Everyone needs a little soundproofing knowledge now and then, but nerds more than most. Between our loud sci fi movies and raucous LAN parties — not that sitting in front of your monitor usually gets any more raucous than tipping over a bottle of Bawls in your excitement to fend off a Zerg rush — nerds make more noise than, say, a knitting circle. More than most knitting circles, at least.
Whether you need to soundproof your apartment or your house, for your neighbors’ benefit or so your roommate can do his homework, here are our solutions for soundproofing your space.
There are designer options out there, like Hexagon, pictured above, but they can be hard to get hold of. This one’s not on the market yet, sadly. So. What else?
There are a number of acoustic foams out there like this soundproofing kit — which is kind of a steal at $35 for 8 square feet of foam PLUS adhesive. This is the kind of stuff commonly used in recording booths to dampen echos.
In the non-specialty goods department, there are a number of ways you can use stuff you’ve already got — or might already buy! — to deaden sound in your place.
Get thee a bookshelf!
Ariel’s got the right idea. This is her full-wall bookshelf, as seen in her whirling dream castle. Say on the other side of this wall is a room where Tavi and his baby-friends have loud baby gymnastics time while Ariel’s partner Dre tries to get some reading done in the family room. The bookshelf — and its heavy, dense books — will do a lot to keep happily yelling babies from disrupting Papa’s reading time.
Add an extra wall
If the space is yours permanently, consider adding a second layer of sheetrock or drywall over the existing wall in a noisy room. This’ll give the sound waves another layer to pass through and they’ll be a little less energetic when they come out the other side.
When in doubt, add all things soft
In doesn’t necessarily matter where the soft things are — just having them around the noise-making adds extra material to deaden sound waves. Think of how loud your home was on that empty day when you first moved in. Now, filled with furniture, beds, and blankets, it’s a less echo-y space and sound probably travels less from room to room.
Drapes! Put ’em on the windows, or use them on a wall. Traditionally, drapes are made heavy to block out light — plus they often gather. Both of these are good qualities when you’re trying to drown out sound.
Pillows — also soft. Also cheap, easy to make, and kind of collectible. You can use them traditionally, or in one of these less-usual ways to soften up the joint.
And we can’t forget rugs.
So basically today we’re covering the barrier method to soundproofing. If you’ve hung up a tapestry or otherwise muted your noisiness — share it with the rest of us, and include photos if you can!