Soundproofing a dartboard can seem like a huge challenge. The sound of the dart hitting the board produces a strong thumping sound. Then there is also the impact noise produced by the dartboard knocking on the surface behind it.
But it’s not something you’d want to soundproof an entire room for. There is an easier, and far cheaper way to reduce dartboard noise. It won’t block it completely, but it will reduce it to a point where it’s barely noticeable for people outside of the room you’re playing in.
Here are 5 methods you can use to reduce the noise:
1. Move the dartboard to a different wall or room
Is your dartboard located on a wall that separates you from your sleeping missus or the complaining neighbors? In that case, you can try placing it on a wall that is on the other side of the room.
The spacial difference will make the sound travel further and will disperse and weaken it to some degree. Even better, move the dartboard to a more distant room if you can. Hopefully one with thicker walls.
2. Don’t shoot in an empty room
You can reduce the noise coming out of the the room by placing furniture in front of the walls. If you have a large closet in front a wall for example, that’s an additional obstacle that sound has to fight to pass through.
Simply moving around some furniture that you have in the room to cover the wall that is most troubling can make a difference.
Also, you can reduce the echo in the room by having soft materials around that can absorb the noise. Those can be thick rugs, moving blankets, noise-blocking curtains, foam panels, plush toys, shelves stacked with books etc.
Basically, the more stuff you have in the room, especially soft stuff, the better.
2. Move the dartboard away from the wall
Moving the dartboard away from the wall will do two things. First, it will create the spacial difference that I mentioned earlier. But more importantly, it will completely solve the impact noise that the dartboard makes when it’s on the wall. Then you would only have the thumping noise to deal with.
You can do this by attaching the dartboard on a dartboard stand. This is a really useful upgrade for two other practical reasons:
Reason 1 – You can play anywhere you want. The middle of your backyard perhaps? Or in the garage, despite of having no room on the walls to hang the dartboard?
Reason 2 – Having a stand makes it easy to play in any room, even if it’s small or covered with furniture. Because you’re not limited by having to hang the dartboard on a wall. You can place the stand to shoot from any angle, and that’s the real beauty of it.
3. Use a defender backboard and a sound deadening mat
To reduce the thumping and knocking sound further, you can surround the dartboard with dense foam material. It needs to be surrounded from all sides except for the front of course.
The most convenient way to do this is to use a defender backboard around it, and to use a sound deadening mat on the back. You can use the mat to cover a larger portion of the wall to get better noise reduction, or you can cut it to size so that it’s the same dimension as the dartboard and the backboard.
Once you’re clear about the size, install the mat on the wall by using an adhesive like 3M Spray Adhesive or Loctite (both available on Amazon). Then spread the adhesive on the back of the dartboard and the backboard. Then stick them to the mat.
There is another, even cheaper way to do this, but it requires a bit more work. Instead of using a backboard, you can surround the dartboard with an acoustic panel…
4. Insert the dartboard in an acoustic panel
It’s actually really simple; you cut the inside part of the acoustic panel with a knife and insert the dartboard. Not all the way though! You want at least one inch of foam to remain behind the dartboard to absorb the impact on the back. Any time you hit the dartboard, instead of it resonating on a hard surface, it will be absorbed by the foam.
To do this, you don’t want to use one of those wedgy panels, because it will be difficult to cut the middle part, and if you cut away the wedges, there won’t be enough material left to absorb the noise.
Instead, use a flat panel that is at least 2 inches thick. If you plan on installing 1 acoustic panel on the wall, you can use a standard adhesive like Loctite to glue the acoustic panel to the wall and also to glue the dartboard inside the panel.
If your dartboard is bigger than 12 x 12 inches, then this project will require a few more panels to complete successfully. I recommend following this method:
Get a piece of cardboard that is big enough that you can place all the panels on it. Then glue the panels to the cardboard with Loctite or some other adhesive. Once they’re firmly in place, you can easily cut the inside middle part as if they were one panel. Then insert the dartboard in the middle and use an adhesive to make it stick.
Now you can cut the panels and the cardboard to size if you want to, or keep it like that. Once you’ve done that, use an adhesive on the back of the cardboard and stick it to the wall.
You can additionally use a sound deadening mat behind the cardboard or the acoustic panel (if you use just one) to get extra noise reduction.
5. Use longer darts
One idea that someone mentioned on a forum is using longer darts to reduce the thumping noise when the dart hits the board.
Now, I’m no physics professor so take this with a grain of salt. But it seems plausible that an increased distance between the heaviest part of the dart and the dartboard would result in decreased sound upon impact.
However I’m not sure how big of a difference it makes, so it’s up to you if you want to try it or not. If you do try this or have some experience, I’d like to know if it helped or not. So leave a comment below. 🙂
All of these methods follow a simple soundproofing philosophy. You’re increasing the distance between the source of the noise and the agitated individual. And/or surrounding it with soundproofing material.
But don’t expect complete soundproofing in either case. Because to completely block noise you have to surround it with soundproofing material from all sides. Obviously, you can’t surround the dartboard from all sides because the target has to be visible.
However, if you move the dartboard to another location where the sound bothers no one, or you half-enclose it with dense foam, you are destined to notice a big reduction in noise.
Have any experience soundproofing a dartboard? Help other players by sharing your story in the comment section below.