket installed outside

outdoor or indoor blankets

Both acoustic and soundproof blankets come in outdoor and indoor varieties. Typically, low cost blankets are less durable only can be used indoors. They are usually made of cotton or a cotton and polyester blend that will not stand up to weather or outdoor elements and are commonly used in soundproofing a room or as a soundproof door blanket.

Good outdoor blankets are built with extra stitching and reinforcement to stay intact in any weather. These are great for outdoor using like HVAC soundproofing. Some of Second Skin’s sound blankets that are rated for 140 mph winds and UV resistance.

Temporary or permanent blankets

When researching high quality sound blankets, it’s important to consider how long you’ll need them. Second Skin creates blankets for any timeline. Temporary blankets are designed to last for less than 5 years. They are cheaper, but still perform very well to meet code on your construction site. Permanent blankets are reinforced and engineered to last 15 years. Permanent blankets are designed for long-term use in structures like warehouses or shops, or if you’d like to hold on to them for multiple projects.

Product Time Horizon Use Cases

Indoor Blankets

Long-term

For blocking noise from machinery, fans, blowers, pumps, compressors, etc.

Temporary Outdoor Blanket

2-5 years

For short-term use like construction site noise mitigation projects or event spaces.

Outdoor Blankets

Long-term

For permanent outdoor applications such as HVAC units, generators, and other forms of machinery. Often applied to enhance or create a sound barrier.

Product Time Horizon Use Cases

Indoor Blankets

Long-term

For blocking noise from machinery, fans, blowers, pumps, compressors, etc.

Temporary Outdoor Blanket

2-5 years

For short-term use like construction site noise mitigation projects or event spaces.

Outdoor Blankets

Long-term

For permanent outdoor applications such as HVAC units, generators, and other forms of machinery. Often applied to enhance or create a sound barrier.

How to Effectively Install Sound Blankets

As you’ve learned by now there are distinct differences between how soundproof and acoustic blankets are constructed. To get the most out of each of them, it’s important to understand how each should be installed.

How to install acoustic blankets

Acoustic blankets should typically be used in combination with a dense barrier like brick, concrete, wood, or drywall. Trying to use an acoustic blanket to block sound on its own will be mostly ineffective, but they are VERY effective at two things: (1) reducing echos or reverb inside a space (2) enhancing the performance of an existing barrier. Getting the right coverage is key for acoustic blanket performance. As we discussed earlier, hard surfaces reflect sound and cause reverberation. The more of the surface you cover the less sound will be reflected. For exterior projects such as a brick wall in a playground, or a wooden fence around an HVAC unit, you don’t need full coverage but more coverage will give you better results. For interior projects, a bit more math is needed to determine how much absorption you need to get to your targeted reverberation time. To understand the needed square footage of blankets, we have an acoustic treatment calculator on our site to give you a rough idea for small rooms. For exact numbers in large spaces, you'll need to give us a call to discuss your project.

How to install soundproof blankets

Creating a barrier or enclosure with soundproof blankets is very similar to creating a soundproof fence or a soundproof box. Building a barrier with no gaps is absolutely key. Use the heavy duty Velcro edges to attach the soundproof blankets to each other and the grommets to hang them. A gapless seam that goes all the way to the ground will create as much of an airtight seal as possible. Sound is easiest to block near the source of noise, so the closer you’re able to put soundproof blankets to the noise source, the more effective they’ll be. Lastly hang the blankets high to break the line of sight with the noise source where you’ll be more likely to block sound, we generally recommend a height of 8 to 10 feet as a general rule, but the barrier should be 50% higher than breaking the line of site with the noise source. If conditions are right and you're able to install everything properly, the absolute top end of what you can expect is 15 decibels of noise reduction. Most projects are able to achieve at least a 5 to 10 decibel reduction.

Get sound blankets for your project

Sound blankets come in all shapes, sizes, and types to solve a wide variety of problems. And while soundproof and acoustic blankets are easy enough to install, finding out which blankets and how many you need for your project can be a bit trickier. Luckily we’ve been doing this for quite some time and are here to help you. No matter what your project is, whether it is soundproofing a warehouse or a soundproof dog kennel, give us a call and we’ll help find the right sound blankets for you.

Frequently Asked Questions on Soundproof Blankets

How much do sound blankets reduce noise?

Soundproof blankets can reduce noise up to 15 decibels in a four-sided, open-topped enclosure around a piece of machinery. In most cases involving a fence, expect a 5 to 10 decibel reduction in noise. Soundproof blankets are an excellent way to create a noise barrier, both as a permanent solution and a temporary or moveable one.

Are moving blankets and acoustic blankets the Same?

Moving blankets are not the same as acoustic blankets. As the name suggests, moving blankets are used to move furniture, and are not designed to absorb sound. Although moving blankets are touted to be a cheaper alternative to acoustic blankets by people selling moving blankets on Amazon, they have no tested NRC rating and only absorb a modest amount of noise (closer to drywall than an acoustic blanket). It’s hard for us to imagine a scenario where we’d use moving blankets for any sort of acoustical improvement.

How do you attach a sound blanket?

Most sound blankets include pre-installed grommets that can be used to hang the blanket. Our Quiet Quilt sound blankets also utilize the heavy duty Velcro to attach the blankets to each other. For effective soundproofing, create as much of an airtight seal as possible by aiming for 100% coverage of the surface that goes all the way to the ground.

Do soundproofing blankets work?

Yes, soundproofing blankets certainly work, but make sure you pick ones that are rated for soundproofing! STC ratings is how soundproofing professionals know how much sound a barrier will block - the higher the STC rating, the better the blanket will be at blocking noise. Our Quiet Quilt Soundproof Blanket is a great choice as it has an STC rating of 32 with 1lb reinforced MLV and an STC rating of 38 with the 2lb MLV.

Quiet Quilt Your Way to Better Soundproofing

Quiet Quilt Soundproof Blankets are the durable, long-lasting solution for soundproof enclosures and fences. Frequently used in plant around workstations, to create an enclosure around an HVAC unit, or as a soundproof fence on a construction site to meet noise ordinances. Step up your noise blocking game with these industry leading sound blankets!

  • 1 lb MLV for an STC 32 sound blanket and 2 lb MLV for an STC 38 blanket
  • Grommets and Velcro built in for an easy install
  • Each blanket is customizable up to 54" in width and 20' in length (standard size is 54" by 8 feet)
  • Choose your color: grey, tan, black, or white
  • Custom notches, vents, baffles, and windows can be added

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.800.679.8511