How to Create a Soundproof Home Theater for the Ultimate Movie Experience

home theatre

So, you have the equipment for your own home theater, and now you want to optimize the room that it’s housed in. Basically what you want to do is create a soundproof home theater.

Soundproofing the room in which you have your home theater set up mostly means not letting sounds penetrate into the other spaces of your house, thus disturbing (annoying?) the rest of the family (or even the neighbors) and keeping those same sounds within the room for a more immersive experience.

Let’s see how you can best achieve this goal of a soundproof home theater.

First, here is a list of some of the best products available today for soundproofing your home theater. We’ll look at each type of material in a little more detail below.

Acoustic Panels

Focusound 50 Pack – Each panel measures 12×12 inches and has a dark gray / black utilitarian look.

Sound Acoustics 12 Pack – These are hexagonal panels that measure 14 inches from edge to edge. They’re black and have a raised surface of about 0.2 inches at the thickest point.

JBER 12 Pack – Similar to the Focusound pack, but fewer in number, these 12-inch squares are also black and utilitarian in style

Bass Traps

Dekiru 8 Pack – From the popular soundproofing source Dekiru, these black corner bass traps measure 12x7x7 inches.

Dekiru 24 Pack (Long) – Also from Dekiru, these squarish corner bass traps are smaller, measuring 12x3x3 inches

TRUE NORTH 8 Pack – These corner bass traps measure 12x6x6 inches and come with adhesive for mounting.

Door Seals

CloudBuyer Indoor Weatherstripping – 8 feet of self-adhesive foam comes in white, black, brown, or gray

TOUSEA Weather Seal – 21 feet of white, self-adhesive sealant. Also available in other colors and lengths.

BBTO V-Shaped Door Seal – 40 feet of white, polyurethane rubber. Available in other lengths too.

Curtains

NICETOWN High-End Curtains – 2 black panels each 84 inches long and 52 inches wide, made of 2 layers. Other color schemes are available.

RYB HOME Soundproof Curtains – 2 gray panels each 84 inches long and 52 inches wide, made of 3 layers. Other sizes and colors available, as well as 4 layers.

Deconovo Insulated Curtains – 2 dark grey panels each 84 inches long and 42 inches wide, made of triple weave fabric. Other colors available.

Window Seals

Vannesse Window Weatherstripping – 118 inches of self-adhesive polyurethane foam.

TOUSEA Weatherstripping – Almost 18 feet of white EPDM rubber. Available in other lengths and colors.

CIKKIIO Weatherstripping – Almost 33 feet of gray weatherstripping that is 0.6 inches thick. Available in other thicknesses.

If you clicked one or more of the links above, you noticed that they all took you to Amazon. You may be able to find the same or similar items locally, if you want them sooner – though Amazon can often provide same-day or next-day service.

Assessing Your Space

You don’t want to start soundproofing your theater space willy-nilly. You need to take a good look at the room – perhaps through the eyes of a professional soundproofer – to see what the room needs.

Do all the walls need soundproofing material added? What about the ceiling or the floor? Is the room basically a box or are there some weird angles to take into account? Are there surfaces that will cause echoes? Can you afford to make the room smaller, if an additional inner wall is suggested?

Also, how much will your bank account let you add or change in the home theater? Many alterations needed to make a room as soundproof as possible require professional help and expensive materials. Can you budget handle them?

Soundproofing the Walls

Totally and completely soundproofing a room in a normal house is not possible. The goal is to prevent as much sound from leaking out as possible. With that in mind, even if your theater is in the basement, soundproofing the walls will be a major task.

We’re going to assume that you can afford all our suggestions and let you scale back as needed. So we’re starting with making major changes to the wall structure by adding another set of walls inside the existing walls and adding mass like insulation or mass-loaded vinyl and decoupling the new wall from the original.

Once the new walls are in place, you can add acoustic panels, bass traps, and the like to prevent echoes, and further keep those sounds where you want them. This too may require a professional who can help you place these items in the best locations.

Soundproofing the Floors and Ceilings

Even if you have a single-level house, there are still soundproofing treatments you may want to add to the ceiling and/or floor.

Especially if there is a room above your theater, you may want to treat it the same as a wall (see above). And even if there isn’t, adding at least some soundproofing material up above will help keep the neighbors happy.

If there’s a room below the theater, consider adding a floor underlay. This is the counterpart to adding something to a ceiling. It probably will require professional help as well.

That said, maybe all you’ll need is a good home theater carpet – one that’s thick enough to absorb as much sound as possible. Installing or replacing a carpet is the job of a pro. (Are you starting to see a pattern here regarding pros?)

Windows and Doors

Soundproofing windows and doors, on the other hand, is largely a DIY set of smaller projects. Most people (you included) can add weatherstripping to windows and doors and can handle a caulking gun. You can also tack a door sweep to the bottom of your door(s).

You probably can add soundproofing curtains to your windows by yourself too. For this project, the mantra is this: Measure twice, buy once. Any soundproofing curtains you buy are likely to be blackout curtains as well, which is a great side benefit for a home theater.

Acoustic Treatments: Bass Traps, Diffusers, and More

Treatments mentioned to this point will do a lot for absorbing midrange and high frequency sounds. To further enhance your home theater experience, you might need to add bass (like the musical instrument, not the fish) traps in the corners of the room and a few diffusers, probably along the back (opposite your speakers) wall.

Bass traps will help convert low frequency sounds into heat energy, effectively absorbing them. It may not eliminate all of them entirely because some low bass sounds are just to long for anything within reason to handle.

Diffusers, along with any furniture in the room, will help take care of echoes and other reverberations you don’t want. Placing them can be done via trial and error, or you can assign this task to a pro.

Optimizing Speaker Placement

You’ll want to place your home theater speakers – woofer, tweeters, and midrange – in locations that will complement your soundproofing efforts. (Or you could think of this the other way around and make sure your soundproofing doesn’t cancel any of the sounds you do want your ears to hear.)

Let’s assume you’re working with a 7.1 surround sound system. In that case, you’ll place the center channel (midrange) speaker just above or just below your viewing screen in what we’ll consider the “front” of the room.

Your front left and right speakers will go on each side of the screen, either on the floor, on a shelf, or attached to the front wall. Most of the sound you hear will come from these two speakers. Back left and right speakers are similar but are placed at the back of the room.

Left and right surround speakers are smaller and are usually attached to the left and right walls closer to the ceiling than the floor.

Finally, there’s the subwoofer. It doesn’t matter too much where this one goes because it’s low frequency effects will fill the room quite easily.

Final Thoughts

To get the most out of your home theater, you need to soundproof the room to some extent. The amount of soundproofing you add depends on the room itself and your personal preferences and budget.

We hope you do decide on your preferences and use your budget to do make a soundproof home theater, so you and your family and friends can have a great time watching movies, playing games, and doing whatever else your home theater can provide.

Author

  • Vernon Morgan

    Hi there! I'm Vernon, the ‘Serene Specialist." I started this site to document my efforts in making my home a tranquil environment. Through tireless research and countless soundproofing projects, I found that peace I craved. I hope I can help you achieve the same

    Morgan Vernon

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top