The term “soundproof curtains” is a misunderstood phrase. It is an acoustic treatment that doesn’t actually soundproof anything, rather they help absorb and dampen sound.
Soundproofing curtains are simply a product made of soundproof materials that can be hung vertically along walls, adjacent to windows and movie screens, or arranged as panels surrounding particularly noisy objects.
Since we know mass is the critical factor in absorbing sound, soundproof curtains are composed of one or more layers of dense materials. Layers typically consist of mass loaded vinyl, sandwiched in between a plush, decorative fabric, or a blanket like fabric for commercial and industrial soundproofing curtains.
Types of Soundproof Curtains
Soundproofing curtains go by many names like;
Soundproof Drapes Soundproof Blankets Acoustic Curtains Sound Screens
Sound Blankets Acoustic Barriers Acoustic Drapes Acoustic Screens
No matter you call them; they can all be grouped into two different categories. The first being lighter duty and decorative Residential and Commercial Soundproofing Curtains, and the more heavy duty Industrial Soundproofing Curtains.
Industrial Soundproofing Curtains
In an industrial setting, having visually appealing curtains is not as important, so the curtains end up looking like more like a quilt or blanket.
One advantage to this is they can be built with better and heavier materials to achieve maximum noise absorbing performance. Mass loaded vinyl and PVC coated fabrics are commonly used in this type of product.
These heavy duty curtains can form an effective sound screen which can then be positioned around loud pieces of equipment, or in entire zones within the building.
One example is at urban construction sites, where many people may be living nearby and bothered by the noise of cranes, backhoes, and trucks. If the site perimeter is covered with soundproof curtains, it can greatly reduce the noise reaching the nearby residents.
Industrial sound curtains can also be used in manufacturing plants. Installing a sound screen around loud equipment like pumps, generators, compressors, and vacuums will make the work environment more tolerable for employees.
Residential & Commercial Soundproof Curtains
Curtains in this category are lighter weight, lighter duty products that have more decorative qualities to their design. This makes them ideal for use in home theaters, movie theaters, churches, museums, and auditoriums.
This kind of curtain is made of thicker fabrics like velvet, wool, twill, faux suede, and cotton to create a drapery treatment that is both pleasing to the eye and heavy enough to absorb sound.
Some products will also have a liner made up of a layer of mass loaded vinyl to increase the mass and improve the room acoustics.
Because this type of curtain is heavier than typical household drapes, they should be installed with care, using heavy duty tracks, brackets, and curtain rods.
Top Rated Blackout Curtains
Soundproofing Curtains for Your Home
Soundproof curtains can be very difficult to find in regular stores. Blackout curtains are an effective alternative to true acoustic grade curtains. Just be cautious what you buy. Bring a big flashlight along to the store, and if you can see the light through the product, don’t buy it because the fabric is too light and sheer to absorb any sound.
The other option is to call a custom curtain shop to hand make your soundproof curtains. This option is usually going to cost 2-3 times as much as blackout curtains. If you are serious about reducing noise in your home they may be worth the price.