Soundproofing is an essential aspect of any recording setup. Apart from ensuring that sound doesn’t leak out and bother the neighbors, you also need to prevent unwanted noise from entering your studio space and ruining your recordings.
But soundproofing a room can be challenging. You will need to design the space correctly, use soundproof building materials, and seal all openings that allow sound to pass through. As you can imagine, all this will entail considerable effort and expense.
But there is an alternative to soundproofing your studio space. If you can’t afford full soundproofing at the moment, you can install soundproof curtains, which will dampen sound to a considerable degree.
Essential qualities for soundproof curtains
What should you look for when shopping for soundproof curtains for a recording studio? The best examples have at least three layers: a window liner, a curtain liner, and a blackout liner. The multiple layers make them heavier than standard curtains.
Remember that your curtains should keep out sound as well as prevent it from escaping. Even though the best soundproof curtains can prevent most sound from passing through, they will not be as effective as proper soundproofing. For optimal results, soundproof curtains are best incorporated into a comprehensive soundproofing system.
Related: Recording At Home: How To Reduce Noise From Neighbors
Curtain placement is an equally important concern. Sound will pass through any opening, including windows and doors, so it is always good to place your soundproof curtains where they will cover these openings.
Install your curtains so that they extend approximately 15 cm. from the top, bottom, and sides of the windows or doors. This ensures that sound won’t leak through the sides or bottoms. You might consider having your curtains extend down to the floor for the best results.
Check to make sure that there aren’t spaces between the curtains and cover all problem areas. You could use draft excluder tape to seal off the edges and the bottom of the door.
Types of soundproofing curtains
There are three main categories of curtains:
- Soundproof/insulation curtains
- Audio insulation sheets
- Industrial blankets
These are heavy curtains that are also known as insulation blackout curtains. Apart from reducing noise, they will also block out most of the light. They are a cost-effective way to reduce noise leakage to and from your studio.
Audio insulation sheets
Audio insulation sheets have a sound-deadening effect and are quite effective at blocking sound. They aren’t intended for use as curtains, but they do have grommets or rings sewn into them that allow you to hang them up like curtains.
Audio insulation sheets are heavier, thicker, and denser than most curtains. They are also quite effective at blocking out light.
Industrial blankets are commonly used to block sound in industrial offices and work environments. Unlike audio insulation sheets, they don’t have grommets or rings that enable you to hang them up like curtains.
Industrial blankets are a cost-effective way to reduce sound in your studio. Combined with standard curtains, they will do a pretty good job of keeping out light.
Do acoustic blankets really work?
Acoustic sound blankets are made from materials that absorb sound bouncing from the walls. Aside from reducing echoes and unwanted reverberation, they also effectively block noise coming from outside.
Some manufacturers provide blankets that combine sound absorption and sound blocking properties. Acoustic sound blankets are normally cheaper than sound reducing curtains, so you could purchase several for better sound reduction. An excellent acoustic sound blanket is the Big Boxer Grommeted Industrial Blanket, priced at around $15.
Acoustic blankets are affordable alternatives to soundproof curtains and come with grommets for easy hanging. They weigh about eight pounds and are made of polyester that blocks 80% or more of UV light. Although they will dampen sound and vibration, most aren’t as durable as polyester curtains.
10 best soundproofing curtains
1. Nicetown Full Shading Curtains for Windows ($50 – $60)
These multi-strand curtains are made of 100% polyester. They will block out most of the light that comes in through your windows. They come in a range of different colors and have grommets for easy hanging. These curtains are pretty heavy, weighing in at 7.39 pounds.
2. Nicetown noise-reducing blackout curtains ($30 – $35)
These curtains block out from 85% to 90% of all light. For the price, you get a 3-fiber set of curtains available in different sizes and colors. These curtains are a lot denser than standard curtains and are an energy-smart and cost-effective alternative.
3. Moondream 3-in-1 Sound Insulation Curtain ($99 – $180)
This is a top of the range curtain that consists of three layers. The first layer is made of 100% polyester. The second is a 99% polyester and 1% aluminum blend, and the third is made entirely of cotton. A heavy curtain that serves as an impressive backdrop for a studio space, it blocks 100% of sunlight and reduces noise by up to 7db.
4. H. Versailtex premier blackout curtains ($42 per panel)
These blackout curtains are made from three woven-texture vinyl microfiber materials. They are PVC-free, soft and durable, and are breathable as well. The curtains provide excellent thermal insulation and have great noise-reducing properties.
The curtains effectively block out 99% of sunlight and 100% of UV rays. The metal grommets provide for a smooth and easy installation. They are available in a variety of colors and are machine-washable in cold water.
5. H. Versailtex Classic Grommet Curtains ($27.95)
These curtains are sold in a single panel measuring 52 inches wide. They are energy-efficient with good thermal insulation. The curtains are made of textured linen fabric, providing natural blackout properties that effectively block out 85% of sunlight.
The grommets allow for quick installation and enable you to slide the curtains back and forth easily. The plaited textured linen gives them a classic look, and they come in a range of different colors.
According to the manufacturer, these curtains reduce noise by as much as 40%. They are machine-washable and come with an 8-year quality guarantee.
6. Deconovo Blackout Drape ($26- $30)
These double-layer polyester curtains will block 99% of sunlight and UV rays. The design combines a black lining with fabric that is available in different colors.
Each pack contains a single drape that covers standard-sized windows. Because there is no opening in the middle, it blocks out noise more effectively than curtains consisting of two sections. The curtains are machine-washable in cold water.
7. Cherry Home Luxury Velvet Curtains ($52.99)
These curtains are made of heavy suede-like material made of 100% polyester. They come in various colors, with the darker colors blocking out more sunlight and UV rays. The manufacturer claims that these curtains block 88% to 99% of sunlight and 80% of UV rays.
8. Nicetown Three-pass Microfiber Curtains ($30.90)
These curtains are made from a high-density, heavily interwoven microfiber material combined with a top fabric layer. They also have a triple-woven high-density black yarn that results in effective light blocking and soundproofing.
Nicetown Three-pass Microfiber Curtains block at least 90% of sunlight and UV rays and have excellent sound-reducing qualities. The curtains can be washed in cold water in a washing machine.
9. Warm Home Designs Blackout Insulated Curtains ($57.95)
These stylish polyester curtains come in six colors and have embossed textured Damask patterns. They have excellent noise reduction and light-blocking properties, keeping out as much as 99% of sunlight.
These insulate curtains come in packages containing only a single drape. Because of their size, they are better suited for narrower windows.
10. Turquoize Full Blackout Soundproof Lined Curtain
These are soundproof lined curtains have black linings with excellent light and UV ray reducing properties. They also do a good job of keeping noise leakage to a minimum. The curtains come in a variety of colors, including off-white, wheat, grey, navy, and pure white.
Turquoize Curtains come with a 5-year quality warranty and can be washed in cold water.