Soundproofing Tips for Busy Cities

soundproofing tips for busy cities
October 07, 2022

Living in a busy city is great for many reasons, but you’ll have to deal with the noise you hear daily. Sound is bound to invade your space when you live in an apartment or home with neighbors and traffic so close by. Fortunately, soundproofing methods and materials can make exterior noise less of an issue. Check out some of our busy city soundproofing solutions.

Understand the Noise Source and How to Treat It

There are two types of exterior noise you’ll deal with living in a major city — structural and airborne.

Structural noise occurs when a soundwave’s energy causes a surface to vibrate, such as when your neighbor bangs on the wall or ceiling. Airborne noise is sound that travels through the atmosphere like music, voices, car alarms and others. It squeaks through cracks and wiggles through thin surfaces.

Address structural noise by reducing a surface’s ability to vibrate and dampen airborne sounds by making the surfaces they travel through denser.

Address Specific Surfaces in Your Apartment

Here are a few ways to tackle airborne and structural noise in major cities:


Walls allow both airborne and structural noise. You can stop airborne noise from getting through your walls by adding mass and density. Products like mass-loaded vinyl provide more substance for the sound to pass through. Adding insulation inside or placing large, soft furnishings against the walls can dampen structural noise.


You may deal with sound coming up through the floors or worry about the noise you make stomping around at night. Products like rugs and furniture can reduce structural noise and minimize some airborne sound, but others like floor joist isolators and flooring underlayment will go the extra mile.


Upstairs neighbors can send structural and airborne noise down to your unit as they walk, move furniture, listen to music or chat. The best way to address both noise sources that come through ceilings is to build a suspended layer. Dropping your ceiling allows you to add sound-blocking and sound-absorbing absorbing materials like insulation or mass-loaded vinyl. You can separate and cushion the surfaces that would otherwise vibrate together after movement upstairs, helping you achieve sound isolation.


When soundproofing a door, you’ll use similar products and methods that you would when treating a wall. However, a door leaves room around the perimeter for noise to pass through. You can fill the gaps by installing a door seal or sweep under or along the door.

Learn More With Soundproof Cow

At Soundproof Cow, we specialize in limiting the amount of noise that can enter or exit a space. Feel free to get in touch to schedule an acoustic analysis and hear more ideas for soundproofing your city home.

learn more with soundproof cow

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About Kellen Beaver

Soundproof Cow Representative Kellen

Kellen has been a member of the sales team for over a decade. Prior to delving into the soundproofing realm, he was a jack of all trades in the service industry, working both front and back of the house jobs to various degrees. This diversity in experience makes it easy to relate to the needs of a large customer base. He understands noisy environments as well as the importance of aesthetics in a space. Adding something that doesn’t fit the look can be intrusive, so knowing that acoustical needs must fit the interior design is something he’s become very well-versed in. Most of this planning comes from working with both the owner/operators as well as their design team and architects. He has been able to adapt his knowledge in the restaurant industry into projects involving schools, office buildings and large medical facilities when the situation calls for it.

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