After you've taken the steps to outfit the inside of your home theater with the right tech and decor, it's time to think about what's on the outside. Namely, your neighbors, who are trying to sleep thankyouverymuch. You can soften the sound coming from your apartment with a myriad of soundproofing solutions, but this one is cheap, easy to DIY and won't cramp your style.
Not only does soundproofing help reduce the noise between two adjacent spaces, but it also helps to improve surround-sound imaging and clarity in the room you're in. And when it's this easy to craft a simple sound absorbtion panel, you'd be silly not to do it.
Sound and noise blog Acoustics FREQ shows us how it's done. The base of this panel is a sound-absorbing core material that's unfaced, dense, 2" thick, and with a 3lb to 8lb density. The post has a few suggestions on where to buy it, running only around $1 to $3 per square foot.
Of course, you can't just wrap up any old foam egg crate in fabric and hang it on the wall to get optimal sound absorption. The most important part is taking care that the fabric you choose is suitable for a project like this. The qualities you need to look out for are:
- It must be "breathable" and sound-transparent
- It's not at all visually transparent; you'll want to ensure that your fiberglass panel is not visible through the fabric.
- Beware that fabric with visual patterns will be tricky to line up squarely when stretched over the wood frame.
If you can find a suitable sound-transparent fabric that fits in naturally with your home theater's look, your totally utilitarian sound-absorbing panel will look like a framed print for the wall—you could even craft a frame of moulding around it for a super polished theater look.