How to Make High Performance Sound Absorption Panels for $5

In this video I explore the possibility of making DIY sound absorption panels on a budget, later comparing them to much more expensive acoustic foam. The results are pretty amazing!

There have been many comments pointing out that my test only measures transmission and not reflection, so is essentially unsuitable for my initial testing goal. While this is partly true, testing reflection is pretty difficult to do in a home environment, and the only way to do it that I can think of would be to spend a long time in the middle of a field with a powerful speaker and mic rig, which is really beyond the scope of what I was prepared to do for the video.

My tests are not rendered pointless however - it would do no good to have only measured reflection, as the thinnest lightest material would have won (like foam), as nothing would have bounced back. Reflection and transmission need to be tested together to measure how much sound passes through, and how much sound is reflected back - this should give an indication of how much sound is absorbed by a given material.

Regardless, only testing the transmission doesn't affect the outcome of the project at all, as any sound waves reflected by the panels themselves would have theoretically bounced off the wall anyway - again this is why reflection wasn't tested, as it doesn't matter so much for a panel setup (though would matter very much for a vocal booth).

Open to hear any thoughts about it though! Keep up the great discussion. :)

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Автор Alex Swavely ( назад)
I'm curious how this would compare to acoustic drop ceiling tiles, which are also quite inexpensive.

Автор TeeTheCee ( назад)
Brilliant tests mate.

Автор umaga ( назад)
hi may i know the dimension of the frame?

Автор ImReadyD151 ( назад)
this is incredible. I remember when I was a kid, I would make forts and Chuck a ton of blankets on them. I could barely hear people talking on the outside

Автор sula tan ( назад)
U can use watercolour to make portfolio on walls ;)

Автор LaoJK ( назад)
Just a clarification, I can use these things to lessen outgoing sounds right?

Автор Rard van der Hoeven ( назад)
Can I use wool as well?

Автор DavidBaLaS ( назад)
I have a question. What kind of towels should it be? Mikrofibry or cotton? Cuz the price difference is a lot. And you used so many towels... it's much more than 5$ so the bait title worked well... but should be rather 50$ each panel. Still less than original X panels.Greetings

Автор Muhammad Fariz ( назад)
I was distracted by his dimples

Автор Jake Tyler ( назад)
Why not just use rockwool? I heard DIY acoustic panels with rockwool should best the sound Absorption improvement you can get + it doesn't cost much more :)

Автор Nick Chamberlin ( назад)
lol that foam is actually packaging foam, not acoustic foam lol

Автор 정흥섭 ( назад)
love it!

Автор Cal Denison ( назад)
There is a huge difference between sound blocking and sound absorbing. You could put a piece of plywood on there and It would probably fare well in this test but it doesn't absorb much sound. In a studio you want to absorb sound with your baffles to reduce certain frequencies not block them. I don't think this test tells you much but I appreciate the effort.

Автор Giovanni McGlone ( назад)
thank you!

Автор Coat&hanger Man ( назад)
Not nearly as ugly on the wall as I expected. And you can get towels with tigers, dragons and stuff 8)

Автор Omar Mahmoud ( назад)
Can you make them so you can block noise from the outside environment like hanging them over the window of a room ?

Автор Jiminy Jim Jam Jenkins ( назад)
I want to make a box to insulate the sound coming from a blender. Should I line the inside of the box with towels or carpet? I was think carpet might work better because it has a more rough surface.

Автор Fredric Georgsson ( назад)
The mic test does not consider reflection? A slab of concrete or stone would win the test easily, but not absorb anything at all? I think the best bang for the buck is usually found in insulation materials such as glass wool?

Автор Александр Усков ( назад)
Anyhow this 5Khz+ range is absolutely non-essential for audio production. The devil lives between 200 and 4000 - that's where 95% of all sound information is, both for music and speech genres.

Автор planetlizz ( назад)
Your audio is simply phenomenal. Awesome testing. Super helpful and rather surprising really. Thanks!

Автор roy rizky ( назад)
rip headphone users

Автор Kira Maxwell ( назад)
thank you for this video

Автор HuntersOA ( назад)
the acustic foam does not absorb the sound. It is designed to work with the reflected sound waves. you should try the whole process with not absorption but reflection - set an accusticaly neutral wall in 45 degree angle and measure the reflections from it with the different matterials. the towel solution works but I have a feeling it dampens the sound too much. in deaf rooms there are absolutely no eco and it can drive some people crazy. the purpose of the acustic foam is not to absorb the frequencies but to lighten the overll interferencies and small noises, as eco is still needed :)

Автор Chad Lancaster ( назад)
I wonder how well denim insulation would work compared to the towels

Автор Panos La ( назад)
well that's just wrong... usually acoustics are difficult to handle at frequencies up to 500hz... another thing is that you actually measuring the soundproofing ability of your acoustic panel rather than the absorption which is necessary (when sound is hit on a material one part of the energy is absorbed by the material, one is reflected and one gets through it). and finally some other things you have to consider is hygiene... towels can be a cosy place for moisture and thus fungus... also you don't want to have something on your wall which potentially can be a fire Hazzard... so... good idea but I wouldn't recommend it

Автор OPGuyK ( назад)
No wonder SSundee hangs work out towels in his room...

Автор League Master gg ( назад)
Thank You Thank You, sooo helpful

Автор Fellow Communist ( назад)
The way he says sponge is so satisfying.

Автор XVSNIPER1VX ( назад)
should have checked to see how fiberglass insulation worked

Автор Matthew Benavides ( назад)
Absolutely fantastic job!

Автор Chuckwagon524 ( назад)
I have used heavy movers blankets on C-stands as baffles for VO. So on a budget I think this would work. Along with other material on floors and walls.For those worried about fire danger, you could soak them in a fire retardant.

Автор Marcelo russo zamorano ( назад)
best video ever

Автор AG ( назад)
Thank You 🙏

Автор White Tiger Gaming ( назад)
What Is the size of your frames?

Автор Mikej1592 ( назад)
will the towel sound traps work against an obnoxious neighbor with a noisy truck exhaust that loves just friggin LOVES to sit in his noisy truck at 5am and idle for 15 to 20 minutes, and when he comes home sometimes sits there for half an hour parking his pos just right. forward, back forward, back, back some more, no pull all the way out, back up into, nope not that way..

And all the while filling his house with toxic CO2 like he is trying to slowly kill his wife and kids...

Автор Fraction Of Reality Promotion ( назад)
I would have liked to see professional panels tested here aswell for reference... towels seemed to do good job and all, but how it actually compares to professional foam instead of that packing foam... but cool demo nontheless, might go for towel panels myself :)

Автор robert field ( назад)
I hate to say but I believe there is one large innacuracy with the tests. You're simply testing how permiable the materials are, not how well they prevent echo, which is of course no the same. Echo is affected by absorption yes, but also ofcourse reflection... There is a reason why professionals do their walls with complex geometrical surfaces. For example almost all anti echoic chambers around the world. The obtrusive shapes mean sound reflections are effectively scattered in many different directions, so we hear very little echo. It's the same principle behind trying to use a rough surface as a mirror: The light is uncoordinated after reflection, because the rays are all being reflected in different directions.. So we can' t see a an image from the few light rays coming back to our eyes. I feel like the egg shell should have preformed far better because of its shape. I think an improved test should be in order, treating the effective echo after the sound had been: Through the foam, hit a hard surface, back through the other side, and then on to the mic. In fact for a really true test you could set up a box with the foam on all the sides with one opening for the speaker, and a microphone inside.(Huge rant about ineffective testing aside, I hadn't found people using towels for these panels online so I will definitely give them a try. For their price they do seem to work very well. Cheers. )

Автор Tim Be ( назад)
I think the testing method is not quite right. You only test the loss of sound which contains the absorption AND the reflection. If you take a house wall, it would be the winner in your test, because it passes the least amount of sound through it, but that's because it reflects it back which results in the unwanted effect. The acoustic foam could still be better if for example it absorbs 40% and reflects nothing, while the towel only absorbs 30% and reflects 40% of the sound.

Автор Do not ask ( назад)
for some reason the video apears black to me

Автор Brett Middleton ( назад)
I like this!!! Awesome video

Автор SaimonVcp ( назад)
You ALL guys are missing one point (yes i know little to nothing about sound in this subject, yes i read the comments about reflection absorption fire, etc) and the thing is: It works!
If you are talking about reflection, the Mic tested proved to be, if not the best (lack of compárison) at least effective enough (and cheap)
If you are talking about absorption (nobody wants to heart what you are doing behind that door...) is way more effective than many surely tought. the best? who knows, lack of comparison test (same), for example with mdf as some guy pointed out, could be better, or not,
But again, all i saw, is that it works, Great video, british guy!

Автор SaimonVcp ( назад)
This is much better and at a fraction at the cost, and even nicer!
*in the tv news*
"man Suicide himself with 14 stabs in the back. the group of musician producer behind swear their laugh was for an italian meme"

Автор Peter Fisher ( назад)
Awesome video!! He can't be in England though. The sun was out!?

Автор VK-Gaming ( назад)
Would the result be the same if those panels were inside the wall so they cannot be seen? i guess not ?

Автор joblessalex ( назад)
Why would I want to make that headphone stand if I can no longer hear due to the tones blasting my ears out in this video?

Автор bold Bold ( назад)
so it doesn't really need to fill the entire room with these? three of these are enough?

Автор nicholas lang ( назад)
I think you should try the proper acustic foam in the room versus the towels to see how it handles in the field of action and not the actual field

Автор D-One ( назад)
Testing method makes no sense. The test was aimed at sound blocking instead of sound absorption. place a concrete wall between the speaker and the mic and it will block a lot of input but that doesn't mean its a good absorption material.

Автор koopification ( назад)
Ok, so please tell me where I can buy 7 towels and a 2x4 for $5... the cheapest bathrooms towels go for about $10 each so that $70 + wood so about $80 each.

Автор Wytse van der Weit ( назад)
Does it work for loud neighbors to?

Автор Mihai Triboi ( назад)
Would an oil paint on the towel reduce the panel's sound absorption?

Автор mriganka sinha ( назад)
I loved the way you demonstrate...keep it up...and yes I subscribed too and I am looking forward for more such diy stuff

Автор Ankit Singh ( назад)
How to wash them?

Автор Zifoduk ( назад)
Where would i get this kind of square wood from in the uk?

Автор Mitch McCann ( назад)
so should i insulate a wall with towels? I want something permanent

Автор Steffen Velte ( назад)
There's is a difference between absorption and reflection!? The towel doesn't absorb, it reflects, the sound energy stays inside the room. You can't measure that in your garden ;) Don't build that, guys!

Автор Skytech ( назад)

Автор Marcy Reynolds ( назад)
Very helpful. Simple, clean, positive, professional, and supported by evidence...just what was needed.

Автор Edwin O'Gray ( назад)
greatest video ever

Автор Terry Smith ( назад)
EXCELLENT and it even looks good.

Автор ian joustra ( назад)
I'm looking into reducint the sound leaking from my room, what would be a better choice in that case?

Автор GamingPedro ( назад)
My room is quite big and I was wondering if I can box myself in with 4 panels on stands instead of hanging them on the wall?

Автор 123woefie ( назад)
i think it is because the towels have more surface area. idk

Автор Jakub Hrncar ( назад)
Alright so basically what he tested is that towels are better than foam for not letting sound pass from a room to another right? If I filled my wall completely with these towel panels between my room and a room of an annoying neighbor, would my problem be fixed - would he not hear anything anymore from my room? I am talking about just talking to my friend on skype late at night, no music or instrument thing.

Автор crazydogoo3 ( назад)
If you would paint a design over the towel in the front would it have the same effect?

Автор TAG Media ( назад)
Matt, do you live in paradise? The outdoor shots always look so pleasant.

Автор Darren Lamb ( назад)
I've had a look through some of the comments and the majority of people are discussing using these to help prevent echo while recording audio and things like that, anyone know how they'd work as a cheap solution for stopping sound leaving a room (i.e. not annoying people with loud guitar playing as much)? Cheers!

Автор James Liddle ( назад)

Автор Grace Abou Rahhal ( назад)
We are planning to do some panels for our church. We should paint icons on the panels, so what textile of towel can work ,,, any idea ?????

Автор All Things "Wil" ( назад)
Great video! Saved me a bit of money

Автор HarryIII ( назад)
do you think stretching a canvas print over the frame (to hide the fact that they are acoustic panels and just look like wall art) will hinder their performance? will the canvas make them less effective?

Автор Eclapsed ( назад)
can you do a project on how to soundproof doors

Автор Zesty Lobster Tail ( назад)
flat foam won't perform well, it's best if they had a pyramid structure

Автор Spiker985 Studios ( назад)
My left ear enjoyed this

Автор Mads Maybom ( назад)
Have you tried RockWool?

Автор Siyei Faraj ( назад)
Give this man a beer. Wow.

Автор Kim Cruz ( назад)
Excellent video thanks so much!

Автор Liber 8 ( назад)
Awesome video, thanks.

Автор danieltv123 ( назад)
Maybe the acoustic foam is better at preventing reflections, not at preventingthe sound to come through

Автор macker33 ( назад)
Should have tested newspaper

Автор Dollar DNA ( назад)
Wow! Who knew... This is awesome!

Автор Lubico 99 ( назад)
does acoustic soundproof foam works on a door? (to avoid the outside noises)

Автор Chaslasher Hilliard ( назад)
ughhhh rip headphone users... jeez

Автор joe mchugh ( назад)
Great video with intelligent and tested information. Thanks.

Автор Steve McC ( назад)
Thank you. This is very interesting because I just recently did an informal test myself - and was amazed to find the same thing. I'm curious if you noted the thread count of the towels you were using? It seems like those towels were good towels

Автор gecsus ( назад)
Part of setting up a studio environment is to stop the reflection of sound (by absorption) while dispersing the sound as well. True sound suppression is achieved by using both methods simultaneously.
For a good studio environment on the cheap... Try egg flats behind the towels simply hanging from the wall about 1/4th to 1/2 inch from the flats. Any sound that does manage to penetrate the layered material will be absorbed on the bounce somewhat out of phase and dispersed which will further enhance the effect. Curtains also work well backed by egg flats. Double layer of curtains is equivalent of four layers after the reflected dispersion the sounds must pass back through while out of phase before escaping.
Curtains have a great aesthetic as well.

Автор kguy152000 ( назад)
6:06. That's a nice lookin' frame, there.

Автор minato kun ( назад)
u r super

Автор Francis K. ( назад)
can you do tests on felt? to see is that's better than towels?

Автор Joe Fontana ( назад)
this is bloody brilliant.

Автор Mayra Batista ( назад)
If instead using a frame I use a thick woodpanel and place on the window, will It work to block the sound and also absorb It? Thanks for the info, nice video.

Автор Ishiki ( назад)
I'm thinking of getting rid of my bed, can I cut out the foam into little pieces and use them as sound absorption panels?

Автор Azarel & 'Em Publishing ( назад)
Good stuff! Question- Do you have a DIY recommendation for the ceiling? I'm a renter and don't want to do anything that the owner would charge me for when I move out. Thanks in advance!

Автор PO G ( назад)
I think one of these panels would be pretty heavy. Towels are pretty dense. Very interesting test.

Автор Haiden ( назад)
This is absolute gold, thanks.

Автор canvasch ( назад)

Автор Prince Honkey ( назад)
would painting them interfere?

Автор Shylockza ( назад)
Ey, why no stereo sound mate?

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