You might be one of the many people who receive complaints from your neighbors due to throwing an indoor party with a massive sound system, or from simply listening to your favorite music at high volume. Your neighbors might be wondering why you have to install such a loud sound system for a birthday party, why you like to turn up the volume when listening to music or why your band always likes to practice at night and so on. They wonder why you don’t use headphones, or throw the party somewhere else rather than at your house so that it will not disturb their sleep or their relaxation at home. They might better understand if you are a teenager, but what if you are not a teenager, or you are the parents of your teenage boys or girls. Your neighbors expect you to respect them and might not be able to tolerate the loud music coming from your house. They might even call the police and surely you do not want that to happen. However, you or your teenagers don’t want to give up the loud music just because of a neighbor’s complaint. There is something you can do about this, which is the installation of soundproofing foam that will allow you to play your loud music without disturbing the neighbors.
If you need to soundproof your music studio for band or singing rehearsals, you are going to need a decent quality of foam, as you want the best acoustics in the studio. You can look for these foams by browsing the Internet or simply going to music equipment shops as they normally have many choices of soundproofing foam with different prices. If you just simply want to soundproof your home so that if you throw a party the noise will stay inside, or you want to block the noise from outside your house, you are going to need foam that is different from the one for use in a studio. The thickness of the foam also depends on how much sound reduction you need. If you just want to reduce the noise from the traffic outside your house, you do not need very thick foam. On the other hand, if you need a type of foam that can completely block noise in either direction so you can throw an indoor party without creating a nuisance in your neighborhood; you are going to need much thicker foam. As the price for the foam for studios and houses is normally not cheap, you will have to be ready to pay a reasonable price.
However, if you are unwilling to spend a lot of money on soundproofing, or you simply cannot afford it, you can make your own soundproofing by using cheap materials. Fibrous paper pulp or foamed plastic egg cartons for instance, have been widely used as a cheap alternative to soundproofing. You can start collecting fibrous or foamy egg cartons as they can work as basic soundproofing. Basically, the bottoms of these egg cartons are similar to acoustic foam. They will absorb and break up the reflection of sound from flat surfaces. You can install the foam by stringing up the foam bottoms and install them on the walls and ceiling so they can function as a soundproof barrier. You can either stick each foam square on one by one or connect them together using duct tape. The result will be a fibrous or foamy egg carton covering that is installed in a way that can be installed and removed relatively easily.
As another alternative to acoustic foam, you can also make use of mattress or furniture foam. It works well as soundproofing, similar to the egg cartons. Memory foam rolled mattresses are also more affordable. These mattresses unrolled will absorb and muffle the sound. This will probably be more effective than the egg cartons since the foam is thicker. Using these mattresses will also benefit you in terms of the big size, lightness and compactness. You can easily install them on your wall and ceilings as soundproof and installation is easier than the egg cartons. In addition to memory foam rolled mattresses, using regular old mattresses is also a good idea, especially if you have unused old mattresses that you have no idea what to do with them or how to get rid of them. Such mattresses may be obtained from second-hand shops such as Goodwill. Simply lean them against the walls and even on the floor and they will absorb and muffle the sound. As it might be difficult to attach them on the ceiling due to their heavier weight, you might want to use other forms of soundproofing alternatives for that part of the room such as carpeting. If you run out of old mattresses or memory foam rolled mattresses, as you may not have enough to cover one side of a wall, you can always mix them with other soundproofing alternatives such as egg cartoons or carpeting. Carpeting also can be used as cheap soundproofing, although its effectiveness depends on the thickness and type of carpet. Shag type carpeting may absorb sound better than a tight weave such as you would find in an office. Carpet padding, usually installed under some types of carpeting, may actually be better than the carpeting, and will be cheaper. You can combine carpets with old mattresses or other soundproofing foams, with the carpet installed on the floor and ceiling, and the mattress materials installed on the walls. As a matter of a fact, you can also use various cloth items to do the job, such as blankets, comforters or curtains, and the thicker and heavier they are the better. Although these might not work as good for soundproofing, they can still do the job quite well. A perfect solution would be a curtain from an old theater, but these really heavy curtains are not easily found. Basically, any solid and smooth, exposed surface will accentuate and reflect the sound in the room by echoing and re-echoing. Parallel walls make the matter worse, but this is not easily changed. Thus, if you cover these surfaces with soft materials such have been described above, they will absorb and muffle the sound.
Overall, with these suggestions you can start on your own DIY project by creating your own soundproofing. The project will only cost a little bit of money or possibly even none at all. In fact, you can have a little fun doing the project. However, if you have the money to buy decent soundproofing foam, then you can start by shopping for it, at least to compare prices. With the knowledge about what type of foam you are going to need, you will get something that really suits your requirements best.