Soundproofing Your Home Theater for Maximum Enjoyment
The best thing about having the great home theater you’ve spent years dreaming of is the volume – that is, the ability to turn it up to your liking. No better place to indulge your love of super loud bass, or high octane sports, or scream-packed horror movies, right?
The worst thing about having a great home theater? Well, it’s the volume of course, unless your home theater has been soundproofed.
The point of having a home theater is to enjoy it, and soundproofing your home theater should serve a dual purpose – protecting those on the outside from your choice of entertainment, and protecting your investment in the home theater by blocking unwanted outside sounds from leaking in. You can do that by installing the right noise reduction material or combination of materials – you want to absorb noise before it leaves the space, and you also want to block outside noise from coming into you home theater.
For instance, the sounds that come from bass notes are some of the hardest to block because they come through the floor and walls even at normal listening levels. Bass contains a huge amount of energy, and those low frequency waves travel through most surfaces – walls, floors, ceilings – not only in sound waves but also in vibration. The louder you like your bass, the bigger the noise issues will be for other family members as well as neighbors, particularly if you live in an apartment or condo.
In fact, treating your home theater with the appropriate noise abatement material is going to pay off, both in your immediate pleasure (you can hear all the fine details from your HD screen or stereo without being disturbed by the neighbor’s dog barking) and later when it comes time to sell your home. In fact, homebuyers are more inclined to purchase a home with the convenience and privacy factor of soundproofing already installed.
The difference between attenuating noise caused by loud base, a full volume football game, or a noisy pool party in the next-door-neighbor’s yard is fairly complex and may require more than one approach to creating peace for those people within earshot of your home theater, as well as for making your home theater as enjoyable as it can be.
Noise abatement material that absorbs sound will keep your family and neighbors happy. This type of material works best when added to the wall studs during construction or renovation, before the drywall goes up. There is a wall treatment that can be attached over virtually any existing wall for a construction-free alternative to the stud treatment which carries the same STC, and can be painted or wallpapered to match the room’s décor. Once in place, the acoustical wallcover is virtually indistinguishable from any other wall.
Adding an appropriate noise barrier material, and/or a reverberant noise product will make the experience of listening to music, movies, or television all your own. You’ll still feel your bass waves inside, but family and neighbors on the other side of your home theater walls will remain blissfully ignorant.