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You may have seen articles about “The Best Soundproof Curtains on Amazon” or “The best Soundproof Curtains this Year”, but are those curtains actually soundproof? Companies that aren’t familiar with how soundproofing actually works, tend to advertise sound absorbing curtains as soundproofing curtains, and end up with dissatisfied customers. While these companies may not be intentionally leading customers towards the wrong product, this tends to be happen, especially because of the lower price of the product.
As opposed to sound absorbing curtains for echo, which are typically made from thick cloth materials, the best soundproofing curtains are made using mass loaded vinyl.
When to Use Soundproof Curtains
You should use soundproofing curtains when noise is coming in through:
- Doorways without a door
Soundproofing means blocking or deflecting noise, and it can commonly be confused with sound absorbing which is how you would reduce the echo within one room, but not keep sound from traveling to an adjacent room.
Many people use soundproofing curtains for noisy neighbors, noisy roommates, or if they are the noisy neighbor or roommate. Curtains using mass loaded vinyl can reduce sounds including conversations, music, instruments and even some barking dogs. Typically, the best soundproofing curtains will block about 60%-80% of mid-to-high frequency noises (talking, music, small dogs barking, etc), while the lower frequency noises (lawn mowers, diesel trucks, bass music, etc) will be reduced by about 40%-50%, as low frequency noises are generally harder to block.
Best Window Soundproofing Curtains
The best soundproofing curtains in terms of sound reduction and ease of use is the AcoustiTrac from Residential Acoustics. The AcoustiTrac soundproofing drape looks like a traditional curtain, but is lined with a 1/16″ thick layer of mass loaded vinyl with an STC rating of 21 (architectural rating for sound reduction), so it’s able to block sound. While it looks like your typical window cover, the soundproofing drapes can also be customized to fit over a door or doorway as well.
The AcousticCurtain is made from the same materials as the AcoustiTrac, but it has a different design and different hardware. Rather than sliding open and closed on a track system, the curtain needs to be rolled up by hand and secured with straps at the top. Both curtains have the same soundproofing abilities, so the choice really depends on personal preference when choosing between the two products.
Best Soundproofing Doors Covers
The AcoustiDoor soundproofing door cover is similar in style and function to the AcousticCurtain, but just has different perimeter seal placement. The door cover can be used over existing doors, which is a bit more effective, or it can be used over an open doorway. As mentioned above, the AcoustiTrac is another product that can be used as a soundproofing door cover, and a lot of our customers to choose it over the AcoustiDoor since it’s a bit easier to open. With the AcoustiTrac, customers can request to add extra length to the curtain track so they can push the drape off to the side of the door, so it’s not in the way.
Ever since working from home has become more common, soundproofing door covers have become a lot more popular for soundproofing a home office or workspace. Many people either have French Doors going into their work area, and since those typically have windows, they allow a significant amount of sound to pass through. In some cases, there’s not even a door in the first place, so a lot of customers will separate the space using a soundproofing door cover.
Best Sound Dampening Curtains
Sound dampening curtains, or sound absorbing curtains are best used when you experience excessive echo within one space, but they will not block sound from moving between spaces. One of the most popular brands for higher end sound absorbing curtains is Rose Brand, they’re typically made form heavy fabrics such as velvet. If you’re looking for more standard sound absorbing curtains, then it’s fine to check out the options you might find on Amazon.
We all know what echo sounds like, and it’s common in spaces that are finished with a lot of reflective surfaces such as wood or tile floors, and of course drywall walls and ceilings. The sound tends to bounce off these surfaces, creating the echo, and can typically be combatted with area rugs and plush furniture, however, if those aren’t enough then you may need to consider sound absorbing curtains.
How to Choose the Best Soundproofing Curtains
When choosing your soundproofing curtains, be sure that they have an STC rating, as this is what proves the material is meant to block sound, not absorb it. If you think your space just needs sound absorbing curtains, then you should aim to find curtains with an NRC rating, or just be sure they’re made of thick, plush fabric that can absorb echo.