For the last 10 years I’ve had a little side hobby of producing and creating my own dance music tracks. I’ve got a dedicated recording studio in my home. It’s a small room, but works really well, and gives me the space that I need to focus on producing my music.
But, I also have a young family, and with young kids they need to go to bed early – and that’s typically the time when I dive into my home recording studio. However, I was unable to produce and listen to my music at any decent volumes because it was keeping the toddlers awake.
Nightmare situation for everyone involved.
What I did was successfully sound-proof the room, but there was one thing that I still want to do, and that was to soundproof the windows. Now I could play the music louder, I was finding that noise was escaping externally and coming into the room.
I didn’t really want to disturb my neighbours and also didn’t want any noise outside of my house coming into the recording studio, which was affecting concentration and my vocal recordings.
I wanted to look at the options available, so researched online how to soundproof a window. Below is what I managed to learn, how I did it, and some pitfalls along the way. I hope this real-world example helps you!
You will find out what works, what doesn’t, and some of things that I have tried when soundproofing windows.
Before we start though, please be aware that you will require dense and thick materials as these will allow you to prevent or block sound coming through a window. In addition to the required gear you need to purchase (which I will go into later) I also recommend that you have soft furnishings and thick carpets in the room.
Step 1. Can You Actually Block the Window?
The best approach to soundproofing a window is to block it completely. Unless you use dense materials, you won’t get the desired effect of blocking noise. The more blocking density placed between you and the window glass, the better it will be.
But of course, that’s going to mean a very dark room.
If you still need light coming in then soundproofing will be trickier, but you can still do it.
A lot of people starting out on this journey might think that acoustic foam panels are what they need. This is a mistake, as foam panels are for cutting echo, not for blocking sound from coming into or out of the room.
What you need to do instead is to buy thick insulated panels. These can be bought from stores such as Lowes and Home Depot… and I have linked you up to them using the 2 links below if you prefer to purchase online.
You should be able to pick up simple insulation board such as this relatively cheaply, perhaps at under $15 or so. Once you have it, you will need to cut it to fit exactly in the window space – no gaps!
Now whilst this won’t look as aesthetically pleasing as other solutions, you can improve the look by covering it with curtains.
Using the insulation board method above is the most effective way in which you soundproof your windows on the cheap.
To get even better results and achieve sound dampening and almost zero noise, then buy a fiberglass soundproof blanket which will cover over the window. It’s a lot better than insulation panels/board, but will be more expensive – perhaps around $100 depending on the size of your window.
Step 2: Consider Using Honeycomb Material Blinds
Using blinds can offer an additional element of noise elimination when soundproofing your windows. They can dramatically reduce echo too, and whilst not as good as sound deadening curtains, they can help.
I recommend honeycomb blinds, and bought these ones here on Amazon. They have improved sound dampening, but not by a massive difference.
Step 3: Perhaps You Should Replace the Window Entirely?
Well this is the most drastic and expensive recommendation. Unless you can fit and install windows yourself you could be looking at a thousand dollars for a contractor to do this for you.
But, it is the most effective way as you can buy specialist soundproofed windows (this website has a good guide) that offer an un-rivalled solution to soundproofing.
As well as eliminating noise and disruption, it will also look the best and will let you retain the look and feel of the room and still let light in – which is such as important consideration as working a dark room or under artificial lighting isn’t the best of environments.
A word of caution though. Most window installers probably aren’t that familiar with installing soundproofed windows correctly. Whether you do it yourself or ask someone else too, make sure that all edges around the window are sealed correctly.
Any cracks in the silicone or sealant will let sound in and out, so it needs to be done with great care and attention so that the window is air tight.
Step 4: Fit Sound Deadening Curtains
You can read more on the Sound Proofing Guide about my approach to soundproofing curtains, including whether or not I think that they work. As you will read in the other blog post, I don’t believe them to be the most effective solution available, but they can take the edge off sound coming into the window.
The main reason you should consider them is because they will have a great effect on echo, so I suggest using curtains to complement any soundproofing methods you have already used on the window.
By reducing echo, you can really hear the contrast in the room, and it’s an essential part of any room soundproofing project.
I recommend these soundproofing curtains on Amazon. If you decide to fit them then make sure that you cover the entire window and also from the top of the ceiling to the bottom of the floor – this will give you the best results.