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Myth #1: Hanging a blanket over my window will reduce noise coming through
Truth: I know this from experience, since I tried it myself. Regardless of the thickness, a blanket just isn’t meant to reduce noise coming through windows and doors. Whether cotton, nylon, polyester, or down, the fabric is porous and light (relative to true sound-blocking materials). Also, the blanket does not create a firm seal against the wall, meaning whatever sound is blocked or reflected, simply diffracts around the edges and in to your room.
Myth #2: One product will resolve all of my acoustic issues
Truth: Few people have only one noise problem in their home. Loud upstairs neighbors create structure-borne vibrations, while cars zipping by outside generate airborne sound waves. Frequency, amplitude, the type of medium, and distance are all different variables that determine how uncomfortable the sound becomes. The key is to focus on your greatest issue. If you have creaky floors, try Green Glue. If it is sound echoes that make it difficult to have a conversation, try hanging some baffles or absorption foam. If the issue is noise creeping in through your windows and doors, then the AcousticCurtain and AcoustiDoor provide excellent options.
Myth #3: Adding mass automatically improves sound blocking of your doors and windows
Truth: This is the biggest rule in sound-proofing, but is often misconstrued. It is all about where the mass is added. You have to find and seal the cracks where the sound is seeping in first. If those are taken care of, you can then add mass in the areas where the most sound is penetrating existing barriers. If you have a few double-pane windows in your room, you need to only hang a heavy, sound-proofing curtain over those that are older, standard windows, or the ones that face the highway.
When given direction about how to sound-proof the usual home, it is not resonance and acoustic tuning that is most critical. Instead, many people want to simply reduce the noise coming in through loud windows or noisy neighbors. Combat the myths out there, and share your experiences.