How to Block Out Low Frequency Noise
Nowadays millions of us live in big cities and love it. However, no matter how amazing it is, or how many possibilities it offers for work, fun, making connections, etc, it also comes often at a high price.
One of the things we get when living surrounded by many people is the noise.
Many people are used to it and don’t pay any attention to it, while they go about their daily activities, however, the rest who aren’t “immune” to it may struggle quite a bit.
What Is Low-Frequency Noise?
Low-frequency noise refers to the noise of about 100 -150 Hz and is often very hard to measure and assess.
This is a type of noise that many people are disturbed by and it is often described as “low rumble” or “pressure sensations”.
This is because some people have a low-frequency threshold which is more sensitive than the average threshold.
Most of the people don't even hear, but the rest who do need to take special measures to block it.
How disturbing it might be shows the fact that this noise can cause various reactions, such as high blood pressure, stress, unease, trouble with sleeping, and even anxiety and depression.
Low-Frequency Noise Sources
Low-frequency noise sound waves are long and may transmit on very long distances, making the source of it hard to find.
Often the source can be found and controlled in case it is in your home, however, when it is unknown certain measures need to be taken, as it enters your home through the windows, roof, doors, walls, etc, by traveling through the air.
Low-frequency noise can have numerous sources, however, they are mostly linked to the industry and some of them are pumps, boilers, electrical installations, amplified music, construction sites, and other types of environmental noise pollution in urban areas.
How to Block Out Low Frequency Noise
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Use an Isolation Box
As I already said, it is possible to find the source of the low-frequency noise, and that is exactly what I managed to do.
A few years ago my family bought a PC mostly for playing games and it was often turned on, even during the night.
For several months after the purchase, I wasn't able to sleep well. That lasted until I finally realized that the low-frequency noise was being emitted from the computer base, that was in the adjacent room and that it was the source of the problem.
Well, after I realized what was causing my distress, I was able to do something about it.
I bought an isolation box which reduces the noise by 30dB and it blocked the noise very well! This box is made of high-density noise-absorbing acoustic foam and it does wonder!
If you like the idea of an isolation box or would like to make one yourself, please make sure that it has openings, because without them your computer will heat up abnormally.
Another way of blocking low-frequency noise is to move the PC to the adjacent room and drill holes through the wall, so you can then extend the keyboard, monitor, and mouse to the first one, while the noise is blocked by the wall.
Tip: An isolation box can be your "best friend" not only for a computer base but also for other gadgets, such as microphones and amplifiers, so that they can be as loud as you wish them to be, without creating huge ambient noise.
They are a very good choice because they are:
2. Install a Drywall
While I was having trouble with computer-based noise my neighbors were experiencing another problem. Their son was in a band and not only that they practiced every day, but they practiced in their house.
Since the boys were playing on 4 instruments and used an amplifier in their garage they knew that something had to be done.
They ended up remodeling the walls and the ceiling by installing gypsum boards on them and they also used an isolation box for the amplifier.
Related: How to Reduce Bass Noise from Neighbors
When you are facing huge noise and vibrations, for example from a loud amplifier, it is important to know that heavier and denser materials are needed to block the noise.
Drywall (also known as plasterboard, gypsum board, gypsum panel) is one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to soundproof the walls and the ceiling. It is mostly used for interiors of buildings.
Drywall is mostly made of gypsum plaster that creates the core and paper liner that covers the core. More material can be added to the mixture to make it thicker and as we said, the thicker the insulation is, the better it will serve the purpose.
Gypsum is the perfect solution for several reasons, such as:
3. Use Soundproof Curtains
When our kids were small we lived in a very urban neighborhood where many people often had social gatherings, parties and were just pretty loud.
Because of that, our kids couldn't sleep well, even though we had drywall insulation.
That is when we decided to soundproof our windows as well with the soundproof curtains and we were very pleased with this choice!
Soundproof curtains are great for several reasons:
Tip: How effective your curtains are going to be will depend primarily on the size and thickness of the material. They should be as thick as possible and have a bigger surface than your window, so they cover it completely, as well as the area around it, because the bigger coverage will make them more efficient.
Also, you should hang them as close to the ceiling as possible to block even more sound.
4. Use Soundproof Blankets
In addition to the soundproof curtains, you could also use soundproof blankets. They are mostly used in noisy workshops, music studios, home studios or just for blocking the traffic and other environmental noise.
These blankets can be either quilted or non-quilted. In order to block the low-frequency noise, they must be quilted and very thick. On the other hand, the cheaper, non-quilted version will help you with blocking higher decibel sounds.
Soundproof blankets are usually made of fiberglass or polyester material, which works as a sound absorbent.
They are a good option for the following reasons:
5. Consider Fiberglass Insulation
If you are about to build your home or reconstruct it for any reason, well, now is the time to think about good sound insulation!
I strongly recommend that you use fiberglass insulation.
Fiberglass is made of thousands of small glass particles and is loosely packed.
Not only does it stop the transfer of sound, but it does the same for heat and cold because it holds the temperatures and sound waves and prevents them from passing through.
It is used to insulate walls, ceilings, your attic and it is mostly used for the exterior walls.
However, many professionals suggest that you put it inside the interior walls as well, for example in your bedroom, bathroom, living room, etc, since you will get better insulation.
Besides using these common above-mentioned ways for soundproofing, there are also other soundproofing options and gadgets.
Final Word: On Blocking Out Low Frequency Noise
As hard as it may be to cope with low-frequency noise sensitivity, it is important to know that many methods can be used to block it or at least reduce effectively.
It is easier to first start with more simple ways, such as using soundproofing blankets, curtains ad headphones, and then if they don't bring much comfort, more serious steps should be made.
I hope that the above-mentioned experiences, the solutions, and alternatives will help you with your battle with this problem.
How to Block Out Low Frequency Noise
Here we talk about how to block out low frequency noise like your PC humming, road vehicles, aircraft, industrial machinery and other urban noises.
- Use an Isolation Box
- Install a Drywall
- Use Soundproof Curtains
- Use Soundproof Blankets
- Consider Fiberglass Insulation