How to Make High Performance Sound Absorption Panels for $5

  • Published on 2 years ago

    DIY PerksDIY Perks

    Runtime: 8:38

    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. :)

    diy  project  sound  absorption  panel  acoustic  foam  sound proof  echo  reverb  reduction  treatment  music  home  studio  make  

Nidaa vlogs
Nidaa vlogs

broooooooooooo the mic is picking the penetrating noise not the REFLECTED

Hour ago
max walraevens
max walraevens

Towels aren't beter lmao, the softer the material the more efficient... it's all about how much sound bounces off, getting through is like a whole other thing that depends on density and layers and so on... you want light, very soft and 3D shaped panels, just buy them lmao won't cost you more then £50 for the area where your microphone is placed. The 3D shape is a must for it to be really effective.

Day ago
KilljoysBleedForever
KilljoysBleedForever

RIP all headphone users

2 days ago
Heavily Armed Clown
Heavily Armed Clown

phenomenal video

2 days ago
RattyMaxReilly
RattyMaxReilly

The audio quality in this video is incredible!

2 days ago
13ounce
13ounce

This guy might get sued lol

2 days ago
Dill Skin
Dill Skin

Do you use regular staples

4 days ago
Guillermo Maggi
Guillermo Maggi

Cardboard is better, and almost free !!

4 days ago
properbo
properbo

Anyone try this for music studio environment?

4 days ago
John Costopoulos
John Costopoulos

WOW! Who'd have thought!!! Thanks so much for that!

4 days ago
SMOG
SMOG

You actually did something wrong with the testing. Your test showed that the towel acts as a good sound barrier but it doesn't show how good an absorber it is. If you would have put a drywall piece there, it would have given the best result even though it absorbs practically no sound.

5 days ago
Sajirou Plays
Sajirou Plays

"Don't Forget To Bring A Towel" - Towelie R. Pothead

5 days ago
Tomáš Karlík
Tomáš Karlík

The sound foam's main purpose is to reduce the deflected sound and not the sound that passes through, so maybe a test with a speaker facing the sound-rpoofing material and a mic few feet behind the speaker would better show the desired quality? I still think the towels are a great cheap alternative. Also, I would suggest treating the towels with some anti-microbial detergent and more importantly some anti-insect treatment. The common home insects may find it a nice lair. The dust buildup might also pose a problem. For that, maybe wrapping in plastic wrap might help?

5 days ago
2Bit Phuck
2Bit Phuck

That is crazy good performance! I would say you were bat shit crazy if I didn't See/Hear for myself.

5 days ago
Michael Ward
Michael Ward

Interesting but why are the towels apparently more absorptive ? Acoustically you need to deaden reflections of sound and although the frame is a very basic idea, you would be better off creating a reflective surface around the frame.

6 days ago
lollchand
lollchand

Wow this is very impressive. It just I can not beleive that is more efficient than professional acoustic stuff. How something so simple can be true when some professional solution cost at least 300€ just for 6m2 !!! It is not that i dont trust you but if this is true the professional are #*@!!!€&+##@ thieves !!!

7 days ago
daniel green
daniel green

to affix towels; couldn't you use a hot glue gun, epoxy resin, strong double adhesive or silicon?

7 days ago
livethelifetv
livethelifetv

I simply use the wet/dry button

7 days ago
baz mor
baz mor

clever that is...thanks. will work well in my cinema room..

8 days ago
Jaroslaw Grzenia
Jaroslaw Grzenia

Hey guys how cheap ??? Just go to your local holiday inn hotel and give cleaner woman bottle of whisky for one towel a week, or ask your mates to bring one from every holiday, weekend, hotel visit. Or, many times they just throw old towels away-talk to that Philipino guy from hotel loundry room to keep old towels for you. Or go to local laundrette every day and nick one towel of some women not watching it LOL - ok don't do that one But hotel-loundrette-wash and iron service, thats the place

10 days ago
Rich Lo
Rich Lo

Now I dont have a towel for drying up

10 days ago
GamingWithJosh
GamingWithJosh

would this work if i was just to put the towels on the inside of a picture from and not one over the front of the picture? so the picture would be on the front just with loads of towels in the frame behind it ? thanks in advance

12 days ago
Mohsen Almassud
Mohsen Almassud

AWESOME!!

12 days ago
JAFO-PTY
JAFO-PTY

another reason to steal hotel towels ... =P

13 days ago
Nappe v
Nappe v

Do these wirk for sound proofing?

13 days ago
Jacob Nolen
Jacob Nolen

I say, marvelous content, old bean. Spot on my good chum!

13 days ago
ArmyOfAll
ArmyOfAll

i need to make a vocal booth capable of withholding the sound of a loud singer from annoying my neighbours for the cost of a tub of butter to fit in a tiny room. I have made a 6 foot tall 5 foot wide 6 foot deep box frame from 20mm electrical conduit pipes as they are super strong but very light. Onto that is cable tied lengths of pine 2 x 1 inch pine to make a shell. I am now in search of something cheap to plate it with. When I trained as a sound engineer, my teacher taught me that a 50 pence strip of lamp wire had almost a little resistance as a £50 strip of gold speaker wire. A lesson taught and leaned well.

14 days ago
ArmyOfAll
ArmyOfAll

And after watching, what do I find? towels kicking the crap out of expensive acoustic tiles. I'd be curious to know how good traditional carpet underlay is.

14 days ago
Mark Crowley
Mark Crowley

Fantastic video accompanied by real technical testing and comparison. Is there any chance you could also suggest a DIY design for effective outdoor panels. My issue is trying to block traffic and highway noise (rolling truck tires especially) and I would like to build a panel that attaches to my fence that is somewhat effective, aesthetically pleasing. and stands up to the Canadian weather. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

14 days ago
Dino knowsss
Dino knowsss

Thanks for the video!

15 days ago
Prepperjon
Prepperjon

Wow! You just solved a problem for me! lol. I am making something to help lower the noise from a small generator I use when camping. I have been using a 3 sided wooden panel lined with foam and haven’t been happy with the results. So I watched this video and decided to replace the foam with towels and wow! what a difference!! Yes I tried it out before typing this comment lol. If you imagine 3 of the panels you made joined at the ends with hinges then placed around the generator in a crescent shape you have a good idea of what I did. Also I setup the panels roughly 2 feet away from the generator so as to not worry about heat. Thank you from a guy who found your video by accident lol Cheers mate and happy trails

15 days ago
The Isness
The Isness

Great video! The finished product looks very nice and easy to do!

15 days ago
KKMan20xx
KKMan20xx

You can get flame retardant acoustic foams but you can't get flame retardant towels. Too many of those could become a fire hazard.

15 days ago
Henk Spierings
Henk Spierings

Practical and effective. Sweet.

16 days ago
Rextrent
Rextrent

This is such a fine vid, I not only like it, but need to find a gender identity label with pronoun that reflects my affection for the topic, appreciation of MC Matt and his delivery( Common Brit vocab; use of "rubbish" and "proper"), the results and believability, feeling of hi-tech expert experiment for quality buzz and nice build-up of my self-esteem for being part of a high-quality video that could retain usefulness and still be viewed 500 years from now, as long as Russkie Bots haven't replaced all the humans watching videos online and those politicians that can't be trusted an inch will not have taken everyday compulsive use of "bearing false witness" to the degree that everything falls into chaos because of the consequences following a civilization wherein the Ten Commandments are unearthed so that they can be broken all day, every day for no reason other than that a Godless world becomes very "contrary" and cranky and when I "say" cranky, you don't know cranky like 500 years from now. Evolution! Thanks again.

16 days ago
멘토르석사
멘토르석사

Dude you have the best solution of all

17 days ago
ProfessorOzone
ProfessorOzone

I do a lot of this kind of testing at RF frequencies and it would be easy to poke all kinds of holes in his testing methodology, but personally, i think he did a great job here. In fact, he actually DID do a reflection test when he hung them on the wall an listened. The bottom line is, he found a low cost method to improve the sound and the results speak for themselves. He's not trying to open a testing facility. He's just trying to find an inexpensive, easy way to improve his sound quality and I think he achieved that very nicely.

17 days ago
Drumpads funk
Drumpads funk

Thank you for the video bro

18 days ago
Joshua Goodlow
Joshua Goodlow

Holy crap. Ok. I am going to make a whole bunch of these.

19 days ago
Tim Cline
Tim Cline

Woww Brilliant. Well done

20 days ago
I Don't Have a Band
I Don't Have a Band

Great video! I'd be curious to see how the towels compare to sound absorption insulation. I've done sound tests with insulation and it performs amazingly well but I have never compared it to your towel solution. Would be a great comparison.

20 days ago
RenRaw Films Studios
RenRaw Films Studios

I wonder what would happen if you used a combobination of packaging foam and towels?

21 day ago
Punk Cover Moose
Punk Cover Moose

Cool vid man! Acoustic foam is garbage!! I would be curious as to how your panels hold up to low end or even as bass traps.

21 day ago
Andre Lenz
Andre Lenz

And don't forget your towel! Damn I should knew that since Douglas Adams books :) thanks a lot for the brilliant test!

24 days ago
Gaston Peralta
Gaston Peralta

Many thanks from Argentina, i'll try it.

24 days ago
Abbas Haidari
Abbas Haidari

Where is the mic that's recording the audio..??

24 days ago
Jordan Payne
Jordan Payne

Watching this I'm genuinely considering just stapling a load of towels to the art I already have in my room.

24 days ago
Kirti Takhellambam
Kirti Takhellambam

Wow.. Nice and thanks for reminding me to hit the like button

25 days ago
Type Beats
Type Beats

ur a towel

25 days ago
Francisco Alcoba
Francisco Alcoba

Dude this is awesome !!

26 days ago
magic pissenlit
magic pissenlit

The problem is that the panel prevent reverberation, your test only test for sound passing through it, a wall of brick would pass this test because it doesn't let much sound pass through it but it would be a terrible acoustic panel because it reflects all the sound.

27 days ago
Michael Sanchez
Michael Sanchez

Hey I sew alot and Im a man. Great Video though. Thanks for providing the testing results.

27 days ago
ellie92
ellie92

Did anyone try this and do these panels work well? Thanks

27 days ago
Rover :P
Rover :P

not all heroes wear capes

28 days ago
Sal AveNU
Sal AveNU

In my home studio I have my computer set up in the living room. I got a wireless guitar set up so I can set up my amps in the bedroom. Which is the one room in my apartment that doesn't have an apartment on the other side of it. And for an isolation set up I bought a cardboard room divider. I cut it in half. I took foam tiles and glued then on there. Then I took a big fluffy winter blanket cut that in half and duct tapped it around the half's of the room divider. And no one has come banging on my door or went and called the cops. That seems to go along with the ideas of this video.

28 days ago
ETHAN C.
ETHAN C.

hec you smert

29 days ago
Lundbrock
Lundbrock

I had a very strong "metallic" reverb in my room. I took 5 towels, folded them once and hung them up around the room. Obviously a temporary solution, but it took me 5 minutes and now my room has no obvious reverb. Towels are super good at absorption, thank you for the tip!

29 days ago
Science Militia1
Science Militia1

Will this work in a cargo van? Asking for a friend..

Month ago
Rex Digno Fidel
Rex Digno Fidel

Will it differ in performance if I put a painting or a glossy poster at top of it?

Month ago
YellowLabradorWithMotorcycle
YellowLabradorWithMotorcycle

This is awesome. I was looking at cheap DIY sound absorbing materials laying around my house, to use in my guitar's closed back cabinet. I have leftover foam panels and old pillows with polyfill, but I was curious about how good towels would work in comparison. It looks like I know what I'll use.

Month ago
adrian patani
adrian patani

Best DIY i have ever known, thank you sir!

Month ago
Nunal Sa Paa
Nunal Sa Paa

Thanks for this, Matt!

Month ago
DrHouse2004
DrHouse2004

That fucking england accent

Month ago
Marc Gallant
Marc Gallant

moving blankets are highly recommended as well AND really cheap. you can easily cover all 4 walls (depending on size) for around 100$. This is common practice for musician practice rooms

Month ago
Art Estrella
Art Estrella

Thank you mr Bond.

Month ago
Mr. Aloha
Mr. Aloha

Great Job!

Month ago
Richard Elly
Richard Elly

WoW exellent video I will go for the Towels thank you

Month ago
garfield lawrence
garfield lawrence

Next time use a loud speaker with loud music boxed inside your towel frames so i can hear if it really works.

Month ago
Brice Deloose
Brice Deloose

you make a big mistake confusing absorption and isolation while compar ing with te acoustic foam...

Month ago
Tomek
Tomek

Matt - You should work for BBC - well done THX!

Month ago
Cullen Tortoise
Cullen Tortoise

huh...

Month ago
SteveGaming
SteveGaming

I'm wondering if this would work for my problem. I live with my best friend, it's always been a dream of mine to make content on YouTube and potentially live stream to Twitch in future. I used to have a channel with a few thousand subscribers years ago and I miss those days greatly. The problem is as it's been so long since I made videos regularly, I sometimes find it difficult to talk as myself and yet be entertaining. This causes me to do multiple takes of the same thing I've just said. I'm embarrassed that my flat mate will hear me repeating myself over and over again until I get it right, I know it shouldn't annoy me but I think I'd prefer to somehow find a way to block most of the sound coming from my room. If I was to make something like these panels I'm thinking I could block my door, stick some extra towels at the bottom where air gets in and hopefully that would mean I can project my voice properly without worrying that I'm being listened to. I want to be able to speak as loud as you are in this video without much sound escaping through my door. Especially if, for example someone is visiting I really don't want them to hear me rambling to myself. Would this be possible? I suppose the only real way to know is to do some sound tests. Any ideas anyone? Much appreciated.

Month ago
Arda ÖCEK
Arda ÖCEK

That's expensive too :'(

Month ago
shellamie hunter
shellamie hunter

posh northerner-- nice one bruvaa

Month ago
patsilvia
patsilvia

Thank you for this it is exactly I want to experiment for long time.. I just never think of towel can be this efficient. I wonder this powerful towel can be used as sound suppression? The thing is I have a water pump sitting out door so every time I take a shower upstair the pump is roaring. I am thinking to build a wooden cubic box with one side open. Cover the pump with this box and inside the box, use these towel to damping and hope it will help suppress the decibels from water pump. Do you think that would work?

Month ago
SOUND MAN
SOUND MAN

I think the test done should have been done by checking reflections of the materials and not sound passing through different materials .

Month ago
Kizer Sosei
Kizer Sosei

how much does a canvas w/ 6 towels weigh? & how do you mount it on the wall, if you live in an apt. (temporary)???

Month ago
Ehsan Moosavimehr
Ehsan Moosavimehr

Thanks for the video! I think your experiment evaluates sound transmission not sound absorption, directly.

Month ago
gurinder singh
gurinder singh

Reading the comments below I am laughing and flabbergasted at the same time. Seems they haven't watched the whole video. The end part clearly shows the difference in the sound quality of the voice and room. He is not making his rooms sound proof he is just using the towels to reduce bouncing sounds of the walls. Come on you all appreciate his brilliant effort.

Month ago
gurinder singh
gurinder singh

Brilliant absolutely brilliant. Thanks for the effort.

Month ago
DraMaKinG
DraMaKinG

if you made me some and send them to me ill pay...whats your paypal??

Month ago
nivalius
nivalius

and this, folks, is why you see a LOT of awful wall carpets on soviet/post soviet photos ;)

Month ago
Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker

"Manliness Achieved" should be a meme

Month ago
Carrie Moore
Carrie Moore

Thumbing through the feed quickly, my eyes saw "autistic panels" 😶😐

Month ago
Radioactiveroach Draws
Radioactiveroach Draws

I've been using a quilt for sound absorption.

Month ago
Adamimmune
Adamimmune

Hey, thanks so much! Off to staple towels to my art ha :)

Month ago
Nick Zagorov
Nick Zagorov

You gotta be kidding me right?!

Month ago
L. S.
L. S.

I did this over the weekend.. and will do about 16 more this weekend. I had 5 prints up already, so decided to just put towels in them and stitch the back. It was fun and it has already helped. Thank you for this video. On my way to my first $$million !!

Month ago
blech71
blech71

Whatever material you use we found that spacing them form the wall(s) had a profound effect in controlling standing waves by using standoffs away from the wall by 1”-2.5”.

Month ago
eyevin cast
eyevin cast

So the real question is can accustic foam dry my ass after a shower. Cuz all my towels are hanging on my walls.

Month ago
DarkPa1adin
DarkPa1adin

has anyone tried cork board for sound absorption?

Month ago
Andrew I
Andrew I

Think of it in terms of solid objects vs softer material. Just because the sound doesn't go through the towel, doesn't mean it's being obsorbed. It could be that the sound hits the towel, then goes around because it can't break through as effectively. Kind of like wind hitting a door. It reaches the solid object, but can't break through. So it goes around instead. Does it absorb? Very little. In fact, the sound reaching the mic through the other materials you displayed shows they may absorb better. Regardless. Everything you used is cheap, and comparable. Even that stuff at the end that the company labels as "professional acoustic foam" would never be found in the Nashville studios. Those people use hyper compressed materials worth hundreds, and maybe even thousands of dollars. Your best bet is investing in the second most dense material called "Owens Corning fiberglass board." It currently sells on Amazon for a fair price and does a million times better than the materials you displayed here. However, if all your trying to do is cut down the echo, save yourself the trouble and hang blankets on the wall. It will save you time, and money. Plus it will have just as much impact as those towels you wasted. A proper test would have been to hang each material on the walls in that room. Taking it outside tells you nothing about the environment of your room.

Month ago
sean bordley
sean bordley

Would Fleece work better than the Terry Cloth (Towel material) ?

Month ago
Damilola Tuyi
Damilola Tuyi

Can i use dis for a big church

Month ago
YOU WERE BORN TO SING
YOU WERE BORN TO SING

best video ever thank you so much.

Month ago
Michel Dandurand
Michel Dandurand

Good job! Now imagine if you raise the frames about 1-2 inches from the wall using standoffs in the corners. This way you can use both sides of your towels to absorb reverb in the room!

Month ago
Roman Ortiz
Roman Ortiz

would the sound still absorb if you place canvas as the top layer? The reason for this is you can make a canvas picture/painting on the top layer and then towels below. My friend is a painter and I would love to do this with his paintings and towel absorption underneath...

Month ago
vctr
vctr

great tutorial! what did you use to hang these up on the wall?

Month ago
Gonçalo Dias
Gonçalo Dias

that's why you don't see acoustic foam in any professional studio, they use sound absortion pannels stuffed with rockwool, you can make pannels like that yourself, and they will still cost less than professional acoustic foam.

Month ago
Kim Song
Kim Song

So, does this make good to reduce outside noise?

Month ago
Rios Moodie
Rios Moodie

so i made it too :D just by using woodprix plans:)

2 months ago

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