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My bedroom is facing a busy street, with many bars/restaurants. People are shouting and cabs are honking.

The 2 windows are double-pane, and the wall is the exterior wall, so solid brick. There are no gaps in the windows, as far as I can see. I have curtains.

I read that foams are echo-absorbing and will not help in this case, while MLV (mass loaded vinyl) might not be enough.

Is there a relatively easy way to solve this? I'd like to avoid extreme measures such as building a room within a room.

  • Do you currently have anything other than curtains hung in the room? Even if you are preventing a lot of noise from entering, much of sound 'proofing' should actually be called 'sound mitigation'; in short, what does it get to bounce off of once it's inside. – BrownRedHawk Feb 10 '15 at 16:26
  • There's a bed, a desk, one office-chair, one wooden chain, walk-in closet and a laundry-bag. The curtains are blackout. Do you think the echo is significant? – user1071136 Feb 10 '15 at 16:39
  • Put your ear up against the wall, and then up against a window. I bet the wall blocks much more sound. At that point, your objective changes to prevent sound transmission through the window, which is an easier task. (Remember to keep the window usable as an emergency exit.) – user3757614 Sep 11 '15 at 17:46
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I am by no means a professional 'sound guy' but I do enjoy playing my music and movies without any outside noises. It sounds like you are suffering from a similar situation I deal with. Often it's not about preventing 100% sound from coming in, but preventing it from reflecting and propagating.

Some common anti-echo techniques I employ are:

  • hang framed Canvases (cheap oil paintings or blank canvases from a craft store)
  • Rugs/Carpets (thicker the better)
  • Foam Panels hung on doors

I always imagine if every hard surface is mirror plated and you shined a light from where the noise comes from. It can be reflected off just about anything. The softer and less dense, the less reflective.

If it comes right down to it, and the window truly is the source of problems, an inexpensive project can be making a frame for a single piece of poly-carbonate to mount/hang over your window. It essentially would make a crude "triple pane" window.

I've never had to go this far for noise, but I have for apartments with drafty windows and it was noticeably quieter.

Good luck and let us know what works for you.

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