If you are a musician or want to start learning music, a soundproof room is one of the best things you can create. The room helps concentrate the sound in the room and prevents your neighbors from complaining about “all that noise.”
Soundproofing a closet is an excellent option if you want to create a soundproof area but don’t have any room to spare. In this article, I shall show you various ways on how to soundproof your closet. This will let you freely play and record your music without interference.
Preparing the Closet
You need to prepare and shift a few things around before soundproofing the closet. Below, we will look at what you need to do before you start renovating the closet.
You can use these steps for both walk-in closets or a small closet.
Clear Things Up
Start by removing everything in the closet and store it somewhere else. Clearing the room also means removing any shelves, racks, metal or wood pipes, and anything else in the closet.
The goal is to leave the room bare, with just open walls that you can work with. You want to maximize the space you have regardless of the size.
Lighting and Power
The next step is getting power and lighting into the closet. Most recording and playing equipment use electricity, meaning you’ll need a running power supply. This involves installing sockets and other power outlets to plug in your instruments.
Of course, the other thing you need is lighting, especially if you plan on using the closet at night. You might need to install lighting sources or improve the ones that are already there.
To ensure the lighting and power work efficiently, mark the power outlet you will use and test them. If you don’t have any outlets, get an electrician to install a few. Don’t attempt to do this yourself, as you risk causing an electric fire or shocking the mains system.
Ways to Soundproof Your Closet
Soundproofing a closet is pretty similar to soundproofing a room. The process is a little expensive, but today, I will show you more affordable alternatives. This allows you to freely create a soundproof closet without hurting your pocket. Nonetheless, some methods can be a little costly, but they are worth it if you can afford them.
Use Acoustic Panels
Hanging acoustic panels is one of the most affordable ways to soundproof your closet. Hang the panels on your closet’s walls and try getting them to cover all available spaces.
The panels are made using acoustic foam that prevents sound from getting into or out of the room. It also prevents it from bouncing around by absorbing the sound.
You probably have seen acoustic panels in recording studios and some apartments. The panels come in rows of small triangles and can be in different shapes and sizes. You hang or stick the pieces to your closet walls to form the panel.
While these panels do a commendable job of reducing noise, they can work more effectively when combined with other techniques. You can combine the panels with carpets or rugs.
Acoustic panels are not only affordable but also readily available online.
Add a Layer of Drywall
We now move from the most affordable to one of the most costly methods to soundproof your closet. Putting an additional layer of drywall on top of your original drywall is expensive, but it gives you your money’s worth.
The original drywall layer you have is not thick enough to stop sound from passing through. Adding a new layer improves those chances, but it will not make your room completely soundproof. You can use Green Glue or some similar compound between the drywall layers to create the soundproofing effect.
Green Glue is famously used for damping, which means it absorbs any sound vibrations. It dissipates kinetic energy between sound vibrations, effectively dampening the sound. While Green Glue is not cheap, you can still get more use out of it, such as using it on plywood or medium-density fiberboards.
You can also use it on your ceiling, floors, and doors to block any possible areas that let in sound. Using both the drywall and Green Glue gives you an almost entirely soundproof closet; you won’t even feel the pain from using your money once you see the results.
Add Bass Traps
Bass traps absorb acoustic energy. They are most efficient in reducing low-frequency sounds and, to some extent, sound vibrations. They are, therefore, not necessary if you will not be using low-frequency sounds.
The energy absorbers give you a smoother, flatter, low-frequency sound, letting you record your music without the bass noise. You can find them in most recording studios, but they will work even better in a walk-in closet.
The best place to put them up is at the corners of your closets. However, where you will place them will depend on the shape of the traps you get. They come in different shapes, such as broad panels. You can put them on the wall or anywhere else, and they will still work perfectly.
Using reflection filters to soundproof a room is an excellent option if you cannot make any changes to your closet. It is a nice compromise if your landlord doesn’t allow any changes, such as adding a drywall layer.
A reflection filter is easy to install and doesn’t require any significant changes. It is curved to absorb more sound and is also treated to dampen vibrations, effectively making your closet soundproof. The filter eliminates interference and is convenient and flexible.
Reflection filters are also very versatile and durable, and you won’t need to change them all the time. They can go for years without breaking down. Sadly, they only work in small areas, hence they are not applicable in larger closets.
Wall-to-wall carpeting absorbs sound, especially if you get thick interlocking carpets. You can use carpets as a standalone soundproofing item or use them with acoustic panels for better soundproofing.
Carpets are very efficient at floor soundproofing, absorbing any sound your equipment might make. Apart from absorbing sound, they also prevent echoes.
Alternatively, you can use rugs or mats, although these tend to be smaller and might require you to buy more than one.
No matter your choice, make sure it is thick and dense. It should also cover as much space as possible to completely absorb vibrations and your footsteps during your practice session.
Use Soundproof Blankets
Blankets do for walls what carpets do for the floor. The good news is that you can use your regular blankets at home, especially if they are super thick. If you don’t have thick blankets, invest in moving blankets. They are affordable, and you can get new ones on amazon or buy used ones from eBay.
Moving blankets, also known as furniture pads or moving pads, are thick blankets that movers put around fragile objects to prevent them from breaking while on the move. They are a sweet deal as they come in bulk in major retail shops and websites.
They help dampen sound vibrations in the area you place them. The blankets are, especially, great for walls because you can just pin them on there. It is a better choice than buying expensive drywall, and they are easier to install than acoustic foam.
The blankets will soundproof your closet very snugly, making them a perfect low-budget soundproofing method.
Fill Air Gaps
Sound has an annoying habit of getting through anywhere with openings. The opening can be as small as a crack or a small crevice in your wall or door. You need to securely fill up these openings to prevent sound from entering or leaving your closet.
One way of filling them is by using acoustic caulk. It differs from regular caulk as it is specifically designed to deal with sound. It is also stretchy and moldable and can fill the spaces securely – there won’t be a chance of new cracks forming.
Another pesky part that can let in sound is the bottom of the doors. The empty space between the floor and the door lets in a lot of air, which in turn lets the noise in. You may just shove a towel between the gap and forget about it, but this is not quite effective. A door sweep works better.
It saves you the stress of stuffing a towel and doesn’t deplete your towel stock. The door sweep plugs up the opening and reduces the sound that can pass through to almost nothing. It is a smart, one-time investment that gives you a soundproof closet.
Benefits of Soundproofing Your Closet
A soundproofed closet can be an excellent space for making music or sound recording. It is a nice expendable space that does not need heavy renovation to turn it into a recording room.
Below are some more of its benefits
Blocks Noise and Sound Interference
A soundproof closet lets you record sound clearly without noise or sound interference from outside. The soundproofing works both ways, so you also won’t bother others with your recording, the same way their noise won’t bother you.
Aside from making and recording music, a soundproof closet gives you a quiet place for when you want a break from everything. Your neighbors might make a lot of noise, even unintentionally, and road and construction noises can also be a nuisance.
A soundproof closet gives you peace of mind, letting you temporarily escape from the world. You can use the closet for meditation, reading a book, getting some rest, or holding a pleasant, uninterrupted conversation with someone.
The closet can also be a blessing if you work from home. Most people these days work remotely and need a quiet place to focus on their work. Converting your closet into a soundproof area gives you the chance to do just that, separating all the noise from your family and surroundings.
Gamers also benefit from a soundproof closet. You can turn the closet into a game room and play board games, video games, or any other game without disturbance. This works exceptionally well with bigger closets, such as a walk-in closet that can accommodate all your equipment.
If you don’t have enough money to renovate your closet into a recording booth, there are still a few ways you can get relative quietness when working. One of these ways is by using noise-canceling headphones. These are a good starting point.
They might not give the best quality when recording and might let in noise that can interfere with the recording, but they are still useful. The headphones create a silent cocoon where the outside noise will not get through to you.
You can get headphones with an inbuilt mic that elevates your recording quality a little. The mic shuts out most of the outside noise, focusing instead on your voice.
Another noise source can be a laptop, PC, or some electronic device. These produce noise or low vibrations. You can get rid of that noise by building an Isobox. This is a casing that will cancel out the computer noise. It also cools down the computer, preventing overheating.
An AC unit can also create some disturbing noises when running. You can reduce that by sealing up the cracks in the wall around it. You might also have to remove the AC vents to prevent them from creating an obstruction that causes noise.
Alternatively, build or buy a sound dampener and put it in front of the unit. The dampener will absorb all the AC sounds and vibrations, giving you some peace.
There is no need to get expensive soundproofing material to create a soundproof closet. You can use affordable means, such as getting moving blankets or acoustic panels. If you have more money to spare, a better option is adding an extra layer of drywall.