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Best Option: Decouple and Dampen the Ceilings and Walls
Decoupling is required to isolate the low frequencies generated in home theaters and recording studios. By also damping these surfaces, the sound that does it make it through will be weakened significantly, keeping escaped vibrations from spreading throughout the structure.
Second Option: Decouple the Ceilings and Walls
If the budget does not allow for both decoupling and damping, then we strongly recommend decoupling as the main method of isolation. The low frequency isolation from resilient clips is crucial in isolating these types of rooms.
Third Option: Decouple the Ceiling and Dampen the Walls
Assuming the home theater or recording studio is in a basement, or lower level, and the main concern is isolating the space from the floor above, then you can consider this option. We would still recommend decoupling all surfaces, but at a bare minimum the ceiling should be decoupled and walls dampened. Dampen all walls, whether exterior or interior. Decouple the top plate framing if the walls have not yet been built.
Crucial: Control Flanking Paths
The performance of isolation products are limited if flanking paths are not isolated. Lighting, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical outlets are the most common flanking paths. The products below will address these issues with minimal cost.
Install A Heavy Sound Door
Our IsoDoor line is sound tested to show excellent performance in all frequencies. Communicating doors (two doors back to back) are required to reach a true STC 60+ and OITC 50+. A crucial performance threshold in achieving the highest level of isolation.
Dealing With Room Acoustics
Most any room can be isolated with the products above, however, the acoustics within the room are another issue. The reverberation and standing waves can be dealt with using basic acoustic panels placed strategically throughout the room. Acoustic panels are several times more efficient at resolving acoustics problems compared to acoustic foam or other old school DIY methods. We do not currently offer any acoustic related products. Search 'acoustic panels' online for several possible sources.