Want to learn how to block out low frequency noise?
Low frequency noise, for example, bass, ranges from about 10Hz-200Hz, and its annoyance is related to lack of concentration, headaches, pressure on the eardrum, unusual tiredness, and irritation. (Source)
Soundproofing against low frequency noise has always been a challenge as this type of noise is transmitted through structures.
This means that you’re not safe when sharing common walls, ceiling/floors.
For this reason, I shall be showing you some of the most effective ways on how to block low frequency noise.
Ways on How to Block Low Frequency Noise
Let’s look at some of the most common sources of low frequency noises before we get started. They include:
- Loud noise from upstairs neighbors
- Road traffic (trains, buses, cars)
- Construction sites
- Electrical appliances
While it’s not possible to fully get rid of low-frequency noise using DIY soundproofing, you will be able to reduce the noise problem to desired levels.
1. Inspect the Source
The first and most important step in soundproofing against low frequency noise involves inspecting the low-frequency noise source.
Just like you have to inspect the source when soundproofing a wall against bass noise, here is how to do it.
- Are your walls or windows panes vibrating when no single appliance in your house is running? If yes, the source is from outside your home.
- If the vibrations only suffice when an appliance such as your refrigerator, washing machine, blender, generator, etc.- then you have your culprit.
- Your neighbors could be the cause- if they often stomp or play loud music- then you have your culprit.
Sometimes, it’s easy to deal with the noise problem by replacing the source (in case of noisy appliances).
For example, you can replace your noisy refrigerator with a quiet mini fridge or simply engage in a simple DIY hack to make it quieter.
In the same case with a generator, you can follow this guide to make a generator quiet.
Finding the source will help you focus your effort on a specific point hence saving you on time and your money.
2. A Layer of Drywall
Adding a drywall layer has always been one of my recommended methods for soundproofing ceilings or walls against impact noises.
You will be isolating your existing wall and adding a layer of drywall using channels in simple terms.
Therefore, the vibrations won’t travel from the existing wall to the newly added wall, significantly cutting down the noise problem.
You can add green glue in between the layers to help further cut down the noise problem. If you can’t source green glue locally, I would highly suggest using these effective green glue alternatives.
Here’s an illustrated guide to help you install drywall DIY.
3. Use Green Glue
Green glue is a brand that manufacturers a wide array of soundproofing products ranging from sealants, joist tapes (eliminate squeaks), and noise proofing clips.
Green glue sealant is a viscoelastic sound deadening material that converts sound energy in very small amounts of heat.
This product is mainly used between two solid layers of materials, in most cases drywall and significantly helps cut down noise traveling from one room to the next.
It’s a product that should be used alongside other sound-dampening materials before installing drywall.
Apply the product within 15 minutes after opening the can, and allow for up to 10 days for maximum sound isolation properties.
And does this product work? To find out the answer, then read my full guide on does green glue really works?
4. Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass Loaded Vinyl is a great product for soundproofing material that helps blocks both impact and airborne noise.
Here’s a perfect analogy- take a baseball and toss it to a bedsheet hanged from a clothesline.
The ball loses energy and falls to the ground, unlike when you toss it against the wall.
The sheet “bled” the energy by moving in 3-D space.
According to newton’s 3 laws of motion, if the bedsheet couldn’t move, the ball would have bounced back and resulted in the sheet vibrating.
Now the same goes for sound. When it hits the wall, it bounces and causes vibration to the wall.
How is mass-loaded vinyl a lifesaver?
Mass-loaded vinyl acts as the bedsheet in this case.
It helps absorbs sounds, and hence no sound energy is reflected back.
If you can’t find mass-loaded vinyl in a store near you, I recommend you check out these mass-loaded vinyl alternatives.
5. Acoustic Foam Panels
Just like mass-loaded vinyl, acoustic foam panels will block sound and prevent it from bouncing off the wall.
It’s mostly used in nightclubs, recording studios, and intelligence offices.
If you need to learn how to hang acoustic foam panels on the wall without damaging the wall.
However, the effectiveness of acoustic foam panels highly depends on their thickness- the thicker the product, the better it will be in dealing with sound.
The best part is that it’s available in different shapes and sizes, allowing you to choose one that perfectly matches your room’s aesthetic.
Final Thoughts on How to Block Out Low Frequency Noise
Above are the most effective methods on how to block out low frequency noise.
However, it’s important to note that these methods won’t fully deaden the noise, but you will reduce it to manageable levels.
Have you tried other methods that worked and I haven’t illustrated in this guide? Please let me know down below.
For more articles on soundproofing, kindly click here, and you will be redirected to the homepage, where you will find more DIY guides on soundproofing.
Hi, my name is Todd R. Bressler and I am the founder of this soundproofing blog. I’m a DIY enthusiast from Cincinnati, the city that just beat New York for the City That Never Sleeps Award in 2020. (Original) I have been in the DIY soundproofing industry for close to 5 years, running a YouTube channel and a Podcast show every Saturday. I started Crafty Soundproofing to help you learn the basics of “self defending yourself against noise”
Have an idea worth sharing? Please contact me and I’ll be happy to respond ASAP.