Whether you are an aspiring music superstar, or simply like to get together and jam with your friends on the weekends your studio will require some acoustic treatment if you hope to achieve the best sound quality. Keeping noise in the studio and out of the surrounding suburbs will also ensure that you don’t upset the neighbors.
Music studios are more often than not set up in empty rooms or garages. These areas of the home are probably the worst for sound distortion as they tend to have hard flat surfaces from which the sound bounces, distorting and reverberating around the room. So, what are your options when it comes to the best soundproof solutions? Should you purchase the best soundproof blankets, use a DIY soundproofing hack or get a soundproof moving blanket to solve your problem?
The answer to this question lies in the frequency of sound that you needs to be absorbed. High-frequency sounds are more easily absorbed than lower frequencies. If the noise you wish to exclude contains drums or heavy base, moving curtains will not please your neighbors. In this article, we give you the lowdown on both types of sound absorption, help you with some tips and then review your best options.
Table of Contents
- 1 Moving blankets vs soundproof blankets
- 2 Best Soundproofing Blankets Comparison and Review
- 3 RESOURCES
Moving blankets vs soundproof blankets
Moving blankets once used exclusively for protecting furniture during transport have over the years gained a reputation as a reasonable and less expensive alternative to soundproof blankets. The manufacturers of moving blankets, in realizing that their product was being increasingly used for soundproofing, responded by improving the soundproofing feature of their blankets to meet the needs of a growing customer base.
Soundproof blankets also known as acoustic blankets are engineered to absorb sound. Woven fabric in cotton or polyester filled with cotton fiber offers superior quality sound absorption. Straight quilt stitching as found on soundproof blankets absorbs sound better than the zigzag quilting usually used on moving blankets. Although more expensive than moving blankets, soundproof blankets are cheaper than acoustic foam or curtains. For more on acoustics absorption.
Noise reduction coefficient – a measure of sound absorption
The Noise Reduction Coefficient NRC is a measure of sound absorption. It describes how good the noise reduction blanket is at absorbing surrounding sound. The NRC always falls between the values of 0.0 and 1.0. A measure of 0.0 means that the product is perfectly reflective, absorbing no sound and a measure of 1.0 means that it is perfectly absorptive, reflecting no sound.
To calculate the NRC audio laboratories, test the sound absorption of the product over a range of frequencies. The average of the sum of these measures is then the product NRC measure. The best acoustic blankets can reach a rating of up to 0.8. A blanket with a rating of 0.8 will effectively absorb eighty percent of the ambient noise.
A low coefficient could be an indicator that the blanket is not very good at absorbing lower frequencies, but it may be perfectly adequate for the removal of higher frequencies. Typically, the higher the NRC, the more you will pay for the noise reduction blanket. It is therefore in your interests to select the blanket that best suits your sound absorption and budget requirements.
Moving blankets may serve your need
Moving blankets usually have an NRC of between 0.3 and 0.5. Normally heavier blankets will absorb lower frequencies. Even some of the thinner less effective soundproof blankets come in with an NRC of around 0.5, so what you choose to purchase should be a trade-off between what noise you want to exclude and the amount that you are prepared to pay for the soundproofing.
If you’re not a professional sound musician but want to improve the quality of the sound in your music studio you may even try doubling up moving blankets, doubling the density, for better sound absorption. Remember moving blankets are not as long as soundproof blankets so you will need to account for this when making your purchase.
Moving blankets are more than adequate for the absorption of noise made by small household appliances such as dishwashers, air conditioners or washing machines. If you plan to use it for deadening the noise of your garage band, be aware that moving blankets are not likely to adequately absorb the sounds of the bass guitar or drums, but should be adequate for acoustic guitars, flutes or human voices.
If you have decided that moving blankets are an adequate solution you should look for soft and heavy fabrics which do not have a reflective outer casing. The amount of surface area that is covered is also an important consideration.
When you don’t want to compromise
For the best sound absorption, soundproofing with blankets are your best bet since they will reduce the transmission of low frequencies that can be very annoying. Generally, these blankets are designed for home studios and theaters and they do a better job and are more attractive than moving blankets. These are the products to buy when there can be no compromise on sound clarity. These are without a doubt the best bet for professional sound and style.
Sound absorption blankets are typically used;
Soundproof or acoustic blankets are typically made from layered fabrics with the outer layers made from absorbent woven materials that are acoustically transparent, allowing the sound waves to pass through into the dense and absorbent fillers that lie between. One of the most important attributes of an acoustic blanket is its density.
Common filler materials are recycled cotton, fiberglass, mass loaded vinyl and mineral wool. Soundproof curtains have alot of benefits such as;
Research has shown that to achieve the most effective sound absorption, you should hang your soundproof blankets three inches from the wall. Soundproof blankets that are two to three inches from the wall will be fifty percent more effective than those hanging directly on the wall.
Best Soundproofing Blankets Comparison and Review
Sound Absorption Sheet 4-Pack
This high-performance product has an NRC of 0.65. These are sound absorption sheets and they do not block sound out but they will improve the acoustics in any room where they are used. They do this by reducing vibration and echoes. The acoustic absorption material from which this product is made makes them as effective in sound reduction as many more expensive installations.
The ten-pound sound absorption sheets come in a standard size of 8’x4.5’. For ease of installation, the sheets are fitted with three grommets on each short side.
The blankets are made from recycled cotton and cellulose, most of which comes from recycled newspaper. They are produced using only ten percent of the energy required to produce a fiberglass equivalent. Audimute is non-toxic, not carcinogenic and contains no fiberglass. Fiberglass is a filler commonly used in acoustic curtains, and it can cause severe reactions when it comes into contact with human tissue.
Audimute also makes customized solutions and are willing to work with you to match your sound absorption sheets to your home decor requirements. The company has been in business for over a decade and was founded by a drummer who wanted to develop a soundproofing solution that would adequately absorb sound for better acoustic clarity. The result is a portable, adaptable product which is one of the easiest products in the soundproofing market to install and take down. This great looking and durable product is available in silver/black or light and dark brown.
Super Supreme Blankets
Moving blankets do not soundproof a room but they have long been recognized as a relatively cheap solution for absorbing noise, and many people use them for making recording booths or lining studios. Whilst they generally will not protect the neighbors from low-frequency noise, they will improve the sound inside the studio, preventing reverberation and echo.
Super Supreme moving blankets are the heaviest moving blankets currently available on the market. This makes them the best choice of moving blanket for the absorption of sound in your studio or garage. The weight and density of the blanket mean that it is better able to absorb lower frequency sounds. Hang these blankets on hooks or make a rod pocket by folding one side over and then hang the blankets three inches from the walls.
As these are moving blankets there are no color choices and you will have to be satisfied with dark grey. The curtains weigh in at nearly eight pounds and are 72”x80” in size. These durable blankets are made from fiber filled polyester. Although heavy, they are highly portable and easily installed and removed. Moving blankets are not the ultimate in sound absorption but if you’re on a budget, they’re a great place to start.
These high-quality blankets are made from quarter inch material, which includes thick and durable cotton batting. The exterior sleeve is made from a non-woven fabric. The blankets have a double stitched polyester binding along the perimeter to ensure durability over time. The product has a high quality double stitched, quilted finish.
They are available in black with a grey underside. They weigh 2.45 pounds. If you feel that this is a little lightweight for your requirements you may consider doubling them up for better sound absorption. The product is great for improving the acoustics of the room or for preventing high-frequency sounds from entering or leaving a room. They are likely to be the most affordable moving blankets that you will find. These blankets are highly portable and you could double them up as protective covers when transporting your musical equipment to other locations or to gigs.
Burly Heavy Weight Moving Blanket, 72 x 80" - Cheap Soundproof Blanket
This moving blanket weighs in at 6.7 pounds. It is a standard 72”x80”. It is black on one side and safety orange on the other, so it can double up as hunting gear. The durable mixed fiber fabric is quilted throughout. The blanket is well made from heavy-duty materials that are manufactured from one hundred percent recycled materials.
Purchase grommets and install them on the blanket for easy hanging. By all accounts, these blankets work well as sound absorbing materials. The product is packed in zip up re-usable polyester bags for easy storage and portability.
Branded by Forearm Forklift, a US company in the business of high-quality moving equipment since 1998 this is a brand that Americans trust. The company backs its product and will refund your money if you are dissatisfied with your purchase and return it within thirty days.
This bale of twelve moving blankets has a total weight of thirty-five pounds, each weighs 2.9 pounds. The blankets are made from non-woven materials which are quilted with a double lock stitch for durability. They are lined with batting and have nicely finished squared corners. The fabric from which the blankets are made is tough and heavy duty and is a quarter inch thick. The blankets are black and measure a standard 72”x80”.
This product stands up very well to wear and tear, and the bale contains enough blankets to cover a large portion of the room. If a bale is more than you require you could double up for more sound absorption or use the remaining blankets for transport of your valuable equipment. These blankets are excellent value for money.
These high-quality blue and black moving blankets are sold in a bale of twelve. They are heavy weight blankets with a combined weight of forty-five pounds for twelve or 3.75 pounds each. They are made from non-woven material and are bound with polyester. They are filled with batting. The outside is quilted with a zigzag pattern. The stitching is double locked for additional durability. Add grommets or a rod pocket for easy installation. Use any excess blankets for transport to protect your equipment or the boot of your car.
Singer Safety Double Faced Quilted Fiberglass Panel
This fiberglass panel is a single faced quilted sound absorbing panel. The panels are designed for use against solid surfaces such as walls and doors. It is very well made with bound hems, diamond quilting, and double nickel-plated brass grommets for easy installation. The grommets measure 12” along the top and 18” along the sides. The side grommets allow the user to bind panels together to custom make their own sound panels. The double-faced material is two inches thick and is four-foot wide by eight foot tall.
Hang it from hooks on the ceiling or suspend it on a sliding closet door track for easy opening. This is one of the best acoustic blankets on the market but it is also one of the more expensive products. These panels are great for hanging over doors as this is often where most of the external noise enters a room. The quilted fiberglass is semi-flexible.
The panels are designed to absorb low frequency noise so this is a no-compromise product. The thick double quilted material absorbs noise from both inside and out. On the downside, this product would probably not be one that you would hang in a lounge as it highly functional but low on aesthetic appeal.
Moving Sound Blanket
These sound blankets are the perfect solution for your home studio. This 72”x 80” soundproof blanket is made from a heavy, 85-gram fabric and comes with nine grommets installed along the 72-inch edge, making them quick and easy to install and take down.
The outer shell is woven from a durable polyester cotton blend and the quilting is straight stitched. Vertical stitching allows the acoustic sound blankets to expand and contract for better sound absorption. The filling is made from one hundred percent recycled cotton fiber. The blanket is black.
This is a heavy blanket weighing in at 9.2 pounds and should provide excellent sound absorption even with low-frequency noise. The thick fillers offer superior sound absorption. The product is easy to maintain as it is machine washable.
Make all the noise you want! There is a soundproof solution for you
Soundproofing can be expensive and difficult to install. Fortunately, if you have a passion for making your own music, you do not have to spend a fortune on curing the sound resonance problems that commonly plague musicians and their neighbors. Moving blankets make cost-effective sound absorbing materials especially when the sound frequencies are high. If you cannot compromise or if you have low-frequency equipment, soundproof or acoustic blankets are cheaper than soundproof curtains or wall treatments, and offer a very effective solution to the problem of noise.