Soundproofing a home theatre is a smart move. Not only will it make your movie watching experience that much better, it’ll also stop noise from travelling to other rooms of the house or bothering neighbours.
There are many ways to soundproof a room, some more effective than others. The most effective methods tend to involve opening up your walls, but if that’s not an option for you, there are other things you can do that will make a difference.
Whether you’re building a new home and want to make sure you set up your theatre right from the get go or are hoping to convert an existing room into a home theatre – check out the soundproofing ideas below to help you get started.
1. Acoustic insulation
The most effective way to soundproof any room is to start with a good foundation. If you are building a new home or renovating, consider installing acoustic insulation in the walls, ceiling and even under the floor.
Acoustic insulation batts like Earthwool Sound Shield are much like traditional thermal insulation batts, except more dense and thick. Like thermal insulation batts, acoustic batts will help prevent heat loss and gain, but they will also provide powerful sound reducing effects.
Acoustic insulation will help keep unwanted noises out of the home theatre as well as keeping noises from the sound system inside the theatre room. Insulation in the wall cavity can also help prevent noise transfer through vibrations.
Plus, the other advantage to having insulation in your walls is that your room will stay at a more comfortable temperature all year round. If you do use your air conditioner or a heater, it will cool or heat the room very efficiently, saving you money on your power bill.
When two walls are touching, they can transfer sound energy by vibrating against each other. Decoupling is a technique to separate the two parts of a wall to reduce sound transfer through vibration.
Decoupling involves opening up the wall cavity and installing either a double stud wall, a staggered stud wall or sound isolation clips.
A double stud wall is when two separate walls are built with a space in between. It is essentially like building a room within a room.
A staggered stud wall is when the studs are installed alternately one side and then the other so that no single stud is touching both sides of the wall.
Double and staggered stud walls are pretty effective, but they do take up a fair amount of space. If space is an issue, decoupling clips can be used to help absorb most of the vibrations.
3. Sealing gaps
Anywhere that air can get through, sound waves can easily travel too. Make sure you seal up any gaps around windows and doors to prevent unnecessary sound transfer. Install a draught stopper at the bottom of your door to help seal up the gap there.
If the door is still a major source of sound transfer, try installing heavy black out curtains above the door. Pull these closed when you are using the home theatre to help prevent any sound leaks.
4. Window treatments
Windows can be a trouble spot when soundproofing a room. Consider getting double or triple glazed windows as these are better at preventing sound transfer. If the gap between the glass panels is vacuum sealed, it will be even more effective.
As with the door, you can also install heavy duty curtains or shutters above the window to help prevent noise leakage. Glass or acrylic window inserts installed over the window panes may also help.
5. Acoustic panels
If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution that doesn’t involve major changes to your walls or windows, try acoustic panels. These are typically made from polyester and can be stuck or hung on your walls and ceiling to help absorb background echo and reverberation.
Acoustic panels come in a wide range of styles and designs, some are minimal and unobtrusive while others are colourful and three dimensional.
6. Add a bookshelf
One of the principles of soundproofing is to add mass. Making the walls of your room thicker and heavier can help prevent sound transmission.
You can do this by adding mass to the inside of the wall during construction, such as installing acoustic insulation. If you’re wanting a more DIY-friendly option, try putting a heavy bookshelf up against the wall of your home theatre and filling it with thick books and objects.
Other decor decisions can also help with the sound quality inside the room. Soft surfaces like wooly rugs, couches and wall hangings will help reduce the amount of reverberation.
Enjoy the sweet bliss of a soundproofed home theatre
Whether you get professional help or take the DIY route, soundproofing your home theatre is a smart move that will bring lots of benefits.
Now that your room is soundproof, you can sit back and enjoy your movies with great sound quality while not disturbing other members of the household or neighbours.