The Best Insulation for Soundproofing Walls

The Best Insulation for Soundproofing Walls: A Review and Buying Guide

If you’re about to undertake a soundproofing project, you may be wondering what the best insulation is for soundproofing walls. In this guide, we review 5 best insulation for soundproofing walls.

In a hurry ? Here are our top picks

There are different types of soundproofing insulation, and each works a little bit differently.

1. Sonic Acoustics Hexagon Acoustic Panels

The Hexagon Acoustic Panels by Sonic Acoustics are high-density, 100% polyester fiber, sound absorbing panels that are flame retardant, non-toxic, non-slip, odorless, and eco-friendly. They are 12” x 14” x 4” and come in a pack of 12.

As a sound absorber, they can be used to lessen reverberation and sound reflection, and be used as insulation material between layers of drywall. Their size makes them ideal for spot treating music studios, practice rooms, or home theater rooms.

They can also be used decoratively, formed into a wedge, egg crate, pyramid, and other shapes, and can be arranged side-by-side with acoustic bass traps and other bass acoustic foam.

Pros

Pros
  • Made with 100% polyester fiber, meaning they’re safer than fiberglass insulation and rock wool, both to touch and to breathe in
  • They come in 15 colors, meaning you can find one to fit any color scheme, or mix and match for a more artistic flair
  • Cutting and altering their size doesn’t impact their performance, so you can fit them how you want
  • They impact sound effectively, absorbing excess vibrations that reduce echos and other unwanted sound
  • Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating of 0.95, amongst the highest available

Cons

Cons
  • While a good sound dampening material, you’ll need a lot to create an entire soundproof wall
  • There’s no adhesive on them, so you’ll need to buy adhesive spray or double sided tape separately in order to hang them
  • Best for smaller projects, such as minimizing sound transmission behind a television or stereo system

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The Sonic Acoustics Hexagon Acoustic Panels are a decorative and colorful option for a soundproof wall. Their design and material means they’re safe, non-toxic, and easily paired with other sound reducing products.

Best for smaller projects or as a decoration, these provide decent acoustic insulation and quality of sound in small to medium rooms. Coming with one of the best NRC ratings, these acoustic panels are the perfect sound absorption material so long as you don’t use them for bigger jobs, or if you buy a lot of them to do it.

2. Fstop Labs Acoustic Absorption Panel

These Acoustic Absorption Panels by Fstop Labs are also a high density, 100% polyester fiber, making them a safe and non-toxic fire retardant option for soundproofing a wall. Their dimensions are also similar, 12 inches high by 12 inches wide, and 0.4 inches thick. They come in a pack of twelve and in a square shape.

They can be easily cut to fit any shape or design, while retaining their firmness and stability. They come in four different colors: white, grey, dark grey, and black, and have an NRC rating of 0.95.

Pros

Pros
  • That NRC rating of 0.95, among the best available for cutting down vibration transfer
  • The ability to cut and shape them means you can fit them for any job
  • Are a cost effective sound dampening material
  • Good customer service and a full refund guarantee if not satisfied

Cons

Cons
  • These are best for smaller jobs like eliminating or reducing a direct type of noise or increasing acoustic performance of a music or entertainment room
  • They also don’t have an attached adhesive, so you’ll have to buy something separately to hang them
  • Not a wide range of colors to choose from, meaning they may clash with some living space color schemes

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The Fstop Labs Acoustic Absorption Panel offers much of the same soundproofing performance as the Sonic Acoustics Hexagon Panels, meaning they absorb unwanted sound fairly well, but you’ll need a lot of them to soundproof an entire wall.

Best used with a bass trap or other sound absorption materials, these squares are less for decoration and more for audio quality performance. They can be used effectively in band or music rooms, or for recording studios or to eliminate those pesky areas of vibration transfer in an apartment building.

3. Dekiru Acoustic Foam Panels

The third best insulation for soundproofing walls on our list, the Acoustic Foam Panels from Dekiru are also high density, 100% polyester fabric that is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and fire resistant.

They come in black,white, grey, and multi-colored patterns that add red, black, blue, yellow, and pink to the mix. Each order comes in a pack of 12 sound absorbing panels with an NRC rating of 0.92.

When placed in the right spot, these panels break up the noise transmission that bounces off of walls or ceilings which creates an echo or other unwanted noise reverberations. To create a fully soundproof wall, you’ll need about six packs of twelve. With that in mind, these are best for improving acoustic quality in smaller areas.

Pros

Pros
  • The mix and match color scheme adds a flair of decorative ability to the look
  • The 0.92 NRC rating is enough to impact sound transmission fairly well
  • The polyester fiber is non-toxic, safe to handle and breathe, and eco-friendly
  • Excellent customer surface that allows returns and refunds if not satisfied for any reason

Cons

Cons
  • Again, you’ll need to purchase something to hang these separately, such as 3M double-sided tape
  • Though the provided dimensions are 12” x 12” some users have noticed the dimension don’t quite equal up to that
  • Some customers have also noted that the colors aren’t quite as vibrant as they’re pictured

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Dekiru Acoustic Foam Panels are a decent soundproofing material that will improve sound quality in smaller areas, such as a wall cavity with a home entertainment system. The color options are immense, making these not only effective but decorative, as well.

If used for bigger jobs, prepare to need a lot of packs, but for smaller sound insulation jobs, these panels work well. As with the others, you’ll need to purchase something to help make them stick to your walls, such as adhesive spray or double-sided tape, and you may need to experiment to find which kind works best with these studio foam panels.

4. Running Alien Soundproof Acoustic Panels

The Soundproof Acoustic Panels by Running Alien are high-quality, 100% polyester fiber, making them non-taking, eco-friendly, and fire-resistant, as well. Also sized 12” x 12” x .04”, the real difference here is that these sound damping panels come in a pack of 18.

The 18 bevelled edge squares have an adhesive on the back of them, making installation a breeze without needing any other equipment. The Noise Reduction Coefficient for these is listed as between 0.8 and 1.10, making them either the most efficient, or the least efficient, or somewhere in between. It would have been nice to know for sure.

These panels use micro-absorbing holes on their surface, which collect and transform sound energy into heat energy in a technical process that can be appreciated, if not fully understood.

Pros

Pros
  • The included adhesive on the back (finally!) that makes installation super easy and precludes needing any other equipment
  • The panels are actually to size, with a professional look to them that can be appreciated by all
  • Having 18 in a pack instead of 12 means you can cover more wall space with less packs
  • 100% customer satisfaction guarantee means you can return them for a full refund if not satisfied
  • The cost per pack is nearly the same as for a 12 pack of other brands

Cons

Cons
  • The lack of color options, though the black can usually fit in with almost any color scheme
  • The obfuscation around the NRC rating is more than a little annoying

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The Running Alien Soundproof Acoustic Panels are a cost effective and high-quality sound damping material that will absorb excess sound vibrations without breaking the bank. Coming in a pack of 18, this set gives you an extra bang for your buck.

While the NRC rating is unknown (from using them, we believe it’s about 0.9), these panels still provide excellent sound damping and improved acoustic performance in the area where they’re used. The lack of color options means you can’t use them much for decorative purposes, but the noise absorption ability, along with the included adhesive on the back, makes these panels a great option for any soundproofing project.

5. Xin & Log Acoustic Foam Panel

The final best insulation for soundproofing walls on our list, this Acoustic Foam Panel by Xin & Log is a high-quality absorption foam that reduces mid-to-high frequencies and diminishes echoes.

Each panel is 12” x 12” x 1”, making them the thickest of the soundproofing material we’ve covered today. They also come in a pack of 96, making them best for bigger jobs where you need a larger type of insulation.

Perhaps best used within a construction technique along with soundproof drywall, these large packs of panels come in a combination of four colors: red and black, blue and black, burgundy and black, and all black.

Pros

Pros
  • The color schemes match well together, creating a professional look no matter which you choose
  • The pack of 96 means you can completely soundproof an entire wall with one pack, depending on the wall size
  • Effective sound damper if installed correctly (meaning over the entire wall)
  • Price per panel is on the lower end of the spectrum

Cons

Cons
  • A lot of patience is needed to make the most of these, as you need to wait to let them fluff up to correct proportions after shipping or gently soak them to help the process along
  • No adhesive backing, so again you’ll need to use another material such as double-sided tape or glue to hold these in place (and you’ll want to wait until they expand before placing them)

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The Xin & Log Acoustic Foam Panels are a professional musicians dream, allowing multiple color matching to fit most schemes and providing excellent sound damping and an improved acoustic property to nearly any area.

These panels are by no means for amateurs, as both the amount and price are designed for high-end and larger jobs. They’re perfect for music rooms, sound studios, recording rooms, and larger home entertainment rooms, such as a karaoke room or home theater.

Due to the need for a strong adhesive, you’ll need to get the installation right the first time, which means you’ll have to wait 3-4 days for the absorption panels to expand after shipping.

If you don’t, they’ll expand on the wall, which you don’t want. For some that refuse to expand, you may need to gently soak them in order to get them to their correct proportions before installation.

This extra step may be a pain to some, but let’s face it, if you’re buying these, you’re already prepared for a long and time-consuming project. The end result though, if done right, is a professional acoustic performance from an excellent noise absorption ability.

Things To Know Before You Buy

There are a multitude of reasons to buy and install soundproofing material, and whichever reason you have for doing it will play a big part on what type of material for the best insulation for soundproofing walls for your needs. We’ll go over a few here:

Reducing Unwanted Noise

Whether it’s an office, conference room, or living room, unwanted noise can be a bother. If your goal is to reduce or eliminate sound coming from the outside, a construction soundproofing technique is the best option.

In this scenario, soundproofing material should be inserted in between the interior and exterior wall, preferably inside a layer of drywall. Soundproof drywall will work best, but regular drywall can reduce excess noise transmission, as well. Either way, building your soundproofing material inside a layer of drywall will give you the best results.

If seeking to prevent noise from escaping the room, a soundproof barrier can be constructed as mentioned above, or sound absorption material can be placed on the interior wall. This will reduce the transmission of sound through the exterior wall.

Improving Acoustic Performance

Another reason people use the best insulation for soundproofing walls is to improve the acoustic performance of a space. This space can be large, like a music studio, or small, such as a wall cavity of a home entertainment system that contains a television or stereo.

In this scenario, sound absorption panels will most likely be your best bet. Just as with the products mentioned in this review, the size of the job will affect the quality of the outcome. The need to cover an entire room with sound dampening material will require a larger amount of panels and an effective installation of said panels.

A smaller area will need less panels, and can be done more easily by a single person. Just remember, sound is like water, if there’s a crack, it can get through. Many people complain of poor material when it’s really their use of the material that’s at fault.

Conclusion

Despite your reasons, there are a number of materials that can be used as effective insulation for soundproofing walls. We’ve covered five of the best insulation for soundproofing walls here, going into the details of what each can provide and how it works.

Your budget, free-time, and soundproofing needs will all play a part in what soundproofing material you should choose. We hope that we’ve given you the proper knowledge that you’ll need to pick the best soundproofing insulation and to install it correctly. If done right, you can get an amazing performance out of the right material, and all for a cost-effective price.

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