Do sound absorption blankets work well? That is a question our visitors and sound blanket buyers ask quite a lot. The answer? It depends! It depends on what you are using your soundproofing blankets for. It also depends on what type of sound proof blankets or acoustical blankets you purchase.
So what type of sound blankets do you need?
In this article we break down the possible uses of sound absorption blankets into two types, cheap but thick moving blankets and acoustic quality blankets such as Audimute. Your selection will depend on whether you need high level of sound attenuation (sound absorption). Especially adequate absorption of the lower (bass) frequencies of the sound is in question here. If you do not need super high absorption of lower (bass) frequencies, you can possibly get away with cheaper sound absorbing moving blankets. Just below we will give suggestions for both inexpensive sound absorbing moving blankets and proper, acoustic quality sound blankets.
At the end we will also give tips on how to increase the convenience of hanging the acoustic blankets and a powerful tip to increase the effectiveness of any sound blanket. Read all the way down!
Cheap Sound Absorbing Blankets
If you are not really concerned with removal of the lower sound frequency spectrum, then you will find that even sound absorbing heavy duty moving blankets will be quite adequate for your sound absorption needs. In other words,
1. Even if sound absorbing moving blankets do not absorb the lower frequencies well, if your sound source (such as typical human voice, guitars, violins, or smaller house appliances) does not generate low frequencies, such cheap sound absorbing blankets will be adequate
2. Even if the NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) of the cheap sound absorbing blankets is relatively low (below 0.5 on a scale from 0.0 to 1.0), this could be due to no absorption of low frequencies. The high frequencies can still be very well absorbed.
3. As a rule of thumb, the heavier the blanket is the more of the lower frequencies it will absorb.
4. These blankets, especially moving blankets, are designed for transportation, so do not expect them to look very attractive (which really doesn’t matter if you are a garage band, or if you are looking to sound proof an air conditioner in the backyard).
Examples Of Uses Of Cheap Sound Blankets Or Moving Blankets
Moving blankets are used for noise reduction for
- Sound blankets for dishwashers.
- Sound attenuation blankets for doors and windows.
- Acoustical blankets for a garage band, no drum or bass (vocals, guitars, etc. only).
- Sound blankets for a small air conditioner or heat pump.
The best thing about moving blankets is their low price, and, depending on their thickness (the thicker the better), they have noise reduction coefficient (NRC) coefficients between 0.3 and 0.5. Such relatively high NRC for a product not intended for sound absorption means that moving blankets can absorb up to half of the sound energy that hits them. The noise absorption of moving blankets is indeed much higher than the noise absorption of typical home curtains, or carpets.
Where To Buy Moving Blankets
Proper Sound Attenuation Blankets, Acoustical Blankets
If you require high sound absorption, and good looks, then true acoustic quality blankets will be your best choice. You will accomplish several things with these:
1. Due to high absorption (NRC typically higher than 0.5), you will have much less sound reflected back. (again, here NRC stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient and is a number between 0.0 and 1.0. The higher the NRC, the more noise is reduced, or absorbed)
2. Again due to high absorption of the noise, there will be much less sound transmitted through, and the outside sound will be drastically reduced.
3. Due to high NRC, the lower frequency sounds (bass, drum, etc.) will be reduced significantly. In many situations, transmission of low frequencies can be quite annoying to the neighbors.
4. Acoustical blankets are designed for studios, in promptu home theaters, and they look good and give a pleasant feel to the room, both visually and acoustically.
Examples Of Uses Of Proper Soundproof Blankets
- Acoustical blankets for a garage band, band includes drum and bass
- Acoustical blankets for a sound booth or any portable sound studio
- Sound blankets to reduce echoes in large halls, such as in-promptu sports halls turned music halls
- Exterior sound absorbing blankets for large AC compressors
- Large air conditioner or heat pump sound blankets
- Reducing average noise in an office setting
Which Acoustical Blankets To Buy
When you know you need acoustic quality sound blankets, with NRC over 0.5 and good attenuation of low frequencies, then you should check Audimute Absorption Sheets. Their NRC is quite impressive 0.65. Audimute Absorption Sheets have been successfully used by garage bands, for sound booths, for rehearsal spaces and studios. A great thing about Audimute Absorption Sheets is that they come with grommets on both top and bottom end (see Convenience tip below). You can even purchase the matching knob and screw as an accessory to the blankets.
Convenience Of Grommets And Hooks
When you can find sound blankets with grommets, you are going to have the easiest time hanging these on the walls. Simply hang them on the hooks which you have screwed into the wall. Some sound blankets also come with a rod pocket so you can hang them using a rod and then hang the rod itself on the wall. Audimute Absorption Sheets come with grommets and optional matching knob and screw for complete convenience of hook installation into the wall and subsequent hanging of the blankets on the hooks.
Tip To Maximize Sound Absorption With Soundproof Blankets
Lets say you want to maximize sound absorption, either with thick moving blankets, or with acoustic quality absorption sheets.
Experiments have shown that hanging the soundproof blanket as much as 3 inches away from the wall will reduce the sound absorption the most. Hanging the soundproof blanket 2-3 inches from the wall will absorb some 50% more sound than hanging the blanket on the wall directly. Using a 3 inch spacing will result in the best, most crisp and clear sound inside the room (garage, etc). The sound echoes and reverberation will be minimized. At the same time, when you use 2-3 inch spacing, this will minimize the noise outside. It is a win win situation for everyone.