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I'm looking for an inexpensive way to soundproof my bedroom or possibly just a part of it (with a sound resistant shelter). Removing all the sound is impractical, but I'd like to suppress it to the point where it might sound like it's coming from outside rather than next door.

I have some music studio equipment in my room which I use to record myself singing. The equipment is too bulky and awkward to move to a different location for recording. I know that sound travels easily in the house we share, especially through the air vents. When my roommates next door speak at normal levels I can hear every word they say.

I'm currently renting so permanent modifications to the room are out of the question. I would prefer the final solution to not be too expensive. I don't have many tools but I might consider buying a few for this project.

My current idea to solve this problem is to construct a sort of shelter made with PVC pipe and moving blankets which I can set up and take down as needed. Is there a better solution? Should I consider anything in particular with this potential solution, such as different materials or a certain shape for my shelter?

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One of the best materials for soundproofing is, believe it or not, eggcrate foam. It might not be your cheapest option, but it is certainly not your most expensive.

Thick blankets would probably be your next best bet.

The shape of your structure (if you decide to build one) isn't as important for soundproofing as it is for getting good acoustics. Just cover the walls, doors and windows and you'll at least be better off than when you started.

  • I actually have considered egg crate foam as well. I'll probably stick with a homemade sound booth so I can put it up and take it down and so I don't use too much material. How would the shape affect the acoustics? – intcreator Feb 20 '16 at 2:48
  • You can control where the sound spends its time depending on obstacles you put around your room. Basically you want to "herd" the sound waves away from corners, for example, by putting something up like a bookshelf or drawers at an angle - sending those waves back to you without losing quality of the sound. – cccg03 Feb 20 '16 at 16:35
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In addition to eggcrate foam, which was mentioned by Casey James Garland, be sure to address the air vents you mentioned. The most soundproof solution for those would be to completely block them with something relatively soundproof, like a pillow. Just be sure that the pillow fills the vent snugly, so there are no gaps at the corners where the sound can sneak through.

However, putting a pillow in your air vent may be ill advised -- it will block the flow of warmed or cooled air (obviously), the pillow will get dusty, and removing the pillow after you sing will probably launch dust into the air and make you sneeze. If the air vent is blasting particularly hot air, there may be a fire hazard too.

  • I've used a magnetic sheet to cover a register before and it worked well and is easily removed. Also works if the register is on the ceiling. – Jon Feb 21 '16 at 22:13
  • Genius! I'd post that as its own answer. I'll give you an up-vote for that! – BrettFromLA Feb 22 '16 at 19:25

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