Sometimes you need peace and quiet while driving to concentrate on the road. Maybe you like to listen to podcasts or are learning a new language and need to improve the quality of sound from your car stereo. The car should also allow you to have meaningful conversations with your passengers without shouting at each other. Sound deadening materials work by reducing vibrations to make the space quieter. They are used to reduce the intensity of distracting noises from the road, the engine, and the rattling of metal parts getting to your ears.
Every soundproofing material manufacturer has an idea of the noises they wish to combat when designing sound deadening material for automotive use. You will find that all automotive sound deadening material products have unique strengths and weaknesses, which leaves it up to you to decide which one(s) are best suited to your car and driving conditions. We have applied actual scenarios in our review of car sound-deadening materials to illustrate their importance and check out what is currently available in the market.
Our Top 10 Best Sound Deadening Material for Automotive Use
Identify the source and type of noise entering the cabin to deal with it. Each product below addresses a specific need, dictating the features you prioritize.
Rattling noises come from the car’s metal surface and plastic components rubbing or hitting against each other as the vehicle moves. They are more pronounced in older automobiles, but rattling is also possible in new cars. The noise gets worse when you hit bumps or drive on uneven roads. The best sound deadening material for rattling depends on the source of the rattling and how it’s seeping into the cabin.
If the rattling is coming from the door, there might be a loose nut or bolt inside the door panel that you need to remove or tighten. The door might be misaligned, causing noise, or is leaving spaces for soundwaves to transmit into the cabin. The weatherstripping might be worn, which leaves the window loose. In such cases, the window may start tapping the car’s body inside the door frame.
It can also be that the door doesn’t have sufficient insulation material because it’s worn out or the manufacturer underestimated the requirement. You can use sound deadening insulating material to address this. You can apply sound-absorbing mats to fix this problem. Ensure the base of this material is either asphalt or butyl; the two come highly recommended for their durability and insulation properties.
The Overall Best Sound Deadening Mat for Automotive Use
It has Second Skin’s proprietary sound deadening featuring butyl rubber and annealed foil. Butyl is airtight and flexible, and a thin layer makes a big impact on sound insulation. Use this mat on the door, hood, interior roof and floor, trunk, and trunk lid.
The Best Foam Sound Deadening Material for Automotive Use
This oil and waterproof liner will survive inside the door frame because its closed-cell foam formulation makes it highly compressible. It reduces vibrations and holds the components together once inside, forming a thick barrier to absorb impact noises and preventing noises from accessing the cabin. You can also use it in the hood, trunk, interior floor, and roof of the vehicle.
This sound is typically from tires rolling on the road, friction when you brake, and the impact of bumps and imperfections on the road. Much of it transmits as vibration energy, starting as impact noise and being amplified within the cabin.
Road noise is worse in poor road conditions and with worn-out tires. Check the threads, pressure levels, and alignment of the tires if the noise is abnormally high.
The best solution is to reduce the vibrations getting into the cabin from the floor by covering the floor as comprehensively as you can to limit the gaps through which road noises might penetrate the cabin. Good sound deadening material for the floor is easy to fit and cut, so you can cover as much area as possible within a short period.
The Best Sound Deadening Material for Wide Surfaces
This Kilmat sound deadening automotive self-adhesive insulation contains butyl rubber, greatly enhancing its acoustic capabilities without adding unnecessary weight. It lays down easily and conforms to the car’s contours, eliminating bubbles and weak points. You can tell when it’s not installed properly because it has special embossing and a convex coil profile that shows when it hasn’t been well pressed on the surface.
Considering most of the road noise is being made by the tires, you may want to address it at the source by applying sound deadening material to the inside of the wheel well. This area is not easily accessible, and because it is exposed to the elements, adhesives may not be sufficient to keep your sound deadening material in place.
The Best Spray On Sound Deadening Material for Hidden Spaces
This asphalt-based product gives the ideal rubberized undercoating for the inside of the wheel, the interior of the fenders, under the hood, well, quarter panels, the undercarriage, and any other part of the car that is not easily accessible but is prone to the effects of wear and tear. The coat prevents chipping, exterior rusting, abrasion, and delays weathering.
It insulates the vehicle cabin against noises from tires, the road, and the engine by dissipating soundwave vibration, so the intensity is much lower by the time it gets to the cabin. It also absorbs impact when metal parts come into contact with each other and reduces the resonance of the impact.
It comes inside an aerosol dispenser, making it easy to reach spaces that would otherwise be inaccessible in a car that is already assembled.
The trunk deserves special mention because it has a cocktail of airborne and structural noises. It is often neglected when it comes to insulation as there’s usually nobody to complain about the discomfort. The noises within the trunk will still get to the cabin and disturb your peace so they are worth addressing.
Trunks usually come with a thin carpet and light metal paneling, which is a bad combination for soundproofing. The lid is mostly hollow and light, and the items placed in the trunk also keep changing. Besides the usual spare tire, jack, and roadside gear, you will be oscillating between a gym bag, golf clubs, assorted shopping items to electronics that you just bought or are taking for repairs. You can’t have one tool to prevent the items from banging against each other and vibrating every time you take a sharp turn or come up on an uneven road.
Our solution is to isolate the trunk from the rest of the vehicle, containing the noises in the trunk.
Best Sound Deadening Material for Decoupling
This product is a mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) barrier attached to a closed-cell foam barrier, so it handles both airborne and structural noises. The MLV component diffuses soundwaves and contains them within the trunk without amplifying them or increasing reverberation. The closed-cell foam is soft enough for the MLV to flex on when diffusing sound and also offers the mass backup necessary to absorb structural sounds. It can even be used as a finished floor interior on its own.
The Most Wholesome Sound Deadening Material Kit
This is the sound insulation material for a DIY project as you get the full set of tools for installation with the package. It is self-adhesive and comes with a roller to ensure it fits snugly, a cutting knife, and a FatMat sound control decal for accurate cutting.
This noise is the whooshing sound you hear which gets higher the faster you drive. It is the sound of air getting rapidly displaced inside and outside as your vehicle moves. The noise gets into the vehicle through tiny openings on the car’s exterior, including windows, so if you drive a convertible with the top down, this is not your immediate problem.
A little unwanted noise from wind is unavoidable, but some manageable circumstances aggravate the situation.
- The door seals are worn out.
In this case, the cabin is not properly sealed, and the wind gushes through the car through the tiny spaces they left.
- Your windshield isn’t acoustic.
Many car manufacturers do not feature this as a factory option because acoustic glass is expensive and will push up the cost of production and consequently the price. It is an upgrade worth looking into if the wind noise is too much for you, and you have confirmed the door seals are in good shape.
Some wind noises still get into the car despite the seals functioning properly, even when the windows are fully closed. These are probably getting in through other openings you are yet to discover or are being structurally transmitted through vibrations.
Sometimes your best bet is to layer the sound deadening material so you can double or triple the effect. Your expenditure on acoustic material will also double or triple as this entails buying more of it. Before choosing this route, you should have identified an effective material that will not require that you break the bank.
Best Value Sound Deadening Material for The Money
This butyl and foil mat is thicker than the previous model to enhance sound absorption and blockage. The price remains pocket-friendly, and you can buy in bulk for big projects or if you want to layer up without stretching the budget.
Some sound-deadening materials have consistently received positive reviews from buyers over the years. Upon closer inspection of their features and quality, we felt they deserved to be included in this review to further expand your options.
The butyl base in this mat has been treated with Bmastic technology, adding composites that make the mat lighter and ensuring it remains odorless even when subjected to extreme heat. It is self-adhesive and easy to install.
The butyl base in this mat has been treated with Bmastic technology which adds composites that make the mat lighter and ensures it remains odorless even when subjected to extreme heat. It is self-adhesive and easy to install.
This mat is polyethylene (PE) closed-cell foam with a butyl base and is similar to rubber. It is an excellent insulator that is oil and petrol-resistant and does not absorb water. Despite its low weight it is reasonably thick (315 mil) and will go a long way in regulating that cabin noise. The red color is unique and allows you to be creative with your car upholstery.
Different Types Sound Deadening Material for Automotive Us
Each class of material has its unique prescribed application. They should be used together to complement each other and optimize the acoustic experience because none of them is a wholesome solution on its own, and some of them are not applicable in certain spaces.
Sound Deadening Car and Truck Mats
These are the most common sound-deadening materials in the automotive industry. They are very popular for dissipating road noises within the vehicle cabin as they are pocket-friendly, lightweight, and are easy to procure and deploy. Their versatile utility also contributes to this popularity; they maintain the temperature inside the vehicle cabin, which helps in heat regulation and collect dirt for easy disposal.
Woven Fiber and Foam Insulation Products for the Interior of the Cabin
They are used underneath the car’s carpet or floor mats and in between door frames, the hood, the trunk, and its lid. They provide cushioning, help maintain temperature, and more importantly, absorb and dissipate structural noises.
Noise Absorbing Spray
These go where mats, foam, and fiber can’t be applied. Unless it comes with a dispenser, this spray will require a compressor to apply, which makes this method the least common option for home projects. It is largely used by body shops. You can, however, adapt a spray can to function as a compressor to reach the tight spots and deep corners.