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I want to soundproof my wall. In fact, it's this wall:

my wall

I know, right? It would probably be an enormous task, but I really want to get it soundproofed because I have a neighbor on the other side and my entertainment center is right up against the wall. I have no speakers mounted on the wall, so that helps, but I am afraid that the bass from my subwoofer is just tearing through that wall. If you must know, it's a 5.1 system with the two front speakers mounted on stands and placed next to the TV. The center speaker is the one I am mainly concerned about.

If it's too much of a job to insulate such a huge wall, then perhaps there's something i can put between the wall and the entertainment center.

I have heard of foam insulation and mass-loaded vinyl (which I really like the idea of), but just want to hear some tips from the stack folks.

Edit: Is the home improvement forum on StackExchange brand new or something? The word insulate isn't a tag? Neither are condo or townhouse. Could someone with some rep add these?

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Insulation is a tag, but sound-proofing is a better fit for this. –  BMitch Jun 15 '11 at 3:13
    
see also: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/5947/… –  BMitch Jun 15 '11 at 3:25
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Check out Holmes on Homes, Mike Holmes did an episode in season 5 called Wall of Sound, which tackled this issue. –  Tester101 Jun 15 '11 at 12:25
    
Holmes is freakin' awesome. We need to get him on DIY.stackexchange. –  Doresoom Jun 15 '11 at 22:14
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@Doresoom: If Holmes was here nobody else would have to answer questions, and we could change the name to AskHolmes.stackexchange. –  Tester101 Jun 16 '11 at 12:53
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Check out Holmes on Homes, Mike Holmes did an episode in season 5 called Wall of Sound, which tackled this issue.

Comment converted to answer.

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Both for your own enjoyment and to help your neighbor sleep, the easiest solution would be to install some acoustical panels on the wall. Beyond that, you're looking at installing resilient channels between the drywall and studs and that's a major project.

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For starters, find out if it's really a problem. If it's a properly built party wall, maybe it's sufficiently soundproofed as-is.

If it's not, then you pretty much need to either gut it down to studs, or build a second wall on your side that is acoustically isolated from the shared wall. A typical option in a new-build is to alternate studs on each side so that there is no solid structural member that actually connects the two spaces (which you could accommodate by building your own floating wall).

Doing that takes care of any sound being transferred physically through the building materials. The next step is to ensure there's a full air seal so that no sound is being transmitted through the air..that involves insulation, sealing all outlets, lightswitches, etc.

But that's a big project given the size of that wall.

I'd suggest a) Move the entire entertainment system to an outside wall or b) invest in some nice wireless headphones.

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Great point about confirming if it's a problem. I'm pretty sure the townhouse I owned 25 years ago had a block firebreak wall between units. –  TomG Oct 29 '11 at 0:29
    
It's definitely a problem. I can hear my neighbor's TV and hers is not even against our shared wall like mine is. Once I even heard my other neighbor hacking. I am not going to tackle the vaulted wall just yet. I am going to install QuietRock with GreenGlue in my bedroom first. That vaulted wall also looks a lot bigger than it really is. Once I am confident in my drywall hanging skills and it proves effective, I am going to do that vaulted wall. The experience I gain from all this will be valuable to others seeking answers to problems similar to mine. –  oscilatingcretin Oct 29 '11 at 1:12
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