Looking for an easy way to soundproof a room, walls, doors..? Arguably the best product to install are soundproofing panels. They can be installed on any smooth surface, and most commonly they are placed on walls and doors. They act as additional barriers that prevent sound from coming in or out.
Best soundproofing panels have a high NRC (noise reduction coeficient) and density. They are typically made from fiberglass or polyester fiber. While acoustic foam is great for reducing echo in a room, fiberglass and polyester fiber panels are better at reducing noise due to higher density.
You will notice that many soundproofing websites are recommending acoustic foam panels as the best solution. I’ll share a little secret with you: They’re doing this because that’s what people want to hear. Because acoustic foam is usually cheaper so people are more likely to buy, thinking that if they cover a large area with foam it will work best.
Unfortunately, acoustic foam panels are definitely not the optimal solution. Their primary purpose is to improve acoustics in a room by making the walls softer. Then the sound doesn’t bounce off of hard surfaces as much. Any noise-blocking capabilities are just an extra perk of foam panels.
I’m talking about these types of foam panels (Amazon link) that are recommended all the time by bloggers. Their density is only 30kg/m3. If you’re dealing with loud neighbors or you practice a loud instrument in your room, you will need something that has more density, at least 200kg/m3.
That’s where fiberglass and polyester fiber come into play. They are much denser and better at blocking both lower and higher sound frequencies. Compare a spider’s web that is thick and dense with a web that is weak and full of holes. Which web would be better at trapping insects? Obviously the first one because the victim can’t wiggle his way out of the web. The same is true when it comes to soundproofing panels!
I want to be completely honest with you and give you the best tips so you don’t waste time with installing a ton of foam panels that will only make your room look crappy and provide little relief from noise. So now I will share with you the best soundproofing panels, supported by facts on WHY they are the best. Mainly their density and sound absorption rating, also known as NRC (noise reduction coefficient).
My personal opinion or the opinion of any other “soundproofing expert” doesn’t matter, what matters here is science. We’re not discussing poems or politics but noise reduction capabilities that have been tested and are well known! So these are the top 6 soundproofing panels you can use on walls, doors and similar surfaces, based on facts and logic!
Best Soundproofing Panels
1. BUBOS Acoustic Panels
The BUBOS panels are on top of this list for a simple reason: they are the densest panels on the market with 230kg/m3 density! Density is what determines the strength of a sound barrier.
These panels are made from polyester fiber, so they’re also fire-resistant and flame-retardant, unlike foam panels which would be dangerous in case of a fire emergency. Polyester fiber is also completely eco-friendly, odorless and safe for adults, kids and pets.
Appearance is another important factor to consider. There are 18 different, very nice styles and patterns to choose from with these panels.
The only potential downside is the price, as there are many cheaper options available. I would personally use these panels to soundproof a door or a similar, smaller area. Regardless of that, if you’re looking for best noise blocking capabilities these panels are the top choice.
Within the range of 125~4000HZ noise, the highest sound absorption coefficient reaches above 0.9. The noise reduction coefficient is about 0.8 ~ 1.10.
The flame retardant burning performance of this material reaches B1 level.
Check the current price, user reviews and more on BUBOS panels on Amazon.
2. JARDEON Polyester Soundproofing Tiles
These panels/tiles are one of the most popular on the market. They have all the right features we’re looking for:
- polyester fiber with high density of 230kg/m3
- provide significant noise deadening with NRC of 0.9
- effective at echo reduction
- they look nice, and there are 6 different colors to choose from
- relatively affordable at around $40 for pack of 6 (covers 6 sq ft, 1 sq ft per panel)
- completely eco-friendly, non-toxic and fire-safe B1 class
I can’t find any complaints with these panels, except that there are cheaper alternatives available (included on this list). As far as quality is concerned this is the way to go.
Check current price and more info on Amazon.
3. Rhino Acoustic Absorption Panel
Another excellent choice, and VERY similar to JARDEON. Here is the important information:
- 100% polyester fiber
- high density of 230kg/m3
- NRC 0.95 (lab tested)
- completely eco-friendly
- odorless, safe, B1 class flame retardant
- Each package comes with six panels and can cover up to six square feet of area
- Easy to trim
The only difference between these panels and JARDEON panels (previous ones) is a small difference in appearance, available colors (3) and price. These panels are about $10 cheaper per pack (at the moment of writing this article).
Check the current price and more info on Amazon.
4. Burton Acoustix Soundproofing Panels
These panels are on our list mainly because they also feature pretty high density: 12.5 lb/ft3 (200kg/m3). And they’re more affordable than some of the other options.
While the BUBOS panels are a bit denser, these panels are more affordable and I recommend using them if you need to cover a larger surface on a tighter budget.
A box of Burton Acoustix has 5 panels of 12 x 12 inches. These panels are easy to mount with just 3m hub tapes and hold well on any smooth surface.
Here is a performance test comparing Burton Acoustic panels and 1″ acoustic foam:
Burton Acoustic Soundproofing Panels
(Frequency & Absorption Coefficient)
125 Hz: 0.75
250 Hz: 0.95
500 Hz: 1.00
1000 Hz: 1.10
2000 Hz: 1.20
4000 Hz: 1.20
1” Thickness Studio Wedge Foam:
(Frequency & Absorption Coefficient)
250 Hz: 0.13
500 Hz: 0.30
1000 Hz: 0.68
2000 Hz: 0.94
4000 Hz: 1.00
The difference is pretty significant!
One user on Amazon shared his experience in great detail:
I put 2 layers of 1/2 in thick styrofoam panels on the wall first and then I had these panels on top. With the bare wall, the noise coming from the next-door read at near 60 dB. With the 2 layers of styrofoam panels alone, it dropped to 50s dB. (I should have used different insulation foams). When the entire wall was covered with these panels along with some acoustic foams at the upper corner as the bass trap, the noise level is down to the upper-30s
Overall, these panels are significantly more effective than acoustic foam. They’re also more affordable than BUBOS panels and therefore more convenient for soundproofing a larger wall, door or similar area.
Check the current price and info for Burton Acoustix panels on Amazon.
5. SoundAssured Polyester Acoustic Panels
These 100% polyester fiber panels are very similar to Burton Acoustix, and according to some markers slightly better.
Most importantly, the density is 207kg/m3 while Burton is 200kg/m3. The NRC (noise reduction coeficient) is 0.35, which is pretty decent as well. But it’s still significantly less than our first and second choice on this list, BUBOS and JARDEON, with the NRC of 0.8 – 1.1.
These panels also come with adhesive squares for simple installation. One pack of these slick looking panels (3 colors available) can cover just under 6 square feet. Costing just under $40 at the moment of writing, this is one of the more affordable options.
These panels are similar to Burton Acoustix in appearance as well, but not as popular, since they came on the market a bit later. I would suggest using these panels for covering a larger surface just like Burton’s.
Click for current price and reviews of SoundAssured panels on Amazon.
6. Audimute isolé Sound Absorber
This US made product isn’t a panel, it’s a rubber sheet. Nonetheless, it’s one of the best products for soundproofing walls, doors or any other surface by simply attaching it to the surface. It has 0.75 NRC rating, and it’s very heavy, so heavy-duty screws are welcome.
This sheet serves two functions: as a sound blocker and for improving acoustics by reducing echo.
It measures 34.5″ wide x 82″ long. There are 5 different colors to choose from and it looks pretty nice, unlike most of the moving blankets that are sometimes used instead of professional panels and sheets.
One user commented that this sheet reduced the noise coming from his home theater to his baby’s room by 10 dB by hanging it in the doorway.
The only real complaint with this product is that it’s fairly heavy, so you will need to make sure that the wall or door you’re installing it on is strong enough to carry the extra weight. In case of a door, you could hang it from the ceiling or the door frame instead of placing it directly on the door itself.
Check price, available colors and more about Audimute Sound Absorber on Amazon.
Final Word on Best Soundproofing Panels
Let’s remember the important points: best soundproofing panels are high density, typically made from polyester (plastic) fiber or fiberglass. They have a good NRC (noise reduction coefficient), at least 0.75.
Classic acoustic foam panels are great for reducing echo and improving sound in the room, but not so much for blocking noise that is coming in or out of a room. However, if you for some reason prefer those classic foam panels to the ones presented in this article, make sure that they’re fairly thick, at least 1.5 inches, preferably 2 inches.
In order to improve noise reduction, cover a larger surface. Having said that, you don’t have to be a perfectionist in order to get considerable noise reduction. It’s easy to start your soundproofing project even on a lower budge by focusing on the weakest areas first, whether that’s a thin wall or a hollow wooden door. I hope this helps!