What is Flanking Noise? | Soundproof Cow

Flanking Noise

what is flanking noise
October 04, 2019

So you’ve soundproofed the wall leading from your apartment to the apartment next door, but somehow there’s still noise coming from that direction, although you can’t pinpoint exactly where it’s coming from. If this describes you, you may be the victim of flanking noise. But what is flanking noise, and what can you do about it?

What Is Flanking Noise?

Flanking noise, also called “flanking transmission,” refers to noise entering an area from an indirect method. Even if you are blocking noise coming directly through to your unit through a wall or the floor, there may be noises bouncing off other surfaces and indirectly entering your area, bypassing any obstacles you put in place to block it.

Potential Flanking Path Sources

Flanking noise can be extremely frustrating if you are trying to soundproof a certain area. To deal with it, you first have to identify the source. This can be difficult, since the noise is reaching you indirectly. Where could your flanking noise be coming from?

If you’ve only soundproofed your walls, then floors and ceilings are one likely source of flanking noise. The sounds your neighbors are creating may not be able to pass through the wall, but some of them are probably passing through their ceilings and may find their way into your home.

This isn’t the only possible culprit, however. Poorly soundproofed ductwork is another common source of unwanted flanking noise. Ductwork has lots of open space for sound waves to bounce off and travel through to get into your apartment.

Believe it or not, your electrical outlets are another possibility. If your outlets aren’t secured properly, the open spaces around them can provide a port of entry for sound waves to slip through.

Then there are your doors and windows. A well-soundproofed wall is worthless if it has a poorly soundproofed door or window in it. In fact, if your door is not properly treated for sound control, unwanted sound could even travel down the hall from a neighbor’s apartment and into your home through that door.

How to Reduce Flanking Noise

The best way to reduce flanking noise is to block any holes, cracks or other openings where sound may be getting through with soundproof material. Of course, the first step is to locate those openings. Since you’re not a professional, this can seem like a challenging task. Fortunately, Soundproof Cow is on your side. We offer a free acoustic analysis for individuals looking to control the sound in their homes. We can let you know where the most unwanted sound is likely to be coming in and which products are best suited to solving the problem.

If unwanted sounds have been driving you crazy and you can’t figure out why, don’t give up! Contact Soundproof Cow and let us root out and reduce your flanking noise right away!