This is one of the most common questions I am often asked, and it comes up a lot from visitors to Soundproof Guides who are looking to soundproof a room on the cheap. Which I guess why you are here, so let’s just get one things straight:
“Do egg cartons work for soundproofing?”
The simple answer is no… and it’s a myth that seems to show no sign of going away. But there is some reason why you might want to use them if noise is an issue in a room for you.
In this guide, I am going to tell you why egg boxes aren’t suitable for soundproofing rooms. If you are still looking for a cheap alternative way to soundproof a room, I am going to give you some advice on how you can do so on the cheap – without using egg cartons.
Do Egg Cartons Work for Soundproofing?
As I already said, they aren’t what I would choose to use if you want to soundproof a room. They might offer a slight difference, but it will all be down to perception of how you hear audio.
Let me tell you why.
The reason that people stick egg boxes and egg cartons on their wall, and probably why the confusion comes about regarding their suitability for soundproofing is because they reduce echo.
What egg boxes will give you is a reduction of echo in the room. So, for you as a human being, if you don’t hear as much echo in the room, it could appear that the sound is less.
But it’s actually not.
All you have done is used the egg boxes to reduce resonance at particular frequencies, and also to reduce reverberations in the room.
To the un-trained ear this might sound like the sound is less.
It’s unlikely that you are going to stop sound escaping from the room, or coming in using this method. In fact, egg boxes don’t do much with lower frequency sounds at all, and this noise will still pass through your wall.
The reason that egg boxes work in this way is because they are angled with uneven surfaces. These angles on the box absorb the sound, unlike a flat wall which will bounce it back.
This is why cheap home recording studios might use egg boxes. It’s not to soundproof, it’s to make their audio playback and recordings of a higher quality, with reduced reverb and echo.
This is why you can buy professional sound absorbing foam panels. Recording studios use this special foam as a sound deadener.
Sound deadening is important in music studios, as it helps to increase the quality when listening to live audio, playback, or when recording.
If that’s what you are looking to achieve, and are simply looking for a sound deadening solution, then rather than egg boxes, I would recommend the Egg Crate range on Amazon.com – you can get current prices on these acoustic panels now.
The Egg Crate range come highly recommend, and are the top reviewed sound absorbing foam panels on Amazon right now. If they aren’t in stock in your locale, then try these instead.
According to the excellent Acoustics First corporation, professional acoustical foam performs much better than egg boxes – plus looks a lot better too. You can view their research here and the below graph shows a comparison from their study.
But I Still Want to Soundproof a Room Cheaply with Egg Cartons
If you do, then discount egg boxes right now.
As I have already explained they will not help you much with soundproofing.
But I do instead have some other suggestions for you.
What I would instead recommend would be build up the density and thickness of your walls, as well as plugging any gaps or holes – for example around or underneath a door.
On my Soundproof Guides website, I have written extensively about how you can perform some of the following soundproofing projects in your home, and all at a cheap price. The links below should help you out:
Recommended Soundproofing Products Instead of Egg Boxes
If you don’t have the time or inclination to go through any of those guides listed above in detail, then here are some very quick links into products that you should choose instead of egg cartons to soundproof a room.
Product 1: Soundproof Curtains
When using soundproof curtains, the best approach is to make sure that they cover over as much of the window area as possible – so you want to make sure that they reach from the floor to the ceiling, and also overlap the window and wall by at least 3 inches.
Product 2: Soundproof Blankets
Soundproof blankets are great for tacking to an internal door, and the fibreglass ones do a great job of keeping sounds out, and in. If I was to recommend one product here it would be the Singer double-quilted product on Amazon.
The only potential downside is that it can look a little odd on the back of a door, but you can make it look good as long as you cut it the exact size of your door, and tack it on well. You can also mount soundproof blankets onto walls.
Product 3: Door Draft Stoppers
The gap underneath your door is one of the main areas from which noise can both escape and enter your room. By using a door draft stopper than can glide over your floor or carpet you can drastically reduce any noise.
Door draft stoppers are superb for sound insulation and soundproofing doors… and best of all they are very cheap and easy to fit. I recommend the Twin Draft Guard on Amazon – there are other similar products available if this is out of stock.
Product 4: Vibration Insulation Pads
If you have speakers in the room, and it’s important for you to not annoy your neighbors or other people in the house, then I would advise placing speakers (and other noisy items) on top of vibration insulation pads.
Again, Amazon would be by preferred retailer – these vibration pads have an excellent reputation, are cheap, and come with great customer reviews.
How to Soundproof a Wall Without Egg Boxes
All of the recommended products I have listed will do a good job, but for a really professional finish for soundproofing a room you are going to have put some more work in, and spend more money.
Drywalling is one such method, which will essentially thicken you wall by at least one more inch, providing a more soundproofed environment. This will require a lot of time, and you most likely need a professional to do it for you.
Many soundproofing experts will mount a frame between the existing wall with a gap in it, and then drywall over the frame. When noise travels into new material, it’s energy will be absorbed with some being reflected as we’ve already seen with our explanation of egg boxes.
By having space between your existing wall, using a frame, with new drywall on the new frame, it can really help – this is called decoupling.
The myth that egg boxes can soundproof a room has been long established, but unfortunately it isn’t actually true.
It’s easy to understand why people might think this is the case though, as we saw at the beginning of this article.
Yes, they can be a cheap alternative for sound deadening and reducing echo, but if you really want to stop sound escaping or entering a room you are going to have to take a very different approach.
It’s possible to do things on the cheap, or spend thousands.
Ultimately though, to effectively soundproof a room in your house to the best possible state, you will need to thicken the walls – and that can come at a cost.