25 Different Types of Acoustic Materials in 2023

I watched 100+ YouTube video reviews for different types of acoustic materials and trust me if you’re not a DIY guy, it’s gonna be really hard to choose a perfect combination of acoustic materials for your room.

If you haven’t started building your checklist yet, add Acoustic Panels and Mass Loaded Vinyl to it right away.

Properties of Sound Absorbing Materials

Sound absorbing materials help in reducing reverberations by absorbing the sound waves falling on the surface of the material. Here are some properties of sound absorbing materials which you should look out for before purchasing one:

  1. Porous: More pores would absorb more sound as pores can trap air which dissipates energy of the sound waves.
  2. Density: Denser materials absorb more sound than lighter materials.
  3. Surface Area: Larger surface area allows more sound waves to fall on the surface, hence more sound will be absorbed.
  4. Frequency Response: Any acoustic material you choose would be more efficient for a particular range of noise frequencies, so it’s very important to know what frequency of noise you’re dealing with before purchasing any product.
  5. Thickness: Generally, thicker materials absorb more sound, but it’s not true for all cases because this property is also dependent on other properties like density and frequency response.

Types of Acoustic Materials

1. Acoustic plaster

Plaster finishes that absorb sound have been around for a while. Different substances, compounds, and systems can enhance or decrease weight and flexibility to further reduce surface reflections and aid in the equalization of the internal acoustics.

2. Acoustic Ceiling Tiles

Acoustic ceiling tiles are similar to acoustic panels in that they can be directly installed to a ceiling or utilized as a structural drop ceiling to create a grid system. A vast range of materials, sizes, and designs are available, and the acoustic properties of any space can be easily improved with acoustic ceiling tiles.

3. Acoustic membrane

Different acoustic membranes are available; some perform better and are significantly heavier than others. These come in various thicknesses and are rated by multiple dB reduction values at various Hz frequencies. Making wise choices is crucial because the thickness and weight impact their application and efficacy.

4. Acoustic foam

Acoustic foam is ideal for sound absorption and is offered in various thicknesses, sizes, and colors. Acoustic foam is sold under numerous brand names, and some even sell this material in eye-catching colors because some clients purchase products for their visual appeal as much as their use.

acoustic foam panels

5. Floor mats  

Another intriguing approach to stopping impact sound and vibration that causes airborne structural noise is soundproof floor mats. Soundproof mats that block vibrations and annoyances like humming are available. These mats work well to reduce noise, and because they reduce vibration, they are also perfect for installation inside and beneath appliances and machinery.

6. Fiberglass

Fiberglass is available in form of boards or slabs rather than rolls. It can be used in various settings and contexts, including creating acoustic panels for commercial buildings, theaters, and home recording studios. In addition to improving interior acoustics, this soundproofing material is excellent at reducing noise entering or exiting a room. 

7. Soundproofing drywall (Plasterboard)

Due to its greater density and mass compared to other types of typical drywall used in everyday buildings, this is available in various thicknesses and encourages having a higher sound transmission class.

Gypsum boards and steel are frequently used in soundproof drywall construction to increase the material’s density and mass to absorb sound better. Having said that, as long as decoupling is kept in mind, any drywall can function effectively for soundproofing.

a man carrying a drywall

8. Dense Board (Plywood, OSB, Fire Board, Particle Board)

Oriented strand board, sometimes known as OSB, is a robust and adaptable building material. Plywood is an alternative that has a similar design with many layers of wood fibers that are oppositely aligned to generate rigidity and strength with increased density.

Also Read: Do soundproof panels keep noise out?

9. Acoustical textiles

Acoustic fabrics are very thick fabrics that are effective when dealing with acoustics in large rooms or halls. They are frequently used for theater curtains, blackout curtains, and studio blankets. Additionally, they are utilized as a wall lining in spaces like theaters to improve acoustic equalization.

10. Acoustic Sealant

A supplemental soundproofing technique used to seal material overlaps and fill tiny gaps, fissures, or other openings in a space. For the best effects, it’s crucial to seal off a room because sound can pass through even the smallest spaces. The installation of plasterboard or drywall requires acoustic caulk, which should not be depended upon to attain acoustic levels on its own.

person using acoustic sealent on door

11. Soundproof Glass (Windows & Frames)

It’s important to remember that any strategy one uses will only be as strong as its weakest link. Windows with an acoustic rating are specially made windows that work well for soundproofing.

The quantity of sound that enters or exits a room is limited because of the several layers of soundproof glass that are used in the construction of these windows, each of which is quite thick. Such windows would have air or inert gas trapped between each glass panel to further influence the flow of acoustic waves for better results.

soundproof glass
source: Droylsden Glass

12. Acoustic louvers

Acoustic louvers are typically utilized in building openings to let air circulate while isolating the area from unwelcome sounds. In the form of an open shutter with curved, linear, or horizontal blades or slats slanted to let in light and air but block rain and direct sunlight.

13. Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass loaded vinyl is an affordable and effective material for sound absorption, it’s a flexible material which is generally sandwiched between two surfaces as a sound dampening layer.

14. Soundproof Curtains

These are not as effective as other materials but soundproof curtains are better acoustic properties than regular curtains.

15. Soundproof Blankets

Soundproof Blankets are similar to soundproof curtains and they are a great option for the people running on a lower budget.

Natural Sound Absorbing Materials 

Here are some natural materials that are good at sound absorption, but keep in mind they are not as good as other acoustic materials:

16. Wood

Because it is a porous material, it is good at sound absorption.

17. Stone

Not all stones are good at sound absorption but stones like marble and granite, have unique sound-absorbing properties.

18. Bamboo

Bamboo can also help with absorbing sound..

19. Cork

Often used for flooring.

bunch of designed corks

20. Hemp

Dense and fibrous structure of hemp make it a great choice.

21. Wool

Wool is a soft and fibrous material that is effective at absorbing sound due to its dense and porous nature.

22. Cotton

Cotton has a soft and porous material because of which it has an ability to absorb sound waves.

23. Jute

Good for absorbing noise.

An indian woman standing with jute material

24. Coir

Often used for floor mats to absorb sound.

25. Sisal

Because of the structure of this natural material, it helps in sound absorption as well.

Noise Barriers

These are materials that block the sound entering or leaving the room, for soundproofing a room you gotta use many of these products as you can.

  • Mass Loaded Vinyl: One of the most flexible soundproofing materials you will ever find, it can act as a great noise barrier.
  • Green Glue: Generally, used to fill holes and joints to block sound entering through them. 
  • Drywall: An additional layer of wall can help with multiple things, I recommend using soundproof drywall for better results.
  • Soundproof Curtains: Compared to regular curtains, these curtains are thicker and heavier making which helps in blocking noise.
black hanged soundproof curtains
  • Soundproof Window Inserts: I would say this is the best material for soundproofing windows, the best thing is that you don’t need to do any wear or tear for installing them.
  • Resilient Channel: It is a metallic channel that is installed between the drywall and the wall or ceiling surface to reduce noise transmission.
  • Soundproof Blankets: These blankets work the same way as soundproof curtains, the heavier the better.
  • Door Sweeps: These sweeps are used for blocking the noise entering your room underneath the door. 
  • Weatherstripping: It is used to seal gaps and cracks around the door, so there is no room for noise to enter inside.
a man installing weatherstripping
  • Soundproof Doors: These doors are specially designed for creating a solid noise barrier, in comparison to a regular door it is heavier and thicker.
  • Soundproof Window: Like soundproof doors these windows are also designed specially for the purpose of soundproofing. Soundproof windows are made up of thicker glass materials and premium ones use acoustic glass.
  • Soundproof Floor Underlayment: Perfect for soundproofing floors and reducing the noise going downstairs.
  • Soundproof Room Dividers: Great option for creating your own soundproof space within your room at an affordable price. 

Composite Materials

These are the materials that work both as noise blockers and sound absorbers, they help in reducing noise transmission and at the same time reducing sound waves bouncing through hard surfaces. Here are some materials that you could use:

  • Mass Loaded Vinyl
  • Glass Wool Insulation
  • Green Glue
  • Cork
  • Heavier fabrics such as velvet
  • Soundproof blankets
  • Gypsum board with acoustic properties
  • Fabric wall panels
  • Soundproof curtains
  • MDF board with acoustic properties
  • Engineered timber flooring with acoustic properties

Before you go

Acoustic materials come in various shapes and properties, and certain facilities might require a combination of different kinds to obtain the best acoustics possible. Talking about basics, Acoustic Panels and Mass Loaded Vinyl got to be on your checklist.

FAQs

  1. Types of Theater Acoustic Materials?

There are different types of theater acoustic materials like acoustic panels, reflective panels, perforated metal panels, diffuser panels, and resonating chambers.

2. Types of Sound Insulation Materials?

Soundproof Curtains, Drywall, Soundproof Door, Soundproof Windows are some types of sound insulation materials used for reducing noise transmission.