1

The studio I'm renting happens to be one of the only routes to the midtown tunnel in Manhattan, and I have been driven beyond my sanity with the truck noises that plagues the studio 24/7. After doing some reading in a related thread (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/stud...f-windows.html), I decided to build my own window plugs to dampen the incoming noise. Below is the rough plan:

-------------- 1/8" Plywood
~~~~~~~~ Green Glue
-------------- 1/8" Plywood
======== 2" Fiberglass
-------------- 1/8" Plywood

There's a small (32" x 55-1/4") window and a large (48" x 55-1/4") window in this studio, and the estimated total weights of their corresponding plugs are 14 lbs and 21 lbs, respectively.

Questions:

  1. Do you guys think this can effectively dampen the truck noise in the bass range/honking noises in high frequencies?
  2. Should I switch the 1/8" Plywood boards with 1/4" ones instead? I'm a bit hesitant on how heavy I want these plugs to be but obviously soundproofing quality is the most important.
  3. (Noob question) How do I secure the Fiberglass (pink insulation material sold at Home Depot) to the Plywood boards? Will they require frames?

Any other related inputs or suggestions are also highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Regards, Simon

3
  • When you say fiberglass do you mean styrofoam? Fiberglass looks like cotton candy and acts like it too, you would need spacers to keep it from instantly compressing, and 2" isn't much. Sep 6 '17 at 15:04
  • Yea I mean like the pink foamy material generally used for wall fillings as heat/sound insulation. You're right that I haven't considered the fact that fiberglass compress pretty easily, and perhaps this allows me to use thicker versions of fiberglass instead. Would the soundproofing quality of fiberglass be compromised when compressed?
    – Simon Li
    Sep 6 '17 at 22:51
  • I would first try a Ridgid insulation cut to a tight fit, it would only weighs a pound or so and may trap the noise coming through the window by having some dead air space, I know I noticed a reduction of street noise when I resided with the. Ridgid foam insulation under vinyl even before finishing putting the siding up. This may be a less expensive and lighter weight solution.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 20 '18 at 18:34
2

Keep in mind that low DB noise are the ones that are supposedly the less annoying.

Try using some kind of low noise (like a fan noise) to mask the noise that are repetitive. It really works.

But it all depends on how low your noise is. It is the honking that you probably find more annoying though. And since they come and go, they are annoying and difficult to mitigate.

You are doing well to use different type of material and blue glue, of course.

I found this website to be a great help:

The Triple Leaf Effect & Air Cavity Depth (soundproofingcompany.com)

You would want to analyze the sound frequencies (signature) of the noise FIRST.

I recommend this: Praat Linguistic tool for studying sounds

You can see that if the noise gets really low (DB) you need to decouple.

Hard to do to walls if you are renting like you are.

As for the window and the plug, you could also decouple them by putting some kind of rubber "bead" (harden silicone) or gasket (old cut bike tube or car timing belt) that you place you plug to (which will have a frame to frame it to). It will then sit on those soft beads or rubber to absorb the vibrations.

But, that website has a lot of good info.

2) and 3) The only way I thought of doing this would be to use some kind of board with nails or some protrusions that would in effect hold the fibreglass in place. If you use the idea on the website of the STC 63 sound reduction, you would have 2 plywood with blue gun, then insulation, then space then insulation and then 2 plywood board with blue gun. I would use (in that case) screws to prevent the FB to move. Size of plywood? The ticket the better, but space and weight might be the limiting factors.

The inside of the living space can be made to absorb (limit the echoing). I found carpeting to really help VS hardwood. Heavy curtains also helps.

1
  1. I'm no expert but low frequency sounds from trucks are transmitted through the ground into the entire structure. This may limit the effectiveness of window-plugs.

  2. For low frequencies, more mass may be better.

  3. If these are removable plugs it might be best to enclose the fiberglass in a fabric envelope (think pillowcase) which can be stapled or glued to the plywood.

I'd be looking for another home to rent.

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  • Thanks RedGrittyBrick. I think I'll replace one or two of the 1/8" Plywood boards with 1/4" ones then. Unfortunately I just signed the lease for this place and will most likely be stuck with it for a year.
    – Simon Li
    Sep 6 '17 at 22:47

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