Tips for Soundproofing a Home Theater Room
These days, you may be planning to finally make your dreams of a home theater come true. When you love movies, television shows and video games, a home theater will definitely improve your quality of life. As great as home theaters are, they tend to be quite noisy, which means that you’ll probably want to soundproof the room. To reduce noise in a home theater room, be sure to:
- Develop a strategy (select room, establish budget, select contractor)
- Consult Soundproofing and Acoustics experts
It is important to understand that while soundproofing any space can greatly reduce the noise transmission, you should not count on complete silence. Even in the most well thought out and professionally designed movie theaters, sound travels into the halls. An STC higher than 65 can be challenging to fully soundproof so be sure you are setting proper expectations and not placing your theater right next door to, say, a nursery, bedroom or office.
Develop a Strategy
Every home theater is unique, so you will need to develop a strategy to soundproof successfully and avoid reverberations. Spacious homes with large rooms that are spread out require a different type of soundproofing than theater rooms in smaller, cozier homes.
Consider how much space you have to dedicate to your home theater as space or height constraints will limit your soundproofing options. If building your home theater from scratch, plan the soundproofing in advance. Dedicating time and thoughtful consideration when developing this strategy will be a game changer in the end. This allows you to plan for all the gaps where you need them and to avoid them where you do not.
Soundproofing - Reduce the Sound Emitted From Your Theater Room
Option 1: Reverberations are a major cause of noise and can often be the most frustrating. Isolating walls lowers sound transmitted through the structure. When you have ample space, consider utilizing the room-within-a-room method for optimum sound isolation performance within your theater room.
We understand that not everyone has a space large enough to accommodate building a room within a room. When you are working with a more moderate size space, a great option is isolating ceiling and walls using isolation clips and Drywall Furring Hat Channel
. An especially effective way to soundproof a wall is decoupling. When an interior wall is constructed using traditional methods, drywall sheets are attached to the studs. This method causes a sound problem because the interior wall’s sound vibrations are transferred to the studs, which allows the noise to reach the exterior wall. With decoupling, the studs are separated from the room’s interior walls. This decreases the transmission of sound because it reduces the amount of contact that the walls have with the studs.Whether you are following option one or two, plan to incorporate three things: absorption, mass, and damping.
- For sound Absorption, use UltraTouch Denim Insulation or mineral wool within the walls. This is an ideal choice to contribute to sound absorption.
- For Mass, we typically recommend utilizing a combination of Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) and one or two layers of drywall.
- For Damping, Green Glue is highly recommended as a damping compound between layers of rigid construction material such as plywood and drywall or sandwiched between two layer of drywall.
Additionally, If your home is multistory, consider adding a
carpet or tile underlay
. This should be done in the room above the theatre room. On a ground floor, a floating floor will reduce structure borne noise.
Windows and doors are a prime spot for sound to seep through. Properly sealing
these areas is critical and, in most cases, often overlooked. Beyond sealing the gaps around your doors, most standard doors invest in studio doors – they’ll do wonders in reducing sound transmission and preventing noise from traveling through and around the door. If your audio setup is on the modest side and your home has plenty of square footage, you may be able to soundproof an existing door using a solid-wood door combined door seals
along the perimeter of your door.
Acoustics – Reduce Reverberations & Improve Sound in Your Home Theater
Acoustic treatment within the theater room will lower the reverberation, which, in turn lowers sound level outside of the room and improves the sound within your theater. Consider installing materials over your drywall that will allow for clean kinetic sound such as the
SONEX One Acoustic Panels
or the SONEX Acoustic Pyramid Panels
for a classic look. Alternatively, for a classier finish consider Ambience fabric-wrapped Acoustic Panels
. Not only are these additions affordable, but they’re great at reducing those reverberations that tend to seep into nearby rooms, allowing you to enjoy your entertainment with a clear, crisp sound and without bothering family members or neighbors.
Consult an Expert - We’re Here to Help!
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with any questions while you tackle your home theater project.