Reduce a Home Theater to Silence Resources


A listing of products mentioned in the article.

Damping Compound
Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound (

Roxul, North American subsidiary of Rockwool International (

Isolation Bushings, Hat Channels, and Accessories
Kinetics Noise Control ( IsoMax Resilient Sound Isolation Wall and Ceiling Clip, IsoBacker Acoustical Outlet Backer Putty Pad
Johnson Bros. Metal Forming Co. ( Hat Channels
PAC International ( RSIC-1 Rubber Sound Isolation Clip

Mass-Loaded Vinyl Barrier
Mass-loaded vinyl barrier is sold under many different brand names
Acoustiblok ( Acoustiblok Soundproofing Material, available in ⅛- and ¼-inch thicknesses

Sound-Engineered Drywall
Soundproof panels are available from several companies but will likely be a special order item at Home Depot or Lowe’s.
National Gypsum ( Gold Bond SoundBreak XP ½- and 5⁄8-inch Gypsum Board
Serious Energy ( QuietRock line of sound-damped panels, available in ½-, 5⁄8-, and 13⁄8-inch thicknesses
Supress ( Sound Engineered Drywall (SED) in ½-, 5⁄8-, ¾-, and 1-inch thicknesses

Soundproof Flooring
Dura Undercushions Ltd. ( Duracoustic rubber matting

Sound Absorbing Supports
Mason Industries ( Super W Pads, intended for industrial applications, but they make excellent speaker isolators

Additional Information
Acoustical Consultants and Contractors: Check local listings
American Institute of Architects (AIA) (
Acoustical Society of America (ASA) (
Acoustical Solutions, Inc. (
Super Soundproofing Co. (

COMMENTS's picture

Cool article! What about the entry door to the room? A standard interior door is going to let out a bunch of sound from the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Do you add a soundproof entry door?

Rob Sabin's picture
Good question. I'm not a soundproofing expert per se but I've seen how this gets handled in a lot of serious theater installs, and it's often done with a combination of a heavy soundproof door that's VERY tight to the frame and often sealed, and it will typically have a raised threshold on the bottom. Any air leak at all in the room will result in sound escaping. When I worked for another publication, we built two soundproof testing rooms into an office building suite in midtown Manhattan. Both had raised floors with fully decoupled walls and ceiling, and the doors were heavy metal insulated doors with metal frames. They would not swing fully closed naturally -- beyond a certain point you had to slam them shut to account for the resistance from the seals.

If anyone out there has anything to add, feel free to jump in.

IsoStore's picture

We have lab tested each of our doors in single hung and communicating assemblies. The communicating assemblies are more common in home theaters or recording studios that require a real high level of isolation within a tighter space.

Our doors open and close with a 1/2 pound of force for our heaviest doors (on a smooth operating continuous hinge) and about 2 pounds of force for our standard door (on ball bearing hinges).

The difficult you had closing those doors was likely caused by the sealing system and not the fact they were sound doors. If they were communicating doors (doors installed back to back), then you must relieve air pressure between the two jambs for the doors to close normally.

Anyway, just saying that sound doors are not inherently difficult to operate. They should open and close like a standard door if they are sealed properly and prepared properly for the type of isolation required.

Check out our doors at if you want.

David Vaughn's picture
Rob, you are correct on the doors. They need to be solid construction with a tight seal. If air gets out, so does sound.
trynberg's picture

Installing a higher-end residential exterior-grade door is a good quality less expensive option. Otherwise you are looking at manufactured acoustical door systems at much higher cost.

Mreilly06's picture

Very informative. I had no idea sound proofing took so much effort. Thanks! Reilly

sunnyday's picture

So the problem of bass being really loud in one seat and really quiet in another is eliminated, or substantially reduced, and you end up with a room that has tight, punchy bass just because the walls are not acting as strong reflectors. That’s a nice benefit. Thanks! kmec

Nathan Smith's picture

What some ways you can sound proof a commercial space with really high ceilings? I have had a few clients that had retail spaces with high ceilings who have issues with it being echoey. Thanks for the post! Nathan Smith

wesmannmsu's picture

My home theater is in the prestress under the garage. it has 14 inches of cement poured on all side (except the floor, which is 4, but there is just dirt there. So, not too worried about the sound traveling through out the house, except through the duct work, is there any sort of solution for that?

tonianderson's picture

I guess windows and doors also made of the same materials, or perhaps they are also built for sound proofing. I actually seen some sound proof door at, they have office in Bay Area, San Francisco. It is a glass door type, but this one I know been using at many studio.

wladdr's picture

Since we need, and want, insulation in the walls what are the pros and cons of spray-foam insulation? It's quite common now, even DIY, and will fill every nook-and-cranny easily. Is thicker better or will the foam act like the studs and actually help transmit the audio to the rest of the house?

RayMan's picture

I've would have to disagree on this article. Adding mass on the walls will cause echoes in the room. Doubling up on the walls is not feasible for remodeling job and doesn't do more than aid in sound transmission but not complete eliminate it. If you go this route as the article states then you would need to add some sort of wall sound absorbance to it like acoustical panels which you can make at home. Sealing off the home theater complete will create another problem. Air circulation. You would have to put in a return air for your HVAC but it must be running all the time you are in the theater.

Troyh4's picture

I may be buying a new constructed house that has an upstairs bonus room that I want to convert to a dedicated HT room. If the builder has to sheet rock the room, is there anything I can do or have he builder do prior to sheet rock being installed to the studs?? I'm just trying to help decouple the room from the rest of the house with any kind of process to help silence the room once complete. Thanks for any help

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