Five ideas to soundproof so you can turn video games up to 11 without waking the dead #Home#Neighbors & Hoods#Shopping#apartments#carpets/rugs#flooring#geeky#neighbors#noise#roommates#walls September 30 2011 | Cat Rocketship "Made by Swedish company Form Us With Love, Hexagon is a modular, awesome soundproofing panel. 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. Source: oneofeachblog.com via Cat on Pinterest Source: tingelings.devote.se via Cat on Pinterest 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. Get yourself an awesome rug (or several awesome rugs). The thicker the better. Then invest in a rug pad to put under your new awesome floor covering for extra sound proofing. 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! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Cat Rocketship I was the Managing Editor of Offbeat Home for a year and a half. I have a rich Internet life and also a pretty good real life. Hobbies include D&D, Twitter, and working on making our household more self-reliant. I also draw things. PREVIOUS A double shot of how-tos on hanging gardens NEXT How my favorite Banned Book shaped my adolescence and adulthood Show/Hide comments [ 17 ] oh my. i need those stuffed animal pillows. all of them. 19 agree Reply Uh-huh. 3 agree Reply When we lived in the tiny apartment we totally hung fabric along one wall in the babys room. Muted the kitchen noises from the connecting apartment perfectly. 3 agree Reply How thick was this fabric?? 9 agree Reply We don't do much to mute our noise, but then again the other 3 units in our building are inhabited by fairly deaf older women. We hear their TV's or grandchildren, but in almost 3 years nobody has ever said anything about our noise, even when we're drunkenly playing Rock Band at all hours! 3 agree Reply Don't think there's a good way to soundproof my apartment… I live on the second floor of a Victorian house. I have hardwood floors, and so a lot of the noise from downstairs (my neighbor plays his country music VERY loudly, and yells a lot) finds its way to me. Can't think of any way to reduce the noise, other than layering carpets… upon which I would surely trip and break my neck. Alas. 2 agree Reply I don't know what kind of LAN parties you're going to. All the ones I've seen tend to involve lots of shouting – usually of the cursing at death variety. Or the cursing at idiot teammates or taunting of recently defeated foes. 6 agree Reply Any ideas for muting sound from the apartment above you? We've got a passive aggressive charmer up there who likes to play his sub on his music to a crazy degree and his tv so loud that we can hear the dialogue throughout our apartment. Talking to him/talking to the landlord has gotten nowhere. But since we both moved here in August, we're looking at a loooong ten more months (at least!) together. Any ideas for what I can do to minimize his noise, short of stapling rugs to my ceilings? 13 agree Reply You could get some of those panels (or make some like was said below with some cork, which is great for sound proofing, quilt batting and some pretty fabric) and then use Command Strips from 3M to attach them to the ceiling without causing damage. You can the type that's basically Velcro. Then when you move out, remove the panel, remove the strip as per the instructions and you are golden! 6 agree Reply Another thing is to consider how much noise is coming through windows and doors. I know in the UK (but I don't know why you couldn't do this in the US or elsewhere) we can buy plastic film to go over windows, attached with double-sided tape. The real purpose of this is to hold in heat, but it does help with sound a bit. A more permanent version would be to put perspex/plexiglass over the glass on your windows. Doors are another thing worth considering. You can buy, fairly cheaply, rubber lining to put in door frames that helps reduce both drafts and sound, as well as seals for the bottom of the door. 2 agree Reply We do have these shrink wrap style window covers in the US- though I never saw them until I moved to the East Coast and had to deal with older-than-the-Mayflower single pane windows. Wish I had known about them in Colorado. I would also suggest ceiling fans for upstairs noise (and white noise machines/ fans in general) At the very least you won't have to listen to the all too clearly articulated movie choices of your neighbors. 2 agree Reply I don't know what knitting circles you're going to, but a big group of women (and men too!) chatting away and cracking each other up? It gets pretty loud, pretty fast. 🙂 7 agree Reply Quilts!! the soft stuff is the best at muffling sound. A nice curtain rod hung wall to wall, or even just a piece of wood or cork as a tack strip, then a layer of pollyester batting from the craft store topped by a quilt or cool fabric works really well. You can even use two rods and "tent" your ceiling. 4 agree Reply Oooo love these ideas! I am SO ready to move into our first apartment but the thought of not being able to comfortably play my violin is heartbreaking… 1 agrees Reply @gwen, what's your experience with the violin and soundproofing you house now? My boyfriend teaches the violin at home and we're considering buying an old house with neighbours above, below and next to us…. Did these tips help you? Reply Thanks for the article! I'm looking into sound proofing for my office – I might just go see if those hexagons are for sale yet. Reply Looks like this has been up for awhile (years!) but I'm just seeing it now. FYI, these suggestions mix up "sound proofing" and "sound absorption" — they are different. The hexagons, the foam, the drapes & pillows will all absorb sound, reducing reverberation (echo) INSIDE the SAME room where the sound is being created. Bookshelves & additional/speciality walls block sound TRANSFER from one room to another. More and more, there are DECORATIVE SOUND ABSORBENT products on the market, to make workplace, restaurants and homes more comfortable and welcoming and even safe (noise can be very bad for our health). Check sites like AcousticsWithDesign dot com to have a look. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.