Do soundproof window inserts work?

All these years I’ve been working on soundproofing, the best product I could find for blocking sound entering through windows is “Soundproof Window Inserts.”

Well, I almost answered your question in the first paragraph. Still, for those who didn’t get it, here’s the answer to your question. Do Soundproof Window Inserts work?

Yes, Soundproof window inserts are very effective for blocking outside noise entering the room. These inserts create an air gap between the window and the insert which helps in reducing the sound vibrations.

Do Soundproof Window Inserts work?

Regular windows that we have at our homes have Single Pane Glass which is not very effective when it comes to blocking outer noise entering the room. In comparison, soundproof window inserts are made up of thick glass, built with two glass layers and a layer of plastic sandwiched in between.

This three-layered glass used in window inserts works way better than the one used in regular windows.along with this, when we install soundproof window inserts, an air gap is created between the window and the insert.

This air gap creates a decoupling effect due to which low frequency sounds are not able to pass through the windows.

soundproof window inserts
source: indow inserts

Types of Soundproof Window Inserts

There are two types of soundproof window inserts I could find.

  • Acrylic Window Inserts

Acrylic is a type of plastic which is used for manufacturing soundproof window inserts. You will find two choices in acrylic window inserts, first one is ¼” thick acoustic grade acrylic window inserts which are specially designed for soundproofing purposes, and the second one is ⅛” standard acrylic window insert.

Acoustic grade acrylic window inserts are more thick, hence they have more mass per square foot which makes them better at blocking external noises. STC rating of Acrylic is around 29.

ProsCons
CheaperNot as efficient as laminated glass inserts (soundproof)
Manufacturing is easierProne to scratch
Very lightweight compared to Laminated glass insertsWith time they’ll catch dirt
  • Laminated Glass Window Inserts

Laminated glass window inserts are made up to two glass layers and one PVB layer sandwiched in between. These inserts have almost double mass per square foot than acrylic inserts, that’s why they are more efficient.

ProsCons
More efficient (soundproof)Expensive
Scratch Resistant
STC: 40+
Enhanced UV Filtration

So, these were the two types of window inserts. I would like to tell you more about the grades of soundproof window inserts available in the market. I found these different grades of inserts on Indow Windows but I’m not sure if other companies are selling the same or not.

There are six grades of window inserts you can buy depending on your requirements.

  • Standard Grade

The standard grade inserts come with a ⅛” thick standard acrylic glazing, these are designed to block draft and noise entering through the windows. Indow Windows claim that their standard grade window inserts block up to 10 to 12 db (50%) of noise when placed over single pane windows.

It also saved up to 20% energy saving in summers and winters by providing thermal insulation.

  • Acoustic Grade

Acoustic grade window inserts have double the thickness of standard grade inserts and help in reducing noise by up to 70% (18.9 dBA) with single pane windows.

When used with double pane windows, acoustic grade inserts can reduce sound by upto 50%(10-12 dBA)

soundproof window inserts
source: indow windows
  • Museum Grade

Museum grade window inserts are almost similar to standard grade inserts with ⅛” acrylic glazing, but these inserts are virtually invisible. The USP of museum grade inserts is that they block up to 98% of damaging UV radiations.

  • Privacy Grade

These inserts are specially designed to enhance privacy and that’s why they come with translucent acrylic so that no one could watch you through the windows. The surface of these inserts also hides scratches.

These inserts have the same thickness as standard grade inserts and they are specially designed for bathrooms..

  • Sleep Panels

Sleep panels are made up of Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). They completely blackout your window by blocking all the sunlight entering through the windows, and at the same time blocking sound. 

You can say this is a standard grade window insert with blackout ability. 

  • Commercial Grade

These inserts are specially designed for commercial purposes and come in two variants: ¼” and ⅛” thick. And obviously, the ¼” one blocks more sound.

Commercial grade inserts have a tougher exterior compared to standard grade and they are covered with abrasion resistant coating. 

types-of-soundproof-window-inserts
types-of-soundproof-window-inserts

Cost of Soundproof Window Inserts

I was searching on Amazon for soundproof window inserts, but couldn’t find any proper product there. There are some similar products like Flexo Glass($30), Window Frame kits($70-$80), Window Screens($15), etc but all of these products are very inefficient.

I would recommend purchasing Acoustic Grade Indow Window Inserts if you’re serious about soundproofing. These inserts would cost you around $30-$40 per square foot, but the best part is that you get fully customized window inserts specially designed for your window.

Conclusion

Soundproof Window inserts are very effective and can help you block noise by up to 50-70%. But don’t expect them to completely isolate your windows from the external environment. You’ll need some professional to do that job for you and it’s really expensive.

Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions or any questions. I would love to help.