Do you ever feel like the walls of your home are closing in? Constant low-frequency noise, like that from traffic and industrial sites, can make it near impossible to relax or concentrate.
Constant low frequency noises can be especially damaging because it carries over long distances, often entering houses and businesses through hollow walls and corridors. It is pervasive and difficult to ignore, disrupting your focus and sleep patterns, which can also lead to numerous mental health issues.
But there is good news – with a few simple measures, you can effectively block out the noise and have peace within your own four walls
This article discusses how to block out low frequency noise in 13 ways and reclaim a soundproof home.
Combine soundproofing materials to block low frequency noise effectively. Use mass loaded vinyl to absorb and reflect low frequency noise and acoustic foam to reduce echoes and reverberation. Installing both materials together creates a strong sound barrier against low frequency noises.
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Table of Contents
How to Find The Source of Low Frequency Noise
Locating the source of low-frequency noises can be like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s important to take the time to track down the source if you want to get a soundproof room.
- Track the noise with a sound level meter. A low frequency sound detector is a device used to measure sound levels in decibels (dB). It can help pinpoint the source of low-frequency noise and provide accurate measurements that you can use to determine if it is violating any noise regulations. Apps such as ‘Decibel X’ are available for both Apple and Android users too – download them on your smartphone for free and start locating noise sources immediately!
- Listen carefully at different points around your home. If the low-frequency noise comes from outside, it will be louder near windows and doors, so try listening at those points first. If the noise appears to be coming from outside, make windows soundproof, such as adding window insulation material at the gaps or replacing your windows.
- Ask your neighbors if they know where the noise is coming from. They may have more information than you about what’s causing the disturbance and be willing to help you track down the source of the problem.
- Contact local authorities to help identify the source of low-frequency noise and file a complaint against them if necessary.
Start your search by listening carefully and using your ears to help you determine where the noise is coming from, trying to identify its trajectory. You might also want to enlist help from family or neighbours for a different perspective.
You could also use technology such as sound intensity meters – small handheld devices that allow you to measure sound frequencies and help you pinpoint their origin.
How to Block Out Low Frequency Noise (13 Ways)
We will discuss how to block low frequency noise at home. Thankfully, there are several effective ways to block out the negative effects of low-frequency noise.
If you’re dealing with annoying sounds that are disrupting your home or noisy neighbors, or even people intentionally making low frequency noise to annoy others, there are some effective methods you can use to block out that type of noise.
The low frequency noise from neighbours is an annoyance, but it can be managed. Start by talking to your neighbours and understanding the situation, then look into local regulations and soundproofing options. With a little effort, the noise won’t be a problem anymore.
Let’s discuss the working solutions in detail.
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#1. Install Soundproof Windows and Doors
Soundproof Interior Doors and windows have become increasingly popular, as they block out low-frequency noise from outside and provide much-needed relief from noisy neighbors or busy streets.
Step 1: Measure all the windows and doors you want to soundproof. Make sure to take accurate measurements to purchase the correct size of soundproofing materials.
Step 2: Purchase quality soundproofing materials such as sealant, acoustic foam, sound blankets, and window inserts. Make sure to get materials specifically designed to block out low-frequency noise.
Step 3: Install the soundproofing materials around your windows and doors. Start by applying sealant around the edges of your windows and doors to create a tight seal. Then, place acoustic foam or other sound-absorbing material along the sides of your windows and doors to further block out noise from outside.
Step 4: Install window inserts or other noise-blocking products to reduce low-frequency noise coming through your windows and doors. Window inserts are designed with multiple insulation layers and can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online retailers.
#2. Install Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam panels are ideal for blocking out low-frequency noise, as they absorb sound waves rather than bouncing them back into the room. They can be installed on walls or ceilings and come in various sizes and shapes so that you can tailor the panels to your needs.
Step 1: Measure the walls or ceiling where you plan to install the acoustic foam panels to determine how many panels you need. Consider the size of the room and any obstructions that may prevent installation.
Step 2: Purchase acoustic foam panels in the appropriate size and shape for your needs. Choose a panel thickness that effectively blocks low-frequency noise without making your room too dark.
Step 3: Clean the wall or ceiling surface with a damp cloth before installing your acoustic foam panels. Cleaning will help ensure that they stay in place once installed. You should also remove soundproofing foam from walls. Once the surface has been cleaned and allowed to dry, you can begin installing your acoustic foam panels.
Step 4: Securely attach the acoustic foam panels to the wall or ceiling using adhesive strips or nails, depending on the type of panel you purchased. Be sure to evenly space out the panels so that they cover as much of the wall or ceiling as possible.
Step 5: Test your newly installed acoustic foam panels by playing music in your room and adjusting their placement if necessary to ensure that you have achieved the most effective noise reduction.
#3. Buy Heavy Flooring and Rugs
Thick carpeting or hardwood floors can help block out reverberating low frequency sounds. At the same time, rugs can also act as an additional layer of sound proofing in hallways and other common areas.
- Step 1: Choose the flooring and rugs you want to install. Make sure that it is thick enough to effectively block out low-frequency noise, as thinner flooring and rugs will not be as effective.
- Step 2: Measure the area where you want to install your new flooring and rugs so that you can purchase the correct amount of material.
- Step 3: Remove any existing flooring or rugs from the area, if applicable.
- Step 4: Install your new heavy flooring or rugs according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to use an appropriate adhesive for your flooring or rug, as this will help ensure that it stays in place once installed.
- Step 5: Once your new heavy flooring and rugs are installed, test out their noise reduction capabilities by playing music in the room and adjusting their placement if necessary.
Benefits of Installing Heavy Flooring and Rugs to Block Out Low-Frequency Noise:
- Heavy flooring and rugs can help to block out low-frequency noise, such as to reduce bass noise from neighbours or rumbling from traffic.
- Installing heavy flooring and rugs can help to create a more peaceful environment in your home by reducing the amount of noise that is heard.
- Installing heavier flooring and rugs can also help to reduce sound transmission between rooms, which is beneficial if you have noisy neighbors or live in a multi-unit building.
- Heavy flooring and rugs can also add an extra layer of insulation to your home, which can help to keep it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
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#4. Use a Soundproof Box or Booth
These specially designed enclosures effectively trap unwanted noise inside while providing interior residents with superior soundproofing protection against outside radicals like traffic, trains, and industry hums. Say goodbye to distractions and hello to uninterrupted focus in your Soundproof Home Office Pods!
- Choose the right spot for your soundproof box or booth. Choose a space away from large noise sources, such as windows, doors, and walls.
- Measure the dimensions of the area where you plan to install the soundproof box or booth.
- Purchase all necessary materials, including insulation, acoustic foam panels, and drywall.
- Install insulation in the walls and floor of the space where you plan to install your soundproof box or booth. Make sure to leave gaps between each piece of insulation for better sound absorption.
- Install acoustic foam panels on all sides of the room, including the ceiling and walls. The foam will absorb any low-frequency noise that enters your space before it can cause any disruption or annoyance in your home.
- Install drywall over the insulation and foam panels for extra protection against low-frequency noise entering your space.
- Install doors and windows for soundproofing, such as double-paned and solid-core doors. These will help block out any low-frequency noise entering your space.
The benefits of a soundproof box or booth are numerous. By blocking out low-frequency noise, you can create a quieter and more peaceful environment in your home or office. This can help to reduce stress levels, improve concentration, and even improve your overall health and well-being.
#5. Install Bass Traps
These devices can absorb low-frequency sound from your speakers and amplifiers, giving your home a cleaner, clearer sound.
Step 1: Determine the location of the bass traps. The best locations are corners and wall-ceiling junctions.
Step 2: Measure the area to determine the size of the bass trap that you need.
Step 3: Install framing and acoustic material in the area where you will install your bass traps. This should include foam, fiberglass, or rock wool insulation.
Step 4: Secure the bass trap onto the frame with screws or nails. Make sure to use heavy-duty screws rated for your specific type of wall construction.
Step 5: Test out your soundproofing setup by playing music or a movie at a moderate volume level and see if there is any difference in sound quality from before you installed your bass traps.
Installing bass traps can be beneficial to block out low-frequency noise as this type of noise is often caused by vibrations from speakers and amplifiers, which bass traps can absorb.
#6. Hang Soundproof Blankets
These cover walls and ceilings with a thick and effective layer of soundproof protection that can significantly reduce ambient noise from outside. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore these affordable soundproofing options for your walls.
It is a good idea to install soundproof blankets to block low-frequency noise. Here is a step-by-step process for installing soundproof blankets:
- Step 1: Measure the surface area of the walls and ceilings you want to cover with soundproof blankets.
- Step 2: Purchase enough soundproof blankets to cover the measured surface area.
- Step 3: Place the soundproof blankets on top of the walls and ceilings, ensuring they are secure and in place.
- Step 4: Secure the soundproof blankets in place with nails or screws, depending on your wall construction. Make sure you use heavy-duty screws rated for your specific type of wall construction.
- Step 5: Test your setup by playing music or a movie at a moderate volume level and see if there is any difference in sound quality from before you installed your soundproof blankets.
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#7. Utilize Window Plugs
Placing plugs or inserts into windows is an affordable way to quickly reduce noise levels, particularly for those that live in particularly noisy areas. Window plugs work best with other measures, such as curtains or blinds, which can act as barriers to unwanted noise.
It is a good idea to install window plugs to block low-frequency noise. Here is a step-by-step process for installing window plugs:
- Step 1: Measure the windows in which you want to install the window plugs in. Make sure you measure each window’s width, height, and depth.
- Step 2: Purchase window plugs designed to fit your specific measurements. Make sure you choose high-quality plugs designed to block out low-frequency noise.
- Step 3: Install the window plugs into your windows using a drill or screwdriver. Make sure they are securely fitted and properly sealed so that no air can escape around them.
- Step 4: Test your setup by playing music or a movie at a moderate volume level and see if there is any difference in sound quality from before you installed your window plugs.
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#8. Use Soundproof Curtains or Blinds
Since curtains and blinds can also act as barriers to outside noise, they should be considered alongside window plugs. Making sure that your blinds block out as much sound as possible will ensure full protection from harsh outside noise while allowing some natural sunlight during the day.
It is a good idea to install soundproof curtains or blinds because they can act as an effective barrier to block out low-frequency noise. Block noises will ensure you can enjoy peace in your home without worrying about outside noise interrupting your relaxation. Here is a step-by-step guide to installing soundproof curtains or blinds:
- Step 1: Measure the windows you want to cover with soundproof curtains or blinds, making sure to take into account the window frame and any additional obstructions like shelves or furniture.
- Step 2: Purchase soundproof curtains or blinds to block low-frequency noise. Look for curtains made from thick, heavy material like velvet, as these will be more effective at blocking out sound than lightweight materials.
- Step 3: Hang the curtains or blinds on the window frame using screws, brackets, or curtain rods and rings. Make sure they are securely fitted so that no sound can get through.
- Step 4: Use draught excluders or foam sealant to plug gaps between the curtains, blinds, and window frame. This action will further reduce any noise coming in from outside.
- Step 5: Place a rug or other thick material on the floor beneath the window, as this will help to absorb any sound that does manage to get through.
- Step 6: Enjoy your peaceful environment!
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#9. Add Drywall
Extra layers of drywall can help significantly reduce the amount of sound transferred through walls, ceilings, and even floors.
- Step 1: Get additional drywall panels to fit the area you wish to soundproof.
- Step 2: Safely measure and cut the drywall panels as necessary.
- Step 3: Secure the panels using screws, nails, or adhesive.
- Step 4: Apply a sealing compound, such as caulk, around any cracks or openings in the walls for maximum sound insulation.
- Step 5: Allow the sealing compound to cure before painting or to wallpaper over it.
- Step 6: Seal any gaps between the pieces of drywall with acoustical sealant for improved sound reduction from outside sources.
- Step 7: For further protection from low-frequency noise, add additional layers of insulation between the drywall panels and wall studs to reduce sound transmission even more.
- Step 8: Enjoy your peaceful environment!
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#10. Consider Moving Furniture
Any large piece of furniture within a room can impact sound levels, reflecting and absorbing ambient noise in different ways. Moving furniture around can help create a more soundproof environment and make any sound treatments more effective.
Moving furniture can help to block out low-frequency noise, as large pieces of furniture may block acoustic waves from entering the room.
Before moving furniture around, measure the area where you plan to place the furniture and ensure that it will fit.
It would be best if you also considered how the shape and size of the piece of furniture would impact the sound reflection and absorption in your room. When possible, align larger furniture against walls or corners to improve acoustic benefits.
One effective soundproofing solution for tile floors is to use a combination of insulating underlayment and thicker rugs. Insulating underlayment will create a layer between the floor and tile, ensuring that the noise is not transferred through the flooring.
Finally, avoid overcrowding a room, as this may create more echoes rather than blocking soundwaves.
#11. Decoupling the Wall
Decoupling is a process where two surfaces that are usually connected in an acoustic space are separated from each other to minimize the transfer of sound between them. This technique requires special decoupling materials to be installed between the two surfaces.
Decoupling a wall can certainly help to reduce low-frequency noise. However, the noise reduction will depend on the decoupling material used and its installation. For example, using a heavy material like lead or a soundboard can help reduce low-frequency noise significantly.
To start decoupling the wall, you will first need to remove any existing material covering the wall surface and ensure it is level and clean. Then, you’ll need to measure and cut your decoupling materials to fit each wall section. Finally, it would be best if you used special adhesives or insulation tape to affix your decoupling materials in place.
When selecting your decoupling materials, it’s important to consider their weight, thickness, and density, as these will all impact their performance in blocking low-frequency noise. Additionally, when budgeting for this project, you will need to factor additional costs for adhesives or insulation tape.
The estimated cost of decoupling a wall will depend on the size of the wall, the type/thickness of materials used, and the labor costs. Typically, you can expect to spend around $150-$400 for a standard-size wall.
#12. Create a Room Within a Room
The most extreme measure of all, creating a completely separate room within your existing ones is the surest way to achieve total soundproofing. By building an additional insulated internal wall, you can create your own soundproofed space, blocking out any external noise that may bother you.
Creating a ‘room within a room’ is the best way to block out any low-frequency noises from outside sources.
To create a room, you must build an additional interior wall insulated on both sides to prevent sound from spreading or leaking.
It would be best if you also kept in mind the cost of materials such as drywall, insulation, wall studs, and other components necessary for a functioning wall.
Additionally, you’ll need to plan for the labor cost and factor in time and tool rentals if needed.
The estimated cost of creating a ‘room within a room’ can range anywhere from $1000-$5000, depending on the size of the room and materials used.
#13. Seal Any Gaps Around the Home
Finally, sealing gaps or cracks around the home is another easy and effective way to block sound. Use caulk or acoustic sealant on any cracks or openings in walls, ceilings, and doors to create an extra layer of soundproofing.
Sealing any gaps around the home can help to block out low-frequency noise because it helps to create an extra barrier between the outside noise and the interior of your home.
When sealing any gaps or cracks, it is important to use a quality caulk or acoustic sealant specifically designed for soundproofing. You will also need to consider the cost of materials and tools such as caulk, caulking guns, putty knives, sandpaper, and other supplies necessary for the job.
The estimated cost of sealing your home can vary depending on the size of your home and the number of cracks and openings that need to be sealed.
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All in all, attempting to muffle low-frequency sound can be difficult, but a few methods can be successful. Utilizing soundproof curtains or panels, artificial noise or other sound masking methods, sealing up any cracks or openings, putting in earplugs or noise-canceling headphones, and utilizing vibration isolation pads can all effectively reduce the power of low-frequency sound. It is important to remember that some sources of low frequency noise may be hard to block out completely. It may take a combination of these techniques for one to get a satisfactory level of noise reduction.
No matter what kind of low frequency sound you are dealing with, whether from cars, industrial equipment, or other sources, the key is to try different solutions and come across the best mix. With some patience and ingenuity, it is achievable to greatly reduce the effect of low frequency sound and relish in a much more tranquil atmosphere.
11 FAQS about Blocking Out Low Frequency Noise
Q1: How do you neutralize low-frequency noise?
Ans: You can neutralize low-frequency noise by using soundproof curtains or panels, artificial noise, or other sound masking methods, sealing up any cracks or openings, putting in earplugs or noise-canceling headphones, and utilizing vibration isolation pads.
Q2: How do you detect low-frequency noise?
Ans: You can detect low-frequency noise using a sound meter, which measures sound pressure levels over an extended range of frequencies. In addition, various online audio analyzers can be used to detect and analyze low-frequency noise levels.
Q3: Can low frequency sound harm you?
Ans: Generally, the low-frequency sound is not damaging to most people. However, some environmental regulations may be strict regarding the amount of low-frequency sound allowed in certain areas. As such, it’s best to check with local noise ordinances before attempting to increase or decrease low-frequency sound levels.
Q4: What does low-frequency sound like?
Ans: Low-frequency sound is a deep, low-pitched rumble or vibration. It can affect the surrounding environment and the people and animals who inhabit it. As such, it is important to monitor and regulate these frequencies in order to create a healthy, pleasant, and safe space.
Q5: What blocks low frequency?
Ans: Different materials can be used to block low-frequency sound. Many common materials, such as foam, carpets, and other soft furnishings, can help to reduce or dull the sound of low-frequency noise. Heavy and dense materials (such as brick and concrete) are also effective at reducing low-frequency noise.
Q6: How to block high frequency sounds?
Ans: To block high frequency sounds, you can use materials with high STC (Sound Transmission Class) ratings such as acoustic foam or mass loaded vinyl. These materials can reduce the transmission of sound waves through walls and ceilings.
Q7: How to stop bass from traveling through walls?
Ans: To stop bass from traveling through walls, you can use bass traps which are designed to absorb low-frequency sound waves. Bass traps can be made from materials such as fiberglass, foam, or mineral wool and can be placed in the corners of the room to minimize the reflection of sound waves.
Q8: How to stop bass from traveling through floor?
Ans: To stop bass from traveling through the floor, you can use floor underlayment made of high-density materials such as rubber or cork. These materials can absorb the impact of foot traffic and reduce the transmission of sound waves through the floor.
Q9: How to block sound from upstairs loft?
Ans: To block sound from an upstairs loft, you can use soundproof curtains or acoustic panels on the walls to reduce the amount of sound that enters or leaves the space. You can also add insulation to the ceiling or use a drop ceiling to further reduce sound transmission.
Q10: How to block infrasound?
Ans: To block infrasound, you can use heavy, dense materials such as concrete or brick walls to absorb the low-frequency sound waves. You can also use specially designed acoustic materials that are designed to block specific frequencies.
Q11: How to block low frequency waves?
Ans: To block low-frequency waves, you can use materials with a high mass per unit area such as concrete or mass loaded vinyl. These materials can be installed on walls or ceilings to block the transmission of sound waves. You can also use bass traps or diffusers to control the sound within a room.